Children are being sexualised by computer games, easily accessible pornography and sexual slogans at an increasingly early age, according to a report due to be issued later this month.
The report, written by Dr Linda Papadopoulos, will reveal that girls feel pressurised to please boys, while boys feel pressurised to sleep with multiple girls.
Dr Papadopoulos, whose findings were previewed in a seminar last week, said: “We are hypersexualising girls, telling them that their desirability relies on being desired. They want to please at any cost.
“And we are hypermasculinising boys — many feel that they can’t live up to the porn ideal, sleeping with lots of women.”
During the seminar Dr Papadopoulos also warned that sexual images where influencing the behaviour of children.
She said: “It’s a drip-drip effect. Look at porn stars, and look at how an average girl now looks. It’s seeped into everyday”.
Dr Papadopoulos also criticised computer games which regularly include heavily sexualised content.
She cited the example of Miss Bimbo, a computer game aimed at girls, which is won by accumulating breast enlargements and marrying a billionaire.
The report, due to be released later this month, was commissioned by the Home Office.
It will suggest that age restrictions be applied to lads’ magazines which often feature scantily clad women.
And it will call for magazines and adverts to display a symbol when the images have been airbrushed.
Dr Papadopoulos is not the first to warn of the danger of child sexualisation.
Last week David Cameron said that children should be allowed to enjoy their childhood and be protected from increasing sexualisation.
Mr Cameron laid out Tory plans to penalise companies who market their products inappropriately to children.
Last August the director of a centre for rape victims said that suggestive clothing and explicit music videos are putting children at risk by changing what they deem unacceptable.
Dr Catherine White warned that the increasing use of adult images in youth culture is eroding society’s values and making it difficult for young people to say “that’s not right”.