committee considers that the inappropriate sexualisation of children in
Australia is of increasing concern. While noting the complexity of defining
clear boundaries around this issue, the committee believes that preventing the
premature sexualisation of children is a significant cultural challenge. This is
a community responsibility which demands action by society. In particular, the
onus is on broadcasters, publishers, advertisers, retailers and manufacturers
to take account of these community concerns.
this heightened concern, the committee believes that this issue should be
followed up and therefore recommends that the steps taken to address it by
industry bodies and others should be further considered by the Senate in 18
committee recommends that the Commonwealth through the National Health and
Medical Research Council or other appropriate body commission a major
longitudinal study into the effects of premature and inappropriate
sexualisation of children.
committee recommends that, as part of its review of the Children's Television
Standard (CTS), the Australian Communications and Media Authority consider
revising the requirement that CTS content be broadcast for at least half an
hour per day to enable broadcasters to schedule it in extended blocks at times
which are more likely to attract children to watch it.
committee recommends that broadcasters review their classification of music
videos specifically with regard to sexualising imagery.
committee recommends that broadcasters consider establishing dedicated
children's television channels.
committee recommends that publishers consider providing reader advice, based on
the Office of Film and Literature Classification systems of classifications and
consumer advice, on magazine covers indicating the presence of material that
may be inappropriate for children.
committee recommends that, in 18 months, the Senate review the effectiveness of
the operation of the Australian Association of National Advertisers' Code for
Advertising and Marketing Communications to Children, introduced in April 2008.
commissioner recommends that the Advertising Standards Board and Free TV
Australia consider establishing a media and advertising complaints clearing
house whose functions would be restricted to:
- receiving complaints
and forwarding them to the appropriate body for consideration;
- advising complainants
that their complaint had been forwarded to a particular organisation; and
- giving complainants
direct contact details and an outline of the processes of the organisation the
complaint had been forwarded to.
committee recommends that the Advertising Standards Board produce a
consolidated half-yearly list of all complaints, including those received by
'phone, where the impact of an advertisement on children, however described, is
a factor in the complaint.
committee recommends that the Advertising Standards Bureau consider adopting a
process of pre-vetting advertisements either (a) at the request of the
advertiser where they are concerned that the content of the material may be
pushing the boundaries of the codes or (b) where an advertiser or agency has
regularly produced advertising material that has been the subject of
committee recommends that, to ensure that the Advertising Standards Board is
able to make determinations that are in keeping with prevailing community
standards, the Advertising Standards Bureau should develop a formal schedule or
process for community consultation, including the use of focus groups, and
research to act as a benchmark for board determinations.
committee recommends that the Advertising Standards Board rigorously apply
standards for billboards and outdoor advertising to more closely reflect
community concern about the appropriateness of sexually explicit material and
the inability of parents to restrict exposure of children to such material.
committee recommends that state and territory governments, which have the
responsibility for education, consider the introduction into all Australian
schools of comprehensive sexual health and relationships education programs
which are inclusive of both young people and parents, adopting a consistent
national approach to the question.
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