File(s) not publicly available

Because looks can be deceiving : media alarm and the sexualisation of childhood - do we know what we mean?

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Kirrilly Thompson
This article considers ongoing moral outrage over the assumed sexualisation of young girls by the media. It questions this taken-for-granted association between the media and the sexualisation of children. It suggests that this visceral anxiety reflects a particularly adult-centric view of children’s behaviour and considers how this may serve to discipline girls’ sexuality in particular. Whilst child welfare and wellbeing are paramount, this article suggests the need for a more nuanced and ethnographically informed debate around the relationship between childhood, the media, and sexualisation. It calls for ethnographic research with children, to understand their perspectives of what adults view as sexualised behaviour. A number of questions are raised throughout the article to stimulate further research within anthropology and the social sciences more broadly. The article considers the extent to which attention could more usefully be shifted from the control of extrinsic factors such as the media to teaching critical thinking skills in primary and secondary schooling. It thus argues for a critical anthropological engagement with a debate currently dominated by adult-centric understandings and framed against a demonisation of sexuality and the media.

History

Volume

19

Issue

4

Start Page

395

End Page

400

Number of Pages

6

eISSN

1465-3869

ISSN

0958-9236

Location

United Kingdom

Publisher

Routledge

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

TBA Research Institute; University of South Australia;

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Journal of gender studies.

Exports

CQUniversity

Exports