The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it is considering dropping current broadcast decency standards that ban explicit profanity and “non-sexual” nudity. This means that if enacted, the new FCC policy would allow networks to use profanity and frontal female nudity regardless of viewing hours. This includes times when children may be watching.
You can read the full press release in this PDF.
What can I do to help stopt his?
The FCC will accept opinions and comments regarding this proposal during the month of April. I urge you to let you voice be heard. Moral & decency standards on television and in movies have degraded over the years. What is considered the norm of “acceptable” has shifted many notches for the worse. This would be a huge blow to those who want to protect their children (and themselves) from being exposed to profanity and nudity.
Current broadcast laws prohibit expletives and nudity, even if brief. Networks like NBC and FOX has worked to overturn it over the years, but the Supreme Court has upheld the law as constitutionally enforceable by the FCC. Thus it is ultimately FCC’s decision.
Step by Step instructions to Submit FCC comment
Submit your comments to the FCC during the month of April urging them to reject such changes and why it would be a horrible idea to remove such a crucial boundary of decency. You must make a formal comment via the FCC site.
Here are some instructions.
1. Go to this FCC FORM
2. Enter the code “13-86” in the “Proceeding Number” box and fill out the few remaining required fields.
3. Enter your comment in the text box provided and click “Continue.”
4. From there, review your comment and click “Confirm.”
Here is a sample comment you may submit via the American Family Association:
I oppose any changes to the current FCC indecency standards that would allow television and radio stations to broadcast expletives and nudity on the public airwaves, even if brief or “fleeting.”
The Supreme Court has confirmed the FCC’s authority to enforce policies regarding expletives and nudity, especially during times when children are likely to be watching or listening.
Relaxing the current policy would not serve the public interest and I urge the FCC to reject all proposals that would allow for the broadcast of expletives and nudity on FCC-licensed stations.
American Psychological Association came out with a report that shows girl as young as 4 and 5 years old are wearing new clothing styles such as push-up bras, thongs, mini skirts and other adult type outfits. Following the onslaught of media images girls see on TV, there is a changing standard born out of the pressure these images give to children to “get with it” or “fit in”. This report brings up the decrease in self-esteem and the increase in depressions and eating disorders linked to the increasing sexualization by the media. It also emphasizes the increasing underage sex rate.
Defining Sexualization of Girls
The APA taskforce on the Sexualization of Girls was formed in response to these public concerns. The APA taskforce also produced reports on the Violence in Mass Media, Advertising to Children, Video Games and Interactive Media among other similar reports. The “sexualization” process was defined having one of the following criterias.
a persons’ value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics;
a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness with being sexy;
a person is sexually objectified – that is, made into a thing for other’s sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making; and/or
sexuality is inappropriately imposed on a person
Examples of Sexualization in Advertising
Sexualization of Girls is pervasive throughout all media. The report outlines a few categories:
Ads – Sketchers “Naughty & Nice” – featured Christina Aguilera dressed as a schoolgirl in pigtails with her shirt unbuttoned, licking a lollipop
Dolls – Bratz Dolls – dressed in sexualized clothing such as miniskirts, fishnet stocking, and feather boas
Clothing – thongs sized for 7-10 year old, some printed with slogans such as “wink wink”
TV – Televised Fashion show in which adult models in lingerie were presented as young girls.
In addition, I find the most powerful media messages are often a lot more subtle. It is true that the constant barrage of images of pretty women with questionable outfits changes what we consider the “norm” in terms of how we define “beauty” and what is “appropriate” behavior. However just as powerful, is the message found in the lifestyles of sitcom characters. People love watching sitcoms. They become attached to characters and they see the characters in the context of “life”. When people watch their beloved characters living a promiscuous lifestyle or behaving in a sexualized way (using their beauty to charm guys, chasing after pretty woman, gawking at a pretty girl who walks by) we take in these “behaviors” as normal reactions and how things actually are in the real world. We learn what is normal through what we observe in carefully constructed sitcoms that milk on what sells and let’s face it – sex sells.
Interesting Studies of Sexualization in Report
List of some interesting studies covered in the report:
Note that these bulletpoints are not at all comprehensive.
