In the News...and Elsewhere
30% of Girls' Clothing Sexualized www.livescience.com May 20, 2011
"Those extreme cases get people's ire up, said Sharon Lamb, a professor of mental health at the University of Massachusetts in Boston who was not involved in the research. But the trend is more insidious than single cases make it out to be, Lamb told LiveScience. "It's not just this most outrageous thing," said Lamb, author of "Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters From Marketer's Schemes" (St. Martin's Press, 2006). "It's a lot of subtle little things, too."
Little Girls Are Made of Sugar -- Not Spice USA Today, April 12, 2011
"Images aimed at boys are no better, says Sharon Lamb, co-author of Packaging Girlhood and Packaging Boyhood.
Cartoons now are "teaching little boys that you bond by getting drunk," says Lamb, a psychology professor at University of massachusetts Boston". "In SpongeBob, they get drunk on ice cream. In Open Season, they get drunk on chocolate." ETC.
Vermont Author Tells Parents Not to Panic Burlington Free Press, April 25, 2011
"The answer is to give girls lots of other opportunities that can compete with that more plastic version of how to gain self worth," Lamb said.
On Boys and Superheroes
In August, after a presentation at APA and a press release, Packaging Boyhood, received a lot of press. Mostly, comic book hero defenders wrote that we were dead wrong. I clarified my remarks to be critical of what comic book heroes had become in the movies that have now popularized them -- action movie Rambos who merely use their powers as an excuse for violence.
"Superheroes Corrupt America's Youth!," Popgun Chaos, August 19, 2010
“…after a minute of talking with Dr. Lamb, I was pleased to find her not only kind and accommodating, but firmly in support of comics and graphic novels. Essentially, Dr. Lamb’s argument is that the movie superhero of today doesn’t emphasize social justice so much as he exemplifies superficial trappings – fast cars, big guns, and beautiful women. The article references the Iron Man franchise as a specific example, but in my conversation with Dr. Lamb, she went on to acknowledge that Dark Knight had to fight hard to stay under an “R” rating in movie theaters and that it wasn’t a movie for kids despite being marketed as one.”
Sharon presented her work at APA on August 15th and APA sent out a press release of the symposium which talked about a study (another presenter, Carlos Santos, that had findings about boys’ resistance to mainstream masculinity and their relationships with parents and friends) and also our conclusions about media and marketing influences on boys. [...]
"Being a Mama's Boy: Good for Your Health?", TIME, Friday, Aug. 27, 2010
"Dora the Explorer Turns 10" USA Today, Aug. 10, 2010
"Dora is an action figure," says psychologist Sharon Lamb, co-author of Packaging Girlhood. "Her famous phrase is 'Let's go!' She has a backpack and cool equipment. In other media, boys always have the cool equipment."...
If there are more resourceful girls on TV today — from Sesame Street's Abby Cadabby to the Kai-lan Chow, the bilingual heroine of Nickelodeon's Ni Hao, Kai Lan— it's partly because of Dora's success, and partly because concerned parents have lobbied for them, Lamb says....
Yet Lamb says she's concerned about what she sees as attempts to make Dora more marketable. Last year, Mattel unveiled a tween Dora doll, with longer hair and a prettier, more fashionable look...
"It's the same old message, that when you grow up, you stop exploring and start thinking about how you look," says Lamb, who gathered 10,000 signatures on an online petition to executives at Nickelodeon and Mattel, asking them to create a doll more in keeping with Dora's adventurous spirit.