Commitment 6: Media narratives
Media and technology has an ever-increasing impact on our lives, and this can affect the way that boys understand sexual violence.
What’s the problem?
As described in our report Caring for Boys Affected by Sexual Violence, the impact of media on sex and sexuality is influential. This is especially relevant in the context of societies in which sex and sexuality is rarely discussed, and where boys therefore may rely on messages in the media to learn about it.
Another issue uncovered by our report was a culturally-embedded tendency to see boys as perpetrators of sexual violence, even where this is not the case. Where the media is not educated on sexual violence affecting boys, this can perpetuate such stereotypes.
Commitment 5 of our Charter is also related to media narratives, as it focuses on gendered social norms, which are also perpetuated by the conversations within society. The media can contribute to the construction of these norms, and therefore can have a role in changing it.
What are we calling for?
It is necessary for organisations working with children to educate the media on the dynamics of problematic and harmful sexual behaviour within the local context, and work to reduce current characterisations of children who engage in harmful sexual behaviour as perpetrators, as well as around gendered social norms.
Making it happen
Through the United For Boys Charter, we’re calling for organisations to commit to ensuring their services work for every child who needs them.
Through our package of support and guidance, we support signatory organisations to make it happen around the world.
*Source: Our report, Caring for Boys Affected by Sexual Violence.