Tag Archives: Dakota Fanning’s ‘Lolita’ perfume ad for Marc Jacobs is banned for ‘sexualising children’

Stanford University study: Sexualization of women in the tech world

21 Oct

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Eliana Dockterman reported in the Time article, How Using Sexy Female Avatars in Video Games Changes Women:

It’s not “just a game.”

The debate over whether we should worry about little boys playing violent video games never seems to die down. But maybe we should be fretting just as much about little girls playing those same games. Women who used sexy avatars to represent themselves in video games were more likely to objectify themselves in real life. Not only that, they were more likely to accept what’s called rape myth — i.e., the idea that a woman is in some way to blame for her rape — according to a Stanford study published on Oct. 11 in Computers and Human Behavior.

We’ve known for a long time that the oversexualization of women has a negative impact on the female psyche: one experiment asked women to try on either a bikini or a sweater; those who tried on a bikini reported feeling shame about their bodies and performed more poorly on a math test than their sweater-wearing counterparts. And studies have shown that sexualization of women in the media can negatively impact young girls’ body image. It’s for that very reason that moms worry about their daughters watching the Video Music Awards.

But playing Lara Croft — the wasp-waisted, impossibly large-breasted protagonist in the Tomb Raider video-game series who fights bad guys in an ever-so-practical tight tank top and short shorts — might be worse than watching Miley Cyrus twerking in a bikini. Researchers have demonstrated that embodying characters in virtual worlds has a stronger effect on gamers than just passively watching a character; game play can influence off-line beliefs, attitudes and action thanks to a phenomenon called the Proteus effect in which an individual’s behavior conforms to their digital identity.

And if your avatar resembles you (i.e., you’re playing with a dopplegänger), the game can make an even greater impression. Previous studies have shown playing with a dopplegänger can lead the user to replicate the dopplegänger’s eating patterns, experience physiological arousal or prefer a brand of product endorsed by the dopplegänger. Given that connection, this new study looked at whether embodying sexualized female avatars online changed women’s behavior.

The Stanford researchers asked 86 women ages 18 to 40 to play using either a sexualized (sexily dressed) avatar or a nonsexualized (conservatively dressed) avatar. Then, researchers designed some of those avatars to look like the player embodying them.

Those women who played using sexualized avatars who looked like them were more accepting of the rape myth, according to the study. After playing the game, women responded to many questions with answers along a five-point scale (from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”), including, “In the majority or rapes, the victim is promiscuous or has a bad reputation.” Those who played sexy avatars who looked like themselves were more likely to answer “agree” or “strongly agree” than those women who had nonsexy avatars who did not look like them.

Participants were also asked to freewrite their thoughts after the study. Those with sexualized avatars were more likely to self-objectify in their essays after play.
http://healthland.time.com/2013/10/14/how-using-sexy-female-avatars-in-video-games-changes-women/#ixzz2iO2AozzM

Here is the citation for the study:

Computers in Human Behavior The embodiment of sexualized virtual selves: The Proteus effect

and experiences of self-objectification via avatars

Jesse Fox⇑

, Jeremy N. Bailenson1

, Liz Tricase 2

Department of Communication, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94040, USA

http://vhil.stanford.edu/pubs/2013/fox-chb-sexualized-virtual-selves.pdf

Moi wrote in Sexualization of girls: A generation looking much too old for their maturity level:

Just ride the bus, go to the mall or just walk down a city street and one will encounter young girls who look like they are ten going on thirty. What’s going on with that? Moi wrote about the sexualization of girls in Study: Girls as young as six think of themselves as sex objects:

In Children too sexy for their years, moi said:

Maybe, because some parents may not know what is age appropriate for their attire, they haven’t got a clue about what is appropriate for children. There is nothing sadder than a 40 something, 50 something trying to look like they are twenty. What wasn’t sagging when you are 20, is more than likely than not, sagging now.

Kristen Russell Dobson, the managing editor of Parent Map, has a great article in Parent Map. In Are Girls Acting Sexy Too Young?

http://www.parentmap.com/article/are-girls-acting-sexy-too-young

The culture seems to be sexualizing children at an ever younger age and it becomes more difficult for parents and guardians to allow children to just remain, well children, for a bit longer. Still, parents and guardians must do their part to make sure children are in safe and secure environments. A pole dancing fourth grader is simply unacceptable.

