A review which is expected to be published in the near future is to say that age ratings on music videos is a must due to the sexualisation and commercialisation involved in childhood. The inquiry which was commissioned by David Cameron and is due out today.
It was carried out by Reg Bailey, the head of the Mothers’ Union, who says parents are unhappy about “an increasingly sexualised culture”. There is an expectation that a time limit of 18 months will be given to the music industry to clean up their acts voluntarily, or face tougher government regulation.
Campaigners will scrutinise the full recommendations when they are published to see how effective they might be in the digital age, when most young people view music videos online and on their mobile phones.
The inquiry has come after the X Factor faced complaints about performances by Christina Agueilera and Rihanna, but the regulator Ofcom did not uphold them. There has also been recent controversy about music videos by Rihanna and Lady Gaga.
A survey which has aided the review has revealed that 9 out of 10 UK parents thought children were having to grow up too early. Half were unhappy and concerned about the content showed on TV before the watershed. Many said music videos and a “celebrity culture” were encouraging children to act older than they were.
Mr Bailey has said
Parents are struggling against the slow creep of an increasingly commercial and sexualised culture and behaviour, which they say prevents them from parenting the way they want. Parents had little faith in regulators or businesses taking their concerns seriously
Katherine Rake, chief executive of the Family and Parenting Institute, said: ”
Developments in technology, media and commerce mean the current generation of UK children are being subjected to some entirely new pressures. Parents are concerned children are experiencing too much too young in terms of sexualised images and aggressive advertising. Steps must be taken to make parents feel they are regaining some control of the messages their children absorb.”
I seriously hope something is done about music videos and their sexual content. It is true that children are facing the pressures of the more mature adult at a younger age. And increasingly younger too. I remember being with my housemates one night watching the X Factor show which caused complaints. Even us, a group of 20 somethings cringed at what we saw. And all before the watershed too.
This simply has to stop, It is the media that contributes a great deal to the public understanding what is acceptable and what isn’t. Producers need to understand that sexualising little children is completely wrong. It is this sort of sexualising which, again, leads to teenage pregnancy, binge drinking, anti social behaviour, stress related issues and it also encourages pedophiles as well as a plethora of other things.
Don’t anyone tell me that kids should be able to watch what they want. Because they shouldn’t. And we should be protecting them from every sort of thing that makes them grow up quicker, which causes them to come under pressures that only an adult should endure. They are children, and that is how they should be until they become an adult.
Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre.
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