Latest News

Latest News

New research: violent video game play does make more aggressive kids.

23rd of March 2010, 8:40 am

KF2bK director Julie Gale attended the ‘Growing up Fast and Furious' Conference on 19 March, which was held by the Australian Council of Children and the Media (ACCM) and Macquarie University.

The jury is NOT out when it comes to the impacts of media violence.

A new study published in the March 2010 issue of the Psychological Bulletin, an American Psychological Association journal, reports that "exposure to violent video games is a causal risk factor for increased aggressive thoughts and behavior, and decreased empathy and prosocial behavior in youths."

Lead author of the group of cross-national researchers, Distinguished Prof Craig Anderson of Iowa State University, said "We can now say with utmost confidence that regardless of research method-that is experimental, correlational, or longitudinal- and regardless of the cultures tested in this study [East and West], you get the same effects ... and the effects are that exposure to violent video games increases the likelihood of aggressive behaviour in both short-term and long-term contexts.

Such exposure also increases aggressive thinking and aggressive affect, and decreases prosocial behavior." The research also included new longitudinal data which provided further confirmation that playing violent video games is a causal risk factor for long-term harmful outcomes.

The team used meta-analytic procedures- the statistical methods used to analyse and combine results from previous, related literature-to test the effects of violent video game play on the behaviors, thoughts and feelings of the individuals, ranging from elementary school-aged children to college undergraduates.

Anderson, Craig A. et al (2010) Violent video game effects on aggression, empathy, and prosocial behavior in Eastern and Western countries: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin., Vol 136(2) 151-173.

(Extract from the ACCM newsletter)

Important UK Home Office independent review into the sexualisation of young people.

17th of March 2010, 11:30 pm

The report conducted by psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, looks at how sexualised images and messages may be affecting the development of children and young people and influencing cultural norms. It also examines the evidence of a link between sexualisation and violence.

Kids Free 2B Kids welcomes this excellent evidence based report and hopes that it will provide further incentive for the Australian Government to take decisive action towards stopping the sexualisation of children and young teens.

The Labor government has policy about 'reducing the damage being caused by increased sexualisation' -                SO WHERE'S THE ACTION??

Labor Policy

Chapter 7: Securing an inclusive future for all Australians.

Young Australians:

69.  ‘Labor will place a particular focus on young people's health needs, including physical and mental health, drug and alcohol education, the promotion of positive body image and a healthy lifestyle. Labor will work towards developing strategies to prevent and reduce the damage being caused by the increased sexualisation of children in the media and popular culture.'


Cotton On Update

In 2009, Kids Free 2B Kids led a campaign to stop sexualised slogans on baby and young children's t-shirts in Cotton On stores. Groups and individuals from around Australia and New Zealand joined in the push to get them removed.

KF2BK director Julie Gale recently met with Cotton On CEO, Peter Johnson and is very pleased to report that they are in the process of withdrawing approx 40,000 pieces from their stores.

Cotton On recognised that the t-shirts are not in line with the core values of the company, and undermine the valuable community work they are engaged in.

KF2BK congratulates Cotton On for their responsible action.

Fashion/media push ultra thin to girls

3rd of February 2010, 9:51 am

NEW YORK, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Almost nine in 10 U.S. teenage girls say the fashion industry is at least partially responsible for girls' obsession with being skinny, a survey indicates.

The survey of more than 1,000 girls ages 13-17 released by the Girl Scouts of the USA found 89 percent say the fashion industry, and 88 percent say the media, put a lot of pressure on them to be thin. However, despite the criticism of industry, three out of four of those surveyed said fashion is "really important" to them.

Eighty-one percent of the teen girls said they would prefer to see natural photos of models rather than digitally altered and enhanced images. Seventy-five percent said they would be more likely to buy clothes they see on real-size models than on women who are super skinny.

Eighty-two percent said peers, 81 percent said friends and 65 percent said parents are strong influences in how teenage girls feel about their bodies.

Nearly one-third of the girls said they have starved themselves or refused to eat in an effort to lose weight, while 42 percent reported knowing someone their age who has induced vomiting after eating, and 37 percent said they know someone their age who has been diagnosed with an eating disorder.

The survey was conducted by Tru. No further details of the survey were provided.

The Australian Sex Party Fakes It.

