TV Media’s Influence on Child Development

TV Media Influence on Child Development

“Several risks to pediatric health are literally staring children in the face. It’s time to call the doctor.”

Want to share this old, but great article from the Harvard Medical Alumni Bulletin. Very interesting points about how media cuts into many issues such as obesity, eating disorders, attention disorders, violence, sex, and drug use and how Medical Professionals need to deeply consider how much media has an influence on the development of these.

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You’re Teaching My Child What? – Dr. Miriam Grossman


The sex-ed lobby has always claimed it was all about health—teaching kids how to stay safe. But in reality, their goal was not preventing disease, pregnancy, and emotional distress. It’s about indoctrinating them into a radical ideology—sexual freedom….

What’s the result of this [sex education] teaching? One in four American girls now has a sexually transmitted disease. – Breakpoint

  • Are sex educators not providing the latest medical facts?
  • Are we really missing out on scientific facts about our sexual health?
  • What are the latest findings on the effects of living with sexual freedom?
  • What are those scientific facts! Am I in danger?

You're Teaching My Child What - Physician Dr. Miriam Grossman M.D. - Sex Education

Dr. Miriam Grossman vs. Sex Educators

Dr. Miriam Grossman M.D, a board certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist, recently wrote a book called “You’re Teaching My Kid What?”.

She writes about the fact that sex educators as well as the SIECUS [Sexual Information and Education Council of the US], the organization that sets the standard for sex education, are not presenting the medical facts thus rather than empowering people to make the right decisions, they are giving them a false sense of security with disastrous results.

One example is how sex educators urge kids to avoid pregnancy by engaging in oral sex. But what about the medical facts?

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AMP UP Pepsi Iphone App – “Before You Score”

AMP UP / Pepsi Iphone App “Before You Score” Gone too Far?

Pepsi has been known as a company not afraid to push limits and try out new innovative methods in reaching it’s potential consumers. Have they gone to far?

“Before You Score” AMP UP

AMP UP Pepsi - Iphone App
AMP’s latest attempt to utilize social media became a huge controversial issue. AMP is an energy drink company owned by Pepsi. They have always utilized guy-centric advertising focusing on extreme sports and women. Their marketing approach is a tamer version of another company called AXE who uses extremely risque and degrading advertising.

AMP launched an Iphone app called “before you score” that helps men score with women. Within the application itself, the app breaks down women into 24 categories and provides various pickup lines and suggestions. Examples of such categories are “Rebound Girl”, “Twins”, “Foreign Exchange Student” and even “Married”. Depending on the type of person she is, it is suggesting specific things to say as well can be used to find specific places to eat. The whole point is to convince the subject that you share her interest with the overall goal of getting them into bed. The iTunes store has a description that says “roadmap to success with your favorite kinds of women”.

Let’s think about the culture pepsi is promoting here.

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Euthanasia: Naturalism vs the Sanctity of Life

Is Truth Relative? Do we have a “right” to do as we please?

This discussion is not about abortion, but let me lay it out as an example to make a point. Everyone has heard the abortion arguments before: the argument for life and the argument for choice. Is abortion wrong because the child is a human being and no one has the right to kill a child? Or should abortion be considered a valid option because it is in the right of the mother to determine whether they can or want the child? How about the right of a person to kill oneself? Do old sickly people have the right to end their own lives? Can other people assist them? Stop them? The debates continue but underlying these discussions is a much deeper battle: the battle in the validity of the sanctity of life.

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France to Regulate Airbrushed & Photoshopping Pictures

France: Regulate those Manipulated Pictures!

This is going to create some interesting controversy. French lawmakers have decided to regulate airbrushing photos by requiring disclaimers on photos that are photoshopped or enhanced in any way. Image manipulation has been a practice going on since long before photoshop, to create stunning and perfect pictures for advertisement purposes. This action was taken as a way of fighting against body image issues at the source.

