10 Apr 2012

Computer games and television 'sexualising' children

6:14 pm on 10 April 2012

A family counsellor in Taranaki says a growing number of cases of sexualised behaviour in children can be attributed to computer games and television.

The Taranaki Safer Family Centre says it has had nearly 60 cases of the behaviour in children, aged five to eleven, referred to it so far this year.

Centre manager Tina Gulliver says children are seeing things that they should not and acting them out.

Mrs Gulliver says if it is not dealt with straight away, it becomes a bigger problem later on.

Ms Gulliver says society seems to be becoming more de-sensitised to violent and sexual images and children are suffering because of it.

Meanwhile, a child advocate says parents need to take more responsibility in policing what their children watch on television and on computer games.

Anthea Simcock from Child Matters says children imitate adults and any exposure to sex and violence on the screen has serious consequences.

Ms Simcock says children often reach quite advanced levels on some games which progress to full-on violence and sex.