Book for Concerned Parents: So Sexy So Soon

Posted on August 8, 2008 at 9:16 am

The authors of the book “So Sexy So Soon,” Diane Levin and Jean Kilbourne, say that children are constantly bombarded by the media and advertisers with images and portrayals of hyper-sexuality.

Thong panties, padded bras, and risqué Halloween costumes for young girls. T-shirts that boast “Chick Magnet” for toddler boys. Sexy content on almost every television channel, as well as in books, movies, video games, and even cartoons. Hot young female pop stars wearing provocative clothing and dancing suggestively while singing songs with sexual and sometimes violent lyrics. These products are marketed aggressively to our children; these stars are held up for our young daughters to emulate-and for our sons to see as objects of desire.

In the book, the authors provide practical suggestions about the ways that parents can provide context and expand their children’s understanding and imagination to help them make sense of the avalanche of messages equating sexuality (and only sexuality) with happiness and power — that that buying products is the way to achieve that. This interview describes the way children respond to the media’s messages and some of the content of the book.

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Inappropriate Themes in ‘Ratatouille’ and ‘Nancy Drew?’

Posted on June 11, 2007 at 10:39 pm

Two movies for kids coming out this month devote a significant amount of story-telling time to plot twists involving secret out-of-wedlock children whose fathers were never told that they existed. One is the PG “Nancy Drew” and the other is the G-rated “Ratatouille.” Is there anyone who thinks that this is an appropriate storyline for movies marketed for children? Is there anyone out there who looks forward to questions from a six-year-old about what a DNA test is for or how a father could be surprised to find out that he has a grown-up child or why a mother would want to keep such a secret?
It is not as though either of these is a sensitive treatment of a subject that may be of interest or concern to children living in a world of blended families and reproductive technology. In both cases, they are tossed into the plot more for convenience than for the expression of art or creativity. If the film-makers could not show some effort in designing a plot with more imagination, they could have taken the time to think about finding a plot with more resonance for children.

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