People are worried about sexualization; about children becoming sexual at too young an age; about the ways in which women may be being defined by their sexuality; and about
the availability and potential effects of online pornography, to name but a few of the often repeated concerns.
The word sexualization has been used to mean many things and to refer to a wide range of issues. This report
aims to summarize what is known -- and not yet known -- on each of the main areas of concern.
The term sexualization was virtually non-existent in news headlines in 2005, but since then it has been widely used.
Sexualization has become a political and policy issue; the topic of several significant reports and of comment by leading politicians.
The contributors to this report are conscious of the inaccurate and sometimes sensationalist
information that often circulates publicly about sexualization, not only in media and popular books, but also in policy reports, statements by politicians and other public figures, as well as in some academic work.
Our aim is to
set out clearly what current good research tells us about these issues, and make clear what is known and what is not known or is unclear.
The report addresses the wide range of issues relating to sex, sexuality and sexual health
and wellbeing that seem to underpin public anxieties that are now commonly expressed as concerns about sexualization . These include STIs, pregnancy, addiction, dysfunction, violence, abuse, sex work, sexual practices, different forms of
sexuality, medicalization, commerce, media and popular culture.