Cartoon films give kids 'wrong signal' about 'stranger danger'
Classic cartoon flicks have been entertaining kids for decades. Now, psychologists have claimed that these films are giving children the "wrong message" about how to deal with "stranger danger".world Updated: Apr 12, 2009 22:58 IST
Classic cartoon flicks have been entertaining kids for decades. Now, psychologists have claimed that these films are giving children the "wrong message" about how to deal with "stranger danger".
A new study by Carleton University has claimed that classic cartoon films contain scenes in which children receive "unwanted personal contact" or "threatening approaches" from adults, and fail to set an example the way they respond.
According to the psychologists, the cartoon films also undermine efforts to teach children about personal safety and how to minimise the risk of sexual abuse by treating victims' discomfort with humour, 'The Daily Telegraph' reported.
"It is possible viewing these scenes could influence children to believe that telling a trusted adult about a stranger's advances is unnecessary because the film characters model successful independence," the study said.
In fact, the psychologists came to the conclusion after analysing 47 animated Walt Disney films, all released between 1937 and 2006.
They found that six films -- Robin Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, The Sword in the Stone, and A Goofy Movie -- depict children and adolescent characters experiencing unwanted personal contact.