Cath Elliot has written a Comment is Free piece for the Guardian on Playboy’s intent to sexualise children. And they aren’t alone – Cardiff Council is providing pole dancing classes for children 11 years and upwards (willfully ignoring, one has to suspect, that the second “peak point” for childhood abuse is at age 12 or so). She traces the insidious reach of “porn culture” into children’s lives – from Playboy stationery and bedding to lacy black underwear for the preteen market to Next selling t-shirts for 5-6 year olds saying “So many boys, so little time”.
In 2006, the Australia Institute coined the phrase “Corporate Paedophilia” to describe the sexualisation of children in advertising and marketing, and argued that “such advertising and marketing is an abuse both of children and of public morality.” I agree: the endemic sexualisation of our young can only do harm both to them and to society at large in the long run. Cardiff Council may well be at the cutting edge of Public Sector Paedophilia, but let’s not kid ourselves that others won’t follow their lead.