May 3, 2007

OPINIONS: Children's media skew gender

Children's media skew gender

Wed May 2, 6:56 AM ET

Few people know that my first "acting" role was The Rifleman, from 1960s TV. As little girls, my best friend and I wanted to be brave like the characters on that show, so when we played in her backyard I was often Lucas McCain, and she would be the son, Mark.

We didn't realize at the time how odd it was that there were few female role models, or how marginalized or simply invisible female characters were, especially in children's entertainment. Today, gender distortion remains entrenched in movies and TV aimed at young children like mine.

In 2005-06, the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communication conducted the most comprehensive analysis of children's movies and TV programming ever done. The research was commissioned by See Jane, a program I established at the non-profit Dads & Daughters to reduce gender imbalance and stereotyping in children's media.


Chris Schuepp
Young People's Media Network - Coordinator
Youth Media Consulting GbR
c/o ECMC (European Centre for Media Competence)
Bergstr. 8 / 11th floor
D-45770 Marl - Germany
Tel./Fax: +49 2365 502480
Mobile: +49 176 23107083
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