Music videos which are “sexually provocative” should be banned before the watershed, a Home Office commissioned report has said. The study, by psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, warned children were being damaged by exposure to sexual and violent images and lyrics on TV. She said music videos were sexualising girls at a young age and encouraging them to aspire to an unhealthy ideal – but unlike other sexual content were not banned before 9pm.
As well as music videos, the report points to greater exposure of children to sexual and violent content from a younger age – through magazines, advertising, the internet and video games. The report said: “Music channels and videos across all genres have been found to sexualise and objectify women. Women are often shown in provocative and revealing clothing and are depicted as being in a state of sexual readiness. Males on the other hand are shown as hyper-masculine and sexually dominant.
It added: “A Pussycat Dolls video, say, will mean very different things to a three-year-old, an eight year-old and a 14-year-old.” The report also called for a ban on Government job centres advertising jobs in lap-dancing clubs, massage parlours and other parts of the sex industry and for Internet Service Providers to block access to pro-bulimia and pro-anorexia websites.
It also suggested a ratings system for pictures of models in magazines so readers can tell if they have been airbrushed and a compulsory age rating system for so-called lads’ mags to make clear they are “top shelf” titles. Exposure to sex and violence at a young age can lead to low self esteem, unhappiness with their looks and unhealthy sexual aspirations among young girls, the report said. Boys are encouraged to aspire to a false “hyper-masculine” ideal, it found.