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Pages Related to Children and Media Influence:
Educational school strategies
Mental Health: Infants and Babies
Children and Television
Children and Movies
Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings
by Kenneth R. Ginsburg MD MSEd FAAP
There are sometimes overwhelming stresses on children today. A child who develops resilience is more likely to bounce back from highly stressful situations or life's problems, present and future. This book helps children and teens to build resilience and learn coping strategies for life.
Living Without the Screen: Causes and Consequences of Life without Television, by Marina Krcmar
Living Without the Screen provides an in-depth study of those American families and individuals who opt not to watch television, exploring the reasons behind their choices, discussing their beliefs about television, and examining the current role of television in the American family.
Author Marina Krcmar answers several questions in the volume: What is television? Who are those people who reject it? What are their reasons for doing so? How do they believe their lives are different because of this choice? What impact does this choice have on media research? This volume provides a current, distinctive, and important look at how personal choices on media use are made, and how these choices reflect more broadly on media’s place in today’s society.
A compelling exploration of the motivations and rationales for those who choose to live without television, this book is a must-read for scholars and researchers working in children and media, media literacy, sociology, family studies and related areas. It will also be of interest to anyone with questions about media usage and the choices families make regarding the role of media in their lives.
Freeing Your Child from Negative Thinking: Powerful, Practical Strategies to Build a Lifetime of Resilience, Flexibility, and Happiness by Tamar E. Chansky
This is written by a leading clinical expert in child cognitive behavior therapy and anxiety disorders. Dr. Tamar Chansky provides guidance for parents and caregivers in changing negative thinking into positive, especially as it relates to raising children.
Overcoming ADHD Without Medication: A Guidebook for Parents and Teachers, by the AYCNP
This 128 page book gives practical ideas on how parents and educators can help children to overcome symptoms associated with ADHD, without a prescription. Proven methods, many references, footnotes, bibliography, index, recommended reading and agencies.
"Mommy, I'm Scared": How TV and Movies Frighten Children and What We Can Do to Protect Them, by Joanne Cantor PhD
Nightmares, anxiety, intense fear, and physical pain are typical reactions that children have to scary TV. This very important book considers such childhood fears and how they affect us as teenagers and adults. Cantor, a student at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Center, comes down hard on TV programs, movie reruns, and TV news as the "uninvited intruders" in our home. What to do? Monitor very carefully, or discard the TV.
Cantor offers ways to help children work through their fears, including distracting, desensitizing, and reasoning, and she analyzes movie ratings (Jaws, for example, is PG) and why we love violence so much. An excellent addition to public library shelves.?Linda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, PA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Children, Adolescents, and Media Violence: A Critical Look at the Research, by Steven J. Kirsh
"This book, written for those who can read and think at the college graduate level, leaves the reader with enough sophistication to resist the temptation to oversimplify the subject while using his or her new understanding to discuss the matter as an expert. . . I would gladly put Children, Adolescents, and Media Violence in the hands of every school superintendent, policy maker, principal, and politician I could.
The latest edition of Children, Adolescents, and Media Violence is a must-read for every graduate student in a clinical psychology program as well as every clinician and potential media consultant in the behavioral sciences." (Joseph H. McCoy Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books )
No Child Left Different (Childhood in America), by Sharna Olfman
"Children in America are being given psychotropic medications at an ever-increasing rate, driven by the fashionable diagnoses like bipolar disorder. No Child Left Different charts the emergence of this phenomenon. --David Healy, Professor of Psychiatry, Cardiff University
Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children About Their Art, by Eric Carle
Fun to read and view, this anthology is a treasure trove of creative insight and inspiration. -- Kirkus, starred review.
