||11th May 2014 |
Banning unsuitable images or music is far worse than seeing the odd photo of a topless model. By Joanna Williams
article from spiked-online.com
A reasoned and well researched report covering the issues usually monopolised by campaigners and moralists
|18th December 2013
See The Sexualisation Report 2013 [pdf] from
thesexualizationreport.files.wordpress.com by Feona Attwood, Clare Bale and Meg Barker
From the introductory sections of the report:
People are worried about sexualization; about children becoming sexual at too young an age; about the ways in which women may be being defined by their sexuality; and about
the availability and potential effects of online pornography, to name but a few of the often repeated concerns.
The word sexualization has been used to mean many things and to refer to a wide range of issues. This report
aims to summarize what is known -- and not yet known -- on each of the main areas of concern.
The term sexualization was virtually non-existent in news headlines in 2005, but since then it has been widely used.
Sexualization has become a political and policy issue; the topic of several significant reports and of comment by leading politicians.
The contributors to this report are conscious of the inaccurate and sometimes sensationalist
information that often circulates publicly about sexualization, not only in media and popular books, but also in policy reports, statements by politicians and other public figures, as well as in some academic work.
Our aim is to
set out clearly what current good research tells us about these issues, and make clear what is known and what is not known or is unclear.
The report addresses the wide range of issues relating to sex, sexuality and sexual health
and wellbeing that seem to underpin public anxieties that are now commonly expressed as concerns about sexualization . These include STIs, pregnancy, addiction, dysfunction, violence, abuse, sex work, sexual practices, different forms of
sexuality, medicalization, commerce, media and popular culture.
||9th November 2013 |
Mediasnoops ask if the Guardian is backing off from its recent 'Ban this filth' editorial line that has been indistinguishable from the Daily Mail
article from theguardian.com
Oops! my mistake, it's from the Guardian. It's hard to tell the difference these days
||17th July 2013 |
See article from
The Guardian introduces an article from Zoe Williams:
The pornification of Britain's high streets: why enough is enough
Magazines with naked women on the cover sit next to kids' comics in
newsagents. Scantily clad models are draped across the nation's billboards. We asked readers to send photos showing how sexual images have invaded the high street
Of course the reality is that the advert censor has been banning
anything remotely sexy on billboards and the Guardian gender extremists have scoured the country for probably one example that has escaped the clutches of the censors is in a shop window rather than a billboard anyway.
And then of course there is
the fundamental issue that society seems to be surviving pretty well with crime generally on the decrease. Definitely infinitely better than any society that lets bullies and moralists censor the very existence of sexuality from society.
Comment: When Right-Wing Conservatives Approve Of Something In The Guardian You Know There's Something Wrong
See comment from mediasnoops2.wordpress.com
This is yet more evidence of
how The Guardian is turning into the Daily Mail when it comes to sexual imagery. This type of moral panic about porn being everywhere on our high street is the type of thing regularly seen in the Mail yet it's in a liberal newspaper.
...read the full comment
So why are crime rates falling? And why is life continuing pretty much as before?
|24th May 2013
The Office of the Children's Commissioner for England is calling for urgent action to develop children's resilience to pornography following a research report it commissioned which found that: a significant number of children access pornography; it
influences their attitudes towards relationships and sex; it is linked to risky behaviour such as having sex at a younger age; and there is a correlation between holding violent attitudes and accessing more violent media.
report published today by the Office of the Children's Commissioner, Basically... porn is everywhere: A Rapid Evidence Assessment on the Effects that Access and Exposure to Pornography has on Children and Young People also found that:
Children and young people's exposure and access to pornography occurs both on and offline but in recent years the most common method of access is via internet enabled technology Exposure and access to pornography increases with age
Accidental exposure to pornography is more prevalent than deliberate access There are gender differences in exposure and access to pornography with boys more likely to be exposed to and deliberately access, seek or use pornography than girls.
It concludes that there are still many unanswered questions about the affect exposure to pornography has on children: a situation the Office of the Children's Commissioner considers requires urgent action in an age where extreme
violent and sadistic imagery is two clicks away.
The report is based on a review of published evidence led by Middlesex University in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire, Canterbury Christ Church University and
University of Kent, supplemented by a focus group of young people. The researchers identified 41,000 items of academic literature about pornography undertaking an in-depth analysis of 276 to draw its conclusions.
welcomes the work being done by Claire Perry, MP on internet controls, in her role as advisor to the Prime Minister. It makes a series of recommendations in addition to carrying out further research as follows:
The Department for Education should ensure that all schools understand the importance of, and deliver, effective relationship and sex education which must include safe use of the internet. A strong and unambiguous message to this
effect should be sent to all education providers including: all state funded schools including academies; maintained schools; independent schools; faith schools; and further education colleges.
