I remember watching an episode of Step by Step. A little girl had learned where babies came from, and she shared this information with her playmate. The mom of the playmate was very upset, but after a couple of comedic moments and conversations, everyone was again happy in this fictional world. At the end of the episode the two kids are watching an animal show on TV, and the mom of the play mate again had a worried look on her face. “Don’t worry,” the mom of the little girl replied, “they are just watching the animals rip each other apart.” The other mom sighed with relief, thankful that her small child was not watching animals procreate.
When did the fear of kids seeing sex become so much larger than the fear of them seeing violence? Many parents allow kids to see R rated movies, as long as the movie has such a high rating for violence and not for sex. Society censers what kids can watch because they don’t want them emulating bad behaviors. However, shouldn’t parents worry more about kids emulating violence. After all, sex is something natural (unlike violence), and most people have biological and hormonal desires to copulate. Every person reading this article is alive today because two people chose to have sex. Those adorable little kids playing hopscotch outside your window, the ones you want to keep innocent, will be having sex in less than two decades. However, there is a good chance they will never blow up cars or shoot their enemies in the head.
Everybody hopes that the kids in their lives will not grow up to be gangsters, thieves, or killers (and these hopes usually come true). In fact many people want to have grandchildren; something that evil sex makes possible, but nobody wants their kids to violently beat up their enemies. Yet we allow kids to see images of this on TV. If parents worry that their kids will have sex at a younger age because of a movie they saw, why aren’t they worried that a kid will join a gang after watching a mafia movie? There does not seem to be a rational explanation for this.
The game Grand Theft Auto was popular among many teens. Most parents did not mind that their children spent the afternoons practicing skills to succeed in organized crime; however, when it was discovered that it was possible to have consensual sex scenes inside the game, there was a panic among parents. The game started to make national headlines, and famous politicians vowed to help parents protect their kids from digitized porn. However, these same parents that were so incensed at the idea of their teenagers seeing sex, did not seem to care that their teenagers spent their free time enjoying to steal cars.
When Janet Jackson showed a nipple on prime time TV, America was outraged. After all it is a well-known fact that if kids see a nipple it will cause a huge rise in the teenage pregnancy and STD rate, and most kids had never looked at their chest before this incident and had no idea what a nipple looked like. The most humorous part of this incident was that the infamous nipple was partially covered with an earring. So while the parents of America’s youth were worried about a clothing dysfunction, the young impressionable minds of America were watching news channels filled with stories of murder and violence. It seems that someone placed all of our society’s values in a box, shook it up, and picked a random value(not the most important one) to care about. Do you feel that America censors sex more than violence, and if you do, do you feel that America is correct in doing this?