Sexualization inhibits Mental Capacity – Women who were in bathing suits trying to conduct a test did poorly then when wearing sweaters. Men found no such drop off. Thinking about the body and comparing to sexualized cultural ideals disrupted mental capacity.(Frederickson, Roberts, Noll, Quinn, & Twenge 1998; Gapinski, Brownsell, & LaFrance, 2003)
Mental Health Problems – Researched links sexualization with 3 of the most common mental health problem of girls and woman: eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression (Abramson & Valene, 1991; Durkin & Paxton, 2002)
Diminishing Sexual Health – Self objectification linked directly with diminishing sexual health among adolescent girls measured by decreased condom use and sexual assertiveness. (Impett, Schooler, & Tomlman 2006). Negative effects such as shame due to sexualization may lead to sexual problems in adulthood (Brotto, Heiman & Tolman, in press)
Sexual Stereotypes – Girls and young woman who more frequently consume or engage with mainstream media content offer stronger endorsements of sexual stereotypes that depict women as sexual objects (Ward, 2002; Zurbriggen & Morgan, 2006)
Effects on Men – Exposure to narrow ideals of female sexual attractiveness make it difficult for some men to find an “acceptable” partner or to fully enjoy intimacy with a female partner (Schooler & Ward, 2006)
Problem of Sexualization of Girls is Deep
The problem is not just the clothing they wear or even what girls are learning about sex – the problem is that girls at a young age are being taught how to approach relationships and how to approach intimacy. Media is teaching girls that being sexy and using their sexuality is important. Even Disney is responsible for using pretty, skinny woman characters using their beauty to get what they want. In the real world, many big name celebrities also are using their “sexuality” for all it’s worth.
Parents: Protect Your Child from Sexualization!
The ultimate message is that parents must protect their child. Some may think it’s cute to allow their young daughter to wear t-shirts that say stuff like “Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me” (the main line from a popular song) or allow your daughters to those “cute” mini skirts or short-shorts that have things written on their bottoms. To buy them make-up kits as a child and teach them to adorn themselves with beauty products. But it won’t be funny when those very children becoming sexuality active by middle school and learn to objectify themselves, placing their self-worth on how they look.
Download & Read the Full “Sexualization of Girls” Report Below
Please let us know what other good pieces of statistics or information you find below in the comments section!
Also what are your thoughts about the Sexualization of Girls? Do you see it as a big problem?
The proliferation of sexualized images of girls and young women in advertising, merchandising, and media is harming girls’ self-image and healthy development. This report explores the cognitive and emotional consequences, consequences for mental and physical health, and impact on development of a healthy sexual self-image. – American Psychological Association
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’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.
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.
Wu Fei (吴非), is a school teacher who often contributes to several different newspapers and textbooks. She maintains a blog that covers issues in contemporary education. Utilizing the movie Schindler’s List she wrote a post discussing the need to be careful in the way we expose children to the tragedies of human history and the evil of humanity. She believes there needs to be an emphasis on kindness and understanding or these cruelties can be taken the wrong way.
Personally, I really like the post, because it indirectly brings up the issue of our ever fading sensitivity to what we should be viewing with disgust and shame. That is media’s influence at it’s best.
I’ve pasted the entire translation below.
Credit to Danwei for the translation.
by Wu Fei
The script to Schindler’s List has been selected for inclusion in a middle school textbook.* From the standpoint of both language arts and humanities education, this is a necessary step forward. Secondary education should make students aware that the history of human civilization contains such instances of violence against civilization and humanity.
The proliferation of the Internet and the ease of sharing information online has greatly enhanced the power of media and advertising. It shapes are attitudes, behaviors and our values in regards to how we view everything and everyone. Everyone speaks about how media affects our society but the power of advertising also comes from the ideas and messages that get portrayed as an underlying reality in media.
Advertising Providing Solutions to our Deepest Longings
Everyday we are exposed to a particular lifestyle portrayed in movies, tv shows, billboards and commercials. We see people dressed a certain way, living life “to the fullest” – in a particular way. Unfortunately, these characters are created to sell products or raise ratings. Often what is portrayed may not be aligned with reality and yet we may feel that…
We long to have the kind of life they live.
We wish our lives were just as exciting.
We wish we had such close relationships and friends.
We wish we would run into that kind of luck we see on TV.
We wish we can live just as recklessly, perhaps promiscuously without consequences.
We wish we could be as happy as the people we see.
We wish to look the way they look, have the body shape as they do.
Tough times call for new, creative solutions. It calls for fresh faces and fresh ideas. Obama was elected president behind his rally cry of change. He has appointed many policy leaders for all facets of our nation. From Health to Technology, the best and the brightest are brought on to bring our nation out of our poor economic state.