The Department for Education
should ensure curriculum content on relationships and sex education covers access and exposure to pornography, and sexual practices that are relevant to young people's lives and experiences, as a means of building young people's resilience. This is
sensitive, specialist work that must be undertaken by suitably qualified professionals, for example, specialist teachers, youth workers or sexual health practitioners.
The Department for Education should rename sex and
relationship education (SRE) to relationship and sex education (RSE) to place emphasis on the importance of developing healthy, positive, respectful relationships.
The Government, in partnership with internet
service providers, should embark on a national awareness-raising campaign, underpinned by further research, to better inform parents, professionals and the public at large about the content of pornography and young people's access of, and exposure to
such content. This should include a message to parents about their responsibilities affording both children and young people greater protection and generating a wider debate about the nature of pornography in the 21st century and its potential impact.
Through the commitments made to better protect girls and young women from gender-based violence in the ending violence against women and girls action plan, the Home Office and the Department for Education should commission
further research into the safeguarding implications of exposure and/or access to pornography on children and young people, particularly in relation to their experiences of teenage relationship abuse and peer exploitation.
Home Office should incorporate the findings of this report into the ongoing teen abuse campaign. Future activity on this workstream should reflect young people's exposure to violent sexualised imagery within their peer groups and relationships.
The Youth Justice Board should include questions on exposure and access to pornography within the revised ASSET assessment tool, to better inform understanding of possible associations with attitudes and behaviour and improve the
targeting of interventions for young people displaying violent, or sexually harmful, behaviours.
|11th April |
Daily Mail run the expected nonsense article supporting Big Brother Dave's call for age classifications
for internet music videos. By Sonia Poulton
See article from
|8th April |
Reportedly he wants music videos on the internet to be subject to age verification
Thanks to Sergio
See article from telegraph.co.uk
It is understood the Prime Minister is considering new rules that would oblige websites hosting such videos to introduce robust age verification systems similar to those used to safeguard children online gambling.
Music videos are currently exempt
from BBFC censorship under the Video Recordings Act 2010. There are currently no legal restrictions on children downloading music videos of any kind.
The Prime Minister is understood to be disappointed with the music video industry's
response to a Government report that whinged about sexualisation of childhood.
Cameron is to summon leading figures in the music video and social media world to Downing Street for a summit next month and threaten censorial new laws if more
is not done to protect children.
Campaigners claim there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of sexual content and explicit language in music videos which can be accessed by very young children on computers and mobile phones.
200 million videos are watched each month on Vevo, a music video website popular amongst the young. Although MTV, and other television channels, censor sexual content before the 9pm watershed the same is impractical for video-sharing websites.
Music videos were singled out for strong criticism in Let Children be Children, a Downing Street commissioned report written by anti-sexualisation campaigner Reg Bailey, head of the Mothers Union, a Church of England campaign group.
The government also remains 'concerned' by the style and promotion of so-called Lads' mags , such as Loaded, FHM and Nuts. This industry is also set to be called in to Downing Street over the summer to be asked what steps they are
taking to protect children.
There is likely to be strong opposition to Government restrictions on accessing music videos online. Rio Caraeff, the chief executive of Vevo, has said that age ratings are unnecessary and would be difficult to enforce.
Vevo has claimed the move would be bad for business and would cut the royalties earned by some acts.
|28th February |
Credos surveys public opinion with regard to adverts banned by the easily offended ASA
ASA: likely to cause serious or widespread offence
The people:. Eye-catching, harmless, light-hearted,
funny and suitable for the product
Credos which styles itself as an advertising think tank has published a report for the trade group, the Outdoor Media Centre examining the public offensiveness of some of the more controversial outdoor advertising campaigns.
The report, Public Attitudes Towards Outdoor Advertising
, found that outdoor advertising is bottom on the list of offensive advert formats that the public are exposed to, with the internet; rap music; music videos; computer games and TV all being rated higher.
Credos asked 1051 GB adults aged 16-64
what they thought of twelve outdoor ads, four of which were banned by the ASA, with the other eight having received complaints.
It was found that while some ads provoked a strong emotional reaction, the public are generally unlikely to consider an
advert so offensive that they would complain about it.
Respondents were asked to choose key words to describe each ad, out of the following list: funny, light-hearted, suitable for the product, harmless, depends on location and eye-catching. Harmless
was the word used most often.
