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Voorkant Levin-Kilbourne 'So sexy so soon - The new sexualized childhood and what parents can do to protect their kids' Diane E. LEVIN / Jean KILBOURNE
So sexy so soon - The new sexualized childhood and what parents can do to protect their kids
New York: Ballantine Books, 2008, 410 blzn.
eISBN-13: 978 03 4550 9789

(8) Introduction

Voorbeelden:

"Children as young as four learning to gyrate to songs in ways that might have stunned grown-ups a few decades ago. Elementary school children looking at pornography on the Internet and using words such as “rape” and “blow job.” Young teens engaging in oral sex. Parents, grandparents, and teachers around the country and beyond tell us stories like these all the time — about how issues related to sex and sexuality come up in unexpected and even shocking ways with children, often at very young ages. What’s going on? Where does such behavior come from? What does it mean to and for children — and for the adults who care for them? Is it different from children’s sexual behavior in the past, and if so, how? What are the implications for children’s short- and long-term sexual development and behavior? And how should parents respond? This book will help you answer these pressing and vital questions and more." [mijn nadruk] (10)

De rol van media en populaire cultuur hierbij.

"Many industries make an obscene amount of money using sex and violence to market their products to children."(11)

"We are deeply worried. Children are paying an enormous price for the sexualization of their childhood. Girls and boys constantly encounter sexual messages and images that they cannot understand and that can confuse and even frighten them. Gender roles modeled for children have become increasingly polarized and rigid. A narrow definition of femininity and sexuality encourages girls to focus heavily on appearance and sex appeal. They learn at a very young age that their value is determined by how beautiful, thin, “hot,” and sexy they are. And boys, who get a very narrow definition of masculinity that promotes insensitivity and macho behavior, are taught to judge girls based on how close they come to an artificial, impossible, and shallow ideal.
Both boys and girls are routinely exposed to images of sexual behavior devoid of emotions, attachment, or consequences. They learn that sex is the defining activity in relationships, to the exclusion of love and friendship. They learn that sex is often linked to violence. And they learn to associate physical appearance and buying the right products not only with being sexy but also with being successful as a person. Such lessons will shape their gender identity, sexual attitudes, and values, and their capacity for relationships, for love and connection, that they take into adulthood. While they struggle to make sense of all this, children are robbed of valuable time for age-appropriate developmental tasks, and they may begin to engage in precocious sexual behavior." [mijn nadruk] (11-12)

[Het is eigenlijk precies hetzelfde verhaal als in het Australische rapport Corporate paedophilia van Rush-LaNauze van 2006. Wel eerlijker normatief (zich zorgen maken) en de vraag is daarmee wel hoe wetenschappelijk dit boek is. Ook hier een onderschatting van wat kinderen weten, snappen. Daar maak ik me minder zorgen over. Ik maak me wel enorme zorgen over de beeldvorming over mannen- en vrouwenrollen bij kinderen en vind dat de auteurs dat krachtig en helder formuleren.]

"Both girls and boys, but especially girls, are pushed into precocious sexuality in appearance and behavior long before they understand the deeper meaning of relationships or of the sexual behavior they’re imitating."

[Tot nu toe wordt er heel goed naar zowel meisjes als jongens gekeken. Ik hoop dat dat zo blijft.]

"We are not alarmed that today’s children are learning about sex and sexuality. We are all sexual beings from birth, and this is to be celebrated. Children have always been curious about sex and sexuality from an early age, and it is good for parents and schools to give them honest and age-appropriate information. But what children are learning today isn’t normal or good for them." [mijn nadruk] (15)

"We want to be clear that sexualization is not the same as sexuality or sex. According to the Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls published by the American Psychological Association in 2007, sexualization has to do with treating other people (and sometimes one-self) as “objects of sexual desire . . . as things rather than as people with legitimate sexual feelings of their own. When people are sexualized, their value comes primarily from their sex appeal, which is equated with physical attractiveness." [mijn nadruk] (16)

