Last week I was watching a fairly clean prime time show with my entire family (not a lot of prime time that my 11, 13 and 15 year old can all watch anymore). The star of the show made a quick comment to his nerd friend that was spending time on the web on comic book sites. He said, “Why can’t you just watch porn like everyone else.” A subtle comment, but packed with meaning. Anyone normal looks at porn. It’s no big deal.
The week prior we were watching a show and one of the lead girls confessed, “I haven’t been laid in six months!” Everyone else gasped! The underlying message was clear. If you haven’t slept with someone in six months, something’s wrong!
The sad fact is… these were pretty clean shows. This wasn’t Gossip Girl, Desperate Housewives, or the O.C.
T.V.’s effect on our youth is nothing new to this blog (just click on the “sexuality” category on the left hand side bar , or do a search for “TV” and see how many blogs are dedicated to the topic). It’s a fact that TV shows and movies are getting blatantly more raunchy. I just was chatting with my friend Todd, our THE SOURCE Movie Review guy, about this. He recently reviewed the popular Adam Sandler movie, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. Todd described this PG-13 movie as a “raunch-fest.” He’s right. This movie was a PG-13 Borat. I thnk my biggest concern here is the PG-13 rating. Again… the subtle message that this content is okay for 13-year-olds. The entire film was not only loaded with over the top sexual humor… it presented abundant female roles who had no problem with these male “pigs” and their consistent crude sexual gestures. Our young girls are learning that sex is simply “no big deal.”
Yesterday I received numerous emails from people about the research just released by the Journal of Pediatrics. Numerous articles are reporting the “Teens who watch television shows that have a lot of sexual content are more likely to become pregnant- or to get someone pregnant- by the time they turn 20.”
This research is what I call “Duh.” Think about it. If our kids are coached by shows like Gossip Girl or Tila Tequila every week, they’re going to respond in the way they’ve been taught. it’s that simple.
Perhaps parents need to say, “You can’t watch this.”