Television & Teen Pregnancy

Some people wonder why I detest the television so much.  Here is just another reason why.

Television and teen pregnancy.  Wow.  Who would have ever thought?  Over thirty years ago, studies found that violence and aggression in children had a direct link to television.  Now, it has been linked to teen-age pregnancy.  Could it be that sex and violence are the two biggest pillars of sin that the idol of television rests upon?

Here’s a clip from the CNN story (the highlights are mine): http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/11/03/teen.pregnancy/index.html

<snip>
(CNN)Sexual content on television is strongly associated with teen pregnancy, a new study from the RAND Corporation shows. New information linking sexual content on television with teen pregnancy will help develop prevention programs.

Researchers at the nonprofit organization found that adolescents with a high level of exposure to television shows with sexual content are twice as likely to get pregnant or impregnate someone as those who saw fewer programs of this kind over a period of three years. It is the first study to demonstrate this association, RAND said.

A central message from the study is that there needs to be more dialogue about sex in the media, particularly among parents and their children, said Anita Chandra, the study’s lead author and a behavioral scientist at RAND.

“We know that parents are busy, but sitting down and watching shows together with their teen, talking about the character portrayals, talking about what they just witnessed, and really using it as a teachable moment is really, I think, a good recommendation from this research,” Chandra said.
</snip>

Isn’t it funny that the best suggestions are:

1) Talk to your children about sex in the media; and
2) Watch the shows with inappropriate content so that you can discuss what they just saw.

Who suggests taking your child to a bar, or a drug house, or a whorehouse to expose them to the sin to be found there and then “use it as a teachable moment”?  Isn’t it funny that at no point these solutions even suggested:

1) Do something to limit the amount of content and material that has been proven to be unhealthy and detrimental to our children.
2) Remove the source of the problem (stop watching it, get rid of it, whatever), and teach your kids without the use of the television.  Here’s a suggestion – teach them from Scripture!

No, the best our secular worldview can come up with is, “Go ahead and let them consume the poison, but then talk to your child about how deadly it is and make sure they vomit it up before it has a *really* harmful effect.”

The article goes on to say:

<snip>
To measure exposure, the researchers used a method developed by another research group evaluating 23 shows for sexual content. Then, they asked teenagers how frequently they watched each of those shows, and developed a score based on exposure to the shows.

“We know that if a child is watching more than an hour of TV a day, we know there’s a sexual scene in [the] content every 10 minutes, then they’re getting a fair amount of sexual content,” Chandra said.

Melody Monroe of Norfolk, Virginia, who had her first child when she was 17, said she agrees that sex on television contributes to teen pregnancy. Monroe, who shared some of her views on iReport.com, recalls watching shows on Lifetime Television with her mother that were “almost soft porn,” with kissing and bedroom scenes.

“Oh, the guy gets the girl, they fall in love, happily ever after, babies come, I thought that was one way of being loved,” said Monroe, now 26. “Happily ever after doesn’t happen.”

</snip>

Does this give you some insight into why I have such an issue with that vile instrument of idolatry?  It is the window to the worldview that we are supposed to be protecting our children from, not exposing them to.  I talked about in my previous two articles (The Sin of Abortion and The Abortion of Sin) how that heinous, evil act will continue to be practiced in our society regardless of who wins the election today.  And it is because we are a sinful and selfish society.  And the sad and sobering truth is that for all our talk about morals and values, the vast majority of people in this society (Christian or otherwise) allow themselves and their children to be more influenced by the media (the window to the worldview of our secular society) than by Scripture.

How can we ever hope to affect a change with regards to abortion when collectively as a society we refuse to turn from the idol of television–that altar in our living room that glorifies sin?  Is it any wonder that our devotion and attraction to this deadly device–where sex and violence are glorified to the extreme–would result in a society where abortion is so prevalent.  And is not abortion simply the manifestation of that sick combination of extreme sex and violence that so many of us bow down and worship every we time we grab the remote?

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:34)

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Filed under Culture, Rant, Television

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