The perfect 10 ad for a gentlemen's club was found to be the ad which offended the most people, (31% of all adults) with inappropriate, vulgar, rude, eye-catching and sexist the top five words used to describe it.
|22nd November |
Head nutter of the Girls' Schools Association berates parents for not following her miserable brand of morality
See article from
Letting youngsters dress up in mini-me sexy clothing is a sign of our society's eroded moral values, according to Dr Helen Wright.
Treating girls in this way is intensely wrong , according to Wright , who is head nutter of the
Girls' Schools Association.
But she reckons that parents who don't follow her particular brand of miserable morality are not entirely to blame. [There's also Rihanna's performance on X-Factor to blame].
Wright reckons that parents
themselves have been failed by a poor education, lacking in the teaching of moral standards, so they are unable to see that 'sexy' is wrong.
Wright pre-empted her speech, set for today's GSA conference, in a press release. She will say:
There are all these images in magazines and TV -- if you're bombarded with that, you're going to think it's normal, and actually it's not. It's becoming twisted.
Some parents have been so deprived
in their own lives of education and values that they no longer know right from wrong, and that they are, as a result, unwittingly 'indulging' children in some parallel universe where it is acceptable to let young children wear make-up and provocative
If parents can't see anything wrong in dressing up their children in 'Future WAG' T-shirts and letting them wear make-up, high heels and mini-me sexy clothing, then something is intensely wrong in our society'
I have no doubt that these are the parents who have been failed by the education system themselves. They have grown up without any respect for their elders or any idea of how to bring up a child.
And if you're not
entirely sated of Daily Mail nutter nonsense, then there's more at How our
children have been sold a sexualised ideal of achievement from dailymail.co.uk
|16th October |
New ASA advertising guidelines would make Saudi Arabia proud
9th October 2011.
See article from asa.org.uk
See also ASA statement on sexual imagery in outdoor advertising [pdf] from
Miserable new advertising rules have been revealed to further restrict public billboard adverts.
Some sexy advertising hoardings will be banned from public display altogether, while any put up within 100 yards of schools will have to pass even
stricter new codes designed to remove supposedly sexualised imagery.
The move means clothing and perfume companies particularly face further restrictions on how they promote their products in the new guidelines from the Advertising Standards
The move comes ahead of a Downing Street summit this week between David Cameron and sexualisation campaigners. Banning sexy billboard adverts near schools was one of a number of recommendations made in May this year following a
Government-commissioned review by Reg Bailey, chief executive of the Mothers' Union.
Billboards will still be allowed to carry posters of models wearing bikinis, they will not be allowed to show them in poses that are deemed to be sexually
suggestive. This will cover everything from images of stockings and suspenders to poses where the legs are parted or even hands are placed on hips.
Posters which show sexually suggestive pictures will be subject to placement restriction
, and the guidelines warn this could include images where a couple are fully clothed, but in a passionate clinch . Overtly sexual images will not be acceptable for any use in public. This could include ads which draw undue attention
to body parts, such as breasts or buttocks, in a sexual way , the ASA warns.
Bailey, claimed the move was a crucial step in trying to reduce children's exposure to indecent images and curbing the rise in consumerism:
Now more than ever we need to look at ourselves as a society and at all the things that give value to our lives. What we are seeing is that companies are concentrating their energies on working together to change industry practices
and ultimately create a more family friendly society. I hope this is the start of getting children to see themselves as rounded human beings rather than just as consumers.
A spokesman for the Advertising Association said:
All advertising has to take account of what society thinks is decent. We're giving the recommendations our full support.
Update: UK ASA now more prudish than South
16th October 2011. See article from bizcommunity.com
Commenting on the ASA UK statement, Gail Schimmel, director of Clear Copy, a South African marketing regulation advisory service, said:
The South African ASA has been fairly permissive in the imagery that it
allows on outdoor advertising. It will be interesting to see if a change in the international approach has any effect on how the local ASA considers these matters.
She adds that certain images identified by the UK ASA as unacceptable
are images that the South African ASA would allow. I would be sorry to see a move towards an overly conservative approach, but we also have to remain in touch with the acceptable norms of the rest of the world.
|14th October |
New ASA advertising guidelines banning anything sexy for outdoor adverts
See ASA statement on sexual imagery in
outdoor advertising [pdf] from asa.org.uk
Advertising censors at the ASA have
provided examples of new rules to pander to those blaming all of society's ills on sexy images in the media.
Suitable for all outdoor locations.
