children

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Gender Identity In Media Linked To Children’s Self Esteem

A recent study from Indiana University finds that watching television can lead to decreased self-confidence for African-American boys and girls as well as white girls, but apparently not for white boys. Perhaps this is because white males are so often depicted in positions of power and control, whereas black males are frequently shown to be criminals, while women overall are sexualized: the prize rather than the winner of the prize. On the one hand, it’s nice that more evidence exists demonstrating that everyday imagery affects us; on the other hand, TV’s not going to change unless there’s a good (i.e. financial) reason for it to. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Continue Reading →

A Fairy Tale Film About Same Sex Marriage

The fairy tale is an art form flexible and abstract enough to be repurposed for just about anything. This is exactly what happened when Middle Tennessee State University professor Bob Pondillo filmed “The Miracles on Honey Bee Hill,” a short film using actors aged 8-9 years old and utilizing the tropes of fairy tales to explore the issue of same sex marriage. However, the film’s reception was controversial, as local Republican politicians were quick to decry the use of child actors as exploitative, despite the fact that the director took every precaution: letting the parents/guardians read the script, having them on the premises while the film was made, and signing releases. The main politician protesting the film has apparently not seen it. I wonder whether these people would be so quick to question the exploitative potential of, say, a pro-life protestor bringing children to a protest site. Continue Reading →

Are Multi-Partner Relationships Good For Kids?

More and more people are identifying as non-monogamous or polyamorous, meaning that they ethically pursue multi-partner relationships. The effect of such relationships upon children, however, is the subject of vigorous debate with potentially harsh consequences. This article reports on some of the studies thus far, both rigorously researched and informally carried out. However, there hasn’t been a lot of research done on this topic, partly because it’s been under most scholars’ radar, and partly because poly parents are reluctant to speak to anyone “official” for fear that they’ll be judged unfit as parents. As the author points out, there is a “common perception that children in poly (and nonheterosexual) families are at higher risk for sexual abuse than those in monogamous families,” which is actually unfounded, but must be considered by anyone in these situations. Continue Reading →