In homes all over Australia, parents are desperately trying to protect their children from harmful messaging. We install internet filters, limit device use, check classifications and do everything we can to let our kids be kids for as long as possible.
But what about when they go out of our home?
Travelling to school, catching the bus or train, playing soccer on the weekend – what will our children be exposed to, or see on billboards or signs while doing their usual kid things? Maybe an incredibly suggestive advertisement for deodorant or a misogynistic advertisement for a mechanic? Or possibly a billboard for a strip club? Maybe something for male enhancement products?
As a parent, it is my responsibility to protect my children from harmful messaging – particularly when it is advertising directed at adults, but intentionally placed where it is visible to children.
The President of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Steve Hambleton, said “There is strong evidence that premature sexualisation is likely to be detrimental to child health and development, particularly in the areas of body image and sexual health.”
So….. what can be done?
Recently the Queensland Government announced its decision to ban junk food advertising from appearing around public schools, sports centres, and public transport hubs. This is to be applauded as healthy eating habits are in the best interests of our children’s well-being and good health outcomes.
However, junk food ads themselves do not harm our children and parents still have control over whether or not they have access to the junk food. Not so with sexually explicit advertising. The damage is done just by viewing the offensive advertising.
Please join with us as we call on the Government to include sexually explicit advertising in the ban. Schools, sporting fields and transport hubs should be safe zones for children, free from the negative effects of harmful messaging which includes junk food advertising as well as exposure to sexualised images and themes.