Melinda Tankard Reist, June 2009
Parents have been called to action in an eye-opening seminar about the impact of sexual imagery on young people.
Everyone is concerned about child pornography, but few realise that surveys suggest one in five teenagers participate in "sexting" - exchanging nude and semi-nude photos of themselves via mobile phones or online.
Melinda Tankard Reist, an Australian author and women's advocate, warned: "Sexualisation contributes to exploitation and violence. It puts girls in danger."
Yet, "If even one person makes a complaint, it can change a whole company's policy."
From soft porn flicks masquerading as music videos to Bratz dolls and sexualised clothing in the children's wear sections of department stores, girls are told to value their appearance more highly than anything else.
Even pre-teenagers are targeted by advertising encouraging them to be "frisky, seductive or mysteriously alluring" (to quote British web search company Jellydeal).
"If we do nothing and walk by, then we accept and approve the standard for our children," Tankard Reist told the seminar co-sponsored by the Fair Sex Movement.
"The messages delivered by a culture obsessed with body image and sex limit the freedom of girls to explore other facets of their lives."
"Young women and young men are ripped off by a culture that promotes a hollow understanding of intimacy portraying the sexual element of the human body as the only value of the human person."