Head Goes Right Here along Top Kids Get Their Sex Education from TV

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), February 14, 2008 | Go to article overview

Head Goes Right Here along Top Kids Get Their Sex Education from TV


Byline: Todd Huffman For The Register-Guard

When parents think about environmental exposures during childhood, they might think of lead, pesticides or grass pollens. In fact, the greatest environmental exposure for most children is television: They spend more time watching it than they do in any other wakeful activity, and it has significant effects on their health and well-being.

Both parents and pediatricians have asked: "Is it good or bad?"

Television is inherently neither; it's time to move beyond such black-and-white thinking. Television is a tool - it all depends on what they watch and how they watch it.

Used carefully for children older than 2, television need not have untoward effects, and according to recent studies, can even exert a positive influence. By and large, however, it is not being used carefully. For the most part, parents are clueless about the content and consequences of the media-saturated world their children inhabit.

Content is the critical mediator in the effects of TV on children. Watching "Sesame Street" or the Discovery Channel is not the same as watching "Grey's Anatomy" or "Desperate Housewives." That 95 percent of American children watch programs that are produced for more mature audiences is a concern when you consider that children, who use the media to learn about culture, typically lack the knowledge and experience to recognize what is unrealistic.

Today's parents should recognize that the media represent a powerful teacher of children and adolescents. The media cut across virtually every concern that parents and pediatricians have about young people: sex, violence, homicide, suicide, obesity, eating disorders, school problems and drug use.

Permitted to view a weekly average of 30 hours of television - largely absent adult consideration of the developmental fitness of the programming - it should not seem remarkable that today's children and adolescents are more overweight, inattentive, violent and sexual than any previous generation.

American teens, especially, are adrift in one of the most crude, brutal and explicitly sexualized popular cultures in the history of the world. Through television, music videos and the Internet, teens have unprecedented access to an astounding array of both real and virtual sexual experiences.

With schools and parents not always eager to tackle the subject adequately, the media have arguably become the leading sex educator in America today. And that's not particularly good news.

The sexual content in much of the media that today's teens tune in to is frequent, glamorized and consequence-free. "Everyone does it" on television and in the movies, or so it seems. Yet the need for birth control, the risks of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections or the need for responsibility rarely are discussed.

Too often, children and teens are permitted to view late-evening programming hypersexualized at times to the degree that many adults feel uncomfortable watching. And too often, shows targeting adolescents seem like "Happy Days With Hormones," with sexual intercourse appearing a normative and casual activity even for teens.

In these ways, the media function as a kind of sexual "super peer." They provide role models of attractive adults and older adolescents engaging in risky behavior, and put additional pressure on young people to have sex at a young age. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Head Goes Right Here along Top Kids Get Their Sex Education from TV
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.