I don't know about you, but 'sexy' wasn't in my lexicon until at least junior high. These days, what with the intense sexualization of children, it seems little girls are no longer content to be sugar and spice; they want to be sexy.

The U.S. study currently published in Sex Roles presented 60 girls between the ages of 6 to 9 with dolls dressed in different styles—one dressed in tight, revealing clothes, the other doll simply trendy—and asked which doll they aspired to look like and/or be friends with.

You guessed it: time and again girls chose the sexy doll.   

“It’s very possible that girls want to look like the sexy doll because they believed sexiness leads to popularity, which comes with many social advantages,” lead researcher Christy Starr told MSNBC.

More and more retailers are being called out for creating sexy versions of women's clothes. But sexualization of girls doesn't stop at fashion; media and certain celebrities play a key role, though the influence of mothers shouldn't be discounted. 

Sadly, it seems the link between popular and being sexy is still going strong. What girls today want most is to be popular, so it follows that they will also want to be perceived as sexy, too. 

I remember a friend telling me how her young niece went around singing and blithely dancing to LMAO's hit song, "I'm sexy, and I know it." Amusing, until you really stop and think about it.

And we really do need to think about it, and stop.