Family Lives responds to childhood is over at age 12 - parents blame internet porn and celebrity culture for the premature loss of innocence

“Everywhere children turn they are bombarded with idealised and sexualised media images which present unrealistic ideas about body image and what it means to be successful or popular males or females in today’s society.  These ideas are reinforced in peer groups at schools and sometimes within the home.  Children now actively participate in the digital world; the majority have Facebook accounts and communicate online or with smart phones.  Children and young people are enthusiastic users of these new technologies; however they open them up to significant new practices and pressures at a rate which means both parents and children may struggle to fully recognise the risks.   Together we can help to ensure that children and young people have the tools to deal with coercive pressures, can be empowered to make positive and healthy choices and can reach their fullest potential in every aspect of their lives.  We are even more concerned about the effects of highly gender stereotyped products and also the images of mainstream advertising which present very one-dimensional views of what it means to be male or female.  Young men are increasingly under pressure to have a six-pack which is viewed as having will-power and being dominant, while young women are presented as fixated on appearance and only getting praise for appearing beautiful or ‘sexy’.  This has an effect on both young girls’ and boys’ aspirations and also creates templates from which to bully those who do not conform to these stereotypes.  As such tackling gender stereotypes through Family Lives Teenboundaries workshops – which gives children the tools to be critical of the media stereotypes - should help drive up educational outcomes. “  

Jeremy Todd, Family Lives Chief Executive

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2288805/Childhood-age-12--Parents-blame-internet-porn-celebrity-culture-premature-loss-innocence.html#ixzz2Mkjaw7Q6 

Family Lives supports families who have nowhere else to turn. Parents and family members can call our free 24-hour confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222 or visit www.familylives.org.uk for live chat, personalised email support, chat forums and for information on our local groups. We listen, support and never judge.

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