This disclaimer would be needed in newspapers, photos, magazines, political pieces, product packaging, art photography and any situation where there is a “retouched photograph aimed at changing a person’s physical appearance.”

Hours of Hair & Makeup followed by Hours of Photo Manipulation

Even after hours of hair and makeup styling, photos used in print often go through hours of photo manipulation. Some very common practices are to slim waistlines, slim the hips, lengthen the neck and legs, alter facial structures, increase symmetry, widen eyes, fix nose shape, have a woman’s breast lifted, change skin colors, add shadows, add tones, move eyebrows, remove bad marks, erase freckles, change the background, and stylize the hair. An altered photo can look dramatically different from the original.

Photoshopped Images - Amber Mac

The photo above is an example of what photoshop can do in a mere 5 minutes of photoshop work. During a 5 minute segment on Homepage, a show on CP24, Greg Danbrooke demonstrated how Photoshop is the real tool behind the perfection we see on magazine covers and billboards.

Check out the step by step difference here

Also if you haven’t seen the Dove Evolution Video watch it!

This law was proposed by French MP Valirie Boyer who also released a report on anorexia and bulimia. The concern has always been the effects of unrealistic body images has on young boys and girls. Starting at an early age a girl is exposed to so many images of beautiful celebrities, disproportionate barbie dolls, photos of women who have slender body types and seemingly perfect features. It is no wonder 62% of girls feel insecure about themselves and 81% of 10 years old fears getting fat.

“Many young people, particularly girls, do not know the difference between the virtual and reality, and can develop complexes from a very young age. In some cases this leads to anorexia or bulimia and very serious health problems.” – French MP Valerie Boyer

50+ French politicians have voiced their support for this legislation. The fine for breaking this law would be a fine of approximately $48K USD or 50% of the campaign costs.

[poll id=”14″]

  • Do you think this law is a good idea or a bad idea?
  • Do you think this law should pass?
  • Is photoshopped bodies a detriment to self-image especially in children?

Please share your thoughts below!

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Sept 11, 2001 – World Trade Center, Remembering 9/11

Remembering 9/11 – Attack of the World Trade Center

911 - Sept 11 2001 - World Trade Center An early apology for dampening your day, but I am a strong advocate for the need for all people to remember the events of September 11, 2001. This was a historical moment in history, one that will be seared in our minds forever. As hard as it is to relive the experience, I think it is important that we remember the fragility of life and how in the aftermath of this horrible tragedy, everyone had to stop their hurried life to reexamine why they do what they do. Questions about the meaning of life, why suffering exists, questions about God and afterlife all became a real issue in the eyes of those not only living in the United States but around the world.

See first the details of the event, followed by my own experience that morning.

Details of the Sept 11, 2001 Attack on WTC

Early in the morning on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, nineteen hijackers took control of four commercial airliners en route to San Francisco and Los Angeles from Boston, Newark, and Washington, D.C. (Washington Dulles International Airport). At 8:46 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 was crashed into the World Trade Center’s North Tower, followed by United Airlines Flight 175 which hit the South Tower at 9:03 a.m. Another group of hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. A fourth flight, United Airlines Flight 93, whose ultimate target was thought to be either the United States Capitol or White House, crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m, after the passengers on board engaged in a fight with the hijackers.

During the hijacking of the airplanes, the hijackers used weapons to stab and/or kill aircraft pilots, flight attendants and passengers. Reports from phone callers from the planes indicated that knives were used by the hijackers to stab attendants and in at least one case, a passenger, during two of the hijackings. Some passengers were able to make phone calls using the cabin airphone service and mobile phones, and provide details, including that several hijackers were aboard each plane, that mace or other form of noxious chemical spray, such as tear gas or pepper spray was used, and that some people aboard had been stabbed. The 9/11 Commission established that two of the hijackers had recently purchased Leatherman multi-function hand tools. A flight attendant on Flight 11, a passenger on Flight 175, and passengers on Flight 93 mentioned that the hijackers had bombs, but one of the passengers also mentioned he thought the bombs were fake. No traces of explosives were found at the crash sites, and the 9/11 Commission believed the bombs were probably fake.

