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Media themselves are not inherently good or bad: Research conducted around the world suggests that good-quality media products produced for children television and radio programmes, books, Internet sites, mobile-phone information services, public-education street-sign campaigns, puppet shows, dramas, etc.
For example, educational television has been proven to encourage school preparedness among preschoolers, to encourage early literacy and to teach specific school curricula effectively. This approach is strongly tied to the field of development communication, which systematically applies processes and strategies of communication to promote social development and change.
UNICEF has also experimented with developing creative materials through landmark projects including the Meena communication initiative in South Asia and Sara communication initiative developed in Africa to promote gender equality; supporting co-productions of local adaptations of Sesame Street in Mexico and Kosovo; and culturally specific series like The Magic Journey animation, Kyrgyzstan.
In this manner, the appeal and popularity of entertainment is used to bring about social change to promote well-being at individual and social levels 7.
Evaluating the effectiveness of such interventions is a complicated endeavour, as it depends to a large degree on the goals of the project and how one defines effectiveness.
For example, a project may serve to open people to think about an issue differently or to be more predisposed to messages about it. It can serve as Sexualisation of children role model, or attempt to influence norms by cultivating a different perspective on it.
Or it may change the framing of the perspective through which the issue is being viewed. See Prasad, and Singhal et al. Several valuable initiatives also exist that promote reading to young children specifically to improve their healthy development.
Reading to children from books that portray or promote healthy lifestyles strengthens the communication between them and their caregivers, supports their confidence and learning, enhances their language development and school readiness, and sustains literacy skills among older siblings and adults 8.
Still, there is always a need for further reflection and new thinking about better strategies in communicating with children that will help promote their well-being. Children watch television at the Samanthanpettai Rehabilitation Complex for families displaced by the tsunami At the same time that we find some success through new avenues of communication, there is also mounting evidence that media can have very negative influences on children and young people.
For example, routine violence on television, films and video games, which is common to media content around the globe, has been found to affect children at multiple levels: Media violence affects children differently, depending on their personalities, their gender, the nature of their home and social environments, and their life experiences.
A second and much researched area of negative effects relates to the short- and long-term influences of human stereotyping in media content.
Stereotypical images of boys as mainly violent and sexually lustful, or as rational leaders, primary problem solvers or more physically active and girls as mainly sexy and concerned with their appearance and with romance, and as gentle and emotional and in submissive and passive roles influence the way boys and girls develop their gender identities, their expectations from themselves and from the opposite sex, their self-confidence, their body image and their early sexual experiences The absence of fair representations of diversity of race, ethnicity, class, religion, disability, geography, age, etc.
The question of inclusion in media products is a central one. As media reflect who and what is of value in their societies, children and adults may ask: Do I see myself represented regularly? If not, what does thissay to me? If and when I do see myself, how am I portrayed, especially if I am a girl, disadvantaged, disabled, from a minority group, or living in an extremely vulnerable situation?
So many children in a variety of difficult circumstances rarely, if ever, see themselves reflected in the media. See for example Fisch, S. Sesame Street and beyond. Lawrence Erlbaum; Lemish, D.
See, for example, Singhal, A.
Entertainment-Education and social change: History, research, and practice. Print media for and about young children. An example from the Kyrgyz Republic. See in sources in endnote 1, and also, for example, Kamalipour, Y.
Media, sex, violence, and drugs in the global village. See in sources in endnote 1, and also, for example, Durham, M. The media sexualisation of young girls and what we can do about it.A prominent Melbourne psychologist has taken Age art critic Robert Nelson to task over his views on child nudity and art, accusing him of relying on "psychobabble" and discarded theories to back.
“Family Policy Institute was founded with the single minded objective of making the restoration. of marriage and the family the cornerstone of South African social policy.”. Sexualization (or sexualisation) is to make something sexual in character or quality, or to become aware of sexuality, especially in relation to men and women.
Corporate paedophilia: the sexualisation of children in Australia (discussion paper number 90). Canberra: The Australian Institute.
We’re still swimming in sexism. Here’s a quick exercise for you: grab a pen and paper, or open a document on a device. Briefly note down the ten or so kids’ television shows that you see or hear most of when you are around kids.
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