Images that are not sexual, or no more than mildly sexual
Example. The model is wearing a bikini and holding a pose which is unlikely to be considered to be sexually suggestive. Images
in outdoor ads similar to these are likely to remain acceptable on the basis that they are no more than mildly sexual.
Suitable for outdoor locations but not near schools
Images that are sexually
The woman is shown with her legs astride, drawing attention to her groin area.
Such images in ads might be acceptable in some locations but are likely to require a placement restriction, preventing them from being placed in
locations of particular relevance to children.
Unacceptable for outdoor advertising
Overtly sexual images
Some advertisements may not be suitable for general outdoor display, irrespective of a placement restriction. The woman in lingerie pulls down the side of her
knickers and bra strap in an overtly sexual and seductive way.
Advertisers should be particularly cautious about the imagery they use to advertise gentlemen's clubs or sex shops because the ASA consider that the public responds differently to
those images in light of the product or service offered rather than the content of the advert.
The ASA also list some of the characteristics that may be sexually suggestive or overtly sexual:
- Poses suggestive of a sexual position: the parting of the legs, accentuation of the hip etc.
- Amorous or sexually passionate facial expressions
- Exposure of breasts, including partial
- Poses such as hands on the hips, gripping
of hair in conjunction with a sexually suggestive facial expression
- Images of touching oneself in a sexual manner, such as stroking the legs or holding/gripping the breasts
- Suggestion in facial or bodily expression of an orgasm
Images of suggestive undressing, such as pulling down a bra strap or knickers
- Ads which draw undue attention to body parts, such as breasts or buttocks, in a sexual way
- Ads which show people in poses emulating a sexual position or
alluding to sexual activity
- Overtly sexual lingerie such as stockings, suspenders or paraphernalia such as whips and chains.
|11th October |
UK government to solve all society's ills with internet blocking and a website for parental complaints
See article from telegraph.co.uk
article from dailymail.co.uk
See also parentport.org.uk
The government has set up a website for parents, guardians and carers to either complain about something they see as inappropriate for children, or else just to pass on their opinions.
parentport.org.uk website points out that it is only for parents, guardians and carers, so it will inevitably be one sided ,and now doubt pander to those who shout loudest about
the easiest offence.
Complaints to ParentPort will be allocated to the appropriate censors who are taking part, namely:
- BBC Trust
- Press Complaints Commission
David Cameron in a press release said:
Parents will be able to report products, television programmes or other services which promote images of a sexual or risque nature to young children to a new whistleblowing
The move also comes as the four big ISPs reveal that they will in future offer customers an active choice, at the point of purchase, of blocking adult content. Subscribers to BT, Sky, Talk Talk and Virgin who do
not opt in will have no access to internet porn. There is no mention of the specifications of what will be blocked yet.
Advertising near schools will also be more restricted. Billboards which show sexy images will be banned from close proximity to
There will also be attempt to stop brand ambassadors with ministers saying that they are determined to try and halt the way social media can get to young impressionable children. Apparently some big companies, in the wake of
crackdowns on traditional advertising of certain products to children, have turned to paying children small sums to promote sugary soft drinks and other products through social networking sites and playground chat.
And if this is not enough, as it
surely won't be, Cameron is expected to warn that he is prepared to act if companies do not do more to halt the sexualisation of children.
|5th October |
Or is it the adults?
See article from blogs.independent.co.uk
|25th June |
Reg Bailey can't understand why all parents don't agree with his exaggerated nonsense about sexualisation
See article from telegraph.co.uk
Too many parents either willingly encourage or turn a blind eye to their children signing up to Facebook, watching adult films or wearing inappropriate clothing, claimed Reg Bailey, the author of Letting Children be Children . His over
exaggerated report is the inevitable result of letting nutter campaigners free reign to conjure up nonsense to support the case against sexualisation.
The report was well received by fellow nutter campaigners but unsurprisingly it hasn't had the
immediate impact on real life that perhaps he was hoping.
Bailey, speaking to The Daily Telegraph, said that parents were too often complicit in the unthinking drift towards ever greater commercialisation and sexualisation of
children. He said: I was alarmed at the number of parents who were complicit in buying 18-rated video games for their children.
One father said it was OK that he played Grand Theft Auto with his 13-year-old son because it helped them
bond together. He added that there must be easier ways of bonding with a child than playing a game that allowed gangsters to run over prostitutes .
He was speaking as further evidence suggested that hundreds of thousands of young
children are on Facebook, the social networking site, which has rules in place to stop those under the age of 13 signing up.
