Too much, too soon? Children, ‘sexualisation’ and consumer culture

Bragg, Sara; Buckingham, David; Russell, Rachel and Willett, Rebekah (2011). Too much, too soon? Children, ‘sexualisation’ and consumer culture. Sex Education, 11(3) pp. 279–292.




This article reports on research commissioned by the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee which involved a survey of ‘sexualised’ products aimed at children as well as data collected with children and parents. The research aimed to provide concrete empirical evidence and to encourage informed debate about the prevalence of ‘sexualised’ goods and products that are marketed at children. To assess the views of parents and young people, the researchers designed open-ended, participatory activities for use in classrooms and focus groups. These methods were designed to access parents’ and young people’s perspectives in a way that was not personally intrusive or morally judgmental, and to avoid the problems associated with more conventional methods such as interviews. The article reports on these approaches both substantively – presenting findings from the retail survey and about parents’ and young people’s views on sexualized cultures – and methodologically.

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