So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids, by Diane E. Levin Ph.D. (Author), Jean Kilbourne EdD
The authors (Levin is a professor of education; Kilbourne, an authority on the effects of advertising) accuse the media of sexualizing children. Constantly, American children are exposed to a barrage of sexual images in television, movies, music and the Internet. They are taught young that buying certain clothes, consuming brand-name soft drinks and owning the right possessions will make them sexy and cool—and being sexy and cool is the most important thing. Young men and women are spoon-fed images that equate sex with violence, paint women as sexually subservient to men and encourage hooking up rather than meaningful connections. The result is that kids are having sex younger and with more partners than ever before. Eating disorders and body image issues are common as early as grade school. Levin and Kilbourne stress that there is nothing wrong with a young person's natural sexual awakening, but it is wrong to allow a young person's sexuality to be hijacked by corporations who want them as customers. The authors offer advice on how parents can limit children's exposure to commercialized sex, and how parents can engage kids in constructive, age-appropriate conversation about sex and the media. One need only read the authors' anecdotes to see why this book is relevant. (Sept.) --Publishers Weekly - Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and Five Keys to Fixing It, by M. Gigi Durham, PhD
We are constantly bombarded with alarming media images: brand-name thong underwear for ten-year-olds with the slogans 'Wink Wink' and 'Eye Candy' printed on them; oversexed and underdressed celebrities; Bratz dolls and their 'sexy' clothing line for preteens.
How do we raise sexually healthy young women in this kind of environment? In "The Lolita Effect", university professor and journalist M G Durham offers new insight into media myths and spectacles of sexuality. Using examples from popular TV shows, fashion and beauty magazines, movies and websites, Durham shows for the first time all the ways in which sexuality is rigidly and restrictively defied in media - often in ways detrimental to girls' healthy development. Durham provides us with the tools to navigate this media world effectively without censorship or moralising, and then to help our girls to do so in strong and empowering ways.
The Sexualization of Childhood (Childhood in America), by Sharna Olfman, PhD
Only a generation or two ago, childhood in the United States was understood to be a unique and vulnerable stage of development; a time for play and protection from adult preoccupations and responsibilities. In recent decades however, we appear to have jettisoned these norms, and the lines that separate the lifestyles of even very young children from adults are blurring.
As widely known experts on the team that created this book explain, children begin formal education now in preschool, dress like adults, listen to the same music, play the same video games, explore the same Internet sites, and watch explicit depictions of sex and violence on TV and in movies. What is the impact of immersing children in a sexualized world?
The Sexualization of Childhood first explains the nature of healthy sexual development. It then describes the ways in which children are being sexualized, and the physical and psychological consequences. It then looks at the lower and lower age at which girls are experiencing puberty, that reduction being fueled by the pseudoestrogens in so many of our foods and products, as well as obesity.
Finally, it examines what we can do legally, politically, and as caregivers to protect children from developmentally inappropriate sexual experiences.
Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture, by Peggy Orenstein
Pink and pretty or predatory and hardened, sexualized girlhood influences our daughters from infancy onward, telling them that how a girl looks matters more than who she is. Somewhere between the exhilarating rise of Girl Power in the 1990s and today, the pursuit of physical perfection has been recast as a source—the source—of female empowerment. And commercialization has spread the message faster and farther, reaching girls at ever-younger ages.
365 TV-Free Activities You Can Do With Your Child: Plus 50 All-New Bonus Activities,
Steven J. Bennett, Ruth Bennett
A book full of excellent ideas for parents. Kid's have more fun without canned entertainment than with.
When the TV Broke (Easy-to-Read, Puffin)
by Harriet Ziefert
An easy read book for children through the first through the third or even fourth grade. It would be so boring without the TV, so a child would think, but, within a short time, all sorts of interesting activities begin to fill the vacant hours of this child, so much so, that he scarcely cared that the TV was repaired. This is an invaluable lesson for parents and children. Do we really need what one Newark educator referred to as "the one-eyed monster" to entertain our children??? Great book.
Drawing Faces - Internet-linked (Usborne Art Ideas, by Rosie Dickins, Jan McCafferty, Fiona Watt, Carrie A. Seay, Howard Allman
This is a wonderful book to get your child or teen into drawing faces.
I Saw Your Face, by Tom Feelings, Kwame Dawes
This is a wonderfully inspiring for grades 2 through 6, a book with West African roots, that contains drawings of charcoal and pencil portraits created by a West African artist, accompanied with verse.
The book takes the reader on a global tour of young black faces from Africa, North and South America, Europe, and the Caribbean. The book can help African American and other black children appreciate the interconnected relationship of people with African ancestry. Some African American children do not have insight into their historical roots. This is a fine way for children to gain appreciate for their ancestral roots.
