Perceived sexualization in girls' fashion stylings: A Spain-China cross-cultural analysis




Childhood, sexualization, cross-cultural study, media literacy, advertising, fashion, sexism, media convergence


Many institutions, social and political groups are warning of the risks associated with the early sexualization of childhood. These agents appeal to the responsibility of the media to avoid creating content that may lead to childhood sexualization and that is easily accessible to all audiences. Responding to this demand and through a cross-cultural Spain-China approach, this work focuses on the analysis of the perception of girls’ sexualization in the fashion stylings disseminated by the media. A survey of 750 Communication and Advertising university students in Spain (N=449) and in China (N=301) was carried out. Five latent sexualization factors identified confirm that perceived sexualization in girls’ fashion styling is a multi-dimensional phenomenon that occurs from the combined use of multiple sexualizing attributes. The country of origin (Spain or China) has been associated with the perception of sexualization and the identified latent sexualizing factors. Finally, an explanatory and highly effective predictive model has been obtained for this type of childhood sexualization in terms of the factors and country of origin. Conclusions suggest that it is necessary to reinforce the training of communication professionals and minors to avoid creating images of sexualized girls through certain styling codes.