Sexy video clips influence young girls more than boys, study shows

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Sexy video clips have a more negative influence on girls than on boys, says Dutch pop professor Tom ter Bogt. Ter Bogt investigated the influence of sexy video clips on the thoughts, behaviour and self-image of 13 to 16 year old children. After viewing the clips, girls felt that outward appearance was more important, they were less satisfied with their own appearance, and they became less resolute in denying permissive sex.

In his research Ter Bogt showed (censored) sexy videos from well-known pop-artists 50 Cent, Amanda Wilson ft. Freemasons, Nelly, NERD and David Guetta to a group of 250 children. An equally-sized group watched the concert performances of the same songs. After seeing the videos the girls in the test group felt more strongly that outward appearance was important for girls, and they tended to be less satisfied about their own appearances. Unexpectedly the videos did not affect the boys in the groups as much, their behaviour and self-image was more or less unchanged, contrary to previous beliefs that boys can be influenced by sexy videos to participate in group rapes.

Tom ter Bogt was instated today as professor at the University of Utrecht in pop music and youth culture. "There is no reason for a moral panic," Ter Bogt says, "young people need to experiment with sex. But these experiments must be based on equality between men and women, and the relationships in these videos are not based on equality. The clips undermine the self-image of young girls. When they start to define their identity with their looks, they may lose self-confidence, will perform worse in school, and will suffer more from eating disorders."

The conclusions of Ter Bogt are confirmed by research by US psychologists, but also shows that parents have a major influence in their girls' self-image.


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