Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Children, Media and Sex

Over at Mirror of Justice: (a great blog, by the way, if you're interested in Catholic social thought), Rob Vischer points to this NYT piece on the effects of media with sexual content on children's sexual activity. (Hint: if kids watch shows with sexual content, they tend to be more sexually active earlier. What a shocker.) But here's the stat that just blows my mind: two-thirds of kids 8-18 have televisions in their bedrooms.

I remember when we were looking at houses a couple of years ago and I remarked to my wife that in many of the houses, the kids had TVs, VCRs/DVD players, and computers in their rooms. Hmmm...what will teenage boys (and girls, I suppose) do with a VCR, TV, and a high-speed internet connection? Besides reading The Reform Club, I mean... The inanity of it is just staggering. We don't have cable (I sooooo wish I could have ESPN) largely because I refuse to let MTV into my house.

Get rid of the TVs, move the computer to the family room, and show some judgment, folks. Sheesh.

7 comments:

Hunter Baker said...

Get Directv, Michael. I just go through the list of stations I get and drop the ones I don't want from the menu. It's great.

Plus, I get my NFL Network as part of the package. Next season, they start broadcasting games!

S. T. Karnick said...

Hunter, now THAT's "news you can use"! I just surfed over to the NFL Network website and got the story: http://www.nfl.com/nflnetwork/story/9193472. The neat thing is that these are indeed additional games, not ones movedf off of other sources. Great news. Thanks.

The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...

We don't have cable (I sooooo wish I could have ESPN) largely because I refuse to let MTV into my house.

Agreed. I refuse to *pay* for the crap; I can get enough crap with rabbit ears.

I'm holding out for cable a la carte.

Jay D. Homnick said...

I can't have cable because I'm a justice addict and would end up watching Court TV 24/7.

But I'm with you, Michael. TV or Internet in a teenager's room is insanity.

connie deady said...

But I'm with you, Michael. TV or Internet in a teenager's room is insanity.

I have to plead guilty to this. Computer, DVD player, cable box and TV, my daughter had it all growing up.

I didn't think it was so insane. What is insane is letting that substitute for parental involvement in setting ethics and morals for your child and just plain old discussion.

Now, this probably is really embarrassing, but I would talk soap operas with my daughter. Good way to have mother daughter sex education, virginity, pre-marital sex all discussed in context. "Look how Julie messed up her life by sleeping with Joe"

I have always believed in exposing my daughter to many ideas, cultures, etc. But we always talk about them and why they are right and wrong.

Jay D. Homnick said...

According to Jewish tradition, Jethro studied all the world's religions before choosing Judaism.

On the other hand, the educational system of Judaism is based on "And you should tell your child...", the idea that parents pass along the teachings of Judaism to their children.

The Midrash says that when Moses married Jethro's daughter, he had to promise that the first child would be 'given to idolatry' and only the second child could be 'given to Judaism'. The question is: how could he make such a bargain morally? Also, don't we find later that both sons were Jewish?

A brilliant scholar once explained to me that the Midrash means that Jethro made Moses promise that the first child would be 'exposed' to all points of view. Thus, Moses trained his two sons differently. The elder was taught comparative religions and the younger was taught only Judaism. In the end, both chose to emulate their father.

The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...

I have always believed in exposing my daughter to many ideas, cultures, etc. But we always talk about them and why they are right and wrong.

You probably won't find much disagreement here (none from me).

Kudo's to you, Connie, on discussing important issues directly with your child ... that is probably missing in many parent-child relationships.

However, there are some things that children are just plain not ready for. I certainly won't expose my child to drugs nor leave a loaded weapon in his room.

Is the internet a loaded pistol? Probably not, but if my kids are anything like me growing up, their curiosity could very well land them in a heap of trouble.

Internet/TV are fine, but in a childs room (unsupervised) it is a big no-no if you ask me.