Childrearing

13-Year-Old Slut-Shaming Video Girl Talks Purity Balls With Anderson Cooper

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The smart 13-year-old girl who schooled countless viewers on rape culture with her slut-shaming video on YouTube was on Anderson yesterday. And aside from learning the young girl’s name, which is Sarah, we also got her two cents about purity balls.

Other guests on stage were Jessica Valenti who chatted about how the movement of purity balls further sexualizes girls by bringing the focus once again to girls’ sexuality. The notable feminist added that purity balls are yet another way to tell girls that their value is determined by their sexual activity, not say their scholastic accomplishments, their compassion, or their even their interests.

Then, young Sarah offered this to the conversation:

“I do think that they [purity balls] put men in a better place than they put women,” Sarah says. “I find that the abstinence movement sort of promotes traditional gender norms in saying that women’s worth and women’s value come from their sexuality, which is completely untrue.”

I tweeted at Jessica Valenti asking for her advice on how parents can be both pro-sex but anti-sexualization — how they can navigate this middle road of encouraginging healthy sexuality without resigning their daughters to hypersexualized pop culture or demanding that they pledge their virginity. She responded with some simple advice:

sexualization of girlsScarleteen is wonderful fact-based website that fills all the holes that sex education often leaves behind. The blogs and FAQs won’t shame your daughters about their sexual desire, nor encourage them to be sexual should they not be ready. They’ll also learn a lot about consent, STDS, pregnancy prevention, and how to say no.

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