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Mar 18, 2015

SheKnows Media and Common Sense Media Partner to Help Parents Understand the Role Media and Tech Plays in Kids’ Lives

Common Sense Media to Provide Trusted Research and Parenting Resources for SheKnows.com and Editorial Guidance for Hatch, SheKnows Media’s Media Literacy Program

New Hatch Video Explores the Impact Gender Stereotypes Have on Boys 

SheKnows Media Survey Reveals 92% of Men and Women Care Equally about Boys’ and Girls’ Self-Esteem; 54% Think it’s Worse to Use Gender Stereotypes Toward Children than it is Adults

NEW YORK, NY and SAN FRANCISCO – March 19, 2015 – SheKnows Media, the number-one women’s lifestyle digital media company1 with 81.5 million unique visitors per month2 and 162 million social media fans and followers, today announced that it is partnering with Common Sense Media, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families and educators thrive in a world of media and technology. 

Common Sense Media will offer editorial guidance and provide program-development support for Hatch – a SheKnows Media program focused on delivering a positive foundation in media literacy and digital storytelling to the next generation. In addition, Common Sense Media and SheKnows Media will collaborate on co-branded content for SheKnows.com, including articles, recommended media lists, videos and exclusive surveys and infographics.

“Common Sense is pleased to partner with SheKnows Media given our shared focus on providing parents the resources they need to raise a generation of kids who think critically, act responsibly and interact positively in the digital world,” said Ellen Pack, General Manager, Consumer at Common Sense Media. “We look forward to working with SheKnows Media to deliver our trusted research and parent-targeted content to its wide audience of moms.”  

“Kids today are not only comfortable navigating the digital landscape, they are creating it. Gen STEM has never experienced life without smartphones, tablets, online videos and social media,” said Samantha Skey, Chief Marketing Officer at SheKnows Media. “Hatch not only gives teens and tweens the skills to create inspiring and thoughtful digital content centered around topical issues, but it’s our response to the growing number of parents and educators who seek to better understand the role technology and media play in children’s lives. Common Sense Media’s initiatives are grounded in reliable, independent research, and the ability to infuse Hatch workshops and content on SheKnows.com with such trusted data is incredibly valuable.”

New Hatch Video: Boys Don’t Buy Into Hyper-Masculine Stereotypes 

To kick off the partnership, SheKnows Media Hatch team interviewed a group of kids ranging in age from 8 to 12 to explore their points of view on gender stereotypes and the impact they have on boys’ self-esteem and body image. The workshop revealed that none of the kids were negatively influenced by hyper-masculine stereotypes so often perpetuated by the media and in advertising. As one boy told the Hatch interviewer, “I play with girl toys and boy toys. I don’t really care which one is meant for boys or for girls – I just play with them. They’re toys.” Another boy said, “I don’t think there should be, like, a perfect man.”

“Although this Hatch video focuses on a small group of kids’ points of view, we were pleased – and even a bit surprised – to learn that boys at this age weren’t buying into messages that say they need to be aggressive, physically strong or interested in only certain activities because that’s what society expects of them,” Skey said. “The workshop gives us hope that this next generation will challenge society’s narrow definition of masculinity – an outcome that would benefit men and women alike.”

The Hatch video and downloadable discussion guide on gender stereotypes and their impact on boys, which debuted today, be accessed here. Viewers are encouraged to share their thoughts on the workshop topic using the hashtag #BeAMan.

SheKnows Media leveraged Common Sense Media’s Children, Teens, Media, and Body Image report (January 2015) to develop the Hatch workshop. 

"Too often conversations about body image and its importance to kids' healthy development focus on girls, when the reality is that media's influence, and parents' attitudes about body image is just as significant for boys," added Pack. "The research shows that it's really important to include boys in ongoing conversations about body image and from the earliest ages, even starting when they're in pre-school."

SheKnows Media Survey Finds 92% of Men and Women Care about Boys’ and Girls’ Self-Esteem Equally 

To supplement the Hatch workshop, SheKnows Media conducted a proprietary survey3 that asked more than 1,260 men and women about gender stereotypes and, specifically, their bearing on boys. While the majority of respondents acknowledge that gender stereotypes are pervasive, the survey indicates that more than half of men and women feel it is worse to use them toward children than it is toward adults. There is also evidence of a shift in the way men and women define what it means to be a man – particularly as it relates to boys: 78% of men and 87% of women say it’s okay for boys to cry, and 51% of men and 69% of women think boys should be able to play with dolls if they want to. 

