Media: “DO as we SAY. NOT what we DO” – The sexualisation of Children

The over sexualisation of children in the media has become somewhat of a moral panic. Much like, child obesity, terrorism and young street gangs. Stanley Cohen describes Moral panics as episodes that condition the audience of mass media, into identifying a specific person of group of persons as as threat to societal values. (Cohen, 1972)

Moral panics seem to be prevalent in contemporary mass media today, with young Australian ISIS supporters, ominous effects of fast foods and over sexualisation of children. These examples share a common trend, the corruption of innocence.
The image of children is largely presumed as innocent. Fresh, young, and only brushing the surface of education and emotional knowledge. But the media would have us believe us (and rightfully so(in a way)) that the subversion and undermining of this innocence is the moral panic that we should be concerned about.

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Anti-social media and Narcissus’s new profile picture

When asked to consider the effects of media and media anxieties, the typical Facebook socialite will tell you that he/she has X number of friends and that Facebook shouldn’t be considered as a factor to increased anti-social behavioral patterns.

But when asked how many of those friends they know out of the confines of a media platform, they will shrivel up back into their smartphone and into their keyboard warrior alter ego and post a passive aggressive rant for all their “friends” to see.


Its probably happened to you too. You’ve messaged a friend for a coffee and a catch up and you have exchanged some obligatory small talk. But before long, you’ll find one, if not both of you, craning your neck down to align your optical receptors with the pale glow of your phone. It’s become a crutch.

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