Survey: Most parents concerned over child sexualisation

Sexualised clothing aimed at children Padded bras and other adult clothing aimed at young girls is a concern for some parents

Related Stories

Almost nine out of every 10 UK parents say children are having to grow up too early, with nearly half unhappy with pre-watershed TV, a survey suggests.

The research is part of a government-commissioned review into the sexualisation of children, conducted by Mothers' Union head Reg Bailey.

Most parents said music videos and celebrity were encouraging children to act older than they were.

Mr Bailey is due to publish a full report in May.

Of the 1,025 parents of five- to 16-year-olds surveyed, 40% said they had seen things in public places, such as shop window displays and advertising hoardings, that they felt were inappropriate for children to see because of their sexual content.

And 41% of parents said they had seen programmes or adverts on television before 9pm that they felt were unsuitable for similar reasons.


The review is also conducting focus groups, and Mr Bailey said emerging areas of concern included adult-style clothing aimed at young children, as well as toys and games they felt were inappropriate.

Parents were "struggling against the slow creep of an increasingly commercial and sexualised culture and behaviour, which they say prevents them from parenting the way they want", he said.

He said parents "had little faith in regulators or businesses taking their concerns seriously", but also were put off complaining be fears they would be seen as "prudish or out of touch".

The review is exploring whether the should be restrictions on retailers selling sexualised products aimed at children - such as "Porn star" T-shirts or padded bras.

A code of conduct on "age appropriate" marketing and a new watchdog are among plans being considered by the review.

Items that have been criticised include pencil cases and other products with the Playboy logo.


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    I started noticing a good 15 years ago that young children, even toddlers, were dressing in the same kind of clothes as their parents - even that they walked in the same way. At the same time adults are being infantilised, with the result that we tend to converge on a style of dress and behaviour characteristic of yesterday's teenagers.

  • Comment number 79.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    I am 22 and I wouldn't dream of wearing a "Porn Star" t-shirt.
    It's absolutely disgusting that this kind of material is being targeted at children. I wouldn't even have known what a porn star was at that age.

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    There is NO excuse under the sun for SELLING goods to children which ARE NOT APPROPRIATE. Retailers and media can call it what they like - IT IS BLATANT GROOMING AND SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF MINORS, They have already HOOKED ONE GENERATION who now see it as NORMAL. It's easy to solve. PASS A LAW IMMEDIATELY. IT CAN BE DONE AND IT HAS TO BE DONE. Parents NEVER worry about being TOO PRUDISH.

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    Re: wbhs-media student

    You say that companies will target a market that exists, yet isn't there also a question of "creating a need" then selling to that? If media promotes sexualisation as desirable then such products can be sold.

    On the other hand, parents are not helped by children wanting to push boundaries, and some boundaries are easier to push.


Comments 5 of 80


More Education & Family stories



Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.