Moi loves fashion and adores seeing adult looks on adults. Many 20 and 30 somethings prefer what I would charitably call the “slut chic” look. This look is questionable fashion taste, in my opinion, but at least the look involves questionable taste on the part of adults as to how they present themselves to the public. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/children-too-sexy-for-their-years/

https://drwilda.com/tag/study-girls-as-young-as-6-are-thinking-of-selves-as-sex-objects/

Steve Biddulph wrote in the Daily Mail article, The corruption of a generation: In a major Mail series, a renowned psychologist argues that our daughters are facing an unprecedented crisis… sexualisiation from primary school age:

Over the past few years, I’ve discussed the issue of modern girlhood with numerous friends and colleagues, and everyone has observed the same phenomenon: girls are simply growing up too fast.

To put it bluntly, our 18 is their 14. Our 14 is their 10. Never before has girlhood been under such a sustained assault — from ads, alcohol marketing, girls’ magazines, sexually explicit TV programmes and the hard pornography that’s regularly accessed in so many teenagers’ bedrooms.

The result is that many girls effectively lose four years of crucial development, which may take years in therapy to retrieve. Meanwhile, these girls are filling our mental clinics, police stations and hospitals in unprecedented numbers. Not only that, but having sex with lots of different boys is not good for their bodies. Levels of sexual infections are soaring — including chlamydia, which may affect their fertility.

Less well-known is the fact that the rapid surge in the numbers of girls who perform oral sex is leading to a far greater incidence of mouth and throat cancers.

So why are so many girls succumbing to sexual pressures? And what can we, as parents, do to protect our daughters from the very real perils of our modern world?

The first thing to be said is that the current generation is, at least in one unenviable sense, utterly unique: it’s the first to grow up exposed to hard-core pornography.

Sexting: Girls as young as ten years old are now sending sexual images of themselves on their phones (picture posed by models)

In a recent survey, 53 per cent of girls under 13 reported that they had watched or seen porn. By the age of 16, that figure rose to 97 per cent.

‘My child wouldn’t go looking for porn,’ you may say. But your child doesn’t have to be looking: porn will find them….

SOME TOP TIPS ON HOW TO KEEP YOUR DAUGHTERS SAFE

Remove all digital media from your daughter’s bedroom, including the TV. Have a rule that all members of the family charge and leave their phones in the kitchen each night.

Make sure she’s using the maximum privacy settings online. Some parents make it a condition that for a child to have an account on social media, she must have you as a ‘friend’.

Know the rules. Children aren’t supposed to have a Facebook account until they’re 13. They may feel left out, but you need to be firm.

Either download or have devices installed on your home computers that filter out porn. Ask your daughter to use her computer only in the kitchen, study or living room.

Set limits on time allowed for social networking.

Keep the channels of communication open, so that if your daughter sees something online which distresses her, she won’t be ashamed to tell you about it. If you suspect that your daughter is visiting sites that are harmful, raise it with her. Intervene.

Know the law. If an 18-year-old posts sexualised images of younger people, he or she is at risk of criminal charges.

Never snoop around in your daughter’s bedroom — but do check her phone if you suspect she’s being sent sexual texts or images. Sexting is public behaviour, because anyone can view images or texts and pass them on. And parents have a better understanding of the possible consequences. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2264781/Corrupting-generation-In-new-major-Mail-series-renowned-psychologist-Steve-Biddulph-argues-daughters-facing-unprecedented-crisis.html#ixzz2IRmlHbbz

http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/sexualization-of-girls-a-generation-looking-much-too-old-for-their-maturity-level/

Here is the press release from Stanford about the study;

Stanford Report, October 10, 2013

Sexualized avatars affect the real world, Stanford researchers find

A Stanford study shows that after women wear sexualized avatars in a virtual reality world, they feel objectified and are more likely to accept rape myths in the real world. The research could have implications for the role of female characters in video games.

