Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I thought I couldn't be shocked, but this article set me back on my heels. 

I'd like you to read it to be aware of the gravity of the situation.  This is NOT for children and you should understand this writer is not offering a solution.  When a "British liberal feminist from the 60's" is calling for standards, we must be in trouble.  This is why I'm working as hard as I can to produce our "Keep Your Kids Safe In This Internet Age" series.
Al Menconi

How the faceless and amoral world of cyberspace has created a deeply disturbing... generation SEX

By OLIVIA LICHTENSTEIN www.dailymail.co.uk 28th January 2009

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1129978/How-faceless-amoral-world-cyberspace-created-deeply-disturbing--generation-SEX.html

Remember that Hilaire Belloc cautionary tale - Matilda told such dreadful lies, it made one gasp and stretch one’s eyes? I used to love it as a child when telling lies was one of the naughtiest things you could do: Matilda ended up getting burned to death. 

These days, however, everything has changed and it’s the truths that children tell that make one gasp and stretch one’s eyes. 

A couple of years ago, my daughter Francesca, then aged 13, told me about a party she had been to one Saturday night.

In the course of the evening, she came upon one of her friends, also aged 13, performing oral sex on a boy in the garden. The boy was standing and videoing the event on his mobile phone. 


My daughter, in whom the feisty gene has always found strong expression, pulled her friend off the boy, knocked the phone out of his hand and slapped him round the face. 

I apologise for shocking you, but then there are a number of things shocking about this event: the casual nature in which such an intimate act is performed in public, the young age of the participants and last, but by no means least, the fact that it is being filmed. 

This not only signals the boy’s disassociation from the physical experience, it also indicates his intention to replay the event and, no doubt, to share his triumph with his friends as one might brandish a trophy above one’s head for all to see. 

Reality TV has a lot to answer for

Nor was this the only such event on this particular evening. I am no prude, but Francesca painted a picture of Bacchanalia that certainly made me gasp. 

That week at school, when conducting a post mortem of their weekend as teenagers do (and always have done), the girls at her then school (she’s since moved), a private girls’ school in London, exclaimed: ‘Hurrah, now we’re more slutty than Slutney’, the affectionate nickname of another school. 

Call me old-fashioned, but when I was a gal, sluttishness was not a condition one aspired to.

That year, they were all dressing in Hooters T-shirts (the uniform of the well-endowed waitresses of a U.S. restaurant chain whose slogan ‘delightfully tacky yet unrefined’ sums up its approach) and buttock-skimming shorts. 

They looked, as girls so often do, far older than their 13 years and not unlike the Playboy Bunnies who incensed a generation of feminists. (Interestingly, clothing depicting the distinctive Playboy bunny is highly popular now among teenage girls.) 

When one considers our society, it’s no surprise that our children have lost all sense of modesty.


Not only do social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo encourage teens to share information about themselves; but when they are not taking their clothes off, their role models are spilling their guts about their ‘private’ lives all over the pages of every national newspaper, magazine and on television. 

We have an immoderate interest in the private lives of perfect strangers. Pop stars such as Amy Winehouse and Britney Spears expose the car crash that is their life for all to see.

Jordan, who won fame by revealing her breasts, has a documentary series where she and her husband, Peter Andre, discuss their sex life (or lack of it) in intimate detail.

The Osbournes revealed all for our entertainment in their television series. Was this extraordinary exposure responsible in part for the subsequent drug and alcohol abuse of the two of their children who participated? One can’t help feeling it might have been. Their third child, Amy, wisely chose to stay out of the limelight.

Whatever its exponents may say, reality television has a lot to answer for. I have been a documentary film-maker for more than two decades and am well aware of the power of the medium.

Today’s teenagers are starring in the reality show of their own lives and doing all they can to make it as dramatic as possible. 

Where before mistakes we made when young - excessive drinking, acts of promiscuity - were quietly forgotten, now they are recorded and broadcast on the Internet for all to see. 

From happy slapping to amateur sex videos (Paris Hilton rose to fame when a shamelessly intimate video of her and her boyfriend found its way on to the Internet, a reality TV show followed, and the rest, as they say, is history). 

Do these girls even know what feminism is?

The sexualisation of our young is ubiquitous: boys caught cheating on their girlfriends on mobile phones, ritual humiliation and worse by YouTube (In February 2008, a gang of London teenagers aged 14-16 drugged and raped a woman in front of her children and then posted the film of the attack, videoed on a mobile phone, on YouTube), television programmes like Sex And The City with man-eating Samantha as the living embodiment of casual libidinous sex, all provide the back projection to our children’s lives. 