On United Airlines Flight 93, black box recordings revealed that crew and passengers attempted to seize control of the plane from the hijackers after learning through phone calls that similarly hijacked planes had been crashed into buildings that morning. According to the transcript of Flight 93’s recorder, one of the hijackers gave the order to roll the plane once it became evident that they would lose control of the plane to the passengers.Soon afterward, the aircraft crashed into a field near Shanksville in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, at 10:03:11 a.m. local time. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, organiser of the attacks, mentioned in a 2002 interview with Yosri Fouda, an al Jazeera journalist, that Flight 93’s target was the United States Capitol, which was given the code name “the Faculty of Law”.

The World Trade Centers Collapse

Three buildings in the World Trade Center Complex collapsed due to structural failure on the day of the attack. The south tower fell at approximately 9:59 a.m., after burning for 56 minutes in a fire caused by the impact of United Airlines Flight 175. The north tower collapsed at 10:28 a.m., after burning for approximately 102 minutes. When the north tower collapsed, debris heavily damaged the nearby 7 World Trade Center (7 WTC) building. Its structural integrity was further compromised by fires, and the building collapsed later in the day at 5:20 p.m.

Widespread Confusion, a Traffic Controller’s Nightmare

The attacks created widespread confusion among news organizations and air traffic controllers across the United States. All international civilian air traffic was banned from landing on US soil for three days. Aircraft already in flight were either turned back or redirected to airports in Canada or Mexico. News sources aired unconfirmed and often contradictory reports throughout the day. One of the most prevalent of these reported that a car bomb had been detonated at the U.S. State Department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Soon after reporting for the first time on the Pentagon crash, CNN and other media also briefly reported that a fire had broken out on the Washington Mall. Another report went out on the AP wire, claiming that a Delta Air Lines airliner—Flight 1989—had been hijacked. This report, too, turned out to be in error; the plane was briefly thought to represent a hijack risk, but it responded to controllers and landed safely in Cleveland, Ohio. [Source: Wikipedia]

Casualties of Sept 11, 2001 – The Statistics

There were a total of 2,993 deaths, including the 19 hijackers: 246 on the four planes, 2,603 in New York City in the towers and on the ground, and 125 at the Pentagon. An additional 24 people remain listed as missing. All of the deaths in the attacks were civilians except for 55 military personnel killed at the Pentagon. More than 90 countries lost citizens in the attacks on the World Trade Center. In 2007, the New York City medical examiner’s office added Felicia Dunn-Jones to the official death toll from the September 11 attacks. Dunn-Jones died five months after 9/11 from a lung condition which was linked to exposure to dust during the collapse of the World Trade Center.

NIST estimated that about 17,400 civilians were in the World Trade Center complex at the time of the attacks, while turnstile counts from the Port Authority suggest that 14,154 people were typically in the Twin Towers by 8:45 a.m. The vast majority of people below the impact zone safely evacuated the buildings, along with 18 people who were in the impact zone in the south tower. 1,366 people died who were at or above the floors of impact in the North Tower. According to the Commission Report, hundreds were killed instantly by the impact, while the rest were trapped and died after the tower collapsed. As many as 600 people were killed instantly or were trapped at or above the floors of impact in the South Tower.

At least 200 people jumped to their deaths from the burning towers, landing on the streets and rooftops of adjacent buildings hundreds of feet below. Some of the occupants of each tower above its point of impact made their way upward toward the roof in hope of helicopter rescue, but the roof access doors were locked. No plan existed for helicopter rescues, and on September 11, the thick smoke and intense heat would have prevented helicopters from conducting rescues.