The book is also inspiring for children and can help them develop an interest in drawing faces. Portraits, without a doubt, in this opinion, can be considered to be the highest form of artistic expression, and the talent to design portraits can be cultivated in children from early years. In this respect, I Saw Your Face
is a good title for parents and teachers to consider. We ran across this book in the children's section of a Newark, NJ library.
|Page updated January 1, 2012
|Media Violence and Sexuality for Children
Children are exposed to an enormous amount of sex and violence through the media, specifically, television, music videos, movies for children and teens, the Internet and video games.
This certainly can affect the psyche and emotions of children. A number of books have been written on the subject, but it is up to parents, and in a limited way, educators, to set appropriate limits on their child's media consumption.
Children react to sexual images they see in the media differently, and every child is different in the way they internalize violence, some are more sensitive than others. As an example, two Kindergarten students in public school played a somewhat educational video game where a lion came out and gave a frightening ROAR from time to time. One child hid under the chair every time the lion ROARed, the other child was unphased, both female. So, when considering violence in the media, not all children react, respond, or internalize the same.
However, it is fair to say, that it is good to be aware of violence in the media and make appropriate adjustments. If violence in entertainment is not in harmony with your value or belief system, then being aware of the pervasiveness of it in children's programming, can help you make decisions, as well as educate, your family in harmony with your personal ethics.
Children and young teens do not yet have the experience in life and enough real-life reference points to decode the complex, contradictory and sometimes targeted images that they encounter in the media. For an adult, the Sponge Bob Movie was only humorous and silly, for New Street School in Newark, NJ ten-year-old boys,* it was confusing in that they pondered for weeks afterwards what they considered to be homosexual references between Sponge Bob and Patrick in the movie. While an adult has no problem sorting out the silly cartoon comedy from real-life, children are left confused about sexual references that they have only heard about vaguely, have no real references points yet in life, and cannot fully process.
*(real experience, name of school slightly modified).
For many children under the age of eleven, Spiderman and Superman are real. For some children in second grade, it is not possible to convince them that Spiderman is not real. This is especially true for children who do not have strong emotional attachments, but it can be true for children in general as well. Some children carry strong sentiment for cartoon fantasies with them into their adult years, still mentally and emotionally captivated by the mysteries in these childhood fantasies. Children's programming, then, can leave a lasting mark on children, teens and into their adult years.
The details that follow were largely derived From the books, So Sexy, So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids
by Dianne Levin, Ph.D., Jean Kilbourne Ed.D.
and Mommy, I'm Scared, How TV and Movies Frighten Children and What Parents Can Do To Protect Them.
by Joanne Cantor, Ph.D. - The graphics and some commentary are additional.
See also: The Sexualization of Childhood edited by Sharna Olfman
review and information
All green links on this page are off-site links from sponsors and funds are used to support the non-profit activities of the AYCNP
Sexy icons and children's media
Positive Parenting: Sexy icons - Bratz look-alike icon - for children abound. Responsible parents direct interests of their children contrary to the path of least resistance and provide them with positive and well-thought-out activities, interests and hobbies.
Cartoons and children's movies
TV in the bedroom
70% of TV for teens has sexual content 2,000 Sex Acts/Year - Average teen sees on TV
Disney Channel - with the reputation for family entertainment, pre-teen children get primed for adolescent (and child) sex experimentation, with Disney's current emphasis (iCarly as well), as child / young teen serious kissing explorations.
Cable Television - A twelve-year-old girl middle school students re-enacts sex acts that she saw on cable television in science class for her friends (in Newark, NJ). The cable TV is a source of the wrong type of sex education for children and teens.
Pop Music for Children and Teens can be a Source of Pre-Mature Sexual Awakening
Rihanna, R & B sensation, her concerts and music videos directed mostly to young teens, plenty of pre-teen also view. The title of her album "Good Girls Gone Bad," just about sums up the theme. MTV, BET, from cable-TV, and YouTube videos use sex to attract viewers and exploit everything from lesbianism to flirting with bestiality as the hook.
