Sexualisation or child sexualisation is a modern term used to describe the loss of "sexual innocence" or rendering "impure" of something or someone, especially a child. The term can be used as a virtually unchallengable weasel word, obscuring a claim (children are asexual) that is in itself laughable.
Feminists R. Danielle Egan and Gail Hawkes have deconstructed the concept of child sexualization in several papers. They point out that the "sexualization" of girls has been most problematized, while boys have recieved little attention. The "construction of girls in the discourse of sexualisation mirrors earlier patriarchal discourses on the pathological nature of women's sexuality, its susceptibility to corruption and its resistance to autonomous control."
- "The really dangerous term is sexualized/sexualization. Implicit in its use is the idea that children are asexual until some bad man sexualizes them. Since the idea is implicit, people can make the claim without needing to back it up. If someone stated in so many words that "children are asexual", they could be challenged, and a useful discussion might follow. Using a term like "sexualization" is the way the hysterics make sure that that discussion never happens."
- Egan, R. Danielle, and Hawkes, Gail (2008). "Girls, sexuality and the strange carnalities of advertisements: Deconstructing the discourse of corporate paedophilia," Australian Feminist Studies, 23(57), 307–322.
- Hawkes, Gail, and Egan, R. Danielle (2008). "Landscapes of Erotophobia: The Sexual(ized) Child in the Postmodern Anglophone West," Sexuality & Culture, 12(4), 193-203.
- Egan, R. Danielle, and Hawkes, Gail (2008). "Endangered Girls and Incendiary Objects: Unpacking the Discourse on Sexualization," Sexuality & Culture, 12(4), 291-311