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Milk Bars Peddle Porn

17th of September 2008, 2:11 pm

Kids Free 2B Kids Media Release:

ATTORNEYS GENERAL MUST ACT ON CORNER STORE MAGS THAT ENCOURAGE SEX WITH MINORS

Australia’s Classification Board has approved the sale of R-rated magazines which encourage s-x with under-age young girls, according to the Kids Free 2B Kids organisation.

Director Julie Gale said the magazines are being openly sold in milk bars, petrol stations and convenience stores and portray girls who look under-age performing s-xual acts.

Ms Gale said the “Guidelines used by the Classification Board, state that when a magazine is rated R category 1 - ‘actual s-xual activity may not be shown in realistic depiction’, but the girls in these magazines are depicted performing graphic s-xual acts including digital, oral, v-ginal and an-l sex.”

According to Ms Gale “these magazines should be Refused Classification (RC) as the guidelines also state that RC applies if images ‘Describe or depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or appears to be (underline added), a child under 18 - whether the person is engaged in a s-xual activity or not.’ “

Ms Gale said the young women appear underage and are often posed in pigtails, plaits, school uniform, pink headbands and with soft cuddly toys.

‘The magazines approved for sale encourage the s-xual penetration of under- age girls and some of the video/dvd advertisements validate crimes such as incest and rape,” Ms Gale said. “I have complained to the Board and am not satisfied with the response. I have requested that the Victorian Attorney General has the matter reviewed at a Federal level”.

Sex Billboards Come Down At Last

26th of August 2008, 12:00 am

Julie Gale Director of Kids Free 2B Kids writes:

The media releases by the Advertising Standards Board (ASB), the Advanced Medical Institute, and the article in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald regarding the ’ Want Longer Lasting Sex?’ billboards provides evidence that the real issues are still not understood. It’s easy to whip up a public frenzy about morality and community standards and we saw the power of that argument with the recent Bill Henson debate.

In the original ASB determination when community complaints were dismissed, the Advanced Medical Institute (AMI) stated ‘Overall the greater good served by such a message (longer lasting sex) should prevail over the discomfort felt by a very small minority who are uncomfortable discussing the subject of sex with their children’.

Yes, some parents may be uncomfortable, but many are not.

In the recent media release, the AMI stated ‘We’re not out to offend anyone’.

Yes, some people may be offended, but many are not.

The ASB talks about the amount of complaints received and the ‘shift’ in community standards.A ‘shift’ is doubtful, rather the community has been mobilized to speak out and take action.

And let’s not forget that domestic violence and slavery were once acceptable by community standards.

All of this focus, however, is about the adults – their opinions, their concerns, their moral judgments, their prudishness or wowserism or their freedom of speech and anti-censorship rights.

The real issue, however, has in fact got little to do with the adults and everything to do with children.

Billboards in the public domain mean that children are involuntarily exposed to marketing that is not aimed at them. Children are forced to confront issues about sexuality before they may be emotionally ready and are not given a choice about when, and at what pace they start to make sense of their naturally emerging sexuality.

The emphasis on the AMI billboard is on the ‘act’ of sex – the performance of sex – or the ‘longer lasting,’ longer stronger’ sex, and not on relationship, intimacy, communication and respect. It also leaves no space for children to understand that not everyone has to be, or wants to be engaging in longer lasting sex!

The ASB and the AMI are seemingly ignorant of what child development experts and The Australian Psychological Society are saying - that our children are being harmed by these sexualised messages.

In a recent senate inquiry into the sexualisation of children, Amanda Gordon, president of the APS, said that: ‘Developmental psychologists have done a lot of research in this area and one of the problems is that many children can understand at a cognitive level, but it is very confusing at an emotional level because they are not yet ready to be sexual, to have those sexual messages.

The constant bombardment of sexualised messages and imagery in advertising is having a harmful effect on our children and it is a growing global issue.

Sexualisation is linked to increased depression, anxiety, eating disorders, body image problems, self harm, sexually transmitted infections and decreased age of first sexual experience.

Our self-regulated advertising system means that no billboards are screened or vetted before they reach the public domain. The ASB is a reactionary board and will only act when a complaint has been received.

When the head of the ASB was asked in the senate inquiry if the ASB receives ‘advice on children and the effect on children’, the answer was ‘to my knowledge they have never requested that advice’.

The advertising industry and corporate world need to be liaising with child development experts. Withdrawing the billboards is a positive step, but acquiring a more fundamental understanding of the issues and acknowledging the harmful impacts on children is vital.

Article published on 'Crikey' website. 28/5/08

29th of May 2008, 10:25 am

Henson schmenson, take a look at Dolly.