Instant fame is all. In today’s celebrity culture, no one cares how you made your name, as long as you’ve made it; there’s no distinction between fame and notoriety. 

Do you really want things that you’ve done when drunk to be plastered all over the Internet?

These images are like puppies; they’re not just for Christmas, they’re for life. 

Would the 13-year-old girl administering oral sex in a London garden have done so if she’d fully considered the possible repercussions of the video the boy was taking of her? 

Once broadcast on the Internet the images would have become available not merely to the boy’s friends, but to the whole world; to paedophiles and to prospective employers in the future. 

In her book, Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women And The Rise Of Raunch Culture, Ariel Levy writes about the American experience, where many a young girl’s dream seems to be the desire to dance around a pole or cheer while others do. 

She says that feminist terms such as liberation and empowerment, that used to describe women’s fight for equality, have been perverted. 

Now the freedom to be sexually provocative or promiscuous is not enough - now it can mean the freedom to be an exhibitionist.

During the same summer as the party my daughter had told me about, she casually mentioned at a lunch gathering of family and friends how another of her friends allowed boys to ‘touch them up’. 

There was a sharp, shocked intake of breath around the table; the casual use of language and the public mention of such an act astonished us. 

Although many of us might have engaged in such activities at a similar age, none of us could have imagined discussing it in front of our parents let alone in front of our parents’ friends. 

So how much are the parents to blame?

It is precisely this erosion of the boundaries of privacy and the absence of taboo that is so shocking about today’s teenagers. Modern technology allows children access to images and information we, as children, could scarcely have imagined. 

You want to see a naked girl? Click on to the Internet. You want to hear exactly what your friend got up to the night before? Log on to Facebook. Not only will their boasts tell you that they are recovering from the excesses of the night before, there’ll be the pictures to prove it. 

In today’s world of fast information and access to all areas, too many - particularly the young - are having to up the stakes to chase their particular dragon and get the high they crave. 

Sometimes, they’re so busy creating drama and tension in the movie of their own lives that they’ve forgotten to be human beings. 

A video I was told about shows how far things have gone: a dying woman lay inert on a street while a man urinated on her, saying as he did so: ‘This is a YouTube moment.’ 

When I was young, secretly looking up the word penis in the dictionary and sniggering was how we got our thrills. This is small beer for today’s children: the girls especially, who, where once they might have struck a pose in front of mirrors in the privacy of their own bedrooms, now exhibit themselves scantily clad in hookers’ poses in photo albums on social networking sites. 

There’s something about the one step removal into cyber space that allows people to behave even more outrageously than they might in person. Now, even this boundary is becoming blurred.


Perhaps it’s the freedom or lack of boundaries they’ve learned from virtual reality that give them permission to behave with such frightening lack of inhibition in person. That and the demon drink, for today’s teenage girls drink in a way we rarely did. 

So how much are the parents to blame? Those of us who grew up in the Sixties and Seventies will do almost anything to appear ‘cool’ to our children; we certainly don’t wish to come across as some sort of Mary Whitehouse scandalised by today’s youth.

Nor do we wish to appear as joyless, men-hating feminists, although many of us remember that we fought hard for the right to do as men have always done. 

One can’t help but wonder what happened to feminism and its lessons. On the one hand, girls drink like men; on the other they dress in a manner that invites sexual objectification. Do these young girls even know what feminism is? 

‘The problem is that teenagers have rejected the values of the previous era and to reject the values of the Sixties or Seventies, which was very laissez faire, you have to go very far,’ says Dr Pat Spungin, psychologist and founder of parenting website raisingkids.co.uk. 

The bar has unquestionably been raised. Where will it end? In bizarre fetishism or S&M as teens strive to outdo each other? 

The lessons learned are confusing ones; girls feel they have the right to get drunk and sleep around, but certain attitudes never change. 

According to a sample group of 17-year-olds I spoke to, there is an enormous double standard between the sexes. Boys treat sex as being a sign of ‘laddishness’ and masculinity, they say; promiscuous behaviour on their part is an achievement. 

Girls, on the other hand, are caught between a rock and a hard place. 

‘Boys demand that they go further before they are ready; if they do, they’ll quickly be labelled as sluts, and gain a reputation as an easy target, so that drunk boys will seek them expecting that they’ll be easy to get off with,’ says one. 

