Monday, August 27, 2012

Study shows teens imitate risky sex of films, TV

Study shows teens imitate risky sex of films, TV - Washington Times / August 12, 2012

Can you name the last five movies your teenage son or daughter has watched with friends? How strong was the sexual content in those movies? Does it really matter?

New research suggests it does. The study, conducted by Ross O'Hara and soon to be published in the journal Psychological Science, found that on-screen promiscuity promotes promiscuity in real life.

“Adolescents who are exposed to more sexual content in movies start having sex at younger ages, have more sexual partners” and engage in riskier sexual activities, Mr. O'Hara said.

While at Dartmouth University, Mr. O'Hara (now a researcher at the University of Missouri) and his team analyzed the movie-watching patterns of about 1,200 young teens, ages 12 to 14. Researchers analyzed the teens’ sexual behavior six years later, considering the age at which they became sexually active, their number of partners and the riskiness of their sexual activity, including whether they used contraceptives.

The result: bad news. Young teens who viewed movies with sexual content were profoundly influenced by what they watched. They initiated sexual behavior earlier than their peers who had viewed less sexual content, and they tended to imitate the on-screen sexual behaviors they saw — which included casual sex, having multiple partners and high-risk behaviors.

It’s not surprising, really. Teens crave information about sex — and too often turn to the media for information. Moreover, adolescent hormones operate in overdrive, and teens naturally are more sensitive to sexual stimulation. Less likely to delay gratification, teens are more likely to be impulsive and think themselves impervious to harm. The combination, researchers say, means that “sensation seeking, or the tendency to seek more novel and intense sexual stimulation” increases in teens who “watched more movies with sexually explicit content.”

So what should parents do?

How to save your family: Select movies with your children

Mr. O'Hara sums it up well, saying, “This study, and its confluence with other work, strongly suggests that parents need to restrict their children from seeing sexual content in movies at young ages.”

Agreed. Unfortunately, the solution is not as simple as checking a movie’s rating. In fact, G-rated movies are part of the problem. The O’Hara study also analyzed the sexual content in 700 films, all top-grossing films from 1998 to 2004. Defining “sexual content” as anything from heavy kissing to actual sex scenes, researchers found sexual content in more than a third of the G-rated movies, more than half of PG-rated films and 4 out of every 5 R-rated movies.

Short of prohibiting movies — an unwise and unworkable solution — there are some things a parent can do. First, use websites that provide specific information about a movie’s content, rather than a reviewer’s judgment about an appropriate viewing age.

Websites such as and provide not only specifics about movie content, but also analysis from a Christian perspective. (PluggedIn offers reviews of music and gaming products, as well.) Two straightforward secular sources are and Both provide valuable descriptions of specific movie content, including sexuality, violence and language.

The Parent’s Television Council, at, is an excellent resource for information on the content of popular TV shows and offers great movie reviews.

One caution: Some websites, such as, lean left or are tied in tightly with entertainment industry folks and can’t be relied upon by parents who want to raise children with traditional values.

Second, talk with your children about sex. While sex won’t be a casual dinnertime conversation topic, you need to create private time with your teens to explore their feelings and questions about sex. If we’re silent, our teens will learn about sex from friends and the movies — a route that’s sure to normalize sexual risk-taking.

Third, stay in the loop. Talk with other parents and get to know your teen’s friends. Realize that at some point your child probably will see something too sexually explicit, whether at a friend’s house or on a computer. Keep the conversations going and remind your teens that Hollywood is a world without consequences.

• Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at
Read more: HAGELIN: Study shows teens imitate risky sex of films, TV - Washington Times 

Monday, August 20, 2012

How Game Addiction is Ruining Boys

How Game Addiction is Ruining Boys

We found this infographic very helpful in understanding how video games are contributing to the demise of today's  youth, especially young boys. 
Here are a few things that stand out to me!
 1. Guys spend 10,000 hours playing video games before 21.  According to Malcom Gladwell in his book outliers, these guys are masters of video games.  This is staggering.  I wonder what 10,000 hours broken down into each day would look like?  Also, how many hours would the average 21 year old Christian guy spend reading the Bible?
2. 90% of Children play video games.  Not surprising.  I would like to know what percentage of students are addicted to video games?  My youth ministry has been spending more time away from video games in the youth group because we want to encourage face to face relationships.
What stands out to you from this infographic?  How do you see video games ruining boys today? 

Monday, August 13, 2012

A generation is growing up with internet pornography

A generation is growing up skewed by internet pornography, court hears, as 12-year-old who raped a schoolgirl is spared jail

A generation of youngsters may be developing a skewed view of sex from pornography, a court has heard, after a 12-year-old schoolboy raped and sexually assaulted a younger girl after copying a hardcore film he watched on the internet.