[Seksualiseren wordt hier dus min of meer gedefinieerd als 'de ander tot het object van je eigen seksuele verlangens maken op basis van uiterlijke kenmerken'. En voor seksualiteit geldt uiteraard: wat is 'normaal', wat past bij de leeftijd? Ik vind de auteurs op dat punt van wat 'normaal is' erg vaag, het lijkt alleen te gaan over wat een kind weet, niet over wat een kind doet bijvoorbeeld. En ook wat niet normaal is is een herhaling van hoe schadelijk alle mediabeelden zijn etc. etc. Ik krijg eigenlijk geen antwoord op wat normaal of niet normaal is. Ik krijg wel allerlei beweringen te lezen die eerst maar eens met onderzoek onderbouwd moeten worden zoals: ]

"In the most extreme cases, the media’s incessant sexualization of childhood can contribute to pathological sexual behavior, including sexual abuse, pedophilia, and prostitution. A 2003 Newsweek story on the rapid rise in teen prostitution in the United States reported that girls as young as nine are becoming involved. The majority of these girls are runaways or “throwaways,” exploited by men who take advantage of their vulnerability and desperation."(19) [mijn nadruk]

"No discussion of how to protect children from sexualized childhood would be complete without discussing how to meet the needs of boys. And finally, we want to acknowledge that while there is not necessarily a great disparity in rich and poor children’s exposure to the sexualized environment, the huge economic disparities in today’s society can have a profound impact on how they participate in it." [mijn nadruk] (22)

[Dat vind ik wel waardevolle opmerkingen, dit wordt vaak niet eens gezien door andere auteurs. De auteurs introduceren zichzelf vervolgens en dan blijkt ook dat er veel gesprekken met ouders hebben plaats gevonden die zich zorgen maakten. Maar is er ook gepraat met degenen over wie het gaat? Met de kinderen zelf dus? Het doel lijkt erg: de ouders helpen in de bescherming van kinderen tegen seksualisering. Maar zoals bekend is het beschermen van kinderen even vaak een smoes om ze klein te houden, 'onschuldig en seksloos', zoals zo vaak, ondanks de ererdere mooie woorden over wat normaal is.]

"The primary focus of So Sexy So Soon is on children, girls and boys, from preschool through the tween years. This is when the foundation is laid for later sexual behavior and relationships."(27)

[Dat is dus van ongeveer vier jaar tot veertien jaar? Hier wordt het beperkt tot de leeftijd van acht tot twaalf jaar lees ik verderop. Is dit weer het beeld van seksuele ontwikkeling in die leeftijd als alleen maar voorbereiding op later, waarbij er dus pas sprake is van seksualiteit als er relaties ontstaan? Ik hoop het niet, want dat beeld klopt gewoon niet.]

(31) Chapter 1 - Never Too Young to Be Sexy - Living with Children in Today’s Sexualized World

"As parents, you are often told that it’s your job to “just say no” to all of the inappropriate content out there, and that this will solve the problem. But just saying no won’t solve the problem, and anyway, you can’t say no to everything!"(31)

[De auteurs ontzien de ouders wel heel erg. Natuurlijk is het beschreven probleem vooral veroorzaakt door marketingafdelingen, maar ouders hebben toch wel degelijk ook een verantwoordelijkheid.]

"There is a lot going on in children’s lives around issues of sexuality and sexiness that is important for the caring adults in their lives to recognize. The following stories from parents and teachers make it very clear that if we are to understand and deal with the sexualization of childhood, we must begin our efforts with very young children."(33)

[Die verhalen laten bijvoorbeeld zien hoe graag kinderen erbij willen horen, populair willen zijn (de 'peer pressure' - kwestie). Misschien is dat wel een fundamenteler probleem dan al het andere. Of misschien is het zelfs zo dat de ouders zo graag willen dat hun kinderen populair zijn / erbij horen / vriendjes hebben en zo verder ... De verhalen laten ook zien dat volwassenen wat kinderen zeggen vaak opvatten op een volwassen manier en een probleem maken maar geen probleem bestaat. Met andere woorden: kinderen worstelen echt niet altijd met wat ze horen en zien op het vlak van seks - een term die de auteurs af en toe gebruiken, ze worden er echt niet altijd door beschadigd - een andere term die geregeld opduikt. Dat zijn dan gevolgen die aangetoond zullen moeten worden.]