Additional findings from the survey demonstrate that:

Gender stereotypes are not a myth:

o    98% of men and women acknowledge that gender stereotypes exist

o    91% believe gender stereotypes are harmful

o    4 out of 5 of all respondents see evidence of gender stereotypes in society, and 58% of men see them perpetuated in media and advertising

o    77% of men and women think it is human nature to stereotype people, but nearly as many (76%) believe these assumptions are typically false

o    Nearly half of men and 39% of women admit to perpetuating gender stereotypes occasionally 

In general, men are 84% more likely than women to use gender stereotypes in conversation:

o    76% of men and 84% of women admit to using phrases like “man up,” “you run/hit/throw/catch like a girl” and “be a man” toward boys

o    70% of men and 55% of women say their male friends, co-workers and managers are the most likely people in their lives to use stereotypes

o    61% of men think that people have become overly sensitive to gender stereotyping, while just 45% of women agree

More than half (54%) of all respondents feel it’s worse to use gender stereotypes on children than it is on adults:
o    92% say they care as much about boys’ self-esteem as they do about girls’ self-esteem

o    The majority of men (52%) think that in an effort to focus on empowering girls’ self-esteem, some boys’ needs have been ignored; the majority of women (54%) disagree

o    83% of men and 90% of women agree that gender stereotypes can lead to low self-esteem, eating disorders and depression

o    Boys are most often stereotypically described as aggressive (73%), strong (69%), messy (56%) and athletic (53%)

o    Girls, meanwhile, are seen as beautiful (85%), emotional (83%), bossy (59%) and skinny (51%) 

o    Terms like funny (73%), smart (71%) and artistic (4%) are seen as gender neutral

o    Women are 50% more likely than men to expect that boys under 12 years are unemotional 

When thinking about their own lives, men report feeling conscious of the following stereotypical expectations in childhood, teen years and as adults:

o    As a child under 12 years old, they experience an expectation to be athletic (52%), to defend themselves physically (51%) and to enjoy watching sports (50%)

o    As a teen between the ages of 17 and 18, they experience an awareness of their own body hair (78%), physical attractiveness (72%), sexual orientation (61%), height (52%) and weight (50%)

o    As an adult over the age of 18, they become aware of an expectation to provide financially for others (64%)

However, men and women are rethinking the definition of masculinity as it relates to the next generation: 

o    78% of men and 87% of women think it’s okay for boys to cry

o    65% of men and 74% of women think it’s fine for boys to wear pink

o    59% of men and 70% of women believe it’s okay for boys to like hearts, stars and rainbows

o    56% of men and 69% of women think it should be acceptable for boys to want to watch princess movies and TV shows

o    55% of men and 67% of women think boys should be able to play dress up

o    51% of men and 66% of women believe it’s fine for boys to play with dolls

To learn more about the survey, Hatch or the partnership between SheKnows Media and Common Sense Media, email Marketing@SheKnows.com or visit corporate.sheknows.com/Hatch


1 comScore, Media Metrix, Multiplatform Lifestyles Category Ranking Report, January 2015, U.S.
2 comScore, Media Metrix, Multiplatform Lifestyles Ranking, February 2015, U.S.
3 SheKnows Media Male Gender Perceptions & Stereotypes Survey, March 2015 (Total respondents: 1,263; 31% U.S. age 18-66; 69% U.S. women age 18-65)


About SheKnows Media

SheKnows Media is the number-one women’s lifestyle digital media company (comScore, Media Metrix, Multiplatform Lifestyles Ranking, February 2015, U.S.) with 81.5 million unique visitors per month (comScore, Media Metrix, Multiplatform Lifestyles Category Ranking Report, January 2015, U.S.) and 162 million social media fans and followers. The company operates a family of leading media properties that include SheKnows.com, BlogHer.com, StyleCaster.com, DailyMakeover.com, BeautyHigh.com and DrinksMixer.com. With a mission of women inspiring women, SheKnows Media is revolutionizing the publishing industry by forging a new kind of model that seamlessly integrates users, editors and content creators onto a single platform designed to empower all women to discover, share and create. Whether it’s parenting or pop culture, fashion or food, DIY or décor, our award-winning editorial team, Experts, bloggers and social media influencers produce authentic and on-trend content every day. We dig deep to learn what makes our audience tick, revealing unexpected insights on women and digital media. Our robust, end-to-end suite of premium branded content and influencer marketing solutions generate more than 1.7 billion ad impressions per month (sources: DFP and OAS), allowing brands to distribute authentic content and integrated advertising at scale. 
SheKnows Media is headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Belmont, Calif. We also operate internationally in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. 
About Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families and educators thrive in a world of media and technology. We rate, educate, and advocate on behalf of kids, families, and schools. Common Sense Media offers the world's largest and most trusted library of age-based ratings and reviews of all types of content targeted at kids, and our research-based curriculum and tools are used in over 89,000 U.S. schools. For more information, go to www.commonsense.org.

Media Contacts
Jenni Ottum                       
SheKnows Media                                                                                             

Crista Sumanik
Common Sense Media

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