What draws men to girls

The skirt would also pass as a belt and the blouse is the crucial button too wide open, so that more than just the chest is visible. If girls dress in a particularly provocative manner, parents fear that their daughters are sending the wrong signals to the wrong people with their choice of clothes. Elisabeth Raffauf, author of numerous books on puberty, explains how parents can make their daughters aware of this effect.

SZ.de: Why do many girls dress particularly sexy during puberty?

Elisabeth Raffauf: You are currently looking for your identity. The girls try out how they affect others. So they dress conspicuously, put on make-up or style their hair. In their search for themselves, they orientate themselves towards others they like. It could be models or actresses, or the girl at school who everyone loves. When a teenager dresses similarly, there is also the hope that they will belong and be so popular.

Do the girls know about the effect their clothing has on much older men, for example on teachers?

Some of them sure, but for very few that is the main focus. Adults think teenagers dress so sexy to turn men on. Most of the time, the girls want to impress the other girls, boys too, of course. You're just trying out new roles. How they affect others, you can tell by their comments - and they come from the clique or from other girls in the class every day: "What are you wearing, why are you not styled?" Teenagers quickly feel that they only belong if they dress appropriately. It is not so easy to please your peers. It varies between "Why aren't you wearing anything new?" and "Are you coming up with something new again?"

In view of the provocative clothing, mothers and fathers fear not only for the reputation, but also for the safety of their daughters. Are you in a losing position because all that matters is the opinion of other teenagers?

If parents only comment disparagingly about the daughter's style and insinuate that she mainly wants to turn on boys with it, then yes. Because with such negative assessments, all teenagers shut down. It is therefore important that the parents tell the child clearly: "We know you are not after the turn on with your short skirt. But you may not realize how sexy and provocative you are to men and I don't want you being addressed stupidly or groped. " In addition, parents should find out what is important to their child about their clothes, what they like about the style of others. Perhaps they can get the daughter to recognize what she wants herself: Is she really no longer recognized in the group when the skirt is so long that the girl feels comfortable in it? Parents should also reconsider their own motivations.

So why is she so upset about the daughter's sexy clothes?

Exactly. In addition to worry, there could also be a reason that the mother is secretly annoyed: Now the daughter is one of those young, beautiful women who find men attractive - but no longer herself. Admitting that to yourself is of course difficult. There are also fathers who do not yet want to accept that daddy's little darling will become a woman.

And then at some point - for whatever reason - the exasperated sentence: "You won't leave my house like that!" How do you avoid this confrontation?

At the end of a discussion, parents should explain again why they don't want that: "I don't want you to go out of the house like that because you are sending out such false signals to some men and I'm afraid for your safety." But if you think you can get around this issue without a fight, you can forget it. Puberty is a time of strife and friction, and that is important too. This is only possible if parents show understanding for the children's motives, but nevertheless take a clear position and stick to this attitude - unless their child convinces them with arguments that the parents were not yet aware of. But only those who, as parents, defend their convictions and stick to their principles can give the child security. Mothers and fathers have to endure being mistaken for stupid spoilsport for a while. Of course, there is no guarantee that the girls won't turn the cuff on their skirt again when they're out the front door. However, parents shouldn't control that either.