911 - Sept 11 2001 - World Trade Center FlagA total of 411 emergency workers who responded to the scene died as they attempted to rescue people and fight fires. The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) lost 341 firefighters and 2 FDNY paramedics.The New York City Police Department lost 23 officers. The Port Authority Police Department lost 37 officers, and 8 additional EMTs and paramedics from private EMS units were killed.

Cantor Fitzgerald L.P., an investment bank on the 101st–105th floors of One World Trade Center, lost 658 employees, considerably more than any other employer. Marsh Inc., located immediately below Cantor Fitzgerald on floors 93–101 (the location of Flight 11’s impact), lost 355 employees, and 175 employees of Aon Corporation were killed. After New York, New Jersey was the hardest hit state, with the city of Hoboken sustaining the most deaths.

Weeks after the attack, the estimated death toll was over 6,000. The city was only able to identify remains for about 1,600 of the victims at the World Trade Center. The medical examiner’s office also collected “about 10,000 unidentified bone and tissue fragments that cannot be matched to the list of the dead”. [Source: Wikipedia]

The Morning of Sept 11, 2001 – Shocked & Confused

I woke up to the sound of someone talking on the radio. The sun was already beating down through the bedroom window, another beautiful day I thought. Half alert, I was wondering why my roommate had the radio on. I had planned to sleep in a bit. Then I heard over the air-waves, someone speaking of a plane crashing into a building. For a second I thought I must have misheard. Planes being run into buildings? That’s crazy. I need more sleep. Then I heard it again, a plane has hit the world trade center. I am not dreaming. Something is going on. I jumped out of bed. My roommate and I ran out to flip on the TV and there it was. The country was in utter chaos. Everyone was confused. It was surreal, you don’t ever hear such words like planes, buildings, terrorists uttered in the same sentence. Our eyes were glued to the TV, looking at the burning tower, the people screaming, the people crying. It was as if the world stopped. Are the people out? What about those on the top floors? What in the world happened? Why is no one making it clear what happened?! By now everyone was on the phone calling their own families. Then it happened, the tower collapsed. We gazed in horror as New York was engulfed in smoke. The dust smoke crawled and expanded in and between all the buildings as if it had the intent to bury all in it’s path.

The thought of the lives of 3,000 some people, gone in an instant, was something impossible to even fathom or comprehend. What about their families? How many people left that morning as if it was just another day in their lives to only have their lives transformed in a blink of an eye? I don’t know about you, but in that moment my view of life itself became very focused. What is the meaning of life? What really matters in life? What happens after life? Why is this happening? What is evil? Why is there suffering? Emotionally this day would shake the foundations of many who witnessed what we would later call 9/11.

To be honest, it is only the next year as I attended a gathering memorializing the event, when it really hit me what kind of horrible event I had just lived through. I just hope that all those questions people had then, will not be forgotten and those who dared to ask such tough questions, chose to find answers. If they did not, I think that is a tragedy in itself. Don’t let such an event not change you for the better.

  • What is your memory of the Sept 11, 2001?
  • Did your life change at all due to the incident?
  • Did you ever grapple with questions like the meaning of life, suffering, afterlife or any other “life questions”?

Update Sept 13, 2011 – 9 11 Quotes & Statistic Infographic

Also Check out: Religion, the Greatest Source of Bloodshed, Persecution & War
Also Check out: Amazing Time-Lapse Video of One World Trade Center Being Built!

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Pro Anorexia “Pro Ana” Sites on Facebook

Anorexia Weight Loss
Anorexia Weight Loss

A Web page labeled “Ana Boot Camp” recently offered its members a seemingly irresistible proposition: a 30-day regimen designed to help them drop some serious pounds, no exercise needed. The catch was that the group’s members were to vary their daily caloric intake from 500 (less than half the daily minimum requirement for women recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine) to zero. They were supposed to track their progress, fast to make up for the days they accidentally “overate” and support each other as they worked toward their common goal of radical weight loss.

