Making children sexual objects

letterSIR: As I waited in the departure lounge of a local airport, I noticed there were many children about, but it was understandable since it was summer holiday. One other thing I noticed was the way most of the children were dressed.

Most of them, especially the girls, were dressed in bum shorts, halter necks, cut off jeans, etc. The clothes in themselves weren’t the issue per se; it was the overall look of the children that had me bothered. That was definitely not the first time I noticed it.

A few months before, I had taken my kids to a birthday party and found myself in what could easily have been a nightclub for kids. Scanty clothing such as tight or very short clothes, bum shorts, long weaves, etc, seemed to be the dress code. I noticed my daughter glancing around her, probably wondering, “what in God’s world are these other children wearing?” Or something like that.
Not long after, the kids were called out to dance to the hit songs of the season – these songs in my opinion should be rated PG 13. Four to six-year-olds trooped to the dance floor, miming the sexually explicit songs and gyrating their bodies in the most sensual manner. They could have given Beyonce a run for her money. They ran their hands over their bodies, shook their booties hard while their parents cheered them on. The boys had their upper shirts unbuttoned and rapped along perfectly to gangsta raps while doing flawless break dance.

So the question is, why are we sexualizing our kids? Why does your 4, 6 or 9 year-old girl have to look like a chick? Why does she have to be hot or sexy? Should your eight-year-old son go around with a comb in his hair and his pants sagged almost to his ankles?  Are you setting your children up to be immodest and indecent? What trend are you starting them on? That all these are fashionable or trendy doesn’t mean it’s okay.

Some parents even dress their children like this to church. Church!  What are you teaching the child? What happened to children wearing dresses to church? Children can look very nice and decent; they can be well covered and still look good. In this age, when children are being abused, is it wise to make your child an object of anyone’s sexual attention?

Studies have shown that children exposed to a high level of sexually explicit information tend to become sexually active early. Is that your goal as a parent?

Being a parent involves sacrifice. You will need to avoid listening to such music where your children are. Our children have their lives ahead of them, let’s set them on the right path.
• Oluseye Igbafe,
Port Harcourt, Rivers State

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