Many music videos might be described as, "artistically directed soft-porn." Lady Gaga's Poker Face video, is like being party to an orgy, and verifies the truth in the statement, "pornography has gone mainstream."
MTV and other cable TV stations carry Music Videos through cable and satellite sure to titillate your older child or adolescent. As one 11-year-old said, "Britney Spears (video) was so
bad," with wide eyes.
Britney Spears caters to the musical passions of four year olds to tweens and young teens.
After Madonna paved the way, two of the most sexy Diva's of the 1990s and into the next century came from Disney's Mickey Mouse Club, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Superstar Britney Spears' first album is considered to be, by some, a bridge for child sex exploitation, with Spears dressed sexually with a sexy school dress and lollipop. She makes the top of the list in Levin's "Too Sexy, Too Soon".
Her juiced-up music is sexual beyond Donna Summers groundbreaking, Love to Love You (Baby) disco hit in the 1970s. Spears' version of Satisfaction similarly is -orgasmic- as was Summer's previous hit where she simulated orgasm over 30 times.
High School Musical's (Disney) Ashley Tisdale
High School Musical is described as a "path" from which children venture on to more progressive forms of sex in the media. Ashley Tisdale's sexy and pumping music video: He Said, She Said is viewed with rapt attention by First Grade children (at the public library).
Ashley Tisdale from High School Musical ventures beyond the Disney structure in this sexy music video
for the hit song, He Said, She Said.
"What is that little girl watching?" I wrote in my journal, watching a 6 year old on the Internet, YouTube
, at the public library. "Is it some pornographic thing? Where's the mother? How would a mother allow her six-year-old to watch a video like that unattended?" It was Ashley Tisdale, that explained it.
High School Musical Vanessa Hudgens is spoken of by 3rd graders in lowered voices, concerning the pornographic pictures they have seen on the Internet which she had made (and gotten into trouble for). Dianne Levin, Ph.D. describes High School Musical as a sort of bridge by which children
can go on to more advanced sexually oriented media. Tisdale stars in a new R-rated movie
that is clearly not for children, but, which, no doubt, many children will see, because it comes from a source from which they have become accustomed and come to trust.
Spice Girls (Let me be your lover)
Today's Disney Cheetah Girls] (Disney)
50 Cent (Gantsta rapper) - P.I.M.P. - Since that time, L'il Wayne and Nicki Minaj have taken over the reigns of African American youths hearts.
Justin Timberlake - SexyBack
Magazines and Icons
Levin has a hard time understanding the new Barbie Dolls lingerie version for children. Perfectly sculpted carved sexy bodies from get-go, Barbie Dolls have always been something of a controversy. Do they contribute to some girls development of anorexia
? Do they pose another impossible iconized image for girls to live up to? Many believe so.
My Scene Barbie
Sports illustrated Swimsuit issue
Shirts for kids with slogans - I'm Hot - Juicy, slogans across rear end, etc.
Media Violence and Children's Media
Video games in the bedroom - Parents should be aware that video games and other forms of electronic media in the child or teen's bedroom can contribute to loss of sleep, and lower attention at school.
Hasbro's DreamLife TV Video Game - a PG-13 spin-off video games for 10-year-olds and younger
Sexuality in Movies for Children and Teens and the Internet
One survey classifies 90% of PG13 movies of having (significant) sex, and 70% to 80% of PG movies, especially from the perspective of children and teens.
Educating children and teens to be discerning in the movies they watch can help them to keep their sexuality in control. Studies indicate that movies with sexuality contribute to increased and pre-mature sexual activity in teens. This has been observed with pre-teens as well.
such as American Pie, for teens (1999), the them of which is about desperately seeking to lose one's virginity, does influence the sexual lives of teenagers.
Internet savvy teens regularly download movies on their electronic devices, and even on school computers. Are you, as parents, aware of what movies your children are viewing?
The Internet, children and teens
Parents are not always home when their children might be home alone, sometimes on a regular basis. Most parents assume that their children or teens won't or aren't getting into trouble on the Internet, but this is really a naive assumption. Teens are curious about sex, and use the Internet regularly. Children stumble upon websites and videos with sex and pornography. Many music videos on the Internet are a form of soft-porn. Parents should take proper precautions with the Internet in the home,and on their children's SmartPhones or iPads.