Pro Anorexia or “Pro-Ana” Sites

Pro-anorexia, or sometimes called “pro-ana,” Web sites have been a common fixture in the internet world. The site quoted above was actually a page created in Facebook. These sites have users sharing dangerous diet tips and posting pictures of very skinny girls. The purpose of these sites is to give one another “thinspiration”. Users tend to comment and posting anonymously or with a secret aliases.

“These sites provided a setting where I could talk about the illness without people trying to fix me or tell me that what I’m doing is horrible, disgusting, maladaptive… For me, part of the illness was just about getting attention. You feel so lonely and you want someone to notice you, and I guess that’s kind of the way to do it, even with other sick people.” – Rose 17, Maryland High School Senior

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No, Mr. President: John Piper’s Response to President Obama on Abortion

John Piper gave a message called “The Baby in My Womb Leaped for Joy” January 25, 2009. In this message he speaks highly of Obama, but disagrees sharply in regards to the issue of abortion. In a section of his message he speaks about the 36th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. President Barack Obama released the statement:

We are reminded that this decision not only protects women’s health and reproductive freedom but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters.
– Barack Obama

John Piper gives his response to this quote. His response was taken and made into a typography video. It is a very well made video. This video has gone viral this past week with over 60,000 views in the last few days.

No, Mr. President: John Piper’s Response to President Obama on Abortion

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Unnaturally Beautiful Children: Image & Beauty

In 2004, a survey by NPD Group showed that on average, girls started to use beauty products at the age of 17. Today that average is 13.

Influence of Media on Children & Beauty

There’s a scene in “Toddlers & Tiaras,” the TLC reality series, where 2-year-old Marleigh is perched in front of a mirror, smothering her face with blush and lipstick. She giggles as her mother attempts to hold the squealing toddler still, lathering her legs with self-tanner. “Marleigh loves to get tan,” her mom says, as the girl presses her face against the mirror.

Children's Perception of Beauty
Children’s Perception of Beauty (Newsweek)

The quote above is about Marleigh, one of the pageant girls on the show. Does anyone find something disturbing about this picture? She is two years old. Unfortunately the ridiculousness of this scene doesn’t end on screen, it is a depiction of our current generation.

What do these shows have in common? “Extreme makeover”, “I Want a Famous Face” “Little Miss Perfect” “Toddlers & Tiaras”. These are shows centered around raising the bar of what is considered the norm when it comes to beautifying our children.

With reality TV shows, thousands of beauty product commercials, air-brushed magazine ads, and beautiful celebrities adorning every movies we watch, the norm of the importance of beauty has changed dramatically. In 2004, a survey by NPD Group showed that on average, girls started to use beauty products at the age of 17. Today that average is 13.
 See some more Children Beauty Statistics
But even that figure could be an overstatement. According to a market research firm Experian,

  • 43 percent of 6 to 9 year olds are already using lipstick or lip gloss
  • 38 percent are using hairstyling products
  • 12 percent use other other cosmetic products

By the time they are 50 years old, an average women would have spent nearly $300,000 on just their hair and face according to Newsweek’s research on beauty trends (noted below). But is this surprising considering girls ages 11 to 14 are exposed to 500+ advertisements per day? 8 to 12 years old already spend $40+ million a month on beauty products according to NPD Group. Teenagers? $100 Million.

More Statistics on Beauty

  • Cosmetic Surgery Procedures for Under 18 – Doubled last 10 years
  • 14% of Botox injections given to 19-34 age group, seeking “preventative treatments”
  • [American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery]
  • 42% of 1st to 3rd Graders want to be thinner
  • 81% of 10 years olds fear getting fat

“When you have tweens putting on firming cream… it’s clear they’re looking for imaginary flaws,” – Harvard psychologist Nancy Etcoff

Full Article on Beauty

True Cost of Lifetime Beauty

Economy got you down? Trying to pinch a few pennies here and there? How about cutting out on some beauty products and enhancements! See the chart below.

