I just completed a 12 page paper on the effects that sexuality portrayed on tv has on adolescents. I have to say it was a pretty easy paper to write, and definitely got me thinking! Part of the paper was to compare two tv shows that were popular among adolescents today- one "good" example and one "bad" example.
Let me just tell you...coming up with the "bad" example was EASY!! Shows like 90210, Gossip Girl, Secret Life of a Teenager, 16 and Pregnant all jump out at you immediately! Your "everyday" high schooler walking around having sex, sexting, getting into clubs, drinking, getting pregnant, smoking and doing drugs etc. etc. etc. is glamorized and made to look completely normal.
The "good" example was not so easy...ok it was actually really hard! In fact, the ONLY thing I could come up with was Hannah Montana....which I had to REALLY had to prove was targeted for an adolescent audience rather than 8 year olds. I realized when my best argument was "Jon and I tivo it, so if you average our ages with the much younger crowd that also tivos it, it equals an adolescent" I was in trouble (oh wow, did I really just admit that here!?)
So in writing the paper, I was amazed...appalled really...at the incredible amount of sexuality shown on TV. My "bad" example paragraphs (which I ultimately went for Glee because it is a newer show and appears harmless on the outside!) had to be tamed down because literally I found an example of explicit sexuality on EVERY. SINGLE. EPISODE!
Which got me thinking: how in the world am I going to raise children with this going on!? For those of you that know me, I really want kids....like last summer! But with school and work, we're waiting. However, I'm thinking the longer we wait, the more I may be freaked out at the actual raising of my children. Don't get me wrong, I want little Isabella and Isaiah (the twins that I'm hoping, praying, pleading that we have : ) badly....I just wish we could skip from age 10 to 21 or so.
Sex is everywhere. On TV. On the radio. Coming from the windows in our neighborhood! So how do we protect our little angels from this?? How do we get them through the awkward phase of adolescents and into adulthood without promiscuity and sex being "completely normal?" I'm obviously asking this hypothetically, but seriously? Parents have a really hard job these days! Not only are we trying to give our little girls love and attention, we're trying to help them not be complete ho's! And we're trying to keep our little guys away from the ho's that are lurking throughout the high school hallways!
It's crazy that sex is out there, rampant...just waiting for teens to take it and run. I know it's not realistic to think that my little ones are going to be totally sheltered and protected from it...nor do I want them to be completely! There is something to be said about exposure to small quantities to certain bugs and bacteria that help to increase our immune system- see, I'm a nurse through and through!
I guess as Jon and I do have little Bella and Ze (please God, please!) we will learn these lessons more and more. And I look forward to that day....but cringe as well! All I know is they better be singing the lyrics to Beyonce's "Put a Ring on It" before they have sex (although I'm saying two rings!) rather than Rihanna's "Rude Boy!"