28th of January 2010, 10:21 pm

The Australian Sex Party has grossly misrepresented and distorted the work of Kids Free 2B Kids to push their agenda regarding their core business of promoting and defending pornography.

A press release written by Fiona Patten 27/1/10 has misconstrued and falsely represented the work KF2BK has been engaged in with the Classification Board.

We suggest Ms Patten gets her facts straight before any writing any further comments.

Our work is often misrepresented by people and groups with hidden agendas.

Read Melinda Tankard Reists blog article titled: Australian Sex Party caught out in attempt to hide reality of ‘teen porn' titles.


Push to censor sexualised music video clips in childrens veiwing hours.

24th of January 2010, 2:38 pm

From The Herald Sun. 23/1/10

Labor MP Amanda Rishworth is urging music videos portraying women as sex objects be censored.

MUSIC videos portraying women as sex objects should be individually rated or banned from children's viewing hours, an MP has urged.

Labor's Amanda Rishworth has warned that without tough intervention the nation could be left with a generation of women with low self-esteem and body-image issues.

The call received support from the professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University, Clive Hamilton, who described the imagery in some music videos as almost pornographic.

 Parent lobby group, Kids Free 2 B Kids, is also urging change.

"Children are constantly being bombarded by sexual imagery. Examples are everywhere, billboards, the internet, music video clips, TV, magazines," founder Julie Gale said.

"It is time for take the initiative and decide what sorts of images we want our children to see."

 Read more Herald Sun.

Roger David stores should apologise for t-shirts that objectify and sexualise females.

19th of January 2010, 9:06 pm

Roger David menswear stores are selling t-shirts with images that objectify and sexualise females.

When images like this are mainstreamed and appear in average menswear stores, then we all need to get very vocal.
The men who wear these become walking billboards and everyone else is involuntarily exposed.

Julie Gale Director of Kids Free 2B Kids emailed Roger David last Frid 15 Jan.

So far no response.

Roger David should apologise and withdraw the t-shirts immediately.

To view t-shirts - see Melinda Tankard Reists blog

Supre and inappropriate slogan t-shirts.

6th of January 2010, 12:19 pm

Here we go again with irresponsible retailers selling inappropriate slogan t-shirts to teens and tweens. We've seen it before and unless retailers start getting the message that adult sexualised themes are not acceptable for kids, it will continue. Supre's Santa's Bitch and North Pole Dancer slogans perpetuate the sexualised messages young girls are bombarded with in their contemporary media environment.

Quoting from the Daily Telegraph 5/1/10

But the tops, on sale at tweenie chain Supre, have earned the ire of (NSW) Premier Kristina Keneally.

"Children should remain children. These T-shirts are overtly sexual and they're inappropriate. We want to live in a society that values young women - and creates positive images for their development," she said.

Kids Free 2B kids welcomes Premier Keneally's comments. She joins a fast increasing groundswell of people in the community who have had enough - including high profile child development professionals.

Kids Free 2B Kids and others contacted Supre management before Christmas and understood that the slogan t-shirts were being withdrawn.

We note with interest that the withdrawal of products by Supre and in the past Cotton On and Target, is more like... "Tell them we'll withdraw it to get them off our backs...but actually let's see how much money we can make by putting it out for sale. "

When retailers who specifically market to teens and children don't care about the impact on their target market - something needs to change!

The lack of corporate social responsibility around the issue of the sexualisaton of kids is astonishing.
Let’s also not forget that after a long Freedom of Information process with the Office of Childrens Guardian in NSW, Kids Free 2B Kids discovered that David Jones and their advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi deliberately sexualised two young girls (10 & 12 yr old) in the Alison Ashley Clothing Advertisement….
“They are 10 and 12, so slightly more adult and sexy”

 When it comes to kids - voluntary codes and self regulation don't work.

Professor Clive Hamilton and Julie Gale of KF2BK speak out about illegal porn magazines.

30th of November 2009, 12:33 pm

Media Release 

Header: Illegal Porn Widely Available in Higgins

Child advocacy group Kids Free 2 B Kids has called for stricter enforcement of pornography laws after discovering that magazines inciting sex with minors can be purchased in many petrol stations, milk bars and convenience stores in Higgins.

The group's founder, Julie Gale, recently acquired magazines in Malvern, Prahran, South Yarra and Windsor with titles such as Barely Legal, Live Young Girls and Just 18 featuring models who are or appear to be under 18.

