Legislation intended to counter effects of sexualization

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin

Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., with co-sponsor Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., introduced a bill on March 24 that is intended to help counter the effects on girls of sexualization in the media. The bill would provide funding for research, media literacy education, and to promote “healthy, balanced, and positive images” of girls and women in the media.

The congresswomen cite the Report of the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls in a press release announcing the bill.

“This report found that three of the most common mental health problems among girls — eating disorders, depression and low self-esteem — are linked to the sexualization of girls and women in the media,” said Gwendolyn Puryear Keita, APA’s executive director for public interest.

The measure, H.R. 4925, entitled the Healthy Media for Youth Act, has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Parents: Within the report, the APA provides some guidance on what parents can do to counter the negative sexual messages bombarding girls, and boys, daily.

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