Research on sexualised goods aimed at children published by committee


Research on sexualised goods aimed at children was published today by the Equal Opportunities Committee.

The report was commissioned by the committee following a roundtable evidence session on the subject in December 2008. Professor David Buckingham from the Institute of Education at London University led on the work. 

Committee Convener Margaret Mitchell MSP said: “The committee welcomes this body of work as an important contribution to the complex debate and area of public concern.

"This is useful research which considers the prevalence of ‘sexualised goods’ and explores the attitudes of parents and children towards them.”


The research identifies and explores a number of key areas:

  • The prevalence of “sexualised goods” i.e. products, such as toys and clothing, which appear to be aimed at children under the age of 16.
  • The prevalence of products which employ age-inappropriate sexual imagery or have other sexual connotations through, for example, association with certain adult brands, the product design or in the way the products are marketed.
  • The attitudes of parents and children towards sexualised goods.
  • A review of existing literature and evidence on the issue.
  • A survey of the range of products available in high street shops.
  • The research does not extend to products which are already regulated such as films and teenage magazines.

The research was carried out by:

  • Professor David Buckingham, Institute of Education, London University
  • Dr Rebekah Willett, Institute of Education, London University
  • Dr Sara Bragg, Open University
  • Dr Rachel Russell, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Researcher Dr Nikka Dorrer, Glasgow Caledonian University


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