By Simon Johnson for May 31, 2012

The case was just the 'tip of the iceberg' and there may be many similar cases throughout the country, lawyers warned.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard the boy, now aged 14, was allowed “unfettered” access to adult websites before forcing a nine-year-old to perform a sex act on him.
Sean Templeton, the boy’s defence counsel, said the case could be “the tip of the iceberg” because pornography is giving a generation of youngsters a “skewed view” of sex.
Judge Lady Smith decided not to detain the teenager but warned him that he should not regard pornography as a “guide” on how to behave sexually.
The appalling details of the case emerged amid growing political debate as to whether the Government should force internet providers to adopt an “opt-in” system.
This means parents would have to remove a default block on watching pornography on their home computers, thereby preventing their offspring accessing adult images.
Mr Templeton told the court that his client’s response to police questions about why he conducted the attack was “temptation” and “to feel grown up”.
“This was an emulation of an adult act witnessed by him at this young age. He was afforded unfettered access to the internet and it has become apparent from a very young age, the age of 12, he was accessing hard-core pornography,” he said.
“This is the tip of the iceberg. Many, many cases throughout the country may not be identified, not reported, not coming to anyone's attention.”
He told the court pornography was discussed by first-year pupils at secondary school, before concluding: “There is a real risk that young people of the current generation of teenagers are growing up with a skewed view of what sex is and sexual activity."
The boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had earlier admitted statutory offences of rape and sexual assault committed between December 1, 2010 and January 31 last year on a Scottish island.
Jane Farquharson, the advocate depute, said the offences came to light after the girl had been complaining of having a sore stomach.
Her mother asked her if something had happened to her and she became hysterical before disclosing the boy’s actions. Police found a 12-year-old friend of the boy who had seen a sex act being carried out.
Mr Templeton said the boy told officers which websites he visited and his lawyers conducted an investigation that found they contained images “reminiscent of the acts carried out by him.”
Sentencing him, Lady Smith referred the case to the children's panel, meaning the boy will be kept under supervision instead of custody.
She said he would receive advice on relationships and sexual development, adding: “You should not and must not regard pornography as any guide at all as to how to behave sexually.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dark Night Time for Salt and Light Eric Metaxas - August 06, 2012 According to press reports, the shooter at the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater, dyed his hair orange, told the police that he was the Joker, had Batman posters all over his booby-trapped apartment, and, of course, chose as targets men, women, and children who were attending the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. Yet that same press is quick to assure us that the massacre has absolutely nothing in common with the dark Batman mythos, that the film didn't cause the slaughter, and that the deaths of 12 people and a woman’s miscarriage — excuse me, 13 people — were the inexplicable work of a deranged gunman, and we cannot know anything beyond this. Before I go on, let me say this: I’m absolutely not blaming this Batman movie for the massacre in Aurora. But what about violent movies in general? Because we do know a lot more about the connection between violence and media consumption than our guardians of culture are letting on. Carl Cannon in, writes that, “A hundred studies have demonstrated conclusively that viewing violence on the screen increases aggression in those who watch it, particularly children.” He adds, “Simply ignoring the massive quantities of violent Hollywood-produced fare has not made the problem go away.” My friend Peggy Noonan, writing in The Wall Street Journal, points out that the unstable among us are particularly vulnerable to such fare. “...they are less defended against dark cultural messages...The borders of the minds of the unstable are more porous. They let the darkness in.” So while we can never know with absolute certainty why a particular person committed a certain violent act, we shouldn’t be surprised when unstable people such as the Aurora shooter act out the dark fantasies they see on the silver screen, on TV, or in video games. Nor should we be taken aback by the response of Hollywood and the so-called mainstream media — to deflect, defend, and deny. As Noonan says, “Some of the sadness and frustration following Aurora has to do with the fact that no one thinks anyone can, or will, do anything to make our culture better. The film industry isn't going to change, the genie is long out of the bottle.” So we know what’s wrong — at least partly — with our entertainment culture, but we’re apparently unwilling or unable to change it. Folks, this is why Chuck Colson was committed to teaching Christian worldview. He knew that God’s moral law and His plans for how human beings should live together in community were given not to restrict our freedom but to empower us to live the good life for His glory. Chuck begged us Christians to carry our beliefs from the pews and into the public square — into the arts, education, and the media. Part of our calling is to impact the culture for the good ofall. Christians, who are called to be salt and light wherever we go, can help our friends and neighbors to focus on whatever is “good, noble, pure, and honorable,” as the Word says. But this means we actually have to be different from the surrounding culture. Chuck Colson told the sad story of how once he sat down with a media executive to say that the man’s company was missing out on a lucrative market because it was not providing the wholesome, uplifting entertainment that Christians would watch. The executive shocked Chuck by demonstrating that the viewing habits of Christians were basically no different than those of the larger culture. So instead of cursing the undeniable and deepening dark night of our culture, let’s light a candle that others can see.