Whether it be reality show hot tubs or magazine articles about how to please one’s partner, we are constantly bombarded by images and representations of sexuality. As our culture increasingly shifts toward highly liberalized social norms, the media reflects and exacerbates the central role sexuality plays in pop culture.
While the relaxation of America’s prudish tendencies may be for the better, there is no doubt of the consequences this new sexuality is having on contemporary youth. Hyper-sexualization affects more and more girls at younger ages, as they are pressured by media influences to look and act like thirty-something’s in order to gain attention and validation.
Research connects hyper-sexualization to depression, eating disorders, and negative self esteem, the most rampant mental health issues affecting girls and women.
With girls facing a media frenzy that negates positive, healthy self-image, programs like Strong Women, Strong Girls become all the more vital. Gender-specific programs provide girls with the female role models and support structures they need to become confident individuals who can withstand societal pressures to grow up too fast.

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