Great. Now what?
How about appointing an Ethics Czar? We hear all the time in the media that things need to change. We hear about excessive pensions and bonuses while thousands are laid off, and we get angry. We hear all about how some executive cheated on this, some accountant played with the numbers like that, and something in us burns. Yet would we have been any different if we lived in the world they did? If we were given the opportunities they had? We live in a me-first culture and accumulating wealth, living the “American Dream”, whatever that is, has become such a great focus in all that we do. Media praises success and we all grow up with that inward desire to make it big.
Below is a great little article about Ethics in Economics. Some excerpts:
Code of Ethics in Business has Changed
…I recall another conversation with a successful investment banker. He told me that the first thing he had to establish was his character, his reputation for trustworthiness and honesty. Without that, he would have been unable to trade. Nowadays, he said, deals no longer depend on character but on lawyers.
Common to these stories is the gradual disappearance of the cluster of principles that went by the name of morality. Whatever its source – religion, conscience, custom or code – it meant that there are certain things you don’t do because they are not done. You don’t reward yourself when customers, clients or shareholders or employees are suffering losses. You don’t pay yourself out of all proportion to what you pay others. You don’t take advantage of your position just because you can. You are guided, even if no one is watching, by a sense of what is responsible and right. Without that internalised code of honour and trust, no institution can be sustained in the long run.
The University, a place of Higher Education. A source for the development of the mind, a place to practice discipline, and a training ground to build the type of skills and networks needed for the best of futures.
The University of Maryland, College Park announced that the student union would show a porno movie as a way to… wait show what?!
Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge will be shown at midnight Saturday in a campus theater usually home to tamer fare such as independent and foreign films. The distributor of the film, Digital Playground, offered it to the student union for free, so student activities fees are not being used to finance it. A student programming committee voted to screen the film, billed as a “XXX blockbuster.”
Thank goodness. Disaster averted. No student activities fees are being used for this. That would be wrong. Anything else that should be addressed though? Anything?
How aware are you in regards to the media’s impact on our view of religious freedom?
Freedom of Religion Curbed
If I asked you to think of a country that has no freedom of religion, what countries come to mind? Perhaps an Islamic country like Afghanistan where converting from Islam to Christianity is punishable by death? Perhaps a country like China where churches are persecuted and people are only allowed to meet in a handful of government sanctioned churches? How about the United Kingdom?
Story of a Dedicated Foster Mother
There was once a foster mother who dedicated her life to taking in fosters kids and providing them love and care. As a practicing Anglican Christian, she had devoted her life to a life of love. In 10 years she had brought in over 80 foster kids. She rented out a farmhouse so she could provide them a home and experience having a family.
“… why do researchers and the biotech industry push so hard for public funds for embryo-destructive research?… because they stand to make huge profits through potential patents. It’s potentially far more lucrative than research involving adult stem cells. – Breakpoint
Were you aware that not a single clinical success has resulted from treatments using embryonic stem cells yet there has been many great success stories involving the use of adult cell stems?
So why is it that most of us are not aware of the progress that has been made in adult stem research yet the issue of embryonic stem cell research is quite familiar? Who is responsible?
Few years ago, Laura Dominquez, a young teenager got into a car accident when she drove over an oil spill. She was unfortunately paralyzed from the neck down. She was told she would never walk again.
Length: 2hr 43Min Director: Zack Snyder Producer: Warner Bros, Paramound Pictures, Legendary Pictures Featuring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Comedian), Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach) Malin Akerman (Silk Sceptre), Carla Gugino, Patrick Wilson (Nite Owl), Matthew Goode (Ozymandias), Billy Crudup (Dr. Manhattan) Story: Based on a Novel. In an alternate world based around 1985, Richard Nixon is president and the Cold War continues. A crime fighter named “The Comedian”, is killed when thrown off a building. Other fellow crime fighters rise to find his killer. The main characters are Rorschach, Dr. Manhattan, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre II and Ozymandias.
(Disclaimer: I have not watched this movie, this is just a collection of reviews from several websites quotes of reviewers.)
Watchmen came out March 6, 2009 in over 3,500 theaters. Another exciting comic book adaptation? State of the art CGI and faithful to original comic! Sounds exciting? Before you jump in with the family, here is the quick morality summary.