Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Girl Scouts of the USA, Sen. Hagan, Rep. Baldwin, Geena Davis, Seek Healthy Media for Youth

Today Girl Scouts of the USA, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D- WI), and Geena Davis, Academy Award winning actor and founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, campaigned in support of the Healthy Media for Youth Act. Joined by teen Girl Scouts, the group outlined the bill, introduced by Hagan and Baldwin, which would improve media literacy for youth and encourage the promotion of healthier media messages about girls and women.

“I am pleased to join Congresswoman Baldwin to sponsor the Healthy Media for Youth Act to promote positive media messages about girls and women among our youth,” said Sen. Hagan. “Children today are exposed to upwards of ten hours a day of recreational media. With this bill, Congresswoman Baldwin and Ms. Davis and I want to ensure our kids – both boys and girls - have realistic and healthy views of the role women play in our society as they grow up."

“Girl Scouts of the USA thanks Sen. Hagan, Rep. Baldwin, and Geena Davis for joining together to promote positive media literacy and positive images of women and girls,” said Girl Scouts CEO Kathy Cloninger.

A survey by Girl Scouts of the USA’s (GSUSA) Research Institute, Girls and Body Image, found that 89% of girls say the fashion industry places a lot of pressure on teenage girls to be thin. The American Psychological Association’s (APA) Report on the Sexualization of Girls (2007) found that three of the most common mental health problems among girls—eating disorders, depression or depressed mood, and low self-esteem—are linked to the sexualization of girls and women in media. And according to the Geena Davis Institute of Gender in Media, despite being 50 percent of the U.S. population, in family films and television, male characters outweigh female characters nearly three to one and five to one in background or group scenes, a statistic that has remained the same since 1946. Only 27 percent of the speaking characters are female. (GDIGM)