Tweens Teen/20s 30-40s 50s Lifetime
Hair $1,260 $15,761 $23,640 $169,274 $209,935
Face $3,900 $32,684 $108,660 $21,840 $167,084
Body $0 $10,586 $17,820 $16,366 $44,772
Hands/Feet $2,010 $6,834 $8,040 $10,452 $27,336
Totals $7,170 $65,865 $158,160 $217,932 $449,127

See Beauty Spend Breakdown Here

  • What are your thoughts about young children and teens spending so much time and money on beautifying themselves?
  • How about Adults?
  • What can be done to help push up against our image driven culture?
  • Can anything be done?
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Teenager Pregnancy Statistics – Good News?

Did You Know: 3 in 10 girls in the United States gets pregnant before age 20.

Finally Some Good News – Teen Pregnancy

Could it be? Good news about teen pregnancy rates? According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, teen pregnancy rates in the United States declined 38 percent between 1990 and 2004. Teen birth rate also declined 32 percent between 1991 and 2006. This was the case across all ethnic groups. More teenagers are waiting longer before having sex and those who were sexually active were using contraception. Great news right?

Well, it is good news that teenage pregnancies are were falling because it is noted that some teenagers are waiting longer. That is commendable. Shows better self-control. Shows perhaps some teenagers are putting a greater value on themselves, their body, as well as their actions.

However the fact that most of the decrease was due to the wider use of contraceptives doesn’t say anything about the continual growth of promiscuous living. Promiscuous living is live and well, all the more as media continues to feed such lifestyles as normal and something to be emulated. Sex is glamorized, one night stands common, making “love” and giving yourself to someone painted as something special. TV Shows, Movies, Music videos among other forms of media also often portrays that happiness can only be found in that one and only, thus fueling girls to make it their goal to find that perfect guy and giving up themselves along the process. As recent as 2007, 50% of teens have already had sex, 33% already by 9th grade.

That Wasn’t the Only Catch

Unfortunately this good news has recently taken a back step. Between 2005 and 2007, teen birth rates turned positive increasing 5 percent. The decline in sexual activity and the increase in contraceptive use both have come to halt.

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Pro-Life Abortion Speech by 12 Year Old

Children Influencing Culture through Media?

We always talk about media influencing children and culture, but how about children influence culture through media!?

A creative speech video that has been making the rounds a few months ago is the video of a young Canadian 12 year old Lia who chose the topic of abortion as her topic for a school speech contest. Her teacher wanted her to pick a different topic but she chose to continue. As you’ll see below she was an excellent speaker and crafted her arguments with thought and strategy.

“What if I told you that right now, someone was choosing if you were going to live or die?”

“What if I told you that this choice wasn’t based on what you could or couldn’t do, what you’d done in the past or what you would do in the future? And what if I told you, you could do nothing about it?”

“Fellow students and teachers, thousands of children are right now in that very situation. Someone is choosing without even knowing them whether they are going to live or die.”

“That someone is their mother. And that choice is abortion.”

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Teen Media Consumption Associated With Depression Symptoms

Media Impact on Teenager Depression
Media Impact on Teenager Depression

Media Exposure and Depression

A report in the February issue of “Archives of General Psychiatry” states that exposure to more television and media during teenage adolescent years seems to be associated with the development of depression symptoms in young adulthood. This is especially the case with young men.

“The development of depression in adolescence may be understood as a biopsychosocial, multifactorial process influenced by risk and protective factors including temperament, genetic heritability, parenting style, cognitive vulnerability, stressors (e.g., trauma exposure or poverty) and interpersonal relationships,”

Depression is said to begin during adolescence impacted by media exposure and influence. Plenty of statistic show that teens watch about 3 hours of TV a day, and are exposed to nearly 9 hours of some type of media consumption. Have you seen a teen without an ipod constantly stuck in their ears?

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