An official report has claimed, "Hyper-sexualised images" in music videos, men's magazines and inappropriate children's clothing are a reason behind the early sexualisation of young people.
As part of an initiative to tackle violence against women and girls, a report commissioned by the Home Office suggested sexually charged images have a negative affect on both boys and girls.
"The messages are wrong, they're very restrictive, and I think they're actually beginning to confuse children," Sky News quoted report author, psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, as saying.
She added: "We're telling girls, 'your value lies in attracting a boy at any cost,' and we're telling boys, 'your value lies in objectifying girls'. Then we wonder why teen-on-teen sexual violence is so high."
The report points at new pressures on young people that can lead to depression and eating disorders.
The paper, linking the provocative styling of young girls to both sexual abuse and child pornography, notes that padded bras, thongs and high heels are being marketed to girls as young as eight.
Papadopoulos said: "The media and advertisers don't just sell products, they sell identities."
"At the moment they're just selling one identity to girls and it's this hyper-sexualised woman who's there to be attractive and be sexy and ready at any time.
"So I think it's time they take a step back and start celebrating women for things other than how they look."
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