H.R. 2513 (112th): Healthy Media for Youth Act

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Jul 13, 2011 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2513

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 13, 2011

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce

A BILL

To authorize grants to promote media literacy and youth empowerment programs, to authorize research on the role and impact of depictions of girls and women in the media, to provide for the establishment of a National Task Force on Girls and Women in the Media, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Healthy Media for Youth Act.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents of this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title.

Sec. 2. Findings.

Sec. 3. Grants to promote media literacy and youth empowerment programs.

Sec. 4. Research on the role and impact of girls and women in the media on the development of youth.

Sec. 5. National Task Force on Girls and Women in the Media.

Sec. 6. Limitation.

Sec. 7. Definitions.

Sec. 8. Authorization of appropriations.

2.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

According to the 2010 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation entitled Generation M² Media in Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds, most 8- to 18-year-olds spend about 10 hours a day using recreational media.

(2)

Sixty percent of teenage girls compare their bodies to fashion models and almost 90 percent of girls say the media places a lot of pressure on teenage girls to be thin, according to the 2010 Girl Scout Research Institute report entitled Beauty Redefined.

(3)

Only 34 percent of girls report being very satisfied with their bodies, according to the 2006 study by the Girl Scout Research Institute entitled The New Normal? What Girls Say About Healthy Living. Body dissatisfaction can lead to unhealthy eating and dieting habits. Fifty-five percent of girls admit that they diet to lose weight, 37 percent know someone who has been diagnosed with an eating disorder, and 31 percent admit to starving themselves or refusing to eat as a strategy to lose weight.

(4)

Fifty-four percent of young girls in grades 3 through 5 worry about their appearance, and 37 percent of such girls worry specifically about their weight, according to the 2006 Girls Inc. report entitled The Supergirl Dilemma: Girls Grapple with the Mounting Pressure of Expectations.

(5)

A 2007 report of the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls reported that 3 of the most common mental health problems among girls, eating disorders, depression or depressed mood, and low self-esteem, are linked to sexualization of girls and women in media.

(6)

Sexualized messages and images of girls and women can also negatively impact boys. According to the 2007 report of the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls, frequent exposure to sexualized media images of girls and women can create unrealistic and unhealthy expectations of girls' and women's physical appearance for boys, and may impair their ability to develop healthy relationships with girls and women.

(7)

Girls and women of color are disproportionately absent from mainstream media. The Girl Scout Research Institute report, Beauty Redefined, states that only 32 percent of African-American girls think the fashion industry does a good job of representing people of all races and ethnicities.

(8)

Women and girls continue to be underrepresented in leadership roles in children's media. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media reports that less than 1 in 3 speaking characters in children’s movies are female, and that the majority of female characters in children’s movies are praised for their appearance or physical beauty rather than their personality, intelligence, or other talents.

(9)

Congress supports efforts to ensure that youth improve their media literacy skills, and to promote positive messages about girls and women that highlight healthy and diverse body images, positive and active female role models, and equal and healthy relationships between female and male characters.

3.

Grants to promote media literacy and youth empowerment programs

(a)

Media literacy

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall award grants to nonprofit organizations to provide for the establishment, operation, coordination, and evaluation of programs to increase the media literacy of girls and boys, including by—

(A)

educating youth on how to apply critical thinking skills when consuming media images and messages;

(B)

encouraging youth to consume healthy, balanced, and positive media depictions of girls and women; and

(C)

raising awareness about the perpetuation and damaging effects of unhealthy images of girls and women, gender stereotypes, and the sexualization of girls and women.

(2)

Activities

Programs funded under this subsection may include—

(A)

programs designed to encourage youth to develop analytical skills that promote autonomy and critical understanding of how girls and women are depicted in the media;

(B)

age-appropriate education about how the sexualization of girls and women, stereotypical gender roles, and unhealthy images of girls and women can affect the body image of youth, the choice of role models by youth, and relationships of youth among their peers;

(C)

programs designed to provide youth the skills to take responsibility for their use of media;

(D)

education on career opportunities within the media;

(E)

programs designed to teach youth how to create and use media to contribute to social change, especially in their communities;

(F)

education for parents, educators, and other adults on how depictions of girls and women in the media impact youth; or

(G)

support for public or private partnerships that encourage businesses, advertisers, the entertainment industry, and other media content providers to promote media content that—

(i)

encourages healthy body images;

(ii)

depicts positive and active female role models; and

(iii)

portrays equal and healthy relationships between female and male characters.