"And both stories illustrate a very disturbing trend — as adults get more and more uptight about how the sexualized environment is affecting children, they end up ascribing adult intent to behaviors that would have been interpreted as “children just being children” in the past." [mijn nadruk] (48)

(60) Chapter 2 - From Barbie to Bratz and Beyond - Sexy Sells

"As parents who have other values and goals for our children, we have to compete with the power of multibillion-dollar industries."(61)

[Daar komt het wel op neer, ja. ]

"In today’s cultural environment, products that channel children into narrowly focused content and activities threaten to consume every aspect of their lives. For young girls, this usually means focusing on buying fashion items, looking pretty, and acting sexy. From newfangled Barbies and sexy Bratz dolls to “old-fashioned” princess fairy tales, young girls like Sasha learn to value a certain aesthetic and a certain behavior — be pretty, be coy, and often even be saved in the end by a handsome prince.(...)
And boys are definitely not off the hook. Marketers have put a great deal of money and talent into using violence to market products to boys. Just think about G.I. Joe, Transformers, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Batman, and Spiderman — with their action figures, toy weapons, video games, TV shows and movies, children’s fast-food meals, birthday party products, websites, and much more. Sound familiar?" [mijn nadruk] (64-65)

"As girls see boys’ involvement with violence and boys see girls’ involvement with sexiness, they all learn damaging lessons about what to value in themselves and their own gender as well as about one another." [mijn nadruk] (66)

[Dat de beeldvorming door al die zaken de traditionele rolverdeling bevestigt is zeker waar. Kinderen krijgen zelden iets anders te zien, zeker niet in een totaal commerciële wereld als de VS. In Europa zie je nog wel inititatieven in een andere richting. De auteurs zeggen dat kinderen in de VS zo'n 6,5 uur per dag tv kijken. Dat is dus enorm veel. Ik kan me niet voorstellen dat dat in Nederland ook zo ligt, maar wie weet.]

"The 2003 report, Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants and Toddlers, found that 36 percent of children under age six live in households where the TV is on “always” or “most of the time.” Thirty percent of children from birth to age three and 43 percent of children from ages four to six have a TV set in their bedrooms. Thus the TV becomes an essential fixture from the very beginning of their lives."(68)

[Dat zet het wel in perspectief, de situatie in de VS is niet vergelijkbaar met die in andere landen. Of misschien hebben bemiddelde milieus in andere landen ook zo'n situatie voor hun kinderen gecreëerd. Maar hoe dan ook, dan blijkt weer eens dat ouders ook hun verantwoordelijkheid hebben en eerst eens moeten beginnen met de hand in eigen boezem te steken voordat ze gaan klagen: je had geen televisie in de kinderkamers hoeven neer te zetten, je had de tv niet altijd aan hoeven laten staan, je had het aantal uren dat je kinderen tv keken kunnen beperken, je had de tv niet die belangrijke rol hoeven geven van 'opvoeder' en 'beïnvloeder'.]

"During the hours children are in front of the screen, they are almost constantly bombarded with advertisements. They are exposed to an average of forty thousand ads per year on television alone — and this figure continues to rise every year. These ads, many of which contain sexualized content, give marketers an astonishing amount of access to children, often more than many parents have. More than 80 percent of popular teen TV shows contain sexual content. Children also see abundant sexual and sexualized activity in music videos, books, films, cartoons, video games, and song lyrics aimed at teenagers (but which younger children also see). Marketers have long targeted children as potential consumers, and they know that using sex and sexiness is one of the most successful ways to get children’s attention in order to make them want to shop." [mijn nadruk] (70)

De medialobby wist regelgeving door de regering succesvol tegen te houden. Sterker nog onder Reagan begon ook daar de deregulering en het bedrijfsleven / de media hadden voortaan de vrije hand.

