Desensitizing and Normalizing: a Deadly Combination
We cannot recall a year that has brought as much awareness to Human Trafficking as 2020 has. From Epstein to conspiracy theories to #savethechildren and the latest- Cuties. This foreign Netflix film has created quite the buzz and many parents are rightfully outraged because of the hyper sexualization of the preteen cast. The directors of this film said that they made this film to stop the exploitation of young girls by educating the masses about the hyper sexualization of our children. The debate is on.
Desensitizing and normalizing sexual behaviors at an early age have a negative impact on many aspects of defining childhood. In psychology, desensitization is a treatment or process that diminishes emotional responsiveness to a negative, aversive or positive stimulus after repeated exposure to it. Once a child sees a behavior done over and over without consequences, they think it is alright. Normalizing is the manipulation of another human being to get them to agree to, or accept something that is in conflict with the law, social norms or their own basic code of behavior.* Cuties normalizes the sexual behaviors that these girls have and desensitize us so that we think a 12-year-old talking about sex or dancing provocatively is normal.
Exploiting vulnerable people for profit in the sex industry makes a lot of money. Those who are most vulnerable to this are children. Traffickers want their victims to think that having sex with multiple people in multiple situations and dressing a certain way is normal. We have created a dangerous sexual climate, in order to change it, we have to stop normalizing behaviors that lead children to think and act in an exploitative manner and lead society to think that is “normal.”