Bi-curious With MTV

Two bi-curious girls in bed together “exploring their sexuality?”

You might think this kind of content is reserved for late night HBO or “SkinaMax”… right?

Try MTV. And if your kids don’t have access to the MTV channel… do they have access to the internet? Because when you pull up MTV.com today, this ad pops in your face:

 

A few years ago Nielsen Media Research reported that MTV was the most recognized network among young adults age 12 to 34, watched by 73% of boys and 78% of girls age 12 to 19. (ParentsTV.org)

MTV is still the hub of youth culture, not only on TV, but also on the web. Now if our kids miss the threesome on Real World Cancun that everyone is buzzing about, they can just watch complete episodes on the web, “unsensored,” as MTV.com puts it. Today they can watch the episdode where two bi-curious girls “explore their bi-sexuality.” (go ahead- see what our kids are watching- watch the first 60 seconds of this show – after the ad- where it says, “Previously on The Real World.”) Some of our kids will not bother with the whole episode. They’ll just click on the “unsensored clips” link from MTV’s front page and watch a little menage-a-trois.

How does MTV get away with this? Simple. No nudity and bleeping out profanity.

Harmless, right?

Hmmmmmmm.

Do you know where your kids are browsing?

I’ll give parents similar advice to what I gave in my blog, “You Mean the Lyrics Do Affect Me?”

MY ADVICE TO PARENTS:

1. Find out what your kids are watching. Do your kids watch MTV? Do they browse on MTV.com? Check their browsing history. Ask them what they are watching.

2. Don’t over-react when you find out what they’re watching. If you don’t know what to say, just say, “We’re going to talk about this sometime soon.” Spend some time praying before you react. (Remember the stupid stuff you did as a kid!)

3. Engage in a healthy dialogue with your kids about what they are watching. Note: I didn’t say, “PREACH TO THEM ABOUT THIS!” The emphasis here is more about LISTENING than talking. As a parent, I’m always looking for opportunities to dialogue with my own kids about anything. As a youth worker, I’m always looking for real issues that kids want to discuss. Music, TV and movies are something that they will often be excited to talk about. Use this an open door to discuss our character. (I have provided some good discussion questions in this previous blog about music)

4. Don’t be afraid to take the advice I always offer parents. I recommend using two buttons on your remote control often: The “pause” button, and the “off” button!  The “pause” button is great to use when watching something as a family and you encounter content that opens the door to good discussion.  The “off” button is a good button to use when shows cross the line.  Personally, I block MTV.  This channel has no salvageable content whatsoever.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over a dozen books including the new Get Your Teenager Talking, The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket, The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenager, and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the 10-Minute Talks series. Jonathan speaks and trains at conferences, churches and events across North America, 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 and his wife Lori, and their three teenagers Alec, Alyssa and Ashley live in California.
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