‘If they don’t, they’ll be labelled as frigid and become instantaneously unattractive; most boys won’t bother investing time and energy flirting with a girl if they think there is little prospect of pulling.’ 

‘Girls I know often get drunk and allow themselves to be touched up at bus stops or up against walls,’ says my daughter, Francesca. 

Many of her classmates, she says, have been sleeping with their boyfriends since the age of 14 or 15. 

Facebook has an application called the Honesty Box, which invites you to send and receive anonymous messages to discover what people really think of you. 

The application’s blurb declares triumphantly that messages cannot be removed: ‘Once you send a message, it’s forever.’ Thus has bullying moved from the playground into cyber space? 

The implications of all this behaviour are far reaching. A survey about violence in teenage relationships released last month by Women’s Aid and Bliss magazine found that nearly a quarter of 14-year-old girls who responded had been pressured into engaging in sexual activity with somebody they’ve dated. 

According to the survey, boys see girls as sexual commodities and one in four 16-year-olds had been hit or hurt in some other way. 

Many felt it was OK to hit a girl if she’d been unfaithful. It also found that more than half of 14 and 15-year-olds have been humiliated in front of others by someone they were dating. 

‘There used to be a stricter and more regulated approach to bringing up children,’ says Dr Pat Spungin. 

‘Parents should take back some of the control they’ve ceded. We don’t say “no” enough, so vulnerable girls don’t have enough experience of saying “no” themselves.’ 

This is not to say that we should be condemning teenagers for being sexual and proposing that they take chastity vows and attend purity balls as is fashionable in parts of the U.S. 

However, we do need to consider what is appropriate behaviour and to help our teens ensure that ill-considered or drunken acts which are sometimes a part of growing up won’t come back and hurt them in the future.

Some, of course, have always been sexually precocious

There have, of course, always been girls and boys who are sexually precocious. 

When I was in the fifth form (Year 11) at my girls’ grammar school, I remember a classmate going to Majorca and returning to boast that she’d slept with six boys in a week. Luckily, neither she, nor they, had the pictures to prove it. These days they might well have had. 

‘The girls who are most vulnerable and have the most desire to be liked are the ones who are tempted to cross these boundaries,’ says Dr Pat Spungin.

The event cited at the beginning of this article is an extreme one and by no means common to all teens’ experience. It did, however, occur. 

Others will have similar stories, and it is symptomatic of a worrying tendency among our teens to live their lives in an inappropriately public arena where they reveal far more of themselves, both literally and metaphorically, than is wise. 

Barack Obama recently commented on the fashion among young men for wearing their trousers low on their hips: ‘Brothers should pull up their pants. You’re walking by your mother, your grandmother, and your underwear is showing. (Some people might not want to see your underwear - I’m one of them.)’ 

Few would wish a return to the hypocritical constraints of life before the sexual revolution; however, the trouble with the pendulum is that it has a habit of swinging too far the other way. 

Perhaps it’s time for everyone to pull up their pants and show each other a little more respect; and, since we’re supposed to be the adults, it has to start with us, with how we behave, how we draw boundaries and what we put in our newspapers and magazines and on our television screens. 

Olivia Lichtenstein is a TV producer/director and novelist. Her novel, Mrs Zhivago Of Queen’s Park, is published by Orion at £6.99. Peer pressure has always been a persistent factor of teenage life. The stakes are higher now and teenagers, not surprisingly, have become even more competitive and paranoid. They may often find themselves in situations they are not equipped to deal with. 

The internet personae that children create turn them into avatars - an online persona - in their own lives and diminish their empathy for each other. It becomes hard to tell what is real and what isn’t.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What Every Parent Needs to Know About a Kid's Online World

Should you let your preteens get involved in an online social network? The following link is what a mother and writer for Good Housekeeping online found when her eight-year-old asked how to spell “Penguin.” It is an excellent article that all parents of preteens should read.

If you don’t have the time to read the complete article of more than 2500 words, the following are the highlights. She has great insight. I wish I has said it.

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/family/activities/undercover-club-penguin

The following article was for space only.