Julie Gale Director of Kids Free 2B Kids writes:

Why is it that "artistic" images of a young girl have created such uproar, and yet s-xualised images of children in the advertising, media and clothing industries remain effectively unchallenged? Have we become so desensitised that we only respond to overt nakedness?

Bill Henson used his skills and experience to create photographs which are considered to have artistic merit. The corporate world utilises sophisticated techniques and big dollars to create their marketing and advertising images. They are very adept at manipulating us, and we have failed to recognise the impact on our children.

It is certainly easier to target an individual than take on a big corporation, and that's one of the reasons "they" have got away with too much for too long. We can demand accountability from Bill Henson the artist, the individual - but who is accountable in the ubiquitous corporate world where the notion of "individual" is lost?

  • Who made the decision to put the song Ooh I am so s-xy, soft and smooth on a Barbie CD for little girls?
  • Who decided that the "woman" in the Premature Ej-culation and Er-ction Problems billboard should look 14 years old?
  • Who decided that playboy t-shirts were a good idea for Girlfriend magazine to give away?
  • Who decided to put the wallpaper ads for mobile phones in Dolly magazine that read "I'm a good girl dressed in the body of a sl-t" and "Save a virgin do me instead"? These magazines are read by 9-13 year olds.
  • Who decided that soft p-rnographic music video clips are acceptable for P and PG time slots where children have every right to be viewing?
  • Who decided that a blowup doll titled "Granny I'd like to F-ck" is fine for kids to view in a chain store that markets to children, and is the ‘Official Home of the Beanie Kids' stuffed toys?
  • Who decides that it's ok to flog push-up bras and skimpy undies for little girls?
  • Who decides that it's acceptable to make young kids look way too grown up and adult-like in catalogues?

Interestingly, in the case of both the Henson exhibition and the corporate s-xualisation of children, many people engage in debates away from the core issue. This is not about moral panic, censorship, freedom of speech or artistic expression.

In the current social and global context where children are increasingly s-xualised in adult ways, the focus must be on the psychological health and wellbeing of the child. We must be guided by children's health professionals who work daily with children and understand the harmful impacts on their development. A body of research supports their concerns. These are independent witnesses whose testimony should be given greater weight than others, whose motives are questionable, entering the discussion.

The current senate inquiry into the s-xualisation of children is a good example. Without exception, the submissions from organisations and experts working with children have expressed major concerns about how children are being portrayed and what they are exposed to in the media environment. Others, with vested interest in the corporate and media worlds are defensive, protective of their product and seemingly ignore concerns expressed by the Australian Psychological Society.

The s-xualisation of children is linked to an increase in anxiety, depression, body image problems, eating disorders, self harm, and s-xually transmitted Infections. Statistics state that one in four girls and one in seven boys will experience some form of s-xual abuse by the time they reach 18 - and these are conservative figures. Child p-rnography is a major global concern and over 1.2 million children are trafficked every year, many for the s-x industry.

Given this social and global context, it is understandable that there is public outcry over the naked images of a young girl, whose ability to understand the ramifications of her actions may be limited.

Previously, silence has rendered us complicit in allowing the pernicious and insidious commodification of our children.

The terms moral panic, prude and wowser are losing traction. It's time to risk being labeled by academics and groups with vested interests. It's time to speak out and put children's wellbeing first.

W-rds altered by Crikey.

Campaign For a Commercial Free Childhood Summit

6th of May 2008, 12:21 pm


Julie Gale, Director of Kids Free 2B Kids recently travelled to Boston to present at the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood annual summit on the sexualisation of children.
Jean Kilbourne, author of the soon to be released book titled ‘So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualised Childhood and How Parents Can Protect Their Kids' said this:

"I thought I was way beyond being shocked by anything after my 30 years of research on media images -- but many of your images shocked me. It seems the situation in Australia might be even more dire than it is here in the U.S."

Senate Inquiry Update

6th of May 2008, 12:04 pm

Many people will be aware of the current Senate Inquiry into the sexualisation of children.
Submissions have now been published and are available to view.
To read all submissions go to:
http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/eca_ctte/sexualisation_of_children/submissions/sublist.htm

The submissions from Kids Free 2B Kids are numbers 63 and 63a.

KF2BK hopes the Government will instigate decisive action, in line with growing research and the concerns of child development experts. This process may take many months and we will keep everyone updated.

The Sexualization of Children

11th of March 2008, 2:32 pm

Julie Gale has written an article published on  ABC Online Unleashed .

Unleashed  presents diverse and robust opinion about politics, society, beliefs and behaviour.

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