Informed Families Blog

President's Message - May 2016

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on May 31, 2016 at 3:32 PM

Peggy_Sapp_headshot_2010_smallSex and Violence Sell, But What's The Limit?

Are you fed up? Are you willing to act?

Calvin Klein debuted a new “Erotica” campaign this month, featuring an image of a photo taken from under a model’s skirt. This “upskirt” ad, not surprisingly, has angered many and prompted The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) to demand that Calvin Klein remove the photo "to stop normalizing and glamorizing sexual harassment." According to Dawn Hawkins ofNCOSE, “there’s a growing trend of sexual harassment where pictures are taken up a woman’s skirt without her knowledge, or without her consent.” Sex sells, but what’s the limit?

Four South Florida teenagers were arrested this month after reportedly taking turns raping an unconscious woman in a hotel at an after prom party.

Children subconsciously believe images and behaviors we allow on screens are acceptable, normal or (heaven forbid) “cool.” Clearly, our social norms and behaviors are impacted by advertising, movies, video games, etc. For example, studies have shown that when teens are regularly exposed to repeated violence while playing video games, they are more likely to demonstrate aggressive behavior.

Life is moving so fast, it’s hard to keep up with the negative messages being promoted 24/7/365 in advertising, movies and video games. Check out Common Sense Media (CSM), which offers the largest, most trusted library of independent age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, books, and music. Haven’t seen a movie that your children are begging to see? Check out the CSM rating. Don’t know anything about the video game your child wants for her birthday or the app she wants because all her friends are using it? Use CSM as your guide.

Do we need more sexual harassment, abuse, violence and other unhealthy behaviors in this world? Isn’t it time that adults stand up to these behaviors?

Collectively, we can join our voices by promoting positive norms and behaviors; here's how: have your child's school feature Informed Families' 4 Campaigns on their website.  Click here for the 4 campaigns and instructions on how to get them on your school’s website. By joining together, we have a louder voice and we can make a difference.

Corporations who do the right thing need accolades. CVS choosing not to sell tobacco products is a great example; as well as the Dove Beauty campaign, which shows children, especially young girls, that bodies of all shapes and sizes are beautiful. We need to see more of this.

Each of us, both individually and united, have the power to make a difference using our voices and our wallets to influence companies who are putting our children at risk. Looks like it’ll be a while before I buy more Calvins.  



Topics: President's Message, teens, sex, advertising, social norms, violence, media

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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