They are often presented with pig-tails, pink hairclips, toys, braces on their teeth, and in school uniforms, contrary to Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) guidelines specifying that models must not appear to be under 18.

The text accompanying several of the pictures often encourages readers to view the models as children and visible magazine mastheads promote sex with minors.

"This material is frequently displayed at child-accessible heights and next to magazines like Dolly and Women's Weekly", said Ms Gale.

Greens candidate for Higgins Professor Clive Hamilton, who as head of the Australia Institute published a 2006 report on the sexualisation of children, said: "This material is child porn masquerading as adult porn and is illegal. We urgently need much stronger enforcement by the classification board and the police."

"The easy availability of this material is disturbing, promotes the sexualisation of children and is a blot on the Higgins electorate", he said.

Ms Gale said: "Recent auditing by the Classification Board found that most magazines sold in the public arena with a category 1* rating do not comply with the guidelines and are therefore illegal. Many are unclassified or warrant a refused classification."

Ms Gale said: "The classification board and the police are aware that this material is freely available everywhere yet the distributors continue to flout the law with impunity."

*Category 1 - According to Australian censorship laws Category-1 publications cannot depict graphic sexual acts and the titles should not be "offensive to any reasonable adult". The guidelines state that models should not be under 18 or "appear" to be under 18.

More about Cotton On and baby's slogan t-shirts.

19th of November 2009, 9:37 am

Cotton On has declared in a statement that they have not broken their word on the withdrawal and review of its kid's slogans range. They agreed, however, that the three slogans referred to in The Herald Sun article today had not been withdrawn from stores.

I'm a Tit's Man

I'm bringing sexy back

milk today, beer tomorrow

Just a reminder about their statement:

..."Although these products are intentionally edgy and irreverent, and the succession of this range was driven by demand, the recent attention implies that the slogans in question have crossed the line.

"Although Cotton On Kids will continue to service a market that demands confident and edgy clothing that pushes boundaries, it has been recognised that certain references are not appropriate, and will sincerely endeavour to not cross these lines again,'' the statement said.

"The Cotton On Group ... extends an apology to those who have been affected by the slogans.

It promised to withdraw offensive products from sale and stop their production and "review the ongoing slogans range to ensure no reference is made to categories pertaining to sexually explicit behaviour, child abuse, drugs and profanity.''

Read statement in The Australian  14/8/09

Note -"It promised to withdraw offensive products from sale"...

The statement only came after public pressure from around Australia and New Zealand - including comments from child development professionals, calling for the removal of the slogan t-shirts.

(Scroll down ‘Latest News' section for more information)

Note - ..."Although these products are intentionally edgy and irreverent, and the succession of this range was driven by demand..."

"Although Cotton On Kids will continue to service a market that demands confident and edgy clothing that pushes boundaries..."

Where are the parents who are supposedly demanding sexualised, child abuse and drug referenced slogans for baby's wear?

How do they demand? Do they line up at head office making requests?

Do they ring in they petition the store and say that the public MUST have ‘edgy slogans' on baby's wear or ‘provocative humour that pushes the boundaries'.

It is the retailer who decides what to put on their shelves.


Under-age drinking and early sexualisation.

11th of November 2009, 2:09 pm

Kids Free 2B Kids has decided to become actively involved in the issue of under- age drinking.

The early sexualisation of young teens is a potent mix with the increasing issue of kids drinking alcohol at younger ages.

NSW, QLD and Tasmania are the only states with a secondary supply law.  "Secondary supply "generally refers to the sale or supply of alcohol to people under the age of 18 (minors) by adults or other minors.

For more information about ‘secondary supply' see the fact sheet provided by the Druginfo Clearing house.

KF2BK believes that all states and territories should be aligned with the NSW Secondary Supply laws.

Results from a recent study by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute have alarmed brain development experts who say a generation of young people are destroying their chances of reaching their full potential.

 'Any level of alcohol consumed by people under about the age of 24 is doing a different level of damage and a more serious level of damage than someone over about that age,'' said John Eyre, managing director of Alcohol Related Brain Injury Australian Services (ARBIAS).

''You're damaging brain cells that haven't even gained certain skills, knowledge, or development yet,'' Mr Eyre said. Read more.

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