KAGOY – Kids Are Getting Older Younger
I know I’ve seen picture like this often and give a little nod in mutual understanding, but this essentially makes light of a much larger issue. The acronym above is from the documentary ‘Sext up Kids’ by the Doc Zone that I watched earlier this week. I also watched, for a second time, ‘Sextortion of Amanda Todd‘ by the fifth estate. We only had to watch one of them for our ecmp355 class, but after the first I needed to continue to understand what was happening. And I’m a sucker for documentaries.
Both documentaries really make a person look around and open their eyes in a way to the world. Kids are being bombarded daily by social media, toys, clothes, and books pushing sexualization. One of the scariest things from that first documentary was that advertisers have found ways to advertise straight to kids rather than through parents. Whether that’s online, through tv, or toys kids are wanting to look and be older when they should be outside, using their imaginations, or playing with their friends.
Because, I think when we look at the sextortion of Amanda Todd, this is just one result of this sexualization. Boys have expectations of girls and can find them online, and girls have ingrained in them what they think boys want. This sexualization at a young age is becoming ingrained in kids when they are at such a crucial point in their development. Before they have time to figure out who they are and who they want to be we have everything telling them what they should be. I would compare it to the picture of a frog in water, if you throw him in a pot of boiling water, he will obviously jump right out. But if you put him in and slowly turn the heat up, he doesn’t even realize he’s boiling to death. I think society as a whole has been increasing the sexualization of EVERYTHING, and now all of a sudden it’s at a point that is impossible to control.
With technology becoming so widespread and common (it’s now rare if someone doesn’t have access to the internet 24/7), if kids want to go online they will. We can put all kinds of filters and restrictions up, but at the end of the day kids are sneaky. Now part of our job is teaching these kids how to be kids. Giving them real, authentic experiences and expectations. Giving them the freedom to be kids, and to figure out for themselves who they are and who they want to be. However, this is difficult. So let me ask, what are some things you think we can do to change this generation of sext up kids?