Respond to this post. (100 words)

1. According to Sternheimer, what are some of the ways broader society tends to construct idealized, uniform, and nostalgic views of “childhood”? Do you believe that there has been a trend towards protection over preparation? How have your own childhood experiences reflected (or disputed) these ideas?

.According to Sternheimer, some of ways broader society tends to construct idealized, uniform, and nostalgic views of “childhood” include defining childhood and children or youth as a singular group and basing them on certain stereotypes and characteristics that are inaccurate. As provided in the book, many common descriptors range from pure and innocent to mischievous, and any deviation from that means that a child is trouble. Another way is by painting an ideal childhood based on a suburban white, middle-class family standards, ignoring the differences in race or ethnicity and the differences among socioeconomic status. Not only that, but the idealization does not account for personal circumstances that may be happening in the home and family dynamics of a child. Lastly, our society is very insistent in creating a division between adults and children or youth. In reality, children and adults share experiences and, in most cases, their experiences are interrelated (i.e. parent-child). I do not believe there has been a trend towards protection over preparation, and I think it is the opposite. My opinion is based on the observation that there are many available resources such as educational services to prepare and bring awareness to the many issues currently faced by children and youth. At the same time, many parents are more open and more willing to initiate the discourse with their children or relinquish part of the responsibility, such as to public schools as with sex health education. My own childhood experiences reflect preparation over protection because my parents raised me and my siblings to seek out knowledge and truth and face the challenges of society since it will do no good to be ignorant and culture-shocked when the time comes. This includes being prepared more so than turning our backs to the current events and circumstances.

3. According to Sternheimer, what media and public fears seem to permeate discussions over children and technology? What evidence exists that cyberbullying is related to suicide rates in teens, or that internet predators represent a major threat to kids? Are there more direct threats in kids’ lives that tend to get ignored in these discussions? If so, why do you think that this might be the case?

According to Sternheimer, some media and public fears that seem to permeate discussions over children and technology are cyberbullying and its relationship with children or teens’ sucide rates and cyber predators that threatens the safety and well-being of children and teens. Another problem that comes into light is how the Internet itself negatively impacts the health and relationships of users. With the popularity of the internet comes the “internet addiction” and its contributions to the decline in face-to-face interaction and communication skills. There is no strong evidence presented that cyberbullying is related to sucide rates in teens besides the story of Tyler Clementi presented in the book and the other teens mentioned such Megan, Amanda, Phoebe and Jamey who share a similar story. There are data that shows cyberbullying exists and its higher prevalence in the LGBTQ community. However, data on the occurrences of cyberbullying varies with the changing definitions of cyberbullying and its link to sucide is not clearly established. As stated in the 2010 study, “ ‘it is unlikely that experience with cyberbullying by itself leads to youth suicide …” The same goes for internet predators. There is no clear data present other than the news stories. The more direct threats in kids’ lives are the adults close to them since data shows that perpetrators are more likely to be the parents or someone the child knows. Another more direct threat that seems to get ignored in these discussions is the lack of access to mental health services and support for those suffering. These are ignored because it seems preposterous that those who are supposed to be the guardians and need to provide care and love for the child would be the perpetrators. With regards to the difficulty to access mental health support and services, there is still much stigma that surrounds the issue, and, economically and politically speaking, universal healthcare has always been under contention.


Sternheimer, K. (2013). Connecting social problems and popular culture: Why media is not the answer. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.