"Second, and more alarmingly in terms of exposing kids to concepts beyond their ability to understand, sex and violence became primary marketing tools to capture children’s attention and create voracious consumers. This meant that children’s television programs quickly became much more gender-divided. Different programs, and products linked with them, were developed for boys and for girls based on the presumption that boys and girls would be interested in different kinds of products." [mijn nadruk] (75)

"From talking to parents as we have been writing this book, we think the number of concerned parents is probably higher today. And parents are not concerned just about television. They are worried about the content of DVDs, video and computer games, Internet sites, and the everexpanding field of media in children’s lives." [mijn nadruk] (76)

[Maar ze laten de tv wel altijd aanstaan? Vreemd. ]

"Marketers know about young children’s vulnerabilities, and they exploit them. They work very hard to create a strong childhood culture that divides children from adults. They deliberately create peer pressure to attract children to products that their parents don’t want them to have, products that are generally not good for them and sometimes can be extremely harmful." [mijn nadruk] (94)

(101) Chapter 3 - Sexual Development Derailed - The Toll on Children

Over de normale seksuele ontwikkeling van kinderen.

"From a very early age, and in increasingly sophisticated ways at each new stage, children work hard to figure out the confusing messages about gender, sex, and sexuality that surround them. They strive to learn about their own bodies and to understand what it means to be a female and a male. They want and need to learn how to negotiate intimate relationships, how to love and be loved, and, as they get older, how to have sex as part of a caring relationship." [mijn nadruk] (102)

[Extreem vaag. Mogen ze geen seks hebben met zichzelf? Mogen ze alleen seks hebben binnen een liefdevolle relatie? In de beschrijving van de kinderlijke seksuele ontwikkeling verderop komt het hele woord 'maturberen' of iets vergelijkbaars - al is het maar 'plezier beleven aan je eigen lichaam' - niet voor. Zeer bedenkelijk. Dat zou zeker te schokkend zijn voor al die Amerikaanse ouders.]

"A strong, connected relationship with an adult with whom a child feels safe sharing her thinking is essential for healthy sexual development to occur."(104)

[Nou, dan hebben weinig mensen een gezonde seksuele ontwikkeling (gehad). Ze noemt erna zelf de redenen: veel ouders praten niet over seks, geven geen antwoord op vragen op dat vlak, seksuele voorlichting op school in de VS is een groot probleem, en zo verder. Dus essentieel is dit niet. En ja, het gevolg van al die ouders en scholen die tekort schieten is dat de media het gat vullen met slechte voorlichting. Met andere woorden: het zijn toch echt de ouders die verantwoordelijk zijn voor hun kinderen en aangesproken moeten worden op hun negatieve gedrag, als je de media die ruimte niet wil geven.]

"And while the task force report [van de APA - GdG] concludes that very little research has been done on how young girls are affected [door seksualisering - GdG], it argues that there are grounds for serious concern."(124)

[Dat kan, maar toch is dat onderzoek nodig en zolang dat er niet is, blijft alles - zoals ook hier - nogal anekdotisch.]

"In addition to encouraging precocious sexuality, the media’s sexualization of childhood contributes to an interconnected set of other disturbing and far-reaching problems." [mijn nadruk] (125)

[Eh - waar komt die ineens vandaan? Dat is toch een factor sterker dan toe nu toe beschreven. Wat ze daarna beschrijft - dat kinderen voortdurend met hun neus op beeldschermen zitten en niet meer rondkijken in de echte wereld - is inderdaad opvallend. Maar opnieuw: ouders zijn hier net zo verantwoordelijk als de samenleving.]

"Children are spending increasing amounts of time in front of a screen, both at home and when they go out into the world. The screens involve them in an agenda not of their own making."(128)

(141) Chapter 4 - The Toll on Parents, Families, and Schools

"Of course, one could argue that this is how it’s supposed to be. A corporation’s job is not to promote the well-being of children, but rather to maximize profits for its shareholders. It’s up to parents to protect their children, right? That’s certainly what we hear all the time from the corporations and the media: “Don’t blame us. It’s parents who are to blame.”"(142)

[Ja, kinderachtig gewoon, natuurlijk zijn al die bedrijven ook verantwoordelijk voor wat ze kinderen aandoen. Maar ook een beetje waar: want ouders zijn ook verantwoordelijk en blijven dat ook ondanks alle druk van de commercie en het gezeur van hun kinderen. In dit boek worden ouders toch wel heel erg ontzien. ]