(3)

Report

The Secretary shall require each grant recipient under this subsection to submit to the Secretary a report for each grant period that—

(A)

describes how grant funds were used; and

(B)

evaluates the effectiveness of the program funded through the grant.

(b)

Youth empowerment

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall award grants to nonprofit organizations to provide for the establishment, operation, coordination, and evaluation of programs to support the empowerment of girls or boys in a variety of ways, including by encouraging youth empowerment through extracurricular activities and programs that—

(A)

develop self-esteem, skills, and talents; and

(B)

celebrate characteristics unrelated to physical appearance, such as leadership and self-esteem.

(2)

Activities

Programs funded under this subsection may include programs designed to—

(A)

build confidence, self-efficacy, and leadership skills of youth in single gender environments;

(B)

develop values and skills of youth such as respect, critical thinking, problem solving, and collaborative team work; or

(C)

facilitate opportunities for youth to interact with adult role models, such as mentors and volunteers, in their communities.

(3)

Report

The Secretary shall require each grant recipient under this subsection to submit to the Secretary a report for each grant period that—

(A)

describes how grant funds were used; and

(B)

evaluates the effectiveness of the program funded through the grant.

(c)

Matching funds

The Secretary may make a grant to a nonprofit organization under subsection (a) or (b) only if the organization agrees to make available non-Federal contributions toward the costs of the program for which such organization revieves a grant in an amount that is not less than $1 for every $5 of Federal funds awarded under this section. Such contribution may be in cash or in-kind, fairly evaluated, including equipment, training, curricula, or a preexisting evaluation framework.

(d)

Award amounts

No grant awarded under this section shall be greater than $1,000,000 or less than $100,000.

(e)

Priority

In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall give priority to nonprofit organizations or projects that are—

(1)

focused on underserved communities and groups, including racial and ethnic minorities, representatives from different socioeconomic groups, and youth at risk for eating disorders;

(2)

gender-specific;

(3)

culturally competent;

(4)

developed in collaboration with subject matter experts, community leaders, or youth serving organizations; and

(5)

have demonstrated expertise in providing training and evaluation of quality media literacy activities or youth empowerment programs.

(f)

Certain requirements

A grant may be made under subsection (a) or (b) only if the applicant involved agrees to the following:

(1)

Not more than 20 percent of the grant funds will be used for administration, accounting, reporting, and program oversight functions.

(2)

The grant will be used to supplement and not supplant funds from other sources for increasing the media literacy of, and empowering, youth.

(3)

The applicant will abide by any limitations deemed appropriate by the Secretary on any charges to individuals receiving services pursuant to the grant. As deemed appropriate by the Secretary, such limitations on charges may vary based on the financial circumstances of the individual receiving services.

(g)

Grant period; application for assistance during subsequent grant years

(1)

Grant period

A grant awarded under this section shall be for a period of 3 years.

(2)

Application for assistance during subsequent grant years

After the first fiscal year for which an entity receives a grant, the entity shall apply to receive grant funds for a subsequent fiscal year during the grant period by submitting an application to the Secretary at the beginning of each such fiscal year. An application submitted under this paragraph shall include such information as the Secretary may require, including, at a minimum, a description of the progress of the entity.

(h)

Report

Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to the appropriate committees of the Congress a report on the grants awarded under subsections (a) and (b), including—

(1)

a description of how the grant funds were used; and

(2)

an evaluation of the effectiveness of such grants.

4.

Research on the role and impact of girls and women in the media on the development of youth

(a)

In general

The Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and in coordination with the Director of the National Institutes of Health and the Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, shall review, synthesize, conduct, or support research on the role and impact depictions of girls and women in the media have on youth in the following areas:

(1)

The psychological, physical, sexual, and interpersonal development of youth in the following areas:

(A)

Cognitive areas such as mental health, self-esteem, learning abilities, and problem solving skills.

