Correlations Between Sex on T.V. and a Teenagers Engagement
As a parent, I constantly have my radar up. Will this image throw off my daughters’ view of who she is and distort who she has become in Christ? Is her outfit representing that she is the temple of the Holy Spirit? Are my son’s mental galleries being filled with inappropriate images of women, or do they know to turn their eyes away and get to know a woman by who she is and not how she looks? In other words, are my children filling their minds with the things of the world that will alter the outcome of who they are?
For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Matthew 6:44-45)
Are you concerned about your child’s sexual activity? Have you considered placing your daughter on birth control to “protect her just in case?” How much is too much? How far is too far? Do you pay attention to what your child is watching? If not, may I suggest that you start to tune in as a parent, especially if you answered “yes” to the second question I just asked.
Exposures to sexual activity or impressions that will lead to the act have increased substantially in what is being viewed on television, and so has the engagement of teenagers towards these acts. According to one RAND behavioral scientist Rebecca Collins, who lead two recent studies on “the impact of TV sex on teenagers’ sexual beliefs and activities”(Does Watching Sex on Television…)Collins and her researches found three key outcomes:
- Watching TV shows with sexual content apparently hastens the initiation of teen sexual activity.
- Sexual talk on TV has the same effect on teens as depictions of sex.
- Shows with content about contraception and pregnancy can help to educate teens about the risks and consequences of sex–and can also foster beneficial dialogue between teens and parents.
Considering that the average teen spends 3 hours viewing television a day,(which does not include the YouTube, Hulu, or Netflix views while at school) teens are viewing “heavy doses of sexual content, ranging from touching, kissing, jokes, and innuendo to conversations about sexual activity and portrayals of intercourse. Sex is often presented as a casual activity without risk or consequences.” (Does Watching Sex on Television…)
These distorted images of sex are being transferred into society as normal and are being tested by today’s teenagers including those as young as 12 years of age.
As one parent to another, may I suggest that instead of tuning into these shows with your child and allowing the TV to educate your child about sex, turn off the T.V. and engage in a meaningful conversation that does not end up with you suggesting a birth control pill, a condom, or any other method. Instead, educate your child on the purity that God has made sex to be and not a distorted view that the world is deeming to be acceptable.
If you do not know how to start the conversation, here are a few places to help get you started.
Additional Article related to the Study
Link to the study abstract