Teaching Teens to Resist Commercial Culture

February 03, 2011

Wheelock Education Professor Diane Levin was featured in an article on Fox Business News titled "Sex Sells: Teaching Kids Not to Buy" about how to teach teens modesty in an age where sex and skin seem to be everywhere you look -- from fashion ads to television shows and music videos.

Prof. Levin, author of "So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and How Parents Can Protect Their Kids" (with Jean Kilbourne), said children today are growing up with two different compartments in their minds. One contains pop culture messages that seek to sexualize them, contribute to objectification and emphasize lack of relationship. The other compartment is for family and societal culture, where morals and lessons for growing up happy and fulfilled are stored.

"Most youth have both compartments," Levin said. "But the pop culture one is getting bigger and bigger, and starting younger and younger."

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