If Sexual Content is Invading Our Youth, Who Are the Invaders?

Posted on by Melissa Karnaze and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

According to columnist “Chuck Norris” of Townhall.com :

MTV’s reality shows “Jersey Shore” and “16 and Pregnant” are only the beginnings of a television tidal wave of explicitly sexual content that is invading the hearts and minds of America’s youth.

While the word “invasion” captures the ubiquity of sex in the media, it actually does a disservice to the youth.

Content does not “invade” anyone — unless someone is forced to consume it. Content is usually consumed by choice. Explicit sexual content is casually consumed in the form of “entertainment.”

It’s arguable whether young children have a “choice” in consuming explicit sexual content, but we’d agree that parents have more of a choice when it comes to what content they expose their children to. The majority of parents just don’t care enough to consciously exercise that choice. Or they aren’t paying attention.

What parent would boycott Shrek Forever After?

Big green Ogre says to his love interest:

“My donkey fell in your waffle hole.”

(Or what parent would at least consider talking to their children about the innuendo?)

Shrek’s line may not be considered “explicit,” but it’s the start of the slippery slope. Parents continually fund this type of content (and much more explicit content) and they rationalize it by calling it “entertainment.”

So does the content constitute the invaders? Or do the parents? Or is it something else?

What is the invasion anyway? Parents neglecting to talk to their kids about sex, neglecting to model healthy relationships, neglecting to provide alternatives to the media-conjured social norms?

One of my high school aged Facebook friends had a profile picture for a time that featured her in a bikini, with her nipple showing through. Where did that content come from? Her mother financed the photo shoot.

Parents financially support this country’s youth. That’s what the “invasion” lingo (inadvertently) obscures

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11 Responses to If Sexual Content is Invading Our Youth, Who Are the Invaders?

  1. Dan Dravot says:

    Thinking back to my teenage years, I’m pretty sure my interest in sex developed on its own.

    Parents, hm. I wonder sometimes if in the US we haven’t gone a bit neurotic about setting boundaries. Either we flap our hands helplessly, or we freak out and go zero-tolerance.

    • CubaLibre says:

      A large part of the problem is the mistaken assumption that it is the content itself that hurts the kids, rather than the frame you give them for processing it.

      The empirical fact is that there’s no way a normal parent can prevent his kid from seeing boobs. Boobs are out there: they’re in the Playboys under his friend’s bed and on his 8th-grade female peers at blowjob parties or whatever kids do these days. So, the first reaction is to actually restrict any exposure to boobs, which requires draconian Apache-helicopter parenting (“freak out and go zero-tolerance”).

      The response is to recognize the empirical impossibility, shrug, and give up. If boobs ruin the kids, and there’s no way I can stop him from seeing boobs, oh well, might as well crack open another Miller Lite (“flap our hands helplessly”).

      Both of these stances ignore the parents’ true role, which isn’t to be a censor but rather an example. I call this the “not in my house” theory of parenting. It goes something like this: boobs are out there in the world, and I can’t stop you from seeing them. If you do see them and have any questions, please feel free to ask me. But here, in this house, in the domains where I have control, boobs will not be flaunted cavalierly, and you’d do well to remember it, kid.

      The effect of this stance is twofold. First, it fosters a healthy relationship with the actual content – boobs are called neither good nor evil but rather appropriate or inappropriate depending on context, which is of course the moral truth of almost any action or content. But second, it extends the parents’ control out of the home by investing the kid with the ability of critical judgment – i.e., it matures him. Now when he goes over to the friend’s house with the Playboys, he still might enjoy them but contemplate whether or not it’s really right to see them this way; and he might decline going to the blowjob parties at all.

      • BluegrassJack says:

        Excellent comment, Cuba!

        Parents can feel overwhelmed by stimuli focused at their kids by the outside world. Your method of calmly framing any stimulus as one that is actually controlled by parents “at home” gives the kids confidence to handle it, even when laissez faire or helicopter parents are not present.

      • sunshinefiasco says:

        I like your style, Mr. Libre.

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  3. motard en colere says:

    “Parents financially support this country’s youth. That’s what the “invasion” lingo (inadvertently) obscures. ”

    I think the first part is right, but the second part is wrong. The “invasion” lingo very much intentionally obscures the source of all the material. You can’t very well be telling concerned parents that all of the negative influences their children are exposed to are in any way their fault. As an added bonus, you get to make money off of them twice: first, you get their money from the sexy material. And then you get their money from broadcasting outrage over the sexy material.

  4. XtomJames says:

    There is a problem in and unto its self with this argument. The “Slippery Slope” argument is a false argument or fallacy. Sexual innuendo and explicit knowledge has occurred for hundreds if not thousands of years. Each society has defined limits for each age group and those have changed as society has changed.

    Is it the responsibility of the parents to censor media for their kids, sure. Is it their right to choose what to censor or if to censor at all, yes. Is their blatant sexual content everywhere creating social conventions and thus social pressures on kids to be like the images they see, yes. But is it an invasion, hardly, this has been happening for the history of mankind and it’s not something that is going to go away.

  5. XtomJames says:

    Correction: there should replace there in the second line (it was about 3 in the morning when I wrote that).

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