If parents said, “you can’t watch this…”

Time Magazine just came out with an amazing article called “The Truth About Teen Girls.” My favorite part of the article- a quote from an MTV producer who tells it like it is. Wow!

I’ll give you the whole paragraph, emphasis mine:

Middle school counselor Julia Taylor of North Carolina had a conversation with her sixth-graders last year that worried her. “A lot of them were watching The O.C.,” she says. “I just remember the show’s multiple sexual partners, the cocaine use, and then at the end, they drink, they drive, they set fires, but all is well! There are never any consequences.” Taylor understands the media better than many. Her sister Mary is a producer who has worked on MTV shows including My Super Sweet 16 and Spring Break. “I’m messing them up, and she’s fixing them,” says Mary jokingly. But Mary also suggests that if nobody were watching the shows or buying the products that are advertised on them, they wouldn’t succeed. “We’re not Little House on the Prairie anymore,” she says. “The world is different. If parents said, ‘You can’t watch this,’ and the ratings dropped, maybe we would change things.”

The entire article is good. Here’s another snippet:

…teenage sexuality is growing only more heated. Girlhood sexiness seems to be everywhere: on TV shows and in movies, in advertising, in teen magazines and all over the Internet. Most disturbingly, it seems to be coming from the girls themselves: the way they dress, the way they text, the way they present themselves on Facebook and, oh, mercy, what they get up to at parties. There are whispers, stories for which the anecdotal evidence–from school counselors and child psychologists and mothers–keeps accumulating like a national pile of unwashed laundry. These suggest teen girls are getting very liberal with sexual favors, especially of the type detailed in the Starr report. In one generation, girls seem to have moved from Easy-Bake to easy virtue.

Click here for the whole article. (thanks to David and Ypulse for bringing the article to my attention)

 

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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5 Responses to If parents said, “you can’t watch this…”

  1. Trevor says:

    I just LOVE (sarcasm alert sarcasm alert!!!) that MTV is blaming parents for the programming they put on. I, of course, believe that we can blame parents for allowing their children to watch it…but blaming them for its existence? Nicely done on the publicity there MTV!

  2. Trevor… I hate to say it, but I agree with MTV in their comments about the parents. No, I’m not saying that MTV is righteous in what they are doing. It’s a fact that they are pimping garbage to our kids. But they are completely correct to say that if parents didn’t allow their kids to watch it… then it wouldn’t be a problem.

    If we want to make a change, it begins in our own home, and with our own hearts.

  3. Josh says:

    I agree that parents need to be invested in what their kids do and don’t watch, but I don’t think it’s realistic to expect parents to have complete control over their kids’ viewing habits. Kids can find ways to watch what they want. Saying, “If parents said, ‘You can’t watch this,’ and the ratings dropped, maybe we would change things,” is irresponsible on MTV’s part. It represents a consumerist mindset in which anything can be justified by the money it brings in.

  4. BTrav says:

    I am going to assume that the execs of MTV are not Christ followers. If that’s true, why be upset that they are not concerned about portraying moral lessons with their programming? That seems to be an unfair expectation of them. They are motivated by money and like any free market company, operate according to supply/demand. MTV is not the problem. They are the symptom of a problem that we have with families in our culture.

  5. Hannah says:

    I agree with MTV when it comes to this comment. NOTHING ELSE!!! I am twenty and when I was growing up we didn’t have a tv in our home until I was over nine and even then it wasn’t connected to rabbit ears, movies only. When we finally did join the twentyfirst century my parents did not spy on our tv watching and we were never allowed to have one in our rooms, (one house, one tv) but we were told what we could and could not watch. Guess What…We Listened! I agree that it starts in our home and in our hearts. Not all kids will listen but many will. How can we expect them to listen if we don’t even tell them.