In early 2015, Washington Engage launched a series of Cultural Grooming Forums to raise awareness of the increasingly sexualized nature of our culture that grooms youth to become vulnerable to misplaced self-esteem, destructive behaviors, sexual exploitation and even sex trafficking.
Washington Engage Cultural Grooming Forums' innovative program includes the play "Boy Meets Girl", commissioned from playwright Bryan Willis, that presents the stark reality for girls entering the commercial sex industry. The play, based on testimony provided by survivors, explores how youth are easily lured into the sex industry and then controlled and exploited by "business" owners.
The forums are based on a 2007 American Psychological Association Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls report that examined and summarized psychological theory, research and clinical experience addressing the sexualization of girls. The report examined the prevalence and provided examples of sexualization in society and in cultural institutions, identifying its impact on personal relationships and the psycho-social development of youth. It also evaluated evidence suggesting that sexualization has negative consequences for girls and the rest of society, offering positive alternatives that may help counteract the influence of a sexualized culture.
If you would like to partner with Washington Engage to host a Forum in your community, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.