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Home Office report on ‘Sexualization of Young People’ released

Thursday, 4th March 2010 21:27 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Side Boob FTW!

Remember last week when Big Brother’s Dr Linda Papadopoulos announced that she was set to release a report on children being sexualized in the media and videogames?

It’s been released.

The report contains quite a few bits related to games.

Here’s a smidgen, courtesy of GoNintendo:

  • Many popular video games effectively reward children for engaging in violent, illegal activity, albeit virtually…
  • Nevertheless, it is imperative that we acknowledge the very real possibility that, say, pornography that shows girls talking with relish about pre-teen sexual exploits, or highly realistic video games where players take on the role of stalker and rapist might start to blur the boundaries between what is acceptable and what is not.
  • Games consoles are sold with a separate ‘unlocking’ code, which purchasers can choose to input if they wish to use or allow access of the console to adult and online content.

That last bit there must be a dig at The Saboteur – at least that is one that comes to mind at the moment.

Another couple of bits culled from it:

  • A significant number of men exposed to video games featuring hyper-sexualised characters made judgments that suggested greater tolerance of sexual harassment; in the longer-term, exposure correlated with tolerance of sexual harassment and greater acceptance of the ‘rape myth’.
  • Most responsible parents would not allow their young children to watch an 18-rated film, yet many take a different attitude when it comes to 18-rated games, which are equally inappropriate in their content and style for a young audience. The latest gaming consoles also provide young people with access to the internet, and parents are often neither aware of this increased access nor know how to censor the information that children receive.

The full thing can be read in PDF form here, via the Home Office UK.

All 102 pages of it – not counting the covers.

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9 Comments

  1. Hunam

    No doubt this will be taken out of context and used by some members of parliament to start a witch hunt or try and go pro-censorship to shift to focus of the fact that MP’s are terrible, despicable people and we don’t like them.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Michael O’Connor

    I’m actually going to sit down and give this a read before I make any judgement calls.

    At least she acknowledged the fact that these consoles *do* have parental controls, but also the reality that most parents are oblivious to the fact that these controls even exist.

    It’s definitely a feature console manufacturers should attempt to promote to consumers more, but it still doesn’t excuse the parents for their ignorance.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Pyrix

    ‘Most responsible parents would not allow their young children to watch an 18-rated film, yet many take a different attitude when it comes to 18-rated games, which are equally inappropriate in their content and style for a young audience.’

    I simply don’t agree. An 18 film is likely to contain much more graphic/realistic violence in a situation where you are entirely focused on the violence, whereas games do not get near the realism/gore some films do, and you are focused on playing the game, sometimes not absorbing the potentially graphic images.

    Essentially, the role of videogames in the sexualisation (or perhaps more accurately simply the faster maturing nature) of youth today is very small compared to that of TV/Film and Internet in my opinion. You must remember that girls, most of who between the concerned ages do not play video games, are perhaps more overly sexualised than boys and anything found in an 18 film is likely to be worse than in an 18 game.

    While games play a small part, I worry that the role of videogames will be over-emphasised as Hunam suggested. In reality, parental control of internet sites is probably going to be more effective, since that is what has primarily caused the sexualisation in my opinion. Notice I said parental control though, I absolutely 100% disagree with any attempts to filter internet outside of the individual computer (as is the case in Australia/China) and the emphasis should be put on parental understanding and control, not more censorship.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. endgame

    “It’s been released.” :D Oh I love how Steph writes her news. :)

    O’Connor what? the only thing crazier than writing something like this is reading it. :) of what Stephanie just showed us she has clearly not left her home for a very long time. others would say that “she has been living under a rock”. :) anyway i’m not going to bother listening to her too much, i have so much porn to view and so much pixels to kill that i just can’t sapre any second of my life doing anything else. :ppp

    #4 5 years ago
  5. aprotosis

    “Most responsible parents would not allow their young children to watch an 18-rated film”

    Is she trying to take herself seriously by using such wiki-language as “most”. And define “responsible parents”. Personly I think it would be more responsible of the parent to make sure their child is exposed to the kind of content you can find in an 18+ film. Teach the child about reality, the real facts of truths and consequences – rather than sheltering them in some fantasy land where there is no violence or sexuality.

