I am constantly amazed at the sexual messages contained in ads of all varieties and almost every television show you watch. Maybe I am more shocked because I am not a great tv watcher, but when I do I notice some disturbing trends. Shows like “Two Men & A Boy’ (@ 7.30p.m.) is overtly sexual and portrays relationships between the sexes extremelly negatively, and as it has as one of the protagonists a 11 year old
boy projects all the wrong messages. This is to say nothing about the shows directed at girls.
RAND Research in the USA did a study of 718 teenagers 12 to 17 between 2001 and 2004 in relation to sex on tv and 1564 Japanese and Americans between 9 & 18 for the effects of violence, and deduced that ‘exposure to some forms of entertainment is a corrupting influence, leading teenagers who watch sexy programs into early pregnancy and children who play violent video games to aadopt aggressive behaviour.’ A full report can be found on www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph or at the Rand website http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/.
The challenge for us is to be discriminatory about what we watch and what we allow our children to watch. Sex and violence on tv and video games rarely identifies the consequences of such in real life. For a chilling reminder of the impact of violence see the story at this link http://www.theage.com.au/national/lifelong-effect-of-a-night-of-random-schoolies-violence-20081112-5o1c.html.
The challenge also asks us to speak realistically about the effects and impacts of such behaviour in such a way as to be real but over the top. If we become too graphic kids just switch off.
We are also challenged to model a life congruent with Biblical values, often a challenge we fail in the smaller things but if we are honest and open with our kids it will provide them with a benchmark for their own behaviour.