"Being a “good” parent today means fighting the prevailing culture at every turn, with ever younger children. This conflict was apparent in Connie’s sex education class when the boys who saw pornography on the Internet argued that sex can be just for fun and doesn’t need to be within the context of a relationship. These messages come straight from the commercial culture box. These aren’t the attitudes most parents want their ten-year-old sons to have about sex. Most parents would want the family culture box to contain the lessons Connie is trying to teach that connect sex with a caring relationship." [mijn nadruk] (149)

[Hier staat het wat explicieter dan eerder in het boek. De auteurs geven een normatieve oordeel: seks mag alleen bestaan binnen een liefdevolle relatie, seks omdat het gewoon leuk of lekker is wordt afgewezen. Dat standpunt komt in het hele boek op verschillende manieren terug en is conservatief. ]

"It’s time to stop blaming parents for the sexualization of childhood. While knowing how to say no the right way is an essential parenting skill, no amount of saying no can offset the harm that today’s sexualization is having on children and families. Everyone who cares about children needs to work to replace this empty slogan with education and action that will make a difference. Here is a summary of arguments you can use to support your efforts to do so." [mijn nadruk] (156)

[Die kreet 'just say no' is inderdaad leeg. Maar dat neemt de verantwoordelijkheid van de ouders niet weg. Wat kunnen ze wél doen dan? Dat wordt uitgewerkt in de volgende twee hoofdstukken. ]

"However, even though that’s not the case today, there are many powerful and effective things you and your family can do that focus much more on getting to “yes” with your children than always ending up at “no.” The next two chapters describe these positive steps. Chapter 8 offers guidelines for parents of adolescents. And the final chapter discusses what’s needed to create a society that would better support your efforts to raise children who have healthy relationships with their bodies, their sexuality, with you, and ultimately with their partners." [mijn nadruk] (159)

(176) Chapter 5 - Helping Children Through the Minefields - What Parents, Families, and Schools Can Do

Dit hoofdstuk geeft elf adviezen.

[Ik noem ze alleen, de uitleg is meestal herhaling van eerdere gedachten.]

"1.  Protect children as much as possible from exposure to sexual imagery and related content in the media and popular culture."(177)

"2.  Learn about the media and popular culture in your child’s life — popular TV programs, movies, video and computer games, fashion, celebrities."(186)

"3.  Get beyond the “Just say no” approach."(190)

"4.  Establish safe channels for talking about sexual development and related issues with children, starting when they are very young."(192)

"5.  Make age-appropriate give-and-take conversations about sexualization of childhood issues an essential part of your relationship with your child."(195)

"6.  Encourage children to use play, art, and writing to process sexual images and other media messages they see."(198)

"7.  Counteract the narrow stereotypes of girls and boys that are so prevalent in media and commercial culture."(203)

"8.  Counteract compassion deficit disorder by helping children learn how to have positive and caring relationships."(207)

"9.  When conflicts arise between you and your children about sexuality and related issues, seek mutually agreeable solutions."(209)

"10.  Share your values and concerns with other caring adults — your friends and relatives, and the parents of your children’s friends."(211)

"11.  Ask your child’s school to take seriously its vital role in working with children and families to help counteract the harm caused by the sexualization of childhood."(215)

[Het meeste draait om openheid, in gesprek blijven met je kinderen, op de hoogte zijn. Maar het is ook tamelijk onmogelijk allemaal, voor grote groepen ouders. Wat moet een alleenstaande moeder of vader met drie banen met dit soort adviezen? Wat is er mogelijk als je - zoals in de VS maar al te vaak het geval is - in armoede leeft, je kinderen naar een slechte school moet sturen, en zo verder? Dit lijken me toch vooral adviezen voor middenklasse ouders. ]

(222) Chapter 6 - Working It Out Together - The Power of Connecting Deeply with Children

Concrete uitwerkingen bij eerder gegeven casussen.