(B)

Physical areas such as diet, nutrition, exercise, body image, substance abuse, and sleeping and eating routines.

(C)

Social behavioral areas such as relationships with peers, interactions with parents and family members, aggression, high-risk behaviors, sexual behavior and development, and positive social behaviors.

(D)

Academic performance.

(E)

The perceptions and attitudes of youth about the abilities, equity, appearances, and leadership potential of girls and boys.

(2)

How the effects of depictions in the media of girls and women vary from such depictions of boys and men, and by race, ethnicity, and age group.

(3)

How the sexualization and objectification of girls and women in media affects the healthy development of girls and boys.

(4)

How food marketing and obesity campaigns affect the body image, nutrition, and exercise of girls and of boys, especially among youth with eating disorders.

(5)

Additional areas as designated by the Secretary.

(b)

No duplication

The Secretary shall ensure that research activities under this section do not duplicate other Federal research activities.

(c)

Reports

Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to the appropriate committees of the Congress a report that—

(1)

synthesizes the results of—

(A)

research under this section; and

(B)

other related research by the private or public sector, including the Federal Government;

(2)

disaggregates such results by gender, race, age, and socioeconomic background;

(3)

includes a compendium of key existing research on the role and impact of depictions of girls and women in the media;

(4)

outlines gaps in research on the role and impact of depictions of girls and women in the media and identifies areas where future research is needed; and

(5)

identifies how factors such as the format of media, length of exposure to media, age of youth, and nature of parental involvement impact such results.

5.

National Task Force on Girls and Women in the Media

(a)

Purposes

The Federal Communications Commission shall convene a task force, to be known as the National Task Force on Girls and Women in the Media, to develop voluntary steps and goals for promoting healthy and positive depictions of girls and women in the media for the benefit of all youth.

(b)

Membership

The Task Force shall include representatives of the media industry, nonprofit and youth-serving organizations, academia and research entities, psychologists and other child health professionals, Federal agencies, and any other public or private entity designated by the Federal Communications Commission.

(c)

Responsibilities

The Task Force shall identify—

(1)

trends with respect to how the media regulated by the Federal Communications Commission portrays girls and women;

(2)

how such trends impact the healthy growth and development of youth; and

(3)

voluntary measures and goals that the public and private sectors can develop to promote healthy and positive media depictions of girls and women for the benefit of all youth.

(d)

Initial meeting

The Federal Communications Commission shall ensure that the Task Force holds its first meeting not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(e)

Report

Not later than 1 year after the date of the first meeting of the Task Force, the Federal Communications Commission shall submit a report to Congress that contains—

(1)

the findings of the Task Force under subsection (c); and

(2)

recommendations for areas of improvement regarding depictions of girls and women in the media.

6.

Limitation

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the Secretary may not use amounts made available under this Act to conduct or support activities or programs that are duplicative of activities or programs otherwise carried out through the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Education.

7.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

The term media includes television programs, motion pictures, video games, music and music videos, the Internet, social media, digital video recorders, cell phones, magazines, newspapers, books, advertisements, and other emerging technologies designed for communication, entertainment, education, or information.

(2)

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

(3)

The term sexualization means a circumstance when—

(A)

a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics;

(B)

a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) and personal value with appearing, acting, and being sexy;

(C)

a person is sexually objectified, or made into a thing for others’ sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decisionmaking; or

(D)

sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person.

(4)

The term Task Force means the National Task Force on Girls and Women in the Media convened under section 5.

8.

Authorization of appropriations

For the purpose of carrying out sections 3 and 4, there are authorized to be appropriated, in addition to any other amounts available for such purpose—

(1)

$5,000,000 for fiscal year 2012, of which—

(A)

$2,000,000 shall be allocated to the program under section 3(a);

(B)

$2,000,000 shall be allocated to the program under section 3(b); and

(C)

$1,000,000 shall be allocated to the program under section 4; and

(2)

$2,000,000 for each fiscal years 2013 through 2016, of which—

(A)

$500,000 shall be allocated to the program under section 3(a);

(B)

$500,000 shall be allocated to the program under section 3(b); and

(C)

$1,000,000 shall be allocated to the program under section 4.