Karen Fraser, the director of Credos, a think tank which advises the advertising industry, said that in a series of focus
groups earlier this month she had discovered that 80 to 90% of those under 13 were signed up to Facebook: Parents have told us they don't want their children to miss out. They don't want them to restrict their social life.
said parents needed to address the number of under-13s on Facebook and the numbers of youngsters playing adult video games. I am concerned any parent would ignore these age restrictions. They are there for a reason. He added that he had spoken to
retailers that had reported that shop staff had been assaulted by parents who had been challenged when trying to buy an 18-rated DVD for their children, who were with them: That is an appalling situation, but it is a function of poor parenting.
|19th June |
Ofcom to produce more censorial rules for pre-watershed TV
article from express.co.uk
Sexy performances on shows such as The X Factor will be outlawed by further restrictions to pre-watershed TV.
The TV censor Ofcom will issue new censorship rule to apply to autumn schedules.
The move follows a Government report on the
sexualisation of children and nutter protests.
An Ofcom spokesman said: The guidelines will be there to make sure that broadcasters like ITV don't hover near the boundaries of harmful content to children. This is what happened with Rihanna's
performance on the show last year, where the broadcasting code was almost breached.
|6th June |
Reg Bailey publishes his whinge at modern society: Letting Children be Children
See Letting Children be Children [pdf] from
Rag Bailey has now published his hardly independent review on sexualisation and rather reveals his nutter stance by claiming that the world is a nasty place and that in an ideal world, adult entertainment would be shunned by society. He says:
We believe that a truly family-friendly society would not need to erect barriers between age groups to shield the young: it would, instead, uphold and reinforce healthy norms for adults and children alike, so
that excess is recognised for what it is and there is transparency about its consequences.
Bailey's summary reads:
The Review has encountered two very different approaches towards
helping children deal with the pressures to grow up too quickly. The first approach seems to suggest that we can try to keep children wholly innocent and unknowing until they are adults. The world is a nasty place and children should be unsullied by it
until they are mature enough to deal with it. This is a view that finds its expression in outrage, for example, that childrenswear departments stock clothes for young children that appear to be merely scaled-down versions of clothes with an adult
sexuality, such as padded bras. It depends on an underlying assumption that children can be easily led astray, so that even glimpses of the adult world will hurry them into adulthood. Worse still, this approach argues, what children wear or do or say
could make them vulnerable to predators or paedophiles.
The second approach is that we should accept the world for what it is and simply give children the tools to understand it and navigate their way through it
better. Unlike the first approach, this is coupled with an assumption that children are not passive receivers of these messages or simple imitators of adults; rather they willingly interact with the commercial and sexualised world and consume what it has
to offer. This is a view that says to do anything more than raise the ability of children to understand the commercial and sexual world around them, and especially their view of it through the various media, is to create a moral panic. The argument
suggests that we would infantilise adults if we make the world more benign for children, so we should adultify children.
This Review concludes that neither approach, although each is understandable, can be
effective on its own. We recognise that the issues raised by the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood are rooted in the character of our wider adult culture and that children need both protection from a range of harms, and knowledge of
different kinds, appropriate to their age, understanding and experience. Parents have the primary role here but others have a responsibility to play an active part too, including businesses, the media and their regulators. Above all, however, we believe
that a truly family-friendly society would not need to erect barriers between age groups to shield the young: it would, instead, uphold and reinforce healthy norms for adults and children alike, so that excess is recognised for what it is and there is
transparency about its consequences. The creation of a truly family-friendly society is the aspiration: in the meantime, we need a different approach.
Reg Bailey's recommendations are:
- Ensuring that magazines and newspapers with sexualised images on their covers are not in easy sight of children. Retail associations in the news industry should do more to encourage observance of the voluntary code of practice
on the display of magazines and newspapers with sexualised images on their covers. Publishers and distributors should provide such magazines in modesty sleeves, or make modesty boards available, to all outlets they supply and strongly encourage the
appropriate display of their publications. Retailers should be open and transparent to show that they welcome and will act on customer feedback regarding magazine displays.
- Reducing the amount of on-street
advertising containing sexualised imagery in locations where children are likely to see it. The advertising industry should take into account the social responsibility clause of the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) code when considering placement
of advertisements with sexualised imagery near schools, in the same way as they already do for alcohol advertisements. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) should place stronger emphasis on the location of an advertisement, and the number of
children likely to be exposed to it, when considering whether an on-street advertisement is compliant with the CAP code.
