Mental health professionals are increasingly concerned about the prevalence of sexualised images of children and early adolescents in the media. These images appear to be widely used in advertising, and represent children, including pre-pubertal children, in ways more congruent with adult sexuality. The values implicit in the images are that physical appearance and beauty are intrinsic to self-esteem and social worth, and that sexual attractiveness is a part of childhood experience.  Research has shown that the exploitation of children, particularly girls, as sexual objects has a detrimental effect on adolescent development, increasing the risk of depression, eating disorders and low self-esteem.  The unrealistic depiction of children in a sexualized manner is not only harmful to girls and women, but has wider consequences in the community.

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