Turning Tricks, or 'Trick or Treat'?

Parents unable to counter sexy costume trend: expert
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2008 6:25 PM CDT
Young girls' desire to dress sexy on Halloween shows that pop culture has drowned out parental advice, says author Diane E. Levin.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – No, your eyesight isn't hexed: Young girls really are dressing like French maids and prostitutes every Halloween. And their skirts will only get higher, because pop culture has drowned out any last echo of parental advice, author Diane E. Levin tells the Los Angeles Times. The co-author of So Sexy So Soon says that even pre-tween girls are baring flesh every October to emulate "Disney princesses or Hannah Montana."

As girls dress more like women, and women like girls, men are struggling to distinguish sexual boundaries. And parents are feeling increasingly at war with popular culture. How did we get here? Deregulation of television in the early 1980s, Levin says; with the boob tube so dominant, parents' only in is to "help children make sense" of pop culture, "not just to give them the 'right' answers, but to hear what they have to say about it too."