My reaction is that sexualization in early childhood is that is has definitely surfaced in the appearance and vocabulary of young children.
Children are more technology evolved and they see young children with makeup and sexy clothes on. They see models and teenagers acting provocatively and they want to become a part of this culture. Sexualization is a growing trend in the early childhood field and amongst young children. In my opinion, they want to be grown to fast and by wearing the sexy clothes, makeup and big girl earrings they feel a sense of worth. Children these ages will go through normal sexual development as they develop into teens, but the modern technology has exposed sexualization to a new level. Sexualization can have a negative impact on a child’s social and emotional development. Children tend to react to children who dress a sexy way. This can later affect the child’s self-esteem.
Three years ago, I had a little girl in my class whose mom would let her wear revealing clothes. Her mom also made the notion that she did not want her daughter to plat because she did not want her clothes to get dirty.
The second example is a little girl in class would always wear skirts and would get mad when we told her to sit appropriately, sit with her legs clothes. She would not play with the little girls but enjoyed bossing the boys around in class.
Recently, I had a relative to call me and tell her that another parent had confronted her about her child. The girls are seven and the parent told my relative that her little girl was bringing makeup to school and they were changing their appearances by the time they made it to school. My relative told the parent that she would handle the situation and that both girls were makeup would not be an issue again.
As a early childhood professional, it is valued to be aware of sexualization. As professionals we need to find the appropriate strategies to deal with this topic. I believe that is important to have dress codes in classrooms that will help omit sexulaization in the classroom.