Undercover in a Kid's Online World
What one mom learned in her journey through kiddie cyberspace — and what every concerned parent needs to know

By Sharon Duke Estroff
In the middle of a playdate with one of his best buddies a few months ago, my then-8-year-old came over and asked me how to spell "penguin."
"Penguin?" I asked, puzzled. "As in Mr. Popper's Penguins?"
"No," Jake clarified. "As in Club Penguin. We want to play, but we can't get to the Website." And just like that, my third grader's age of digital innocence ended, as both of us dove headfirst into the junior cyber-social world.

And I do mean both of us. Because after Jake went to bed that night (giddy with excitement over the creation of his penguin alter ego — or "avatar"), I decided I needed to find out just what was going on in those millions of online igloos that have kids so addicted.

Aimed at ages 6 to 14, the Disney-owned Club Penguin may be one of the most popular kids' sites, but it's hardly the only one. These new virtual worlds, like Poptropica and Barbie Girls, are part social networking, part online game, part Saturday-morning cartoon — and they're everywhere. There are currently more than 100 children's social-networking sites either live or in development. By 2010, projects Nic Mitham, CEO of K Zero, a virtual worlds consultancy firm, 150 million children will be members of one of them.

These sites generally sell themselves to parents as safe, convivial places for kids to play, learn, and make friends. But I wanted to find out exactly what Jake would be experiencing in this icy paradise. So I opened my own account at Club Penguin (I call it CP) and created my avatar, ChilyLily437, a bright-eyed, hot-pink go-getter with her own digital igloo and cyber hangouts — and even the potential to buy an online wardrobe. Via this character, I virtually sunbathed, snow tubed, and even picked up my daily cup of joe at CP's answer to Starbucks.

And by typing in cartoonlike speech bubbles, I mingled with waddling hordes of other penguins.
During my two-week mission, I did find four serious surprises — both good and bad. Here's what you should know before you let your kids out into the cyber snow.

1. A Virtual Playground Is Still a Playground

Given the stats, I expected CP to be hopping, but I was awestruck at just how packed with penguins it was. After I logged on, I was prompted to select from more than a hundred chat rooms with names like Snow Angel and Polar Bear.

The following are my concerns from what she found. - Al Menconi

It's true that Club Penguin, like many other sites, works overtime to keep the chat civil. CP filters out rude language and personal information, lets kids act as secret agents and report rule breakers, and provides monitors to discourage bad behavior. According to Lane Merrifield, cofounder of Club Penguin and executive vice president and general manager of Disney Online Studios, the filters are modified almost hourly to keep up with kids' changing slang. "We strive every day to improve and be the best, safest site out there," he says.

Still, I saw cyber-savvy kids come up with all kinds of clever ways to evade these precautions, like putting consecutive words in separate cartoon bubbles ("I" "DO" "NOT" "LIKE" "YOU"). CP's safeguards are updated so often that some of the talk and tactics I observed are already impossible — and probably more will be by the time this story is printed. But kids find a way. While many penguins were amicable, I was called "weirdo" twice and "nerd" three times, told to go away six times, and pummeled with snowballs and mean-face emoticons. (Merrifield explained that the site allows some words that can be negative — nerd, geek — if some kids identify themselves that way.)

"It stands to reason that bullying happens in kids' virtual worlds," says Collier, "because it happens in school and on the playground, too." But in the virtual world, the inherent anonymity compounds the problem. "Kids may be much more likely to say things through an online avatar that they wouldn't say in person," says Debbie Glasser, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Richmond, VA, and founder of newsforparents.org. While kids also misbehave on the real playground, in cyberspace, they assume they're anonymous, even invisible, and because the virtual world is "just a game," they don't feel the accountability — or guilt — they would in real life, where they have to confront their victims.

2. All Play Is Not Created Equal

Unlike traditional imaginative play, CP and other sites generally don't let kids dream up places — graphic designers do it for them. Merrifield says his team's goal is to be the "stewards of creativity." But I'm not convinced. Kids' opportunities to pretend creatively on these preconceived sites seem sadly limited. And the sites' games aren't fueled so much by children's imaginations as by preprogrammed, circumscribed choices.

"Creative play allows young children to digest life and make it their own. It's an outlet for their creativity and an absolutely critical part of childhood," states Joan Almon, director of the U.S. branch of Alliance for Childhood. But when kids spend hours in front of screens — TV, video game, or computer — they're just absorbing other people's stories and imaginations and not creating their own." That's resulted in a steady decline in children's play," says Almon, "and will have serious negative consequences for kids' cognitive, emotional, and physical development."