- Ensuring the content of pre-watershed television programming better meets parents'
expectations. There are concerns among parents about the content of certain programmes shown before the watershed. The watershed was introduced to protect children, and pre-watershed programming should therefore be developed and regulated with a greater
weight towards the attitudes and views of parents, rather than viewers as a whole. In addition, broadcasters should involve parents on an ongoing basis in testing the standards by which family viewing on television is assessed and the Office of
Communications (Ofcom) should extend its existing research into the views of parents on the watershed. Broadcasters and Ofcom should report annually on how they have specifically engaged parents over the previous year, what they have learnt and what they
are doing differently as a result.
- Introducing Age Rating for Music Videos. Government should consult as a matter of priority on whether music videos should continue to be treated differently from other
genres, and whether the exemption from the Video Recordings Act 1984 and 2010, which allows them to be sold without a rating or certificate, should be removed. As well as ensuring hard copy sales are only made on an age-appropriate basis, removal of the
exemption would assist broadcasters and internet companies in ensuring that the content is made available responsibly.
- Making it easier for parents to block adult and age-restricted material from the
internet: To provide a consistent level of protection across all media, as a matter of urgency, the internet industry should ensure that customers must make an active choice over what sort of content they want to allow their children to access. To
facilitate this, the internet industry must act decisively to develop and introduce effective parental controls, with Government regulation if voluntary action is not forthcoming within a reasonable timescale. In addition, those providing content which
is age-restricted, whether by law or company policy, should seek robust means of age verification as well as making it easy for parents to block underage access.
- Developing a retail code of good practice
on retailing to children. Retailers, alongside their trade associations, should develop and comply with a voluntary code of good practice for all aspects of retailing to children. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) should continue its work in this area
as a matter of urgency and encourage non-BRC members to sign up to its code.
- Ensuring that the regulation of advertising reflects more closely parents' and children's views. The Advertising Standards
Authority (ASA) should conduct research with parents and children on a regular basis in order to gauge their views on the ASA's approach to regulation and on the ASA's decisions, publishing the results and subsequent action taken in their annual report.
- Prohibiting the employment of children as brand ambassadors and in peer-to-peer marketing. The Committee of Advertising Practice and other advertising and marketing bodies should urgently explore whether,
as many parents believe, the advertising self- regulatory codes should prohibit the employment of children under the age of 16 as brand ambassadors or in peer-to-peer marketing – where people are paid, or paid in kind, to promote products, brands or
- Defining a child as under the age of 16 in all types of advertising regulation. The ASA should conduct research with parents, children and young people to determine whether the ASA should always
define a child as a person under the age of 16, in line with the Committee of Advertising Practice and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice codes.
- Raising parental awareness of marketing and
advertising techniques. Industry and regulators should work together to improve parental awareness of marketing and advertising techniques and of advertising regulation and complaints processes and to promote industry best practice.
- Quality assurance for media and commercial literacy resources and education for children. These resources should always include education to help children develop their emotional resilience to the commercial and sexual
pressures that today's world places on them. Providers should commission independent evaluation of their provision, not solely measuring take-up but, crucially, to assess its effectiveness. Those bodies with responsibilities for promoting media literacy,
including Ofcom and the BBC, should encourage the development of minimum standards guidance for the content of media and commercial literacy education and resources to children.
- Ensuring greater
transparency in the regulatory framework by creating a single website for regulators. There is a variety of co-, self- and statutory regulators across the media, communications and retail industries. Regulators should work together to create a single
website to act as an interface between themselves and parents. This will set out simply and clearly what parents can do if they feel a programme, advertisement, product or service is inappropriate for their children; explain the legislation in simple
terms; and provide links to quick and easy complaints forms on regulators' own individual websites. This single website could also provide a way for parents to provide informal feedback and comments, with an option to do so anonymously, which regulators
can use as an extra gauge of parental views. Results of regulators' decisions, and their reactions to any informal feedback, should be published regularly on the single site.
- Making it easier for parents
to express their views to businesses about goods and services. All businesses that market goods or services to children should have a one-click link to their complaints service from their home page, clearly labelled complaints . Information
provided as part of the complaints and feedback process should state explicitly that the business welcomes comments and complaints from parents about issues affecting children. Businesses should also provide timely feedback to customers in reaction to
customer comment. For retail businesses this should form part of their code of good practice (see Recommendation 6), and should also cover how to make it.
