Friday, September 17, 2004

Sex & Violence in Entertainment

What is this double standard everyone keeps bringing up? This is the argument as I’ve heard it countless times: “Dude, in Europe they show nudity on TV and in ads all the time. But they totally don’t allow really violent stuff to be shown. America is so messed up with our backwards attitudes. We glorify guns and violence, but make kids ashamed of their bodies.”

Well, I thought about this for a bit and came up with a response. But first there are two caveats that need to be stated. I do think we glorify violence too much. And I also think we need to work harder to expose our children to art that expresses the beauty that God imbued in the human form.

That being said, I don’t think our order of values are being misplaced. (Just stretched way to far.) One problem we have is that the nudity that is shown in films, TV, music, etc. is 90% overtly sexualized. I can think of a few examples like the movies 12 Monkeys and Schindler’s List, where the nudity was used to promote a loftier concept than sexuality. But the vast majority of sexuality in media is of the free-love variety. Outside of marriage. Generally the sex happens on a whim and there are few consequences save for some kind of emotional excitement that drives the drama. I submit that this is far more dangerous to our society than the action and violence that is so prevalent; and here is why… There are serious legal ramifications and other social structures that prevent emulation of violent acts. There are none remaining in the area of sexual expression. No laws against adultery or fornication. No shame in living with a member of the opposite sex. In fact, most schools are promoting sexual experimentation for kids. So while I believe that if we had less violence in our media, then the violence in our society would diminish somewhat; (How much is a matter of debate.) but the glorification of sex in our stories is having a much more detrimental effect. Thus, I say the “double standard” is valid and should be maintained. (Though the current levels of both should be reduced.)

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