Canadian Media Literacy Week is Nov. 4-8

What's being sold: Helping kids make sense of marketing messages.

By G. Tina Wolridge

Canadian Media Literacy Week is Nov. 4-8, 2013. The initiative is hosted by MediaSmarts and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation. Their goal is to raise awareness about the importance of media literacy and digital literacy in the education of children and youth.  

Educators, parents, communities and organizations in Canada and the United States will join in marking the 8th annual Media Literacy Week. The theme of the week is, “What’s Being Sold: Helping Kids Make Sense of Marketing Messages.” The goal is to inspire parents and educators to talk to children and teens about advertising and how marketers target young people and what they can do fight the problem.

APA’s 2007 Report of the Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls recommends raising public awareness around these issues, and APA offers a list of media literacy resources. Recent efforts include development and release of a video. APA’s Public Interest Directorate invited six middle school girls to sit down and share their thoughts about the images of girls the see all around them and how they feel about way girls are portrayed today in the media. The video is called: Girl’s Talk: Sexualization of Girls.

According to the report of the APA Task Force on Sexualization of Girls, sexualization happens when:

  1. a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics;
  2. a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) with being sexy;
  3. a person is sexually objectified — that is, made into a thing for others’ sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making; and/or
  4. sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person.