- Ensuring that businesses and others take action on
these recommendations. Government should take stock of progress against the recommendations of this review in 18 months' time. This stocktake should report on the success or otherwise of businesses and others in adopting these recommendations. If it
concludes that insufficient progress has been made, the Government should consider taking the most effective action available, including regulating through legislation if necessary, to achieve the recommended outcome.
|6th June |
Daily Mail details pants code for retailers selling children's wear
4th June 2011.
See article from dailymail.co.uk
High street shops will be told not to sell padded bras and sexually suggestive clothes to children under guidelines to be unveiled on Monday. This will coincide with the publication of a Government-commissioned review into the sexualisation of children
by Reg Bailey, head of the Mothers' Union.
Tesco and Sainsbury's have already signed up to the new deal drawn up by the British Retail Consortium, along with George, the clothing range promoted by Asda. Major high street stores including Marks
& Spencer, Next, John Lewis, Debenhams, Argos and Peacocks have also agreed to comply.
The BRC's guidelines say:
Slogans and imagery including licensed images and brand marks must be age-appropriate and
without undesirable associations or connotations -- for example, sexually suggestive, demeaning, derogative or political material.
Humorous slogans need to be tested against a broad range of views as they can cause
unforeseen and unintended offence.
The guidelines warn that underwear ranges require the utmost care , ruling that knickers and pants must provide modesty. Thongs are not appropriate for children .
And in a
crackdown on products which seek to treat girls like women, they say: Vests and crop tops should also be designed for modesty with no need for structural support. Under-wiring is not necessary or appropriate for the smallest cup sizes. First bras
should be constructed to provide comfort, modesty and support but not enhancement.
No mention should be made of enhancement or under-wiring in any children's ranges.
Comment: False Modesty
2011. Thanks to Angelus
"...knickers and pants must provide modesty."
"Vests and crop tops should also be designed for modesty"
"First bras should be constructed to provide comfort, modesty and support..."
'm not saying I want little girls dressing like whores (a concept wonderfully deconstructed by South Park), but since when has it been so terrible for them to want to dress up like their mothers? And what is it with the
obsession about modesty? Is this supposed to be Afghanistan or something? But actually the most worrying thing is that the guy thinks "first bras" need to support anything - he evidently knows even less about biology than he does anything else.
6th June 2011. See article from
In response to demands for restrictions on inappropriate children's clothing - including lace lingerie and push-up bras - the British Retail Consortium launched stricter guidelines. See
Responsible Retailing [pdf]
The British Retail Consortium's director of public affairs, Jane Bevis, said the guidelines provided
extra reassurance for parents that these companies are just as concerned as they are about what their children wear .
Nine stores - Asda, Debenhams, Argos, John Lewis, Next, Marks & Spencer, Peacocks, Sainsbury's and Tesco - have signed
up, with others being urged to participate.
Children's Minister Sarah Teather said: It is not government's role to interfere in family life ...BUT... parents often tell me that they would like more support so that they can navigate the
rapidly-changing technological and commercial world.
|4th June |
Daily Mail adds details about Reg Bailey's sexualisation report
It seems that all the details are being released in advance presumably to ensure that news is reported as per press releases. By the time we get to read the full report, any criticisms
well get lost as the issue will have already become stale news.
Still suffering from
The Daily Mail adds a few more details (in its typically overwrought style) about Reg Bailey's report:
A report commissioned by the Prime Minister, to be published on Monday, demands an end to the sexualisation
of young children.
It will order the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom to consult parents about their concerns and report back every year on how it has reinforced taste guidelines.
Cameron will endorse the proposals of Reg Bailey, the chief executive of the Mothers' Union, who found parents are deeply concerned that sexual imagery in television, advertising and pop videos is making children grow up too fast.
Ministers will make clear that they expect changes and the Government is prepared to intervene directly unless the conveyor-belt of smut is toned down.
The report also calls for a hard-hitting
crackdown on internet pornography, demanding tighter parental controls over access to explicit websites.
Under the plans, laptops will be sold with parental controls automatically activated and customers will have to
request specifically to receive porn -- a reversal of the current position.
Bailey is also demanding a crackdown on lewd lads mags such as Nuts and Zoo, urging retailers to sell the magazines in plain wrappers
or put them behind modesty boards which hide their lurid covers from young children.
Ministers will set up a single website which parents can use to report excessive sexual content on screen, in adverts and
where high street stores sell inappropriate clothing to youngsters.
The Bailey Review demands a return to the days when parents could be confident that programmes broadcast before 9pm would be suitable for the whole
The report accuses broadcasters of actively working against parents by peddling sexual content. 'Some parents even questioned whether the watershed still exists.'
