How boys' brains are affected by advertising

Watch Video: How boys' brains are affected by advertising by Jean Kilbourne, EdD, ...
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How boys' brains are affected by advertising

The sexualization of childhood affects our boys as well as our girls, but it affects them in a different way. Girls are turned into objects and then boys are encouraged to look at girls in that way, boys are encouraged to see girls as objects and as valuable only if they look a certain way. And boys also are pressured to be sexually active or sexually interested long before they actually are. So there's enormous pressure on boys to sort of act sexually precocious in a way that does a lot of harm to boys. The truth is that boys value relationships as much as girls do. Boys want love and they want intimacy and they want connection. Men want that too. And yet, our culture often makes it seem as if that's not true for boys and men, and encourages boys to be invulnerable and to present themselves as tough and not communicative. And that does an enormous amount of harm to our boys. And just one example, there is a t-shirt out for little girls, toddler girls that says "Hooters girl in training." Now, that's horrible in and of itself. There is a t-shirt for little boys that says "Pimp squad." Now, imaging parents buying this clothing and putting it on their tiny children. But I'm sure they do it because they don't think about what the consequences and what the messages are that they're sending to their children and also out into the world in general.

Watch Video: How boys' brains are affected by advertising by Jean Kilbourne, EdD, ...


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Jean Kilbourne, EdD

Author & Social Theorist

Jean Kilbourne is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. Her films, lectures, and television appearances have been seen by millions of people throughout the world. She was named by The New York Times Magazine as one of the three most popular speakers on college campuses...

She is the author of the award-winning book Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel and So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids. The prize-winning films based on her lectures include Killing Us Softly, Spin the Bottle, and Slim Hopes. She is a frequent guest on radio and television programs, including “The Today Show” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” She has served as an advisor to the Surgeon General and has testified for the U.S. Congress. She holds an honorary position as Senior Scholar at the Wellesley Centers for Women.

According to Susan Faludi, “Jean Kilbourne’s work is pioneering and crucial to the dialogue of one of the most underexplored, yet most powerful, realms of American culture —advertising. We owe her a great debt.” A member of the Italian Parliament said, “Hearing Jean Kilbourne is a profound experience. Audiences leave her feeling that they have heard much more than another lecture, for she teaches them to see themselves and their world differently.”

She has received many awards, including the Lecturer of the Year award from the National Association for Campus Activities. A more unusual tribute was paid when an all-female rock group in Canada named itself Kilbourne in her honor.

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