How Media Influences How a Child Thinks and Acts

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How media influences how a child thinks and acts As a child grows up with the media around, they take it as a source for guidance. From television to advertisements, messages are sent of how they should act. A child’s education and experience of the world is often implicit, and the media emphasizes and affects a child's thoughts of the ideal appearances, gender roles and what is perceived as right from wrong. With children as active participants in the media, watching 24 hours of television (the telegraph) and 7 hours on the computer each week (mail online), the influence is built up from the moment they are a few weeks old (kids health). From the advertisements to the magazines, the female appearance is shown as thin and tall while men are to look muscular and strong. Studies have shown that in media, 26-46% of women are portrayed as thin compared to 4-16% of men (Viewpoints 11). “The Media Awareness Network, a Canadian research and advocacy organization, found that women’s magazines are ten times more likely to contain articles and advertisements related to dieting than are men’s magazines” (Media Awareness Network). The media had caused society to expect women to be thin and men not to care much about their appearances. Women are dieting to fit the average female model, which is “not only taller than the average woman but weighs nearly 25% less” (the Canadian health network). As a young child, girls learn to be beautiful from dolls such as Barbie and boys play with action figures like G.I Joe. These toys shape a child’s belief of what is the ideal appearance. At a young age, teenage girl magazines focus 37% on appearance while half of the advertisements sell their products by appealing to beauty (Kaiser family foundation). Compared to male appearances, which are talked about less often in the media, females are more prone to eating disorders and diets. In a
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