Positive depictions of consent in kids' media
September 27, 2015 1:10 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for depictions of healthy consent and boundaries in children's movies, TV shows, and other media. The catch is that I want stuff that does NOT refer to sexual activity directly and that is appropriate for kids under 12.

After reading a recent FPP, I was wondering about examples of affirmative consent, healthy boundaries, and other concepts that counter rape culture in kids' media. I would prefer the examples to not include overt sexual content that parents might object to and that are not developmentally appropriate for kids ages 6-12. (Examples of films/shows that present unhealthy messages are less important here, but are appreciated also.)

This question is helpful but I am less interested in educational resources and more interested in entertainment media.

In the absence of concrete examples, I'd also appreciate thoughts about how these concepts could be presented (in fictional entertainment form, outside of school) to younger audiences. Thanks!
posted by thetortoise to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Appropriate boundaries and consent is sometimes a theme on the cartoon show Steven Universe. Specifically, the episode "Alone Together" comes to mind. Being a cartoon for kids, it's about boundaries for fantastic shapeshifting powers. It's a great show with positive messages that doesn't often stray into "a very special episode" territory.
posted by ddbeck at 1:29 AM on September 27, 2015 [13 favorites]

Allegorically, it's focused on not making anyone participate in a growth experience or take a next step that they're not ready for, but the Pokémon episode "Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden" features this key scene (~2 min.) in which both aggressive behaviors and ostensibly supportive but oblivious assumptions are rejected in favor of asking clearly/politely and respecting Bulbasaur's feelings about the matter.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 4:58 AM on September 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

I, too, came in to say Steven Universe. Consent and boundaries are a topic that comes up again and again. Also, each episode is about ten minutes long, so you're more likely to be able to show a whole episode, not just aa part.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:39 AM on September 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Adventure Time has plenty of episodes that address consent. The Ice King is a good example of bad boundaries/non-consent -- he's constantly trying to kidnap princesses to be his bride. For a more positive example, try the episode Go With Me. It's about the main character, Finn, trying different tactics for getting girls to go to a movie with him. He eventually finds that just asking politely is the best way.
posted by ourobouros at 7:45 AM on September 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

I just saw an example of this on Tumblr from the Big Comfy Couch! No idea what episode this is from, though.
posted by quiet coyote at 10:46 AM on September 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

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