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SO SEXY SO SOON: PROGRAM AT DEERFIELD HIGH SCHOOL TO ADDRESS THE MEDIA’S IMPACT ON GENDER IDENTITY

Dr. Jean Kilbourne, award-winning documentarian and author speaks at Deerfield High School April 17
Dr. Jean Kilbourne, award-winning documentarian and author speaks at Deerfield High School April 17

Deerfield Parent Network presents a program by film maker, speaker and author, Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., “So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Children,” on Thursday, April 17, at 8:00 p.m. at the Deerfield High School Auditorium. In her address, Dr. Kilbourne will explore the role of the media in shaping children’s and teen’s gender identities, sexual attitudes and behaviors. Dr. Kilbourne, described by The Boston Globe as a “superstar lecturer,” is known for her wit and warmth, and her ability to present provocative topics in a way that unites rather than divides, and empowers people to take action in their own and in society’s interest.

According to Dr. Kilbourne, girls are encouraged to objectify themselves and to obsess about their sex appeal and appearance at absurdly young ages, while boys get the message that they should seek sex but avoid intimacy. These messages shape their gender identity, sexual attitudes and behavior, values, and their capacity for love, connection, and healthy relationships well into adulthood. Using many illustrations and examples of these sexual images and messages, this important program will examine the harmful consequences of the sexualization of children and teenagers and suggest some practical strategies for change.

Dr. Kilbourne has produced several award-winning documentaries, most notably, Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women, cited as, “electrifying, changing forever the way we view ads about women” by media reviewers.  She has lectured extensively throughout North America and the world, has written or been a source for articles published in media such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and USA Today, and has appeared on programs such as The Today Show, 20/20, All Things Considered, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Dr. Kilbourne has a B.A. in English from Wellesley College, and a doctorate in education from Boston University.  She has been a senior scholar at the Wellesley Centers for Women since 1984. In the late 1960s, she began her exploration of the connection between advertising and several public health issues, including violence against women, eating disorders, and addiction, and launched a movement to promote media literacy as a way to prevent these problems. For further information about this program, please visit www.deerfieldparentnetwork.org or www.parentstheantidrug.org.

DeerfieldWATCHdog April 08, 2014 at 02:29 PM
Total agree Deerfield Resident. But, you'd better watch out, the area "liberals" will notice your post and accuse YOU of all sorts of foolishness if you subscribe to knocking or criticizing "the agenda"...which has and always will be all that's "loose" and inappropriate and serves and compensates certain individuals and organizations in the community (ESPECIALLY in the public school district) will be tolerated and even praised...anything and everything in opposition shall be condemned...to bad for the poor souls...their time will come...Parents REALLY taking time with their children? They're too wrapped up in their own achievements and pretend to care by overindulgence and/or convincing themselves that leaving the kids on their own somehow "matures" them and helps them "figure life out on their own"...BS! That's why we see those same DEERFIELD kids ( elementary and middle school) hanging out at the malls in the baby changing areas and parking lots smoking, making out and drinking after "mommy in her giant Lexus SUV" dropped them off to see a movie and get a bite while she goes off to shop or whatever! Typical North Shore behavior. These are the same type of parents that invest highly in the "professionals" that come and speak at our local schools. It's disgusting to say the least...
Andrea Brown April 17, 2014 at 09:38 AM
I am planning to attend - it sounds like an important topic for all parents by an experienced speaker. I find the comments above very disturbing not because they are completely baseless (they are not) but because they are filled with such loathing and anger. Sure there are parents in this town (and most towns) where parents spend less time with their kids than others think they should. And affluence can result in over-indulgence. But don't judge - some of the most concerned, involved parents can raise kids who don't "buy in" or follow their rules and examples. And to those parents who should recognize themselves in your critical characterization, I hope you (and all of us) can at least think about ways in which we can be better parents. The ultimate goal is to raise good, productive, happy kids.
Deerfield Resident April 17, 2014 at 10:40 AM
Andrea, the truth can hurt.....let's not give upon these kids but lets face the facts..."Dog" is right these are the same people that hire these professionals after their kid needs help because mommy and daddy bought their kid everything to keep up with the jones' but really did nothing to "be" with their child, show an interest, go to their events, spend time with them at dinner etc. It's actually really simple ...put your child first, let them know they come first and then expect them to show respect in return and most of all, have them want to make you proud of them for the effort you put in and you'll raise great kids. The problem is, the effort isn't there from the parents and it stops there. Then you get these professionals telling you what you should have done and by then it's too late.
DeerfieldWATCHdog April 17, 2014 at 03:30 PM
...I might add that in no way do I judge or criticize those that are truly concerned and have children that "stray". I am well aware of that fact. I have one myself. But...I NEVER dropped off my kids blindly somewhere and NEVER would my kids ever accuse me of being an absent parent either physically or emotionally...quite the opposite. And angry? You bet I'm angry about such things. Did YOU attend the funeral of the LF youth that suicided recently? So you know the particulars of many nearby incidents which echo the cries of our "well cared for" youth? I am all too familiar and have lived here a LONG time. "The ultimate goal is to raise good, productive and happy kids" (?) don't you think many parents believe that was what they were raising? Many of these kids are "good" enough to put up a good front at home and school at least. But they HURT on the inside! Where's mom and dad? Out earning an indulgent living thinking they are raising "good, productive and happy kids"...exactly...And what exactly is your definition of "good"? Therein also lies a problem. There are no standards for "good" 'round here. One parent may view "good" as an underage youth drinking in home with supervision while another wouldn't even consider it. We should be raising children under our constant watchful eye(s) with a good dose of grace, expecting obedience and responsibility with consequences for unacceptable behaviors and carelessness. In Deerfield at least, "production" is far from an issue and "happy" is an internal choice in any circumstance not an external that can be produced by a parent's "raising".

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