Media culture Sexualisation is the process by which characters are exposed as well as treated sexually. In most cases, these characters are usually either women or girls. The process of sexualization can occur in various contexts. These might include through conversations, comments provided, touching an individual in a wrong manner among others. In other situations, how female characters dress or behave in a story or a movie can be considered as sexualization.
The main focus of this paper will be on the issue of sexualization while discussing the extent to which children are sexualized in the contemporary media space.Looking at most television shows and movies, one of the evident things that can be noted is that the process of sexualization has taken the upper hand. Most movies sexualize girls in connection to how they dress, how they behave as well as the people they relate with (Clarissa, and Attwood 329). There are very many different types of sexualizing behaviors in movies which are related to children. Most common movies that sexualize children through providing sexualizing comments, making children to participate in beauty contests as well as exposing children to dress codes that reveal them. There have been massive revolutions in the media about the issue of sexualization. The television is definatly what it used to be.
This is because there have been new methods that are used in the delivery of the content in televisions. There are also new ways through which people can watch programmes most common one being watching through use of youtube. Although televisions have modernized over time, most of the themes that are used in programmes are usually stereotypes. Others are gender biased. The amount of sexualizing content in television shows is very much high. Considering the research that was done by various psychologists, there were some disturbing findings that we established. The research revealed that there are common types of sexualizing behavior that is depicted in films. These include wearing clothes that usually sexualizes an individual or a body part.
The other type of sexualization that is always common is indulging in scenes that show animal type behaviors which include crawling as well as purring (Clarissa, and Attwood 330). The other common type of sexualization behavior in television shows and media is the performance related occupation among individuals. Most individuals have performance related occupation which directly reveals and places emphasis on appearance, for example, a background related dancer or even a salesperson dong beauty products. The other common behavior that is seen in media or film is the treatment of an individual especially of a particular sex like an object rather than treating him or her as a human being. There is also the aspect of unwanted kissing, caressing and also hugging. The other common that we always see in movies especially high school movies is comments about an individuals weight. An example of a movie where the issue of sexualization is openly portrayed is one that was released in the year 1989 known as heathers. There is evidence of sexualization regarding dress code language and how girls are treated in this high school movie. In this movie, a girl in high school tries as much as possible to get out of a clique which has been destroying her reputation. This character is portrayed as a good girl yet a snob clique makes efforts to destroy her reputation. As an intelligent teen, she teams up with a dark sociopath with the aim of killing cool kids.
The movie openly portrays the girl in question as a bad one with no good intentions.Sexualisation was very much common in almost every episode of the Heathers. In this movie, the female characters were evidently more likely to be sexualized as compared to the male characters. A comprehensive range of sexualization in the characters of this movie was witnessed. These aspects ranged from body exposure and very many contexts of sexualizing (Clarissa, and Attwood 330).
Self-sexualizing was also evident as well as physical behavior that demonstrated sexualization. In the movie Heather, the most common sexualizing behavior that was witnessed was the use of heavy makeup as well as a few instances of sexual harassment.Sexualisation through the media is a matter of concern, and we should care about it. Some researchers that have been done about the issue of sexualization reveals that what children get exposed to through the media have a significant impact on them. The behaviors that they witness in the media affect them including the sexual activities, issue of substance abuse as well as aggression. For ample, the exposure to contents in the media to children predicts that most children get involved in intercourse initiation regardless of their age (Levin and Jean 55) It also reveals that it might affect children who will finally end up dating violence victimization.
The sexualization that is seen in the media just like in the movie Heather is associated with the fact that there will be greater acceptance of violence in dating as well as harassments among the youths as well as adults.According to most theorist in the field of psychology, most women and girls always end up internalizing beauty standards and gender roles that they see in the media. At times it affects how women view themselves. At times they view themselves as an object which in most cases leads most females to a situation of sexual objectivity. The movies that exhibit sexualization in most cases affect the gender-stereotypical behavior among children in one way or another even later (Levin and Jean 55).Evidently, children are always sexualized by the popular media through the content displayed in the media. Whenever a popular culture is considered, it is still an open aspect that most companies usually try their best to make profits on the content that they display regardless if whether it is having a negative impact or not (Clarissa, and Attwood 327).
