Check out these articles (from Fox News and CNN, respectively):
The gist of the study:
Previous research by some of the same scientists had already found that watching lots of sex on TV can influence teens to have sex at earlier ages.
Shows that highlight only the positive aspects of sexual behavior without the risks can lead teens to have unprotected sex “before they’re ready to make responsible and informed decisions,” Chandra said.
Though some are already pooh-poohing the study, “Bill Albert, chief program officer at the nonprofit National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, praised the study and said it ‘catches up with common sense.’“
I always say that cleaning up the airwaves (or the internet, or the neighborhood) isn’t going to make people holy, but that doesn’t mean that we should immerse ourselves in the culture. It also doesn’t mean that our children don’t need protection from the culture and guidance about how to view and interact with the culture.
Parents, especially Christian parents, should be monitoring what their children are watching and giving them guidance about the things they do see. They also should not be afraid to be parents and say “No” sometimes. Not everything has to be fair and not everything has to be or should be permitted.
Parents should also be willing to talk about the things they see on TV and teach their children to examine what they watch, listen to, and read in light of a biblical, Christian worldview. Sadly, even in many Christian homes, the children are seeing things like this because the parents are watching these sorts of things.
While I do not consider myself a paragon of Christian parenting, I was pleased recently when my daughter saw a Halloween costume of a well-known tween character in Target. We still don’t know how she knew who the person was but she told her mother unequivocally, “I would never want to be [insert tween star’s name here].” She may very well have been saying that simply because she knew that was what we wanted to hear, but the fact remains that she knew where we would stand on it without our even having to tell her.
A healthy and steady dose of distinctly Christian parenting including teaching and discipling goes a long way, too, and such faithful catechising and teaching may be teaching more than you would ever guess.