3. Kids Can Become Virtual Materialists

Club Penguin, like many similar sites, may bill itself as being all about collecting friends, but believe me; it's about collecting a lot more than that. Like the sparkly-pink evening gowns (600 coins), wide-screen TVs (5,000 coins), and Ice Castle igloo upgrades "crafted from the finest ice on Club Penguin" (5,100 coins) that I saw during my 14 days of penguinhood.

Which is why ChilyLily437 decided to go to work. On CP, that means playing video games. Forty-five (excruciating) minutes of digital ice fishing later, I'd accumulated enough coins to get shopping.

But when I tried to make my purchases, a message informed me that I couldn't buy any of these items because I was not a member! However, I could become a member if I'd like...for $58 a year (and I don't think they were talking penguin money).

"Parents should never forget that most of these sites are money-making ventures," warns Liz Perle, editor in chief of Common Sense Media. "The behavior they encourage — playing games to build up 'money' kids can't spend without paying real cash — is driven by commercial impulses."

So maybe I was naive, but I'm still not sure which part is most disturbing: (a) that Club Penguin is perpetuating such a materialistic mind-set; (b) that it's bribing kids with cyber loot to play otherwise pointless video games all day; or (c) that it's getting away with this bait-and-switch routine ("free Club Penguin account," my flipper!). Or maybe worst is that, despite CP's strict policies against it, so many kids have found off-site ways to cheat so they don't have to "earn" coins or rewards at all. Regardless, the result is to spur kids' materialism, both online (as penguins) and off (as potential paying members).

4. Kids Grow Up Faster Online

I'm not exaggerating when I say that at any given moment in any given location on Club Penguin, there's someone saying "Cute girlz" or "I like boyz" or "Will u be my girlfriend?" — which is exactly what a penguin whom I'll call Kingpizmo asked me one moonlit night in his igloo.

We'd met earlier at the pizza parlor when I'd answered his open call for available girls. By the time we got to Kingpizmo's crib (the Taj Mahal of igloos), we'd already swapped heart emoticons and mwah mwahs (kisses). We played a few rounds of "spin the fish" (a popular CP "kissing" game) before he popped the question, and I (trying not to think about how appalled Kingpizmo would be if he knew he'd just asked a married mother of four to go steady) accepted.

Of all my virtual-world surprises, I found CP's sexual undercurrent by far the most shocking. Kafai was less surprised. "Flirting and dating are major parts of kids' virtual-world activity," she says. "The anonymity and lack of parental supervision make them favorite spaces for even tweens to act out sexual themes they see in the media and at the playground, even before they're ready in real life." But such cyber dating can actually hinder their ability to develop off-line relationships, says Marshall P. Duke, Ph.D., clinical psychologist at Emory University. "In the real world, people communicate in many ways — body language, facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice. Not so in virtual worlds. But kids may think they understand relationships based on online experiences, and that can be damaging."

Smart Rules for Virtual Play

Realistically, we can't raise Internet-free kids — nor should we. But here's what I've learned about helping your child find a balance between virtual worlds and the real one.

Be his copilot. Understanding your kid's virtual world is a must, even if it means going undercover yourself. Then go online with him as he explores the site. "You wouldn't put your child in a car, hand him the keys, and say 'See ya,'" says Perle. "Don't do it with the Internet."

Teach her how to act. Provide your kid with clear behavior guidelines for the virtual world, just as you do for the real one. "Before letting your child access a site, discuss how to be a good online friend," says Patricia Agatston, Ph.D., coauthor of Cyber Bullying: Bullying in the Digital Age. And make sure she knows how to recognize inappropriate behavior from others (like flirtation, questions about age, bullying) and will tell you if it happens so that you can report the offender to site authorities.

Use parental controls and monitoring software. Protect your child while giving him the appropriate level of independence with Website parental controls (Club Penguin offers some excellent ones that allow parents to control when and for how long kids can use the site) and monitoring software (like those listed in the searchable database at getnetwise.org). Be up-front with kids from the start about keeping an eye on them.

Say when (and mean it). Common Sense Media recommends waiting until your child's eighth birthday before letting her join a social network. Once you do, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises limiting kids to no more than two hours a day of any kind of screen time. And balance it out with real face time with friends: These sites were never meant to replace going outside and playing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I occasionally receive “hate mail.” Can you believe it, I never have anything controversial to say.  

