Childhood is a time of innocence, and it's easy to dismiss children's media as harmless because of the simplicity with which most of its audience will approach it. The truth is all media is created with a message, and the messages we send to our children may be the most important of all. The same innocence with which they approach the world leaves them less equipped to analyze the underlying intentions. As an offshoot to my main blog, See Jane Juggling serves as a place for some analysis on the messages children's media send. My perspective is admittedly biased toward gender and race concerns, but I would love to hear from you about your other viewpoints as well. Rate the media (explanation of ratings to the right) and leave a comment, and together we can shed some light on these complicated decisions.


Online Sources
Children's Media Consumption/Media Effects
  • Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18- Year Olds This 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study looks at children's media consumption and finds that it is increasing drastically. When "media multitasking" (using more than one type of media at a time) is included, children consume 10.75 hours of media a day. 
  • Always Connected: The New Digital Media Habits of Young Children This 2010 report from the Sesame Workshop and Joan Ganz Cooney Center focuses not the media consumption of children 10 and under. Among many other interesting findings, they report that television (including movies on DVD) make up the most consumed media for this age group. 
  • AAP Press Release- In October 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated their media recommendations to state that children under two should receive no screen time exposure.
  • Center on Media and Child Health A center based out of Harvard Medical and Public Health Schools and Children's Hospital Boston. This site contains resources for parents on how media can affect children's health.
  • Kaiser Family Foundation Study of Media and Health The KFF is a non-profit dedicated to providing information on major health issues. This link is to their page on media and health and it provides many reports on different aspects of media consumption.

Gender in Children's Media
  • Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media- Geena Davis founded this institute in 2004 to address issues with the portrayal of women and gender stereotypes in media. This site includes resources and research to help promote changes in the gender stereotypes. 
  • This is the website for the documentary Miss Representation, which examines the stereotypical portrayals of women in media and entertainment. 
  • ReelGirl- A blog by writer and commentator Margot Magowan with the tagline "Imagining gender equality in the fantasy world." She analyzes children's media for gender stereotypes and discusses pertinent media issues. 

Race in Children's Media
  • Fair Play? Violence, Gender  and Race in Video Games- This 2001 report from ChildrenNow reveals shocking racial disparities in video games. (For instance, almost 90% of black women were portrayed as victims of violence--twice the rate of white women and all of the human characters in games for young children were white). 
Other Resources
  • Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood- A coalition of experts from various backgrounds who have banded together to fight the corporate influence over childhood. This site contains many resources on children's marketing practices and ways to get involved. 

Books/Print Sources
  • The Mouse That Roared: Disney and the End of Innocence by Henry A. Giroux- This book closely analyzes Disney's marketing history and practices and asserts that Disney has carefully crafted a rhetoric surrounding innocence and childhood for profit and control of the market. 
  • Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein- This book examines the rise of girly-girl culture and how it has been marketed to young girls. 
  • "Televisions in the Bedrooms of Racial/Ethnic Minority Children: How Did They Get There and How Do We Get Them Out?" by Elsie M Taveras, MD et al. Clinical Pediatrics Vol. 48 Iss. 7 (September 2009): 715-719. - A study that finds minority children have much higher television exposure than white children and are much more likely to have televisions in their bedrooms. 
  • "Seeing White: Children of Color and the Disney Fairy Tale Princess" by Dorothy L. Hurley The Journal of Negro Education Vol. 74 Iss. 3 (Summer 2005): 221-232. - A critical analysis of the Disney princess trope and how it affects the self-image of children (especially girls) of color.