BY CYNTHIA MCKELVEY

Researchers at Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab are delving into questions posed by sexualized depictions of women in video games.

Specifically, do female players who use provocatively dressed avatars begin to see themselves more as objects and less as human beings? Jeremy Bailenson, the director of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford, has found a way to use virtual reality to answer that question.

This and other issues take on real-world significance as the numbers of female video game players rise despite the industry’s general lack of relatable female characters and as notoriously violent video games (such as the popular Rockstar Games series, Grand Theft Auto V) continue their rise in popularity.

“We often talk about video game violence and how it affects people who play violent video games,” Bailenson said. “I think it’s equally important to think about sexualization.”

Bailenson is particularly interested in the Proteus Effect: how the experience of acting in a virtual body, known as an avatar, changes people’s behavior in both the virtual and real worlds. For example, when someone wears an avatar that is taller than his actual self, he will act more confidently. People who see the effects of exercise on their bodies in the virtual world will exercise more in the real world.

Proteus Effect and sexualization

Bailenson and co-author Jesse Fox published a research paper in the journal Computers in Human Behavior that examined how becoming a sexualized avatar affected women’s perceptions of themselves. Participants donned helmets that blocked out the real world, immersing them in a virtual world of 3-D sight and sound. Motion sensors on their wrists and ankles allowed for the lab’s many infrared cameras to record their motions as they moved identically in both worlds.

Once in the new world, each participant looked in a virtual mirror and saw herself or another woman, dressed provocatively or conservatively. The avatar’s movements in the mirror perfectly copied the participant’s actual physical movements, allowing her to truly feel as if she occupied that body.

The researchers then introduced a male accomplice into the virtual world to talk to the participant. What seemed like a normal, get-to-know-you conversation was actually an assessment of how much the women viewed themselves as objects. Women “wearing” the sexualized avatars bearing their likenesses talked about their bodies, hair and dress more than women in the other avatars, suggesting that they were thinking of themselves more as objects than as people.

After their time in the virtual world, the participants filled out a questionnaire rating how much they agreed with various statements. Bailenson and Fox folded rape myths such as “in the majority of rapes, the victim is promiscuous or has a bad reputation” into the questionnaire. Participants rated how much they agreed or disagreed with the statements.

The participants who had worn the sexualized avatars tended to agree with rape myths more than the women who had worn the non-sexualized avatars. Women in sexualized avatars whose faces resembled their own agreed with the myths more than anyone else in the study.

Becoming the protagonist

The Entertainment Software Association estimates that across mobile, PC and console platforms, 45 percent of American gamers are female. But few game titles feature female protagonists. In many popular games in this fast-growing industry, female characters are in the minority; more often than not, they are sexualized.

Many female gamers assert that gaming culture is not welcoming to women. The websitenotinthekitchenanymore.com collects user-submitted accounts of sexual harassment women experience in online platforms such as Xbox Live. When women critique sexism in games and gamer culture, they are often dismissed or even bullied. Pop-culture critic Anita Sarkeesian faced a barrage of cyber-bullying – including threats of rape and death – for announcing a project examining common tropes of female characters in video games.

Some gamers maintain that virtual worlds and the real world remain mutually exclusive, but the research by Bailenson and Fox suggests differently. “It changes the way you think about yourself online and offline,” Bailenson said. “It used to be passive and you watched the characters. You now enter the media and become the protagonist. You become the characters.”

Cynthia McKelvey is an intern at the Stanford News Service

Media Contact

Dan Stober, Stanford News Service: (650) 721-6965, dstober@stanford.edu

Dr. Wilda has been just saying for quite a while.

