Media Release: Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today expressed concern that a Victorian teacher’s sexually charged poses on a national television program could send the wrong messages to children who are already dealing with an increasingly sexualised society.

“Sadly, children are being forced to contend with a culture that gives the repeated message that people’s value mainly lies in their sexual attractiveness,” ACL Victorian Director Rob Ward said today.

“This message is being fed to them very early in their games, magazines and TV programs and continually reinforced.

“As family groups have said, we now have an instance of a teacher, who should be acting as an example for his students, instead adding to this negative message in a program which is all about flaunting your sexual attractiveness. Children don’t need more super models, they need more role models!

“Added to that is the fact that this program is being shown in an early evening time slot and likely to be attracting many young viewers.”

Mr Ward said that the controversy provides another example of television networks failing to take their community responsibilities seriously.

“A raft of submissions to a recent Senate inquiry into the sexualisation of children in the contemporary media environment expressed strong concern about this problem and the harm it is bringing to children. However, in bringing down its recommendations, the Senate committee decided to leave this issue in the hands of the media and advertising industry to self-regulate.

“The latest TV model search program is another example of how misguided this was.

Television networks are very obviously continuing to put their desire to gain ratings well above the real interests of their younger viewers.

“We need to see greater political will to address this toxic sexualisation of children, which is affecting the healthy development of far too many.”

Media Contact: Rob Ward