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Mums confuse music videos with porn

CONCERNING: A still from a Trey Songz music video featured in Thomas’ study that is easily accessible

MOTHERS WITH young children have difficulty spotting the difference between porn and music video stills, a new survey has revealed.

The research was conducted last December by 20-year-old Carla Thomas – a third-year public relations student at Westminster University.

She found that 69 per cent of the 32 participants were unaware of the level of over-sexualisation in music videos easily accessible to young people, aged between 5 and 15, on TV or the Internet.

Parents were shown a variety of stills from R&B videos including Miguel’s Quickie and the Trey Songz hit Neighbours Know My Name.

Thomas said: “The parents I surveyed were so shocked when they saw some of the images because obviously they were brought up in a different time when music represented music… now, it’s more about sexualisation and violence.”

She added: “A lot of them didn’t know it was as bad as it was, so they needed to be shown some of the worst cases. When you leave your child on the computer this is what they can access.

“A lot of parents I surveyed said they would now [better] regulate their children while using the internet.”

CONCERNS

The study comes amid growing concerns over the easy availability of the sexually explicit content of music videos pre-watershed.

Thomas believed the government and parents had a responsibility to protect young girls, in particular, from this type of exposure, at a time when young pop acts like Rihanna and Miley Cyrus are baring more flesh.

But it was the researcher’s four-year-old nephew who inspired her to carry out the research.

“I noticed that he repeats a lot of things that he hears without even knowing the meaning of it,” she told The Voice.

In a survey carried out by netmums.com, a third of children copy overtly provocative dance moves they have seen their idols perform.

DAMAGING

Thomas said: “There is a lot of concentration on females, but it’s also damaging [to] boys because they are going to be brought up with an unrealistic portrayal of women and how they expect them to be.”

Female empowerment organizations like the End Violence Against Women (EVAW) Coalition, Imkaan and OBJECT launched the Rewind & Reframe campaign in a bid to get the producers of music videos to display age classifications.

Nuna Sandy, a married mother of two sons, works as a children’s dance teacher.

She emphasised the importance of listening to the lyrics of the songs and banning records by certain artists from being played in her dance classes.

“Sometime last year my eldest son was watching a video and said it was making his ‘willy wobbly’,” she said. “There are certain songs they can listen to, but in this house we put on the radio. They haven’t watched a video in the last year and a half.”

RELATIONSHIP

Sandy, of east London, also believed that having an honest and open relationship with her children avoided curiosity.

She said: “I think parents should educate themselves so many of them are oblivious to the songs and don’t sit and watch it with their children.”

Sarah Green, EVAW’s campaigns manager, said the survey results were not shocking to those who regularly watched contemporary music videos.

“The lines are now truly blurred with many standard porn techniques being used regularly in music videos,” she added.

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