Clamp Down On Sexualisation Call

Government intervention is needed to monitor children's exposure to sexual imagery in the media, a report has recommended.

Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, who filed her findings with the Home Office today, said an online 'one-stop' forum should be established to allow the public to raise concerns regarding marketing which sexualises children.

An onus should be placed on regulatory authorities to take action, Dr Papadopoulos said.

She recommended the Government supports the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) to take steps to extend the existing regulatory standards to include commercial websites.

A requirement on broadcasters to ensure provocative music videos featuring suggestive lyrics are only shown after the ‘watershed’ should also be imposed.

More support should be given to the NSPCC's campaign to ensure manufacturers and retailers show corporate responsibility with regard to sexualised merchandise.

Dr Papadopoulos said games consoles should be sold with parental controls already switched on. Purchasers can choose to ‘unlock’ the console if they wish to allow access to adult and online content.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said: "We know that parents are concerned about the pressures their children are under at a much younger age, which is why we have already committed to a number of the recommendations in this report.

"Changing attitudes will take time but it is essential if we are going to stop the sexualisation which contributes to violence against women and girls."

He said the Home Office would consider the full list of recommendations in more detail.

Dr Papadopoulos said: "Over the past few months I have spoken to many people including young people, parents, teachers and professionals and it is clear to me that this is a very emotive issue.

"I wanted to ensure that this was not an opinion piece, but a review based on real data and academic research which will help generate further debate and inform decisions about how to address these issues going forward."

Children's Minister Delyth Morgan said young people need to learn how to stay safe and resist inappropriate pressure in today's "complex and changing world".


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