Percy Jackson vs. Transformers 3: Media influences on your boys. Which message do you prefer?

I came across two reviews of current media offerings directed at young boys, from the perspective of what they teach children about gender and stereotypes.The difference is stark. At Achilles Effect, Crystal Smith finds the Percy Jackson series by … [Read more...]

Mainstream retailer questions the gender police. I feel giddy.

Is J. Crew a subversive company that questions the cultural paradigm? Or was the decision to publish a photo of a mother painting her small son’s toenails hot pink a deliberate business decision designed to generate controversy and therefore free … [Read more...]

BOOK – Gender stereotypes: How boys are harmed by the media’s twisted portrayal of how to be a man

Book Review The Achilles Effect: What Pop Culture is Teaching Young Boys about MasculinityMy son picked up my copy of The Achilles Effect, by Crystal Smith, and started reading aloud about toy action figures that have bulked up to superhuman … [Read more...]

Skins: What MTV is saying to your kids, and why

MTV photo via New York TimesI made myself watch Skins on MTV last night. It's the latest offering from MTV causing alarm among parents and media watchers. It’s not the most unwatchable show ever, which surprised me, given the worthless drek that is … [Read more...]

Media literacy success at school

My son, R, was so eager to tell me that his Freshman Advisory teacher was going to do a unit about media literacy, and was using the documentary film “Consuming Kids,” that he couldn’t wait, and sent a text message from school. So we’ll leave the … [Read more...]

Research shows positive media images do a world of good

The hoopla over the degrading photos of Glee actresses in GQ magazine reminds me of a similar phenomenon in which female athletes pose nude for men's magazines. Elizabeth Daniels, a psychologist at the University of Oregon, has been studying how … [Read more...]

Not feeling Gleeful

Not sure I would call Glee a wholesome family show. A friend of mine  who watches Glee with her 14-year-old son said she was appalled by a scene in the episode with Britney Spears in which a boy was masturbating in an audience. Glee has plenty … [Read more...]

Protesting Sexualization: Young women say, "It’s not sexy!"

On Friday I was in New York for the SPARK Summit, a gathering of young women activists and their adult supporters. It was a treat to see so many teens speaking out against the barrage of sexualized images of females in tv programs, movies, video … [Read more...]

It came in through the mail slot

This piece of advertising entered my home uninvited this weekend, and that really annoyed me. I called the 800 number immediately and asked to be taken off the mailing list. And then, even though they didn’t ask, I told them why. We … [Read more...]

It’s so easy to block out prevailing cultural norms

This week, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement, Sexuality, Contraception, and the Media, that was published online and in the September print issue of the journal Pediatrics. The barrage of inappropriate and damaging exposure the … [Read more...]