Now it's interesting that this subject, the sexualization of children, is condemned by both the Left and Right. But not surprisingly, we blame different agents. Liberal parents who detest the tart culture tend to blame business. The Post quotes a writer who blames the deregulation of children's television in the mid-1980s. Additionally, liberals point to clothes manufacturers, music purveyors and teen magazine publishers.
The APA seems to think the answer is more feminism: "Girls and girls' groups can also work toward change. Alternative media such as 'zines' . . . 'blogs' . . . and feminist magazines, books and Web sites encourage girls to become activists who speak out and develop their own alternatives. Girl empowerment groups also support girls in a variety of ways and provide important counterexamples to sexualization."
Well, good luck with that, but perhaps a more traditional approach would work better. Fathers and mothers, protect your girls' innocence. Take the TV out of their rooms. Monitor what they watch. Don't purchase the racy clothes or music or movies. And try a dose of what Bill Bennett and Joe Lieberman attempted to do more than a decade ago -- shame the purveyors of smut. Here we come to the conservative perspective. Popular culture, in all its crudeness, is the output of liberals. It is liberalism that for decades has rejected any protest as "censorship" or "McCarthyism."
Perhaps we can now arrange a truce in the name of our daughters. Liberals and conservatives can unite to clean up TV, the music industry and popular culture generally. Liberals can do so believing they are thrashing big business, and conservatives can take satisfaction in confirming family values. Truce, anyone?