I wrote a post back in 2006 about some of the concerns surrounding what is perceived to be the growing sexualisation in the portrayal of children in advertising and elsewhere in the media. The issue has now been sent to the Senate’s Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee for an inquiry, which is due to report by 23 June, 2008. I’m Deputy Chair of this Committee, but I’m also involved in separate Committees inquiring into housing affordability and compensation proposals for the Stolen Generations, all of which are due to report in June, which will make it hard for me to participate fully in all of them.
Submissions to the inquiry on sexualisation of children close on 18th April. The terms of reference are as follows:
The sexualisation of children in the contemporary media environment, including radio and television, children’s magazines, other print and advertising material and the Internet.
In undertaking the inquiry, the committee is to in particular:
a. examine the sources and beneficiaries of premature sexualisation of children in the media;
b. review the evidence on the short- and long-term effects of viewing or buying sexualising and objectifying images and products and their influence on cognitive functioning, physical and mental health, sexuality, attitudes and beliefs; and
c. examine strategies to prevent and/or reduce the sexualisation of children in the media and the effectiveness of different approaches in ameliorating its effects, including the role of school-based sexuality and reproductive health education and change in media and advertising regulation such as the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice and the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice.