From the clothes, television and web programming, proliferation of porn sites, sexting, and casual acceptance of sex as a way to say I like you, our children are being indoctrinated into a society that promotes overt sexuality and promiscuity. Pretty ironic with the #MeToo movement going on, huh?
Is it possible to talk out of two sides of your mouth without the words getting jumbled? I can wear my cute baby t-shirt that props my breasts up on display with a full frontal view, but if you make a comment about them I will feel uncomfortable and become another statistic of #MeToo. How dare you appear or imply that my shirt – or lack thereof – turns you on in some way!
Just to be clear, I am not condoning inappropriate touching, uncomfortable sexual comments, or demeaning sexual deviance. I am, however, placing some of the responsibility for the way people treat you on you. Let’s not act like some women don’t invite sexual attention in some pretty obvious and overt ways. We’ve all seen it: a female in the mall wearing some kind of see-through short shorts that you would think are underwear if not for the hot pink polka dots and the words “fine” that can be seen underneath. Or the woman who went out of her way to wear a plunging neckline with a padded, push-up bra that scarcely manages to cover her breast’s most private parts. Are we supposed to believe she is somehow insulted or embarrassed by sexual attention?
Beyond her, she is sending messages to men that women are to be sexualized, ogled, and used to provoke their own sexual feelings. This trained mentality can spill over to male interactions with women who may not be wearing suggestive outfits. Are we, as a society, setting men up to fail by normalizing such visually stimulating dress?
Be Careful Little Eyes What You See
Like our society, kids are addicted to watching. Binge watching movies with paid streaming services, meandering across the internet and social media watching snippets of posted video content, and yes watching pornography. There are dozens and dozens of movie sites that promise their guests the ability to watch free full length movies online. The problem with too many of these sites is that they require you to sign in with your contact information, thereby inviting future solicitation for whatever services they are peddling – often in the porn industry. Or a more direct route is to send links to your device while you are watching that free movie.
The cost of that free movie is exposure to pornography. Brazenly nude pictures begin to pop up on your screen with links to sites that promise to satisfy your every sexually fantasy. Invitations to hook-up with locals are part of it as well. So much for free because there is definitely a price to be paid in the form of our precious sons addicted to pornography and by association they are developing a self-gratifying, non relational, predator mentality toward women. Good luck finding a healthy relationship with a real person with natural body flaws, real emotional needs, and mature relationship dynamics. We are doing our teens, especially males, a disservice by allowing them to live in pornography’s altered world where women’s bodies are perfect and their only desires are to please men sexually; thereby objectifying women with no needs of their own.
Reality shows are chock full of rampant sexual behavior. Hooking up with, or even marrying, strangers and people you recently met; using their bodies to “get” a man; sleeping around with multiple partners; and generally mainstreaming sexual relations on the same par with going out for a cup of coffee; stripping it of any special or meaningful status.
Younger children are being taught about the world and adulthood, but teens are at the age where they are practicing adulthood. And since today’s adult is openly promiscuous and sexually focussed, it follows that our teens will be too.
Be Careful Kids and Teens What You Do
Teens are being propositioned on a regular basis and think it perfectly normal behavior. Being asked by a guy to send nude pictures or to live chat in sexual ways is no longer uncommon. Teens use their bodies in dating the way their parents would have used words. The need to keep one’s own sexuality private for a special time and person has been upended.
Be Careful Little Bodies What You Wear
In public places – both in person and via technology – it is routine to see women with excessive cleavage, extremely short dresses, skirts, and shorts and men with their underwear showing, some to the point of exposing their pelvic region. In the guise of being comfortable with their own bodies, little girls are wearing tiny bikini bathing suits, short shorts and belly shirts. They are being given the choice of lacy, racy training bras and Victoria Secret style panties before they are even old enough to have any secrets. And boys are being trained to zoom in on the pleasure they can, and are told they should, be getting from the girls sexuality.
Be Careful Parents What You Allow
And where are the parents in all this? Perhaps they, too, believe their child’s body should be shared with the ogling eyes of the world. The parents in denial or the ostrich parent with their head in the sand find it easier to deal with these truths by not dealing with them. Simply riding it out until the child grows up and out from under their parental umbrella. Some parents are hypersexual themselves, which explains the passing of the torch to their children. Some parents simply don’t know what to do about what they are seeing. They battle their kids over clothing choices, cell phone use, and dating; but feel like they can’t win. So they throw their frustrated hands in the air and give up for the sake of peace in their homes and comfortable relationships with their kids.
Make no mistake, there will be times of strife in a home where a parent says no. Many parents are not willing to persevere and get support to stand and fight this very important war for our children’s safety, heart, soul, spirit, well-being, sense of value, and a healthy relational future. Yet, that is the job of a parent. So, I encourage you to get support and take a righteous stand for your children. It will be met with resistance, but anything worth winning usually is. Of course, you won’t be able to monitor everything your teen does, but they should be crystal clear what your rules, limits, and values are and know your expectations for their behavior and dress. By laying out these clear boundaries, you make it easier for them to know when they are crossing them and may help reduce the distance they stray from them.