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Important to screen what teenagers are watching on TV

Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 11:15 pm

General Manager/Editor Ron Schott

General Manager/Editor Ron Schott

While Christians are continually being killed in Egypt, our national media dedicated major amounts of programming time on coverage of pop star Miley Cyrus’ appearance on MTV’s Video Music Awards.
I won’t even bother describing exactly her shocking and vulgar performance at the annual VMA event, which is known each year for its many controversial moments. While many people complain about what happened, MTV is loving the numbers. Cyrus’ performance set a new Twitter record for tweets per minute at 306,000, surpassing the previous record from Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance.
The VMA’s were cable’s No. 1 entertainment telecast of the year among the 12-34 age group. It had 10.1 million viewers. MTV’s social channels had its biggest hit ever with more than 15 million total streams.
The statistics among this age group, especially when it comes to the teenagers, is especially troubling to me. The Parents Television Council feels the same way.
“MTV has once again succeeded in marketing sexually charged messages to young children using former child stars and condom commercials — while falsely rating this program as appropriate for kids as young as 14. This is unacceptable,” said PTC Director of Public Policy Dan Isett, on the PTC’s website.
“This much is absolutely clear: MTV marketed adults-only material to children while falsely manipulating the content rating to make parents think the content was safe for their children. MTV continues to sexually exploit young women by promoting acts that incorporate ‘twerking’ in a nude-colored bikini. How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds? How is it appropriate for children to watch Lady Gaga strip down to a bikini in the opening act? How is it appropriate for 14-year-olds to see a condom commercial and a promo for an R-rated movie during the first commercial break? This content would likely not be given a forum if it were on a broadcast network. Yet MTV continues to push limits because it’s a cable network. But that does not mean MTV’s decisions have no consequences, especially for the millions of children who were targeted by MTV.We urge Congress to pass the Television Consumer Freedom Act which will give parents and consumers a real solution for future MTV VMA programs – the ability to choose and pay for cable networks that they want vs. having to pay for networks they don’t want. After MTV’s display last night, it’s time to give control back to consumers,” Isett added.
This means if you’re a parent who let your teen watch the VMA’s this past Sunday, you might want to look it up on YouTube and see just what it is you’re letting your child watch. Spare me the “other kids are watching it” or “it doesn’t affect them” talk.
The RAND Corporation did a study on this. They analyzed a sample of 1,762 adolescents ages 12-17. They were asked about their sexual experiences and their television habits. After one year, they were surveyed again.
“The researchers measured levels of exposure to three kinds of sexual content on television: (1) sexual behavior, such as kissing, intimate touching, and implied or depicted intercourse, (2) talk about sexual plans or desires or about sex that has occurred, and expert advice, and (3) talk about or behavior showing the risks of or the need for safety in regard to sexual activity: abstinence, waiting to have sex, portrayals mentioning or showing contraceptives, and portrayals related to consequences, such as AIDS, STDs, pregnancy, and abortion.
The results showed, according to their website, that heavy exposure to sexual content on television related strongly to teens’ initiation of intercourse or their progression to more advanced sexual activities (such as “making out” or oral sex) apart from intercourse in the following year. Youths who viewed the greatest amounts of sexual content were two times more likely than those who viewed the smallest amount to initiate sexual intercourse during the following year or to progress to more-advanced levels of other sexual activity. In effect, youths who watched the most sexual content “acted older”: a 12-year-old at the highest levels of exposure behaved like a 14- or 15-year-old at the lowest levels.
The study also identified other factors that increased the likelihood that teens would initiate intercourse, including being older, having older friends, getting lower grades, engaging in rule-breaking such as skipping class, and sensation seeking.
Decreasing the likelihood of intercourse came when parents were active in monitoring the teens’ activities. This is no surprise to me. It’s time for parents to stop being their teenager’s best friend and truly plug into what their children are watching and doing.
It’s important we bring our teenagers back to the Bible in some of its basic teachings to help ensure for them a brighter future.
Philippians 4:8 says “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
A lot can be gained from reflecting on that verse. I just wish many more of us would do it.
God is good; Lydia is home
I apologize for not providing updates on our newborn daughter in the past couple of weeks.
This past Thursday, our 8.5 week journey came to an end when Lydia Jo Schott officially came home. Her apnea issues have been nearly nonexistent and she’s doing extremely well. Our family is thrilled to be under one roof again. We feel so blessed for what God has done through this little girl’s body and how He’s continued to provide the needs for our family. We’re just simply in awe of Him and are thankful for every day we have to spend with our little bundle of joy. Our family wants to thank all who have thought about us and been praying for us during the past couple of months. It’s been a long road and we thank each of you for your part in lifting prayers to a Holy God on our family’s behalf. As I said before, it is humbling and our family will be forever grateful for your concern and prayers during this time.