Reports & Research
Understanding Childhood Issues & Highlighting Them
Reflections of Girls in the Media, 1997
Apr 01, 1997
Download file: girls_media_1997.pdf
As they move from childhood to adolescence, both girls and boys begin to redefine themselves, a complex process which includes developing moral and ethical codes, coping with emerging sexuality, constructing a new self-image, clarifying gender role conceptions, and preparing for future occupational roles. Adolescents look to many sources for guidance throughout this process. Research has shown that the media plays a powerful role in shaping children’s beliefs, attitudes and perceptions.
From an early age girls are active participants in the media community, watching over twenty hours of television a week, seeing 20,000 advertisements a year, listening to radio and CDs, watching music videos, reading fashion magazines, newspapers, and playing video games. Researchers have suggested that the cumulative impact of this media may make it one of the most influential forces in the adolescent community.
This is the first study ever to examine messages sent to adolescent girls across a range of media: television, movies, magazines, music videos, television commercials and magazine advertisements. It looks across this media at several messages sent to girls - motivations, priorities, appearances and behaviors - analyzing the extent to which these messages are reinforced across the different media.