(245) Chapter 7 - The Sexualized Child Enters Adolescence - The Floodgates Open

Nog meer voorbeelden van de beeldvorming in de media.

"Why is this happening? As we’ve said, a commercial culture that sexualizes and objectifies children and that glorifies casual sex in order to increase profits is a major factor."(249)

"People in ads are sexy because of the products they use, not because of who they are."(252)

"When thongs and belly-baring shirts are marketed to seven-year-olds, it’s hard to imagine what’s left for older girls and teens. More of the same, it turns out. In recent years pornography has become increasingly mainstream, and we certainly see its influence in fashion."(254)

"Parents complain to us all the time that it is difficult to find clothing for their tween and teen girls that is fashionable enough without making them look like hookers."(255)

"One study of twenty-one covers of popular young women’s magazines showed that 78 percent contained messages about physical appearance. None of the young men’s magazine covers contained such messages."(260)

"There is often sexual violence in the music favored by teenagers, especially rap and hip-hop. Black women are especially degraded in these songs and videos — referred to as “hos” and treated with contempt."(263)

"Television is the best-studied medium. Two-thirds of young people ages eight to eighteen have TVs in their bedrooms, and two-thirds live in homes with cable TV, providing unsupervised access to sex talk and scenes, as well as extremely graphic violence. One in four American children lives in a home with five or more TVs. Two-thirds live in homes where the TV is usually on during meals, and half live in homes where the TV is left on most of the time, whether anyone is watching it or not."(264)

[Zie mijn commentaar boven.]

Jongeren gebruiken die media 6,5 uur per dag, aldus de auteurs, maar er is nog nauwelijks onafhankelijk onderzoek gedaan naar de invloed die dat op hen heeft. Dat laatste heeft alles te maken met het conservatieve klimaat in de VS waarin onderzoek naar seks niet erg prettig gevonden wordt. Er is wel onderzoek naar gewelddadige beelden en in de lijn daarvan kan de conclusie getrokken worden:

"Film, TV, music, and magazines have at least as much influence on teen sexual behavior as religion, parents, and peers. Heavy exposure to media alters a viewer’s perception of social reality in a way that matches the media world. So although most of the messages about sex in the media are inaccurate, misleading, and distorted, young people generally accept them as fact, given the absence of accurate sex education in their lives." [mijn nadruk] (267)

In de VS is dat een des te groter probleem:

"Although graphic sexual messages abound in the media, there is rarely any accurate information about sex (the major networks still refuse to run condom ads) and certainly never any emphasis on relationships or intimacy. To make matters worse, we have to fight to get any sort of sex education into our schools, let alone the kinds of broadbased program that could help to counteract the disturbing lessons children are getting from the popular culture" [mijn nadruk] (272)

"The real obscenity is the reduction of people to objects. Our culture is sex-crazed and sex-saturated, but strangely not erotic."(273)

"Several studies have found that young women today feel tremendous pressure to be perfect. They feel they have to have perfect hair, skin, and clothes and also to be extremely thin — as well as to be “hot” and sexy and to excel academically. They also feel they mustn’t be perceived as trying too hard, but must create an illusion of effortless perfection.
Some experts believe there is a link between the increasing pressure on girls to be sexy, thin, and “perfect” and the increasing rates of depression and suicide among girls and young women. Girls are twice as likely as boys to experience a major depressive episode by the age of fifteen, placing them at increased risk of suicide. Between 2003 and 2004 the suicide rate for girls ages ten to fourteen jumped 76 percent. The single group of teenagers most likely to consider suicide are girls who think they are overweight."(286)

"Girls lose in other ways as well. Those who are preoccupied with appearance have less time and energy to devote to other pursuits. This can affect their performance in school and limit their options for the future. This preoccupation can also affect their relationships with other girls, leading them to be more competitive for the attention of boys and less supportive of one another. The “mean girls” we’ve read so much about in recent years usually attack other girls on the basis of appearance and sexual behavior."(287)

"In the next two chapters we’ll look at some of the ways that parents can make a powerful difference."(298)

[Het is net alsof dit boek vanaf dit hoofdstuk weer vooraan begint: de invloed van de media wordt geschilderd, de gevolgen, en nu gaan we weer over naar adviezen. Ik dacht dat we dat al gehad hadden. ]

(299) Chapter 8 - Helping Teenagers Through the Minefields

"In Chapter 5 we provided guidelines and strategies for helping your children navigate the sexualized culture. In this chapter we discuss how these guidelines can be used to help teenagers."(299)

[Dat lijkt me toch min of meer hetzelfde. Nou, er zal wel een hoop herhaling aan vast zitten.]