Children need to be educated about the harm that pornography can cause, and why it is best to avoid it. Porn addiction is a reality, and it can begin in pre-teen years. Habits learned as a preteen can be very difficult to change later in life.
12% of all websites are pornography
25% of all web-searches are pornography
There are many practical measures that parents can and should take, in addition to educating their children.
Violence and Icon Violence for Children
Grand Theft Auto (Sex and Violence)
Transformers (below) is an example of intense violence marketed to preschool and other young children.
Pro-wrestling (WWF), not part of the commentaries of either of the authors referred to here, is a source of media violence for millions of children. While children know that WWF is not real, some of the violence for entertainment is Nazi sadistic. Children who develop a taste for violence from young can be harmed psychologically.
Other violent TV programs for children:
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Teenager Mutant Ninja Turtles
Star Wars and similar movies are standard American entertainment. The level of violence in movies such as Star Wars or Jurassic Park, is significant. Children are in general more honest than adults, and clearly identify such movies Star Wars, and even television cartoons such as Sponge Bob, as being, or having (significant) violence.
Things which Frighten Children - Sources of Violence for Children
from book: Mommy, I'm scared: how TV and movies frighten children and what parents can do about it
. by Joanne Cantor, PhD, professor of communication at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Overall Effects over time:
- Desensitization to violence and others? suffering.
Imitation of violence
/ violent acts.
What most children will see as preteens:
The X-Files - "A woman parks her car in a dark garage, she sees a footprint in snow outside, she takes a garden tool off the wall, a man lunges toward her, and she slashes his face with the tool (we see bloody gashes and the man screams); then she runs and another man chases and tackles her.
A man places a dead body on a chopping block and we see him raise an ax over it and then hear a thump when the ax comes down; we see a pile of what looks like severed limbs to the side. A sedated man is placed on a chopping block, an ax is raised over him and the man holding the ax is struck hard from behind and he falls to the ground unconscious. A man begins to cut along a woman's neck (we see a bloody cut) planning to sever her head but he is interrupted.
We see a severed head with tubes that pump blood through it and we see the eyes blink..."
The X-Files I Want to Believe, 2008.
Media violence that most of us have indulged in as children
The Day After (1983)
The Incredible Hulk
E.T. is described as frightening or disturbing for young children
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho
When a Stranger Calls (1979, 2006)
The Wizard of Oz
(1939) is described by child psychiatrists as a deeply disturbing movie for children. The transformation of neighbors into evil characters can be especially unsettling for children who do not have stable family lives or strong emotional attachments.
The Wizard of Oz has been described by child psychiatrist Peter Neaubauer, as the potentially most frightening and confusing movie for children, especially for those without strong emotional attachments.
Other classic icon movies with significant violence
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
James Bond movies
Dumbo (1941, Disney)
Sleeping Beauty (1959, Disney)
The following is not part of the afore mentioned literature but is presented by this site.
Bambi is described in terms of one of the most significant horror movies of the 20th century. Disney movies had significant violence. Disney deliberately upped the level of violence in children's cartoon movies after WWII, such as in his cartoon version of Peter Pan, for box-office appeal.
Are Disney movies frightening for children? Many are. Scenes in Disney's Sleeping Beauty are both intense, violent and frightening for children.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937, Disney - This classic children's movie, shown to Kindergarten children as a matter of course in public schools, has given young children nightmares. There are some intensely frightening scenes in Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, as well as other Disney children's movies.Disney has a mass of followers, but also has a fair share of serious critics among psychologists, educators and academics.
Disney's first feature full-length movie for children Snow White, was both pure and virgnally beautiful and purely evil, in its contrasting characterization of these fairy tale contrasting characters.
The sharp dichotomy between purity and pure evil is a recurring theme in Disney movies
for children. Fouts and Lawson (Calgary University) feel that this stereotyping can cause children to view others as being all-good or all-evil. Lawson also believes that Disney movies
might contribute to a child's fear and misconception of mental illness, with scores of references to "mad," "crazy," lunatic," etc. in their most widely known children's movies
Disney's 2nd flick was a horror spoof of dancing skeletons. He never lost his flair for horror, and most of his movies for children incorporate scenes of terror, fright, panic, and separation anxiety. Beauty and the Beast has the most number of 'demonizing' references, as described by Fout and Lawson of Calgary University, Canada.
