Child Sexualisation Essay

726 Words 3 Pages
Research approaches
Throughout these reports on child sexualisation, there is a shared sense that that the media are directly sexualising children and young people. However, whilst there are an excess of available studies that have been conducted on child sexualisation there is a problem that can be found with the different approaches used in research, for example, the psychological tradition often uses a qualitative approach that explores content analysis and the effects of media. This approach has both strengths and weaknesses, the strengths being that this approach highlights the possible harms that can occur from sexualisation though the weaknesses are that it has an inadequate understanding of media influence and is often based on laboratory
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This happens in a variety of ways through parental influence, peers school and the media. Gender stereotypes of children are reinforced with the pink for girls and blue for boys ideology. This kind of gender stereotype normalises the idea that girls are submissive, gentle and caring while boys are masculine and assertive. With modern media being so omnipresent it is inevitable that children from a very early age are surrounded by various sources of it. This media can be media in print, television, the internet, music and video games. Studies have shown that children aged 7 – 16 spend an average of three hours a day online and 2.1 hours watching television (Ofcom , 2014). It is not only older children that are party to this as a study by Zimmerman et al (2007) found that 90% of children aged two are regularly watching television. There are often differing views on children’s use of technology. One side of the debate is that it is a valuable tool that has enhanced the learning environment for children, the other side of the debate is that the rise of modern technology influences children’s physical and emotional development. It has also been supposed that modern technology has influenced the rise in child sexualisation (Hill, 2011). The amount of time that children spend negotiating media clearly highlights the fact that the media have the potential to influence their …show more content…
Bandura would argue that children’s interactions with society shape their ideas about gender. Children not only learn gender roles from interactions with people but also from their interaction with the media (Carducci, 2009). A media analysis of gender in children’s television found that there is a clear imbalance between male and female characters, with twice as many male characters than females. These television programmes also often represent male characters as dominant and strong and female characters as passive thus enforcing gender stereotypes (Witt, 2000). Examples of gender stereotyping can be found in the Disney princess films which are particularly popular with children of all ages. England et al (2011) conducted a content analysis of Disney films and found that the female characters, namely the princesses, were responsible for the domestic work and the princes were portrayed as highly assertive, powerful and strong. The results found in this study suggest that the gendered content in the Disney films may influence children’s gender development and that the popularity and mass availability of the Disney brand ensures that they remain influential in children’s

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