Resources

Popwatch’s Miley Cyrus Pole Dance Video

http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/08/10/miley-cyrus-pole-dancing-at-the-teen-choice-awards-rather-unfortunate-yes/

Baby Center Blog Comments About Miley Cyrus Pole Dance

http://blogs.babycenter.com/celebrities/billy-ray-cyrus-defends-mileys-artistic-pole-dancing/

The Sexualization of Children

http://www.tellinitlikeitis.net/2009/03/the-sexualization-of-children-and-adolescents-epidemic.html

Related:

Let’s speak the truth: Values and character training are needed in schools

http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/lets-speak-the-truth-values-and-character-training-are-needed-in-schools/

Do ‘grown-ups’ have to be reminded to keep their clothes on in public? Apparently so

http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/do-grown-ups-have-to-be-reminded-to-keep-their-clothes-on-in-public-apparently-so/

Where information leads to Hope. ©Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

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Dr. Wilda Reviews ©

http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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Study: Girls as young as six think of themselves as sex objects

18 Jul

In Children too sexy for their years, moi said:

Maybe, because some parents may not know what is age appropriate for their attire, they haven’t got a clue about what is appropriate for children. There is nothing sadder than a 40 something, 50 something trying to look like they are twenty. What wasn’t sagging when you are 20, is more than likely than not, sagging now.

Kristen Russell Dobson, the managing editor of Parent Map, has a great article in Parent Map. In Are Girls Acting Sexy Too Young?  Dobson says:

A 2003 analysis of TV sitcoms found gender harassment in nearly every episode. Most common: jokes about women’s sexuality or women’s bodies, and comments that characterized women as sex objects. And according to the 2007 Report of the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls, “Massive exposure to media among youth creates the potential for massive exposure to portrayals that sexualize women and girls and teach girls that women are sexual objects.”

Those messages can be harmful to kids because they make sex seem common — even normal — among younger and younger kids. In So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids, co-authors Diane E. Levin, Ph.D., and Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., write that “sex in commercial culture has far more to do with trivializing and objectifying sex than with promoting it, more to do with consuming than with connecting. The problem is not that sex as portrayed in the media is sinful, but that it is synthetic and cynical.”

http://www.parentmap.com/article/are-girls-acting-sexy-too-young

The culture seems to be sexualizing children at an ever younger age and it becomes more difficult for parents and guardians to allow children to just remain, well children, for a bit longer. Still, parents and guardians must do their part to make sure children are in safe and secure environments. A pole dancing fourth grader is simply unacceptable.

The most recent example of the culture sexualizing women involves starlet, Dakota Fanning. Sean Poulter is reporting in the Daily Mail article, Dakota Fanning’s ‘Lolita’ perfume ad for Marc Jacobs is banned for ‘sexualising children’

A perfume advertisement featuring teen actress Dakota Fanning has been banned on the basis it appeared to ‘sexualise a child’.

The actress is 17, but she looked younger in the magazine ad for ‘Oh Lola!’, where she was sitting on the floor with the perfume bottle between her thighs.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2059097/Dakota-Fannings-sexually-provocative-perfume-ad-banned.html#ixzz1dImHgIQP

Moi loves fashion and adores seeing adult looks on adults. Many 20 and 30 somethings prefer what I would charitably call the “slut chic” look. This look is questionable fashion taste, in my opinion, but at least the look involves questionable taste on the part of adults as to how they present themselves to the public. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/children-too-sexy-for-their-years/

Jennifer Abbasi reports about a study conducted by Christi Starr and Gail Ferguson in the LiveScience article, Why 6-Year-Old Girls Want to Be Sexy:

Most girls as young as 6 are already beginning to think of themselves as sex objects, according to a new study of elementary school-age kids in the Midwest.

Researchers have shown in the past that women and teens think of themselves in sexually objectified terms, but the new study is the first to identify self-sexualization in young girls. The study, published online July 6 in the journal Sex Roles, also identified factors that protect girls from objectifying themselves.

Psychologists at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., used paper dolls to assess self-sexualization in 6- to 9-year-old girls. Sixty girls were shown two dolls, one dressed in tight and revealing “sexy” clothes and the other wearing a trendy but covered-up, loose outfit.

Most girls as young as 6 are already beginning to think of themselves as sex objects, according to a new study of elementary school-age kids in the Midwest.

Researchers have shown in the past that women and teens think of themselves in sexually objectified terms, but the new study is the first to identify self-sexualization in young girls. The study, published online July 6 in the journal Sex Roles, also identified factors that protect girls from objectifying themselves.

