Growing Up Fast and Furious (Paperback) book cover

Growing Up Fast and Furious

Edited by Wayne Warburton, Danya Braunstein

© 2012 – Federation Press

240 pages

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"I am often approached by parents and professionals who work with children, who have heard conflicting reports about the effects of violent or sexualised media on children. Usually, they simply want to know what the scientific research has found. This book summarises the research findings in plain language. World leading scholars in disciplines such as psychology, psychiatry, neuropsychology, law and ethics discuss what we currently know about the effects of television, movies, video games, music and advertising, as well as the ethical, legal and policy implications. This book is anchored in up-to-date scientific evidence, offers plenty of helpful, practical advice, and will assist everyone with an interest in the effects of media on children to be well informed."

Wayne Warburton

The breadth of content and diversity of contributors come together to discuss important issues raised in the book:

•John Murray on behavioural and neurological effects of viewing violence on children.

•Craig Anderson and Wayne Warburton on the effects of violent video games.

•Wayne Warburton on the effects of music and music lyrics.

•Ed Donnerstein on the impact of the internet on youth and children.

•Louise Newman on the sexualisation of youth, on the role of the media in such sexualisation, and on the potential effects of restricting the distribution of sexual themes in the mass media.

•Cordelia Fine on the roles that advertisements in the mass media – and particularly highly sexualised advertisements – play in altering children’s self images and behaviour.

•Emma Rush, philosophical ethicist, asks in the context of media effects and media regulation: Are principles or consequences more important? Is it more ethical to empower children or to protect them? What is the most ethical balance between allowing freedom of expression and protecting children from harm?

•Elizabeth Handsley exposes the difficulties of formal government regulation of violent and sexual media in societies that value free expression.

•Danya Braunstein and her colleagues make a strong plea to base regulation on empirical evidence rather than on political or even ethical positions. The evidence is in, they correctly point out, so let’s base regulation on the evidence that is in, and let’s do it now!

•Alan Hayes points out the multiply-determined nature of aggressive and violent behavior that needs to be addressed if real reductions in violence are to be obtained.


The essays in this book are the kinds of essays that are needed to move the public toward a better understanding of the effects that media can have and the kinds of policies that might ameliorate those effects. They represent an important contribution to the field.

From the Foreword by Professor L Rowell Huesmann

The new book, Growing Up Fast and Furious, just published by The Federation Press, is an engaging, witty and thoughtful investigation of the impact media violence and hyper-sexualized advertising and role portrayals in programmes designed for children and youth.

"As a Professor of Literature and Hygiene, I highly recommend this outstanding tome. In a mere 250 pages, Warburton and Braunstein have brought together an impressive collection of authors who have carefully researched every aspect of violence and sex", said Dr. Lantern. "There should be a copy in every hygienist's office".

Congratulations to the Editors, Authors and Publishers for bringing this fine discussion of these issues to the attention of The Public.

Professor J.A.C. Lantern, M.D., Ph.D., FACCS, Shore Institute For Introspection

Table of Contents

1. Growing up fast and furious in a media saturated world 2. Children and media violence: Behavioural and neurological effects of viewing violence 3. The impact of violent video games: An overview 4. How does listening to Eminem do me any harm? What the research says about music and anti-social behaviour 5. The Internet as “Fast and Furious” Content 6. Messages, minds and mental contamination 7. The Impact of Sexualisation – Knowing and Seeing Too Much 8. Children, Media and Ethics 9. There Oughta Be A Law: The (potential) role of law and regulation in slowing down and calming down 10. Media and Social Policy: Towards an Evidence-Based Approach to Content Regulation 11. A two-edged sword? The place of the media in a child friendly society

About the Editors

Dr Wayne Warburton

Dr Wayne Warburton is a lecturer in developmental psychology with the Department of Psychology and is the Deputy Director of the Children and Families Research Centre at Macquarie University (Sydney). Wayne is also a registered psychologist, and represents the interests of telecommunications consumers on the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s governing council.

Wayne has a strong research interest in media effects, primarily comparing the impact of violent visual versus auditory media and examining the effect of violent lyrics versus aggressive tone in violent music. Wayne also has a research interest in media depictions of aggression as a means of controlling one’s environment, the development of stable aggressive patterns of thought through media exposure, and video game and screen addictions.

Danya Braunstein

Danya Braunstein is a Psychologist, Media Consultant and Researcher. She specialises in the clinical treatment of emotional regulation and impulse control, including effects of developmental traumas, conduct disorders and personality disorders. She has conducted experimental research into aggressive behaviour, and evaluative research for clinical treatment programs.

This follows a successful media career, where she worked with multi-awarded and top rated TV series, including Australian Idol, The Biggest Loser Australia, and children's programming. She specialised in conducting in-depth character interviews, storyline development and systems management. These series have been broadcast in Australia and internationally.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General