Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Precursors of Sexualization: Perspectives of Mothers and Female Teachers Regarding the Influence of the Media on 4-year-old Girls' Gender Identity Development
by Malhoyt-Lee, Jennifer M., Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, 2018, 230; 10786139
Abstract (Summary)

The sexualization of girls is an ongoing issue that has garnered much attention in recent years, with one contributing factor, media, becoming an ever-increasing part of children’s lives. This study explored four questions: How do mothers and teachers perceive the media’s influence on young girls’ identity development? To what extent do these caregivers engage young girls in analyzing media messages? What observed behaviors of 4-year old girls indicate media’s influence? and What are caregivers interpretations and responses to these behaviors? Analyzing the perceptions of mothers and female teachers of 4-year old girls contributes to a better understanding of how girls are influenced, both by caregivers’ actions and by media consumed.

Twelve mothers and female early childhood teachers from three South Florida preschools were interviewed to better understand how girls are influenced by media, and to gain a more holistic perspective of the potential impact of media on young girls’ behaviors and their emerging understanding of what it means to be a girl today. The findings indicate that mothers and female teachers perceive media to be influential in the lives of girls, both in terms of general child development and young girls’ gender identity development. The participants are observing behaviors in their 4-year old girls that indicate media’s influence; these behaviors include sexualized dancing, attitude and language changes, and requests for sexualized clothing and beauty products. Although these mothers and teachers do not yet help girls analyze media messages, they do, however, engage in significant guidance as they interpret and respond to the observed behaviors. These findings reflect a need for media literacy education for parents and teachers, as well as comprehensive sexualization awareness and prevention education for children, parents, and teachers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Weber, Roberta K.
Commitee: Brown, Nancy, Hardman, John, Jones, Nancy A., Levin, Diane E., Sembiante, Sabrina F.
School: Florida Atlantic University
Department: Curriculum and Instruction
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Early childhood education, Multimedia Communications, Gender studies
Keywords: Early childhood, Girls, Identity, Media, Sexualization, Teachers
Publication Number: 10786139
ISBN: 9780438011250
Copyright © 2019 ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Cookie Policy