Psychologists at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., used paper dolls to assess self-sexualization in 6- to 9-year-old girls. Sixty girls were shown two dolls, one dressed in tight and revealing “sexy” clothes and the other wearing a trendy but covered-up, loose outfit. Using a different set of dolls for each question, the researchers then asked each girl to choose the doll that: looked like herself, looked how she wanted to look, was the popular girl in school, she wanted to play with. http://www.livescience.com/21609-self-sexualization-young-girls.html

See, Study: Girls As Young As 6 Are Thinking Of Selves As Sex Objects http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/07/18/study-girls-as-young-as-6-are-thinking-of-selves-as-sex-objects/

Citation:

Journal Article

Sexy Dolls, Sexy Grade-Schoolers? Media & Maternal Influences on Young Girls’ Self-Sexualization

Christine R. Starr and Gail M. Ferguson

Sex Roles, Online First™, 6 July 2012

Concern is often expressed that mass media contribute to the early sexualization of young girls; however, few empirical studies have explored the topic. Using paper dolls, we examined self-sexualization among sixty 6–9 year-old girls from the Midwestern United States; specifically self-identification, preference, and attributions regarding sexualized dress. Based on simultaneous maternal reports, we also investigated potential risk factors (media consumption hours, maternal self-objectification) and potential protective factors (maternal television mediation, maternal religiosity) for young girls’ sexualization. Findings support social cognitive theory/social learning theory and reveal nuanced moderated effects in addition to linear main effects. Girls overwhelmingly chose the sexualized doll over the non-sexualized doll for their ideal self and as popular; however, dance studio enrollment, maternal instructive TV mediation, and maternal religiosity reduced those odds. Surprisingly, the mere quantity of girls’ media consumption (tv and movies) was unrelated to their self-sexualization for the most part; rather, maternal self-objectification and maternal personal religiosity moderated its effects.

The Girl Scouts of America has some great suggestions for dealing with a reality television world.

Here are suggestions from Girls Scouts Research about how parents can talk to their children about reality television

Tips for Parents

Real to me: Girls and Reality TV/ Girl Scout Research Institute

Reality TV is a popular form of entertainment for young people today. While this may seem like a benign phenomenon, our research suggests that girls who view reality TV on a regular basis are impacted signifi­cantly on personal and social levels. Regular viewers seem to have more extreme expectations of how the world works and relate to their peers differently than do those who don’t watch as much. Reality TV can also serve as a learning tool, inspire families to explore new interests and activities, and encourage young people to get involved in social causes.

Tip #1: TV watching is the number-one activity for girls, but they don’t necessarily want it to be this way. Use this opportunity to create alternatives for your entire family….

The good news is that girls would like to spend their time differently. Ninety percent of girls would rather spend an hour hanging out with friends than an hour watching their favorite TV show, and 84% would rather spend an hour doing a fun activity. This finding is similar to one from the GSRI study on social media, which found that even though girls today communicate profusely through the computer and/or their mobile devices, most prefer in-person time with friends….

You can even think about ways you can use what you see on TV to get the family interested in other things. For instance:

o Try out a recipe seen on a cooking program.

o Explore a place—through books or the computer, or in person—inhabited or visited by characters in a program you like.

o Engage in a fun family activity seen on a favorite show.

Put effort into demonstrating that face-to-face communication and enjoyable activities are important in your family, and you’ll create a healthier balance between TV and other things family members like to do.

Tip #2: Reality TV is here to stay, but not all shows are created equal. Be mindful of the type of reality TV your daughter is consuming, consider watching with her, and use the shows as learning tools and conversation starters….

Our study suggests that competition-based shows (American Idol, Project Runway, etc.) and makeover shows (The Biggest Loser, Extreme Home Makeover, etc.) have the most potential for inspiring conversa­tions with parents and friends, making girls feel like anything is possible, and helping girls realize that there are people out there like them. These shows have an educational and awareness-based component, portraying new ideas and perspectives; increasing girls’ exposure to people with different backgrounds, values, and beliefs; and teaching girls things they might not have learned otherwise. Makeover shows in particular raise awareness about important social issues and causes….

o Did your daughter relate to the characters or scenarios?

o What did she think about the situations portrayed? Does she have any questions?

o What did she agree or disagree with? What is the most valuable thing she came away with?

o Is she inspired by what she saw? What inspires her?

o Does x-show encourage new passions or thoughts about what she wants to be when she

grows up?

