TV makes self esteem take a dive (unless you’re a white boy)

kid tv

Exposure to today’s electronic media will, in the long run, make you feel bad about yourself. Unless you’re a white boy, then you’ll feel better. This is according to a new study from an Indiana University professor.

The study also revealed that black children watch an extra 10 hours a week of television relative to white children.

“We can’t deny the fact that media has an influence when they’re spending most of their time – when they’re not in school – with the television,” said Nicole Martins, an assistant professor of telecommunications in the IU College of Arts and Sciences.

“Children who are not doing other things besides watching television cannot help but compare themselves to what they see on the screen,” explained Kristen Harrison, professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan.

The two researchers studied 400 preadolescent kids in the Midwest over a one year period. They correlated time in front of the tv to self-esteem.

“Regardless of what show you’re watching, if you’re a white male, things in life are pretty good for you,” Martins pointed out. “You tend to be in positions of power, you have prestigious occupations, high education, glamorous houses, a beautiful wife, with very little portrayals of how hard you worked to get there. If you are a girl or a woman, what you see is that women on television are not given a variety of roles. The roles that they see are pretty simplistic; they’re almost always one-dimensional and focused on the success they have because of how they look, not what they do or what they think or how they got there.”

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Communication Research

 
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