The watershed was introduced to protect children and pre-watershed programming should therefore be developed and regulated with a greater weight towards the attitudes and views of parents, rather than viewers as a whole. Broadcasters and Ofcom should
report annually on how they have specifically engaged parents over the previous year, what they have learnt and what they are doing differently as a result. The onus is on broadcasters to show acceptable content in the first place, not to react to
audience complaints after the event.
The report says parents are most concerned by music performances in music and talent shows during family viewing hours which were heavily influenced by the sexualised
and gender-steroetyped content of music videos , making them more raunchy than was appropriate for that type of viewing .
It concludes: The industry needs to act and, in the case of pre-watershed family
viewing, take a slightly more cautious approach than is currently the case.
|3rd June |
Reg Bailey report to call for age classification of music videos and a one stop complaints shop for sufferers of premature sexualisation
See article from
The government report into sexualisation of childhood is due to be published on Monday. The press seem to have been briefed with advance details as reported in the Guardian.
The report has been commissioned by David Cameron from the biased Reg
Bailey, the chief executive of the Mothers' Union and long-term campaigner against 'premature sexualisation'.
Bailey is likely to give the retail, advertising and video industry 18 months to improve their act voluntarily or face tougher government
He is also expected to demand some regulatory bodies such as Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority do more to ensure they seek the views of parents on what is acceptable to show to children.
The report is also set to
criticise the growth of peer to peer marketing, where companies hire teenagers to sell or promote products in school.
The review has already led bodies such as the ASA and the BPI, responsible for the music industry, to make pre-emptive efforts to
show they are aware of the criticism of the way they currently operate. The ASA has promised to set up an advisory body, as well as regulate advertising on company websites.
The music industry is expected to be told to put some kind of advisory
age rating such as films have on music videos. Critics are likely to argue that in practice these music videos go out on TV and parents will unable to stand over their children and prevent them watching them. Latest figures sent to the Bailey review
suggest that half of children have access to TV via their computers in their own bedroom.
Senior figures associated with the review are to claim complacency from some industry bodies.
Bailey is likely to be asked by government to follow
through his report to ensure his recommendations are implemented. Ministers are aware that the previous government published three reports into sexualisation of children in various aspects, but little happened. But Helen Goodman, the shadow justice
minister, said: The voluntary approach has been tried and failed. We must have tougher regulations across the media, including social media. Pester power is the pollution of modern advertising and we should follow the polluter pays principle.
See article from dailymail.co.uk
The Daily Mail adds that at the moment advertising rules mean alcohol and fast food adverts are banned from billboards near schools. A source involved in drawing up the plans said that would be extended to cover adverts featuring sexual
|4th May |
All society's ills to be cured by banning gay kisses from pre-watershed TV
1st May 2011. See article from
Lesbian kisses could be banned from television screens until the watershed under nutter inspired Government plans to stop children being exposed to supposedly indecent images.
A review launched with the backing of David Cameron is expected
to recommend that sexually suggestive scenes currently allowed before the 9pm watershed, such as the famous lesbian embrace on soap opera Brookside, should not be shown until later in the evening.
The inquiry is being led by Mothers' Union chief
executive Reg Bailey.
The Daily Mail said that Bailey is likely to focus on more restrictive watershed rules. A source close to the inquiry said: It is hard to protect children in the internet and mobile-phone age but we have to do something.
Sources also suggested that raunchy dance routines, such as those by pop stars Christina Aguilera and Rihanna on last year's X Factor final, could also fall foul of more censorial watershed rules.
Bailey is also understood to be looking
at a ban on sexy advertisements in public places. The source added: Some of those huge poster advertisements for bras and knickers leave precious little to the imagination and they are there for all our children to see.
Bailey is examining
restricting internet pornography by enabling parents to ask ISPs to block adult websites at source rather than relying on parental controls.
Update: Mothers' Union chief executive Reg Bailey is not speaking for the
4th May 2011. See article from themothersunion.org
Clarification on reports published in print and online 1st and 2nd May 2011.
Mothers' Union explicitly refutes all allegations regarding the banning of lesbian kisses on television before or after
the watershed as claimed by the media this week, including in The Sun and the Daily Mail newspapers.
The Bailey Review as conducted by the Department of Education is independent of the Mothers' Union's Bye Buy
Childhood Campaign and therefore, any recourse to statements against Mothers' Union are unfounded and should be directed to the Department of Education.
The Mothers' Union's Campaign is gender inclusive and is
therefore, neither targeted towards or against any type of relationship and should not be expressed as such.