This letter from "Alex in Great Britain" intrigued me because it was so filled with hatred, venom and misinformation about Christianity.  Alex was especially angry because we posted “homosexual content” under the “sexual/nudity” section of one of our game reviews.  We didn't say it was right or wrong.  We simply noted that the game contained homosexual content. Because of this "hateful" comment, Alex felt a need to call us names and much more.  He went on and on for pages.  You may pick up some of what he had to say from my response.  Hope you find it informative.  

Hey Alex,

I love how you tolerate my beliefs.  Christians are asked to tolerate everything and everyone, but when you disagree with us we are called "hateful and bigoted."  Can't we agree to disagree? 

You said if I really investigated Darwinism I wouldn't believe in an unseen God.  Would you mind answering some questions for me? 

Have you really investigated Darwinism and evolution?  If so, can you tell me how life started? Who or what pulled the trigger on the "big bang?" How do you start life from non-life?  Can you explain DNA with Darwinism?   

I was especially intrigued by your statement “…there is (in all probability) no god.”  Really? Since you believe God to be a probability, what are the odds He is or isn't God?  In the crapshoot of life, what if you are wrong?  Oops!  You don't get a do over!

And when you say “Christians have warped values?”  Really? Which ones?  You weren't specific.

You seemed to imply that our teaching that marriage should only be between a man and a woman and to be faithful to your spouse was warped.  In this age of AIDS, STDs, and unwanted pregnancies the only sure way to protect yourself is to live a Christian lifestyle. Is that so warped?

How about helping those in need?  If Christians are so "stupid and hateful" helping those in need couldn't be a Christian value, could it? 

Since you are the one who likes research, why not research why most hospitals, orphanages, and charities have Christian names.  You will find most were started as an "arm" of a local church or religious organization.  Could it be these "stupid Christians" are the most generous people in the history of the world and not "hateful" as you claim? In fact Christians have started more hospitals, orphanages, and charity organizations than all other organizations combined! 

That makes us hateful?  

Christians don't hate you, homosexuals, or anyone.  Nor did our game review you referred to imply homosexuals are evil or going to hell as you claim.  We believe the homosexual lifestyle is wrong. You can believe someone is practicing wrong behavior without hating them, can't you? You believe I'm wrong and you don't hate me do you?  That would be intolerant.  And you tolerate everyone!  Right? 

Your letter reminds me of the homosexual organization started in California after losing the election to define marriage as between one man and one woman. This group named their organization, "The Organization Against Hate."  It's ironic since they spray hateful graffiti on churches and disrupt church services.  Picket churches and march in demonstrations shouting hateful epithets at Christians.  And this is the organization against hate.  

I guess if you can't use logic, use intimidation! 

Not once has a Christian publicly said ONE hateful thing toward homosexuals. I don't know any Christian who hates homosexuals or anyone. Christianity teaches that God loves everyone in the world. (John 3:16) The Bible also teaches that any sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong. It doesn't mean Christians HATE people who don’t live by biblical values. It simply means we believe that behavior is wrong.   

The real question is why does the Bible teach homosexuality is wrong? I believe it is because homosexuality is destructive to mankind and God LOVES mankind and wants us to "be fruitful and multiply."  

How do we know homosexuality is destructive?  Consider this illustration:

If everyone in the world was a homosexual, how long would this generation last? As you say, “add up the math.”  We would only exist until the last person died. Think about that! That means a specific lifestyle is destructive to the survival of mankind. If you want to destroy mankind, make everyone live a homosexual lifestyle!  That is the only sure way to destroy mankind for good.

We've identified smoking, overindulgence of food, drugs and alcohol as destructive lifestyles. We want people to survive, so we educate the public to change their destructive lifestyle. The question is, shouldn't we encourage the homosexual community to change their destructive lifestyle as well? 

Closing our eyes to the situation doesn't make it normal.

The desire to survive is the most basic instinct in humanity.  We can see this struggle in how newborn babies inherently struggle to survive.  Survival of the species is basic to mankind.  But a lifestyle that is destructive to the survival of mankind is "normal?"  Boy, THAT sounds warped! You're not advocating the destruction of mankind are you? 

As you requested, I've have done the research. I encourage you to do the same. Indiscriminate sexual behavior that you advocate leads to STDs, AIDS, unwanted pregnancies, poverty and broken families. Why do you advocate such destructive behaviors? 

Because the Bible teaches homosexuality and indiscriminate sex is wrong doesn’t make Christianity hateful and warped. Actually, it shows how much God loves us.  He doesn’t want us to destroy ourselves.