I recently watched afternoon cartoons on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network and I was shocked to find a flood of highly gendered toy commercials. These ads not only market toys to children but it also promotes and encourages gender specific values that are very limiting to boys and girls in different ways. The values and skills promoted in these commercials can play a critical role in the socalization of youth and their development of emotional expression, conflict resolution, the confidence to pursue various careers and the ability to maintain healthy relationships as adults.
Related Links and Articles:
- Read Media Literacy, an article by Cynthia Peters discussing and analyzing media literacy programs and how we need to transform them and hold the media accountable.
- The Reel Grrls remix was made by Sahar & Diana, check out more remixes made by Reel Grrls participants here.
- Reel Grrls is an amazing after school program that teaches girls and young women video making skills in a safe and encouraging environment.
- Jonathan McIntosh is pop culture hacker who facilitates workshops that promote and teach critical media literacy through the use of remix video (You might also recognize him from his viral remixes Buffy vs Edward and Right Wing Radio Duck).
- Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood is an organization whose mission it is to reclaim childhood from corporate marketers. They are a coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups, parents, and individuals who are working to stop the commercial exploitation of children
- To learn more about what “Male Identified” and “Male Dominated” means read Allan G. Johnson’s The Gender Knot and check out articles and videos on his website agjohnson.us
- Links to statistics: Open Source Developers, Video Game Developers, Advertising bans in Quebec and Sweden, Number of ads viewed by youth and amount of money spent on advertising to youth.
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NOTE from Melanie Klein on additional articles related to gender socialization in childhood:
- Have Yourself A Very Sexist Holiday
- Scholastic Books Encourages Girls to Seek Glamour and Boys to Seek Adventure
- Step Aside, Princesses, Here Come the Boomerang Throwing Bronte Sisters
- Thinking Pink
- Gender Socialization in the Media From Childhood to Adulthood
- Sexy Girls, Sexual Boys
- Sexing Up Our Kids
- Gyrating 7-year-olds Gone Viral
- I Mean, Really?
- Toys Receiving Makeovers: New, Improved, Sexy?
- Baby Gaga: simple role playing or kiddie porn?
- Bethany Frankel Will Help Your Baby Lose Weight
- When Teachers Highlight Gender, Kids Pick Up Stereotypes
- Marketing, Media and Childhood: Research Shows Positive Images Do a World of Good
- Doll Parts: The “Barbie Executioner” Strikes Back