A group of child experts are calling for a ban on the sale of "lad's mags" from newsagents, milkbars, convenience stores, supermarkets and petrol stations.
As reported by The Courier Mail, the group has asked censorship ministers to review the rules under which magazines such as Playboy, Penthouse, People, The Picture, Zoo and Ralph are reviewed, saying they are increasingly explicit and contributing to the sexualisation of children, Fairfax newspapers report.
A letter to the standing committee of attorneys-general/censorship ministers signed by a former chief justice of the Family Court Alastair Nicholson, the chief executive of World Vision Tim Costello, actor Noni Hazlehurst and 34 academics, child professionals and advocates. Such material should be restricted to adults-only premises they state.
They are particularly disturbed by the prevalence of "teen sex" magazines featuring women apparently aged more than 18 but looking younger and styled with braces and pigtails but in highly sexualised poses and sometimes performing sex acts.
Under Australian censorship laws it is illegal to use under-age models or models who appear to be under 18.
Julie Gale, director of the lobby group Kids Free 2B Kids, said easy access to the internet means young people are experiencing unprecedented exposure to pornographic images, voluntarily or involuntarily.
"But allowing pornography and overtly sexualised images to be sold in the public arena with easy access for children and teens tells them that this is acceptable. It gives it public validation." She told The Courier Mail.
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