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. Our focus is on the UK, although we have drawn on writings and research from a range of countries where appropriate and have invited experts from other countries to contribute. We have also drawn together experts from many disciplines, given that so many areas of research and practice are relevant to this topic. It is not enough simply to take, for example, a psychological or sociological perspective. Rather this area calls for an interdisciplinary approach.