Move to classify teen and ‘tween’ magazines

26 May 2010 archivemedia

Parents will be able to more easily decipher if magazines aimed at their ‘tween’ aged children contain inappropriate material under a plan from the State Liberals.

Shadow Youth Minister Michelle Lensink will introduce legislation today to classify magazines targeted towards ‘tweenies’ and teenagers with PG and M ratings in response to the community’s concern of the increasing sexualisation of young children.

“Growing up is hard enough without children being bombarded with images inappropriate for their age and my Bill means parents will be more informed when deciding what material is appropriate for their child,” Ms Lensink said.

“South Australia is in the unique position of being able to make unilateral decisions in relation to classification of publications, films and computer games.

“I am introducing this Bill in response to increasing community outrage at the sexualisation of children, including the YMCA’s calls for a classification system for girls’ magazines.”

The new classifications will be similar to those which apply to films, that is:

PG films (Parental guidance recommended), carry the advisory:

The content is mild in impact. PG films contain material that a parent or carer might need to explain to younger children.

M films (Recommended for mature audiences), carry the advisory:

The content is moderate in impact. M films are not recommended for people aged under 15 as a level of maturity is required.

“Currently publications can only carry either the classification of ‘restricted’ and ‘unrestricted’ but these aren’t useful when classifying magazines targeted at young people.

“My Bill will ensure magazines carry appropriate classification to help parents decide what their children should be reading.

“Good quality information can assist sexually active teens to make better decisions and prevent harm but blurring the lines between childhood and a transition to adulthood is not in anyone’s best interests.”