Anyone that says the media has no role in sex education, that it is just “reflecting everyday life,” is either blind or doesn’t care to understand how powerful its messages of “anything goes” are to young children. To the tens of millions of American citizens like me who were raped and forced to live in a sexualized household as a child, I say they are dead wrong.
Miley Cyrus, a few years ago, was furious at Mika Brzezinski’s comment that Miley’s “presentation” at the Teen Choice Awards was ridiculous. Miley’s response of: “If you think that dancing on top of an ice cream cart with a pole is bad, then go check out what 99 percent of high schoolers are really up to,” says it all.
The combination of:
- Poor parenting, child abuse, the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse at home, and
- The constant onslaught of inappropriate behavior on television
has helped to produce an acceptance of degrading, ill mannered, raunchy, and sleazy displays of behavior.
The media CEO’s greed and lust for ratings has sunk to ever increasing lows. Where are the role models showing healthy intimacy between loving, consenting people? Or am I wrong? Is this how most people act in intimate relationships? I hope not.
There seems to be no sense of decency, restraint, or a desire anymore to promote kindness, reflection or civility. The media acts like they are just conduits with no standards of decency, but they have really become more and more a medium to inflame, titillate, sensationalize, and brutalize normal human behavior. I, for one, am sick of it.
It is as if the reality that millions of children who are sexually abused every day, millions of women are raped every day, and the brutality of domestic violence occurring all around us doesn’t mean a thing to these media executives. How do they think we feel when we are constantly bombarded by their “entertainment” of glamorized trashy sex and violence?
And it is not just television. The internet has brought pornography and sexual offenders directly into our homes, even though we don’t search for it. I recently found a link to one of my posts about child abuse on a porn site which I immediately had removed. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 1 in 5 young people who use the internet at least once a month receive unwanted sexual solicitations.1
And yet all we hear reported is how parents are up in arms about children being taught sex education in schools. I feel very sad for the children of America today. At least when I grew up watching the Carol Burnett show and Perry Mason, the media has some scruples and cared about high standards of behavior. That seems to have gone out the window, and it is a shame.
1 “Kids Pressed for Sex Online,” The Washington Post, June 20, 2001