.By being mindful of the variety of reality programs that exists and monitoring/participating in what your daughter is watching, you are in a better place to inspire conversation and learning.

Tip #3: Talk about the differences between reality TV and actual reality.

This is especially true of girls who watch reality TV regularly. These girls are more likely to be comfortable with gossiping, feel that girls have to compete for a boy’s attention, and say it’s natural for girls to be catty and competitive with one another than are girls who watch reality TV less frequently. They are also less likely to trust other girls and to place more value on being mean and/or lying to get ahead.

What girls don’t often recognize is that much of what they consider “real” is actually scripted. In the Girl Scout Leadership Journey MEdia, TV producer Melissa Freeman Fuller shares that crew members often feed lines to participants, set up situations, and edit shots to make things seem more dramatic and inter­esting.* As an adult, you may be able to distinguish between reality and scripted TV and to take the latter with a grain of salt, but young people are more impressionable and perhaps believing in and mimicking these behaviors….

o Does your daughter find herself mimicking the negative behaviors depicted or is she totally turned off by them?

o Does she assume this is just the way the world works?

o Does she know a lot of people who depict these behaviors?

o What are some ways she might react differently that could produce a better outcome?

…Because girls so often think that what they see in reality TV programs is an accurate portrait of real life, it is imperative that you discuss the differences between the two. If shows don’t reflect your daughter’s reality, encourage her to create media that does.* [Emphasis Added]

Tip #4: Encourage your daughter to look beyond the mirror.

Girls who regularly view reality TV are focused on the importance of physical appearance and more likely to think that a girl’s value is based on this, and it’s a shame, because of course girls have so much more to offer the world than their looks. Make sure your daughter knows this. Compliment her on her talents and praise her for her values or willingness to try new things. Encourage her to pursue interests that are not based on improving her looks….

Tip #5: Model healthy relationships.

One of the more troubling findings of this study is that reality TV shows seem to promote questionable behavior, appearing to compel girls to act out stereotypes like being catty and competitive and fighting among themselves for guys’ attention. Girls understand that reality shows depict unhealthy relationships, but they don’t always understand that these kinds of behaviors aren’t and don’t need to be the norm. As long as girls think that other girls can’t be trusted and that it’s necessary to fight and beat out others in order to “win” the affection of a romantic interest, they will continue to engage in actions like those above.

Girls need to believe that they can trust one another and that not all girls are out there to hurt others through relational aggression, bullying, and other detrimental behaviors. As a parent, keep your eye out for potential harmful behaviors between your daughter and her friends/peers. Promote healthy relationships and prevent gossiping in your own life so that your daughter has a model of healthy relating to look to. Think about groups or places in which your daughter can build positive relationships, such as Girl Scouts, and encourage her to develop these relationships with her peers.

Tip #6: Keep girls grounded.

Some reality shows feature characters competing for a prize, be it fame, fortune, or status, and in some cases these characters choose to lie, cheat, or be mean along the way. Regular reality TV viewers are more likely than their non-viewing counterparts to internalize this and believe that one has to do these things in order to get ahead in life.

As well, many girls want to become famous—more so now than in years past. While it’s encouraging that girls have high hopes for their futures, it’s important they don’t go overboard to become noticed and recognized. Becoming famous often means focusing on external beauty and acting out; it’s critical that girls remain grounded and in possession of the positive values instilled in them by family and other healthy influences. Continue to encourage your daughter to cultivate such internal assets as assertiveness, confi­dence, individuality, and creativity; she’ll go far. More information on the research cited here can be found at www.girlscouts.org/research.

Dr. Wilda has been just saying for quite a while.

Resources

  1. Popwatch’s Miley Cyrus Pole Dance Video

  2. Baby Center Blog Comments About Miley Cyrus Pole Dance

  3. The Sexualization of Children

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©