Early Sexualization

Facts About At Risk/Disadvantaged Teen Girls

  • In Erie County, the teen pregnancy rate in disadvantaged areas is twice the rate of state and national averages.
    (Erie County 2010-2013 Community Health Assessment (ECCHA))

  • Sexual exploitation and early sexualization is likely the cause of approximately 40% of black women reporting coercive contact of a sexual nature by age 18.
    (ABA Commission on Domestic Violence)

  • Young women, especially those of minority races or ethnicities, are increasingly at risk for HIV infection through heterosexual contact.
    (CDC: HIV/AIDS Surveillance in Adolescents and Young Adults – Through 2004)

  • Black and Hispanic children consume nearly 4½ hours more media daily (13 hours, compared to 8 hours and 36 minutes for whites).

How Early Sexualization Impacts Teen Girls:

  1. Three of the most common mental health problems in girls: eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression, are linked with early sexualization..
     2007 Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls

  3. Seven in ten girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members.

  5. 75% of girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities such as disordered eating, cutting, bullying, smoking, or drinking when feeling badly about themselves (compared to 25% of girls with high self-esteem).

  7. One of the main factors in teen promiscuity is self-esteem. When a teen has little or no self-confidence, he or she will use sex as a means to build confidence.

  9. Thirty-four percent of young women become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of 20 — about 820,000 a year. Eight in ten of these teen pregnancies are unintended and 79 percent are to unmarried teens.

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