Another example of a movie that evidently displays that the media has an impact in the sexualization of children is one that was revealed by an actress known as Elizabeth Hurley which caused quite a stir in the media. This movie was called a new line of girls bathing suits. In this movie, there was an unhealthy relationship that was exhibited between the popular culture as well as the girls. The release of this movie became a big issue especially because most parents raised a lot of concern on how the movie sexualized their children. The movie was surrounded by very many awful messages that portrayed a lot of sexualization. It diminished the gender roles that exist in the society, and this affected how people related.
Some people especially those who release sexualized films might argue that the exposure of the sexuality of young girls for example in the movie called the new line of girls bathing suit is not an issue of concern. Others might argue that the way the girls are sexualized in the film especially regarding their sexualization is fun. No one cares about the dressing of the girls. However, it cannot be assumed that children do not conceptualize what they see. In most occasions, children always imagine the ideas that they adopt even as they grow up (Buckingham 178).Media should play a role in building good religious backgrounds for children rather than focusing on their sexualization. The movies that are displayed by the media related to sexualization have a personal impact on children (Levin and Jean 55). The effect of the early sexualization of girls is an aspect that is not good based on this fact” it becomes very much difficult for the media to train children on good morals.
The media plays a role in the sexualization of children based on various spheres. Considering the nature of society in which we live in today, one of the very much notable things is that some movies in the media send very negative messages to children who are related to sex. Very little is done by the media to help children not to focus on issues related to sexualization (Levin and Jean 55). Schools also do not play an important role in teaching children about sex because sex education in schools nowadays has become very much spotty.
In the society we live in, sex and images that portray the sexuality of an individual are always portrayed as a commodity in most adverts, television shows as well as movies. This portrayal in the media evidently affects the perception that children have which in most cases affects them negatively.Children nowadays have access to computer websites that relay sexually implicit messages all thanks to the expansion of media. They are also exposed to consistent sexual messages which are conveyed by television networks in prime-time programming. Through this, they see young ladies portrayed with very many invariable pictures, skinny bodies and sexually exposed (Buckingham 178). The message that is communicated is not always right, and the values that are described in these pictures are not what most people will want to see as their children grow up.The media saturation is very much pervasive and difficult to escape. Based on this fact, the banning of television or computer access to children is not the solution to dealing with the issue of increased sexualization in the media.
However, this is more likely to lead to rebellion among children. Its nowadays considered a losing battle when fighting peer culture (Thompson 287). Children are learning about sexuality on a daily basis from the media and also from sources that are considered not to be healthy for their development. The best possible way of dealing with this issue is through the use of corrective education. This is possible through collaboration with several media houses as well as schools. This is possible through the creation of informative dialogue through the relay of messages. This can be done through the use of ads, movies as well as television programmes.Children get sexualized through the media based on the characters that they are subjected to.
Most characters in television shows are usually subjected to gender roles as well as sexualization. Regarding the issue of families, most shows in movie depict women to be parents or people who are in relationships that are stable (Levin and Jean 55). This is always evident in family movies. Girls are more likely to be wearing revealing clothes compared to men. The level of sexiness displayed by women is more likely to be commented upon in most situations. It is very much difficult to prove that sexualization among female characters is very much unavoidable. This is because as seen in most media, most female characters need to conform to standards of attractiveness which in most cases is very rigid.Studies done about media culture and sexualization revealed that girls who are as young as six years of age wanted to dress in sexy styles just like dolls who were dressed in a stylish manner but were covered up. Most children in this age-associated being sexy with the way they wanted to look, being a famous person in school as well as their peers (Tarr 277). This evidently is an aspect of sexualization that they borrowed from movies.
Studies also show that most girls spent a lot of time in the media. The girls who wanted to be mothers in most instances invested in the appearances that they had based on what they say in the media.Studies done about sexualization revealed that most clothes that were intended to be sold for girls have a lot of features that revealed sexualization characteristics. Some of these clothes at times do not have age-appropriate elements. These aspects have a lot of impacts especially on girls (Thompson 287). Girls who in most cases are exposed to sexual messages that are exhibited in popular culture in most cases have low self-esteem. Others at times suffer from eating disorders. The exposure to these elements tends to be very destructive especially to girls. Limiting this exposure through the media is very much essential.Parents need to take the initiative to focus on their children to limit issues which are related to sexualization. Mothers can take their roles as parents to influence their children.
