Diane Levin at the Consuming Kids Summit

Liveblogging here via frequent updates (refresh your browser to see) and livetweeting on http://www.twitter.com/inthebigmuddy.


Before deregulation of children’s advertising, Star Wars was launched.

Toys R Us has 647 Star wars products on its web site, now.

1010 items branded with Disney Princesses currently on Toys R Us Website.

Nagging is how children are used to buy things.

Heard of the Golden Marble awards? The Have you lost your marbles awards?

Link of sex and violence is now extreme. She shows a playstation 3 “game, with a tag lines on the front as follows: “There are thousands of ways to kill prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto IV.” Ratring is M17

Teen rated for ages 13 and up there is an Ultimate Fighting Championship  game.

Now, in england, there are eight year olds filmed cage fighting. Check out unfitforchildren.org.

Entertainments Software Rating Board…Diane mentions, this, I wasn’t aware of it.

Unite Here (union) is fighting this cage-fighting “entertainment: marketed to children; Chris Sears from Unite Here is here at Consuming Kids.

The Research Conundrum….e.g., about whether gun violence is caused by media violence.

Levin emphasizes it’s no conundrum…it’s framed this way.

Science tells us:

exposure to media violence is linked to 

  1. aggression
  2. desensitization to violence
  3. lack of empathy [compassion deficit disorder- CDD]

Ask this, says Levin: who’s doing the research, how are the research questions phrased, what framework is used to look at the issue, who is paying for the research? Who stands to benefit from which kind of results?

Remote Control Childhood; Problem-Solving Deficit Disorder

Children’s problem-solving skill development is retarded by media exposure. So–they might have impluse control, and try to hit someone to get the ball the want, for example.

Cites several examples of how children think differently; they confuse pretend and reality. And with regard to violence, children need to figure it out. Children exposed to media violence come to feel that  violence  as a way to feel powerful.

We must stop blaming parents.

Levin thinks of this as a clash of culture. on the one side, think of a box of: parent, school and societal values & culture; on the other, a box: media, popular & commercial values & culture.

Right now there is a barricade between the two sides. On one side, the right; on the other, the wrong.

So the work is to keep the first bigger , a bigger box; on the other side, a smaller box, and connect the boxes.

Levin  accompanied her son to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and a little friend came along (others had seen it in a group). Nancy Carlsson-Paige asked her son afterward about it.

He had processed it; he had both voices, his mother’s reactions during the movie, and his friend, in his head at that young age. When he turned 23, he said, I understand now.

[I went to livetweeting her talk at this point: see http://www.twitter.com/inthebigmuddy

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