Alice in Wonderland (Disney) (1951)
In Mommy I'm Scared, the following movies are considered as media entertainment that can potentially harm some children's psyche:
Beauty and the Beast (Disney)
Creature from the Black Lagoon
The Blob (horror movie)
My Girl (movie)
Bonnie and Clyde (intense-1960s)
The Wild Bunch (intense -1960s
What about 1/2-3/4 of children will see:
Natural Born Killers
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Silence of the Lambs
Friday the 13th
The Amityville Horror
Some children are scared by Chucky Cheese)
Television - What most children will see:
The television news (when reality is a nightmare) - foreign wars and famine
examples: Bosnia, Somalia, Rwanda [Afghanistan, Iraq] -
murder of JonBonet Ramsey - kidnapping - rapes - violence
Sci-Fi Channel (cable)
"The Count" on Sesame Street
Cops (Song: Bad Boys - Bad Boys Whatcha gonna do, watcha gonna do when they
come for you?)
Little House on the Prairie (judged the most frightening TV program - single episode - of its day for children).
Michael Jackson's Thriller
Hunter (TV show)
Beverly Hills 90210
What about 1/2-3/4 of children will see:
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
The Burning Bed (TV movie)
Books - Goosebumps
Things for which children need an explanation:
Movie - The Elephant Man
Scarlet O'Hara - Gone with the Wind - explanation on the cold-hearted yet beautiful
This is not an exhaustive list, but a gives a general idea of the type of things that can effect young children, including their emotional and psychological development. For some children (and many teens and adults) these can be contributing factors in depression
, bipolar disorder
, obsessive compulsive disorder
, even eating disorders
, borderline personality disorder
, most other disorders.
Objective To test the hypothesis that audible television is associated with decreased parent and child interactions.
One clinical study was designed to determine the impact of television
on young children
with respect to children's language ability. While one might think that the viewing of television would increase a child's ability to understand and speak audible language, the study actually found that for every additional hour that a child was exposed to television, there was a decrease in 770 words (7%) that the child heard from an adult during a recorded session, as well as a reeducation in the number and length of sounds and spoken words by the child with the adult.
Audible Television and Decreased Adult Words, Infant Vocalizations, and Conversational Turns - A Population-Based Study
, Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, MPH; Jill Gilkerson, PhD; Jeffrey A. Richards, MA; Frederick J. Zimmerman, PhD; Michelle M. Garrison, PhD; Dongxin Xu, PhD; Sharmistha Gray, PhD; Umit Yapanel, PhD. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med.2009;163(6)
What parents can do in a positive way for their children
1. Don't emphasize television and movies
as a way of life and of entertaining children.
2. Provide fun activities and recreation for children:
photo: Microsoft, cannot be reproduced.
Recreation for Children - Art
Piano lessons for children
Going to the Park
3. Realize that children see "things" on TV - as in sex and violence - when parents aren't at home or aren't supervising.
4. Use parental controls to block PG-13, R-rated and X-rated or near-X-rated context from TV.
5. For younger children and sensitive children, block PG content.
6. Don't assume that because it's rated G it will be suitable for your children. Many G-rated movies
can be emotionally heart-wrenching for children or have intense of frightening scenes.
Don't let corporate America, who certainly does not have your child's best interests in mind when they make movies and TV programs, but whose primary motivations are "green," decide for you what your children will watch. Most parents, in truth, give little thought to programming for children, even if it is violent.
However, it is likely, that much of the childhood depression and ADHD that children experience, even childhood bipolar disorder, may be linked to media consumption of children, in addition to many other factors. (Media violence, and in some cases sex, is just one likely "cause" or contributing factor for some childhood mental health issues). Parents make conscious decisions about what they want their children to watch on a regular basis, and act accordingly. A diet of mental junk food is the equivalent to the mind what a diet of junk food is to the body.