Study: Two-thirds of young girls want to be "sexy" - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Study: Two-thirds of young girls want to be "sexy"

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PHOENIX -

Girls as young as six years old, wanting to be sexy? It's part of an eye-opening study into what girls think of themselves.

The study used these paper dolls and asked girls to choose which one they looked like, how they wanted to look, and which doll was the popular girl in school.

Moms we spoke with say they weren't that surprised with the results.

When shown these two paper dolls, 68 percent of girls 6 to 9 years old said they wanted to look like the one on the left, or the "sexy" doll.

"The age group of that study is really shocking, I would have thought they were older girls," says Jill Parish, mother of a 9 year old.

The numbers are part of a study recently published in a journal called Sex Roles.

"My initial thoughts are media keeps playing a part in showing young girls and women have to be shown a certain way to be accepted in society, unfortunately it's the smaller the outfit the better," says mother Kay Pace.

Media's not all to blame, but according to the study, girls who watched a lot of TV and movies and who had mothers who were very concerned about their clothing and appearance were more likely to say the sexy doll was popular.

"And you see kids walking home from the high schools and middle schools and that's what they're wearing," says Parish.

On the other hand, mothers who used TV and movies as teaching moments about bad behavior and unrealistic scenarios were less likely to have daughters who said they looked like the sexy doll.

11-year old Lilly Pace says she's not surprised by the study either.

"All those like dumb pop stars, they all wear that and they think I want to be Madonna when it's ridiculous," says Lilly Pace.

"Go inside target and look what Barbie looks like for 6 to 9 year olds. Right now that's how Barbie's dressed, that's how those dolls are dressed, that's the accessories they come with," says Pace.

"I feel fortunate my kids go to a school where there are uniforms. That helps a bit but they still see the images everywhere," says Parish.

72-percent of the girls said the sexy doll was more popular than the non-sexy doll.

Researchers say it's possible girls want to look that way because they think sexiness leads to popularity.

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