Sexualization of girls combated in new campaign

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NASHVILLE — A new campaign called "4 Every Girl" has been launched by the Parents Television Council to combat the sexualization of girls in American culture.

In recent years, PTC research has documented troubling trends on primetime television in which underage girls are more likely to be sexualized than adults, Tim Winters, PTC's president, said.

"There is a dramatic rise in the number of teenaged girls who are depicted as victims of violence -- especially sexual violence," Winters said in a news release. "Frankly we're tired of reporting such depressing data and we want to help do something about it."

The goal of the 4 Every Girl campaign, online at 4everygirl.com, is "a sharp and swift reversal" of those statistics by advocating for a media environment in which girls are honored, valued and represented by healthy, respectful images, PTC said in October.

"According to the American Psychological Association, the three most common mental health problems for girls -- eating disorders, depression and low self-esteem — are linked to the sexualization of girls and women in media," Winters said. "We hope 4 Every Girl will bring increased awareness and concern and a new light to the work of other organizations in the fight for healthier media images of young girls."

A public service announcement is available for viewing on the website, as are recommendations for how to raise a "powerful girl" who is secure in her self-image and who makes positive choices for her own life and does positive things for others.

— BP