In most cases, mothers have two aspects in which they can influence rather children. Mothers can take the role of mitigating unhealthy messages exposed to children about sexuality through limiting exposure to sexuality that is not aged appropriate. They can also create early exposure to sexuality to become teachable moments (Buckingham 174). Fathers, on the other hand, can play the role of helping children see another perspective of these issues by exposing children to media content that is not sexualizing like watching football and reading magazines that promote healthy values.
Finally, parents need to play an important role in instilling values as well as attitudes that are related to sexuality which is healthy. Media houses that portray the concept of sexuality usually do it with the aim of attracting more viewers and getting higher profits. There are very slim chances that a situation might arise where companies which expose sexuality to young children make a stop of this behavior because it is wrong (Thompson 287). Instead, the government should also intervene to reduce this exposure among children. If not, the parents should always ensure that they are in the forefront of ensuring that they build strong sexualities among their children regardless of how exposed they are to these aspects.Having in mind that sexualization in the media is an issue of concern, it is crucial for measures to be initiated so that the messages of sexualization can be countered.
Parents and other adults need to take steps to ensure that they teach value to children especially in defining who they are rather than the way they look (Clarissa, and Attwood 330). Parents and adults can also make efforts to encourage as well as to provide activities which are essential in emphasizing talents that people have rather than the appearances that they exhibit.Parents should also pay a lot of attention to the movies that their children watch. By doing this, they will be able to voice their concerns as well as make opinions on the choices that their children make (Tarr 277). Parents can do this by sharing their thoughts in a situation where children want to watch movies that exhibit a lot of sexualization. Parents should ensure that they initiate conversations with their children especially when they feel that their children are exposed to movies that are sexualizing too much.Educators should also take an active role in stopping sexualization in the media. They can do this through working with media literacy resources to help children identify some resources in the media which tends to be very much sexualizing (Buckingham 178).
Educators should also initiate teachable moments to offer wonderful opportunities which are rich in discussions about the practice of children.Children, teenagers, as well as youths, should also take initiatives to put a lot of skills in media literacy. Through this, they will always be in a position of practically applying instances of concern when it comes to media literacy. They can do this through having conversations with their friends as well as their peers to discuss popular media which have been sexualized (Thompson 287). Apart from that, children can also take the initiative of perusing media awareness projects in schools as well as in community settings. By this, it will be easier for them to identify media which has been sexualized.
It will be straightforward for them to deal with such media more effectively. This will be important also in boosting the self-esteemed of children, and it will help them to focus on projects that they can do well.Adults, parents, children, neighbors, mentors and the society, in general, should work together to model some values as well as behaviors that are expected of children regardless of what they are exposed to in the media (Tarr 277).
These groups should also advocate for the correct type of images that they expect to see in media about the issue of sexualization.There are very many effects of equalization in the media that most people are not aware of. This is mainly because most people do not understand the psychological effects process of viewing sexualized objects (Buckingham 178). At times sexualization leads to changes in behaviors of various individuals. Apart from that, it is important to understand various forms of sexualization that the media might portray. By doing this, it will be possible to prevent them from aspects that might have a negative impact on children.
A lot of research also needs to be conducted by individuals with the aim of empowering children families as well as the society in general to resist media which negatively portrays the issue of socialization. Additionally, it is also important to teach children the issue of media literacy skills (Tarr 277). Parents should also be well acquitted with media literacy skills which are important in educating them on how they can adequately monitor their children. Empowering and protecting children about the aspect of sexualization in the media is mandatory in protecting their wellbeing.
In conclusion, considering the issue of sexualization in the media, one of the things that are notable is that the contemporary media space plays a major role in sexualizing children. This is always evident in how some characters are portrayed in television shows, films, news story among other. Popular culture especially one that is portrayed in the television should be revisited to help in dealing with the issue of sexualization in the media. It is also important to people handling the media to ensure that they make efforts not to expose children to content that might have an impact in their sexualization. By doing this, it would be possible to avoid instances where children grow knowing that there exist some gender roles in the society.
Collaborating to stop sexualization is important if we want to have a healthy society. All necessary players including children should ensure that they are in the forefront of getting information that will uplift their moral well being rather than destroy it.
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