    Of course this isn’t to say that an immotionally immature infant should be exposed to such things. They flat out just wouldn’t understand the content. 18 though? Look, if they don’t get this shit at 12, I wouldn’t hold out too much for 18.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. vincentw00t

    Nevertheless, it is imperative that we acknowledge the very real POSSIBILITY that, say, pornography that shows girls talking with relish about pre-teen sexual exploits, or highly realistic video games where players take on the role of stalker and rapist MIGHT start to blur the boundaries between what is acceptable and what is not.

    Sounds to me that this is very POSSIBLY totally accurate and that we MIGHT all be in real trouble.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. OlderGamer

    Typical knee jerk reaction from the easily defensive gaming crowd.

    I think the increase in sexual content in video games this gen is sad.

    I am a perent, who still has kids at home. Most games are playing in an open living room setting. Really nice to see a video game char getting it on while your wife, mother in law, or younger teen stroll into the room.

    Video games, the hobby you do in the privacy of your own bedroom.

    ..wait, what?

    What do you think a kid is gonna do when he gets a peek at some nude girls on the TV while your playing said game? Oh yea, that kid is sitting his butt down and isn’t not moving. Of course you could confine him to his room while you play. Then he will ask you why he is being grounded. Of course you could sneak into your own bedroom, close the door and play.

    Video games, the hobby you do in the privacy of your own bedroom.

    I just think the increase in foul language, sex, and over the top violence is problematic. On many levels. And to be honest, my squads repeted use of the Mother F*****, Bitches, and get some fire on that SH** in Battlefield Bad Company 2 doesn’t in anyway shape or form enhance my enjoyment of the game. BFBC one was T rated. BFBC2 is M. The gameplay is the same, but now I have to explain to my youngest son why he can play the first one, but not the sequel. And I can’t play it when he is home.

    By the way, he lives here. He is kinda home a lot.

    Makes playing said game hard to do. And I certianly can’t play as often as I would like.

    Am i complaining about being a parent? Nope, not at all. I am just pointing out that doing a good job and playing video games don’t always mix. And it doesn’t have to be like that, but the current trend is M rated.

    And while some 22 year old gamer will jump all over me about free speech, free media, and his right to view the content that he wants. I say grow up. Because being mature has more to do with NOT being impressed and googely eyed over a girl flashing her chest in a video game, your anti hero getting laid, or how many explisitives a char can render in 10 mins of playing.

    And keep this in mind. Ask yourself honestly:

    Does any of that content improve the gameplay? The game, or your enjoyment of it?

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Michael O’Connor

    The problem OlderGamer, is that most of the people commenting on the responsibilities of parenting in these comment threads around the internet have barely even finished puberty. They don’t have the first clue about what’s involved in parenting or raising kids in a healthy atmosphere. They’re simply commenting on the “controversial” nature of the piece and disregarding it without looking at the bigger picture or even reading the whole thing.

    I’m not a parent, but I’ve spent 12 years helping to raise my nephew in a healthy family environment. When he is around, I simply don’t put on games with aggressively violent content. My sister and the father also stick to the same rule. Unfortunately, that kind of effort is too much for most *parents*, never mind the rest of the family.

    Unless someone finds a way to make most parents suddenly *care* about this problem, this is going to be a problem that will persist forever. But the reality is that most parents are… well… utterly shit at their job and too lazy to do it right.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. DaMan

    “Does any of that content improve the gameplay? The game, or your enjoyment of it?”

    it depends on the game, and the context. in the case of ie Manhunt yes it does, a lot. it’s like a catarsis.

    #9 5 years ago

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