"To begin with, it’s almost always a bad idea to allow computers and television sets in children’s bedrooms. Nonetheless, nearly two-thirds of teenagers say they have a TV in their bedroom, and most say their parents have no idea what they are watching." [mijn nadruk] (300)

[Nee, echt?]

"Common sense tells us that it’s important to talk honestly with our children, and the research bears that out. University of North Carolina researcher Jane Brown and her colleagues found that one of the strongest protective factors against early sexual behavior was clear parental communication about sex. Teenagers who reported their parents did not want them to have sex were less likely to have engaged in sexual intercourse by the time they were sixteen years old than those who perceived less parental disapproval of teen sex.
Of course, sexual activity is different from all the other risky behaviors that attract our teens. Although most of us want our children to delay having sex until they are old enough to be responsible and until they are in a loving relationship (for some parents this means marriage, but certainly not for all), we want them eventually to have happy and healthy sex lives — just not when they are thirteen! It is the corporate exploitation of our children’s sexuality that is disgusting and dangerous, not the sexuality itself." [mijn nadruk] (304)

[Is vroege seks seks voor je zestiende dan? En wat wordt dan bedoeld met 'seks'? De auteurs zijn de hele tijd aan het uitdragen dat seks op jonge leeftijd verkeerd is, al blijft onduidelijk op welke leeftijd ze het ok vinden. Ook koppelen ze seks voortdurend aan relaties en lijkt soloseks voor de auteurs niet te bestaan.]

"Middle schools and high schools should be teaching accurate, ageappropriate sex education. They should also be teaching students to be media-literate. And they should be working to prevent bullying and sexual harassment. This means we need to elect politicians who will place a priority on the well-being of young people and who will give schools the resources they need. We’ll discuss this further in the next chapter."(314)

[Ben benieuwd daarnaar. Dat zal niert gemakkelijk zijn in de VS. ]

(325) Chapter 9 - Creating a New Cultural Environment

"We must make the sexualization of childhood socially, economically, politically, and spiritually unacceptable in our nation and the world."(329)

Door het bewustmaken van de problemenen positief activisme dat ook laat zien wat actie kan opleveren aan goede dingen. Mogelijkheden:

"1.  Regulate marketing to children."(331)

De auteurs leggen uit dat dat in veel - Europese - landen al gebeurt.

"2.  Require good, clear, coordinated ratings for all programs, video games, and other media."(331)

En niet door de media-industrie zelf, maar onafhankelijk.

"3.  Provide federal funding for comprehensive sex education in the schools and accurate, updated sexual health information on government websites."(332)

[Ja, leuk, maar dat is precies het probleem in de VS en hoe kom je uit dat probleem dan? ]

"4.  Fund research on the impact of media and marketing and sexualized content on children."(333)

Uiteraard moet het om onafhankelijk onderzoek gaan.

"5.  Insist that media owners and producers accept some responsibility."(333)

[Ook dat zal niet gemakkelijk zijn om te realiseren in zo'n commercieel neoliberaal klimaat als in de VS.]

"6.  Use the media to educate the public and draw attention to the problem."(334)

"7.  Require accurate, comprehensive sex education in our schools."

[Zie 3. ]

"8.  Incorporate media education into the school curriculum, starting in the elementary grades."(339)

[Zoals ook de auteurs zeggen: dit is in veel andere landen al lang realiteit. ]

"9.  Join and support organizations working on these issues."(341)

"10.  Form coalitions and networks."(342)

"11.  Work politically to create the kind of culture and government that support families and children and make it more difficult for corporations to exploit them."(344)

"12.  Find meaningful ways to make a difference, ways that work for you and your family."(345)

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