Professor’s book explores impact of sexualized media on children

Posted January 29, 2015

ACU associate professor of psychology Dr. Jennifer W. Shewmaker has written a new book that argues that a child’s upbringing has a major impact on his or her view of sexualized media messages.

Sexualized Media Messages and Our Children: Teaching Kids to Be Smart Critics and Consumers takes a look at the impact that entertainment and advertising can have on a child’s view of the world and offers ways to help children become critically aware media consumers.

“As the mother of three children and a professional who has worked with children and families for the past 20 years, I became aware of increasingly sexualized and stereotyped messages being sent to children and adolescents,” Shewmaker said.

She has researched this issue at great length and has come to the conclusion that the messages being sent, and received by children, were not always positive.

“Through my own research and searching the literature in the fields of psychology, education, communication and public health, it became clear that this sexualized media was having a negative impact on children,” she said.

After identifying the problems related to sexualized media, Shewmaker went a step further and offered solutions to best prepare children for the societal messages they will encounter.

“I began to wonder how parents and professionals might best aid children and adolescents in learning to become critical consumers of media,” Shewmaker said. “Once I found effective strategies, I wanted to share them with others.”

Sexualized Media Messages and Our Children: Teaching Kids to Be Smart Critics and Consumers hits markets on Feb. 28 and can be pre-ordered today on amazon.com.


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