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Looms
Winner, Best Topic: The Media 2003-2004


To avoid derailing the "movie ratings" thread I decided start a new thread and post this quote and my response here.

Mrs. P said

QUOTE
Saddam used to show his sons movies of the torture and rape of his dissidents. They seemed to turn out fine.   Children repeat, and learn a lot from, what they see. They learn from what they see before they can process a conversation about the virtues of right and wrong or how "they isn't really blood you're seeing, or a true decapitation..it's pretend".


Did Saddam show his sons those movies and explain what they were seeing in them in a negative light? He showed them as a way of teaching them what to do to anybody that crosses them. His sons watched those rapes and tortures as an example of what's right, not what's wrong. This is a great example of my point: it all depends on the parents and how they raise their kids. Saddam also had his sons actually kill dissidents at an early age. This is hardly an example of how watching R rated movies (with parental guidance) will turn someone into a killer.

QUOTE
Not allowing children to see violence or adult situations in the media isn't the equivalent of sheltering them from reality. Movies and television are not reality (usually not even anything remotely close), and a young child often isn't able to discern the difference. Even adults can have trouble doing that.


Of course movies aren't reality. That's not the point. Violence is a part of life. Sex is a part of life. It's the parents' job to teach the kid right from wrong and to discern the difference. I have trouble believing the fact that I was some sort of "wonder child", and that's why I turned out fine. I think it was because of my upbringing, because my parents took the time to explain to me what I was seeing, and never answered "Why?" with "Because I said so." In fact, I know plenty of people who were raised on Freddy, not Barney, (not talking Flintstones) and they are decent, well adjusted people. I also know some really disturbing individuals who were brought up in a very controlled environment. It all depends on the upbringing.

Question for debate: Are children negatively affected by seeing sex and violence on the screen?
Please explaing the reasoning behind your vote in the poll.
Google
doomed_planet
Looms,
I agree with what you have said in regards to parental
influence and guidance
being the deciding factor in the
way children receive and assimilate violence and sexual
content in movies.

Sex and violence may be a part of reality, but it does
not mean that it is appropriate for children to view
movies filled with this type of content (even if mom
and dad are explaining it away throughout the movie).

"Little Joey, the guy getting his head chopped off here
is just pretend
." etc.... (the violence will still resonate
in the child and have some emotional impact, whether it
be negative thoughts, nightmares, etc.).

It's like violent video games. Just because they are
available is not a good enough reason to expose
our youth to these negative influences. Children mimic
what they see (to a greater or lesser degree).
Looms
QUOTE(doomed_planet @ Jan 1 2004, 02:44 PM)
Looms,
I agree with what you have said in regards to parental
influence and guidance
being the deciding factor in the
way children receive and assimilate violence and sexual
content in movies.

Sex and violence may be a part of reality, but it does
not mean that it is appropriate for children to view
movies filled with this type of content (even if mom
and dad are explaining it away throughout the movie).

"Little Joey, the guy getting his head chopped off here
is just pretend
."  etc.... (the violence will still resonate
in the child and have some emotional impact, whether it
be negative thoughts, nightmares, etc.).

It's like violent video games.  Just because they are
available is not a good enough reason to expose
our youth to these negative influences. Children mimic
what they see (to a greater or lesser degree).

Everything has some sort of emotional impact. Just an example, a child getting their toys taken away and yelled at for playing in the middle of the road, will likely be quite distressed. Plenty of things can give a child "negative thoughts", does that alone qualify them as harmful? Harmful enough to be taken out of the child's environment? Hearing about the boogey man can give a child nightmares too.

And the biggest mystery to me is the sex thing. How can a child be harmed by knowing or seeing what the human body does?

I agree with the statement that children mimic what they see. To an extent. There is a big difference between children watching an action movie, then playing cops and robbers with their toy guns, and somebody Columbining their school. Teaching that difference is the parents' job.
SuzySteamboat
Looms, the sex thing is a mystery to me as well. It's a sad state of affairs when a simulated decapitated human can be shown on regular TV, but to show a fully naked woman is seen as something absolutely, positively wrong to show.

Children do mimic what they see. Sex and violence shouldn't really even be used in the same phrase in respect to that, though, because it's implying that there's something inherently wrong in both of them. I strongly recommend Judith Levine's Harmful to Minors for a better understanding of why exposing kids to sex is so feared in American society, and really all over the world.

The violence aspect is obvious. I remember watching my little brother watch Power Rangers, and during every commercial break, he'd jump up and try out some moves. It's really a combination of what they're exposed to, and their personality and how mature enough they are to how violence affects children.
I have yet to learn of any harmful effects of exposing children to sex. Of course, as with violence, it all depends on how the child was brought up to regard sex, and his/her personality and maturity. Things like pornography, in and of itself - a magazine with nude women - is not harmful. Even the different "perversions" of sex aren't harmful. It's sex. It's a bodily function that humans have hyped up over the centuries. I believe protecting children from it has a way more adverse effect than exposing them to it.
Gravity
As a parent now myself, one thing we tend to just take for granted -- but with thought on the subject I now find a very telling and sick commentary on our society . . . you always hear Americans screaming a lot more about sex on the screen, then violence.

Now - certainly there are exceptions. But even saturday morning cartoons show shooting and bashing on each other and such, but boy - one cartoon hand on a cartoon rump and you just know hell would be raised.

Underage kids will sit alone or with their parents and watch full on gore in movies with their folks, but you just know if bared breasts appeared - many of these same parents would be outraged.

What is so sick about it - is that I know that someday my children will grow up . . . and they WILL HAVE SEX! I hope its with somebody they love, I hope its safe -- but its going to happen.

However, I hope that when they grow up they won't SHOOT SOMEBODY!

I mean, which message is really more dangerous - sex or violence? Perhaps neither belong in front of children, but to focus more on outlawing sexual content than on violent contact is very twisted!
Wertz
I would agree that sex and violence don't belong in the same debate. I voted "It depends" rather than "Only the violence" but, on second thought, the only depictions of sex which I would find having a potentially negative effect would be that which is combined with violence, such as realistic depictions of rape.

I feel that the medium in general desensitizes us to other human beings and objectifies our experience of the world in general and that violence done to others, be it on the Six O'Clock News or in an action movie, desensitizes us to that violence.

I do not see a causal relationship between the two - I don't believe that a child who sees a decapitation, whether in a violent cartoon or a graphically realistic splatter movie, is going to grow up and start decapitating people - but I do believe that, as a people, it makes us more willing to accept violence. It makes us more inured to violent crime, more accustomed to violence as a first line of self-defense, and far more tolerant of warfare.
Mrs. Pigpen
What is the purpose of a commercial? Why must a politician generate millions for advertisement in order to have any chance to win an election? Because they have an influence on perception, and behavior, and that influence is great enough to pay millions of dollars for seconds of airtime during moments when most people arenít even actively watching, or left the room to use the toilet. That doesnít mean a person is going to be so influenced by what they see that they repeat it exactly the following dayÖthe influence is insidious and subtle, and it even affects adults.

Why do famous actors endorse products? Why do companies pay a ton of money for actors to hold up coke or Pepsi during a filming? Because people look up to those individuals and are more prone to buy the products they endorse than something my next-door neighbor might ask them to buy. They connect to the characters the actors and actresses play in films and associate the person with their character. Again, weíre speaking of even adults.

Children, on the other hand, are even more strongly impressionable. Their minds are not developed fully at birth, and they have different stages for that cognitive development. With that development, personal and social development occur in response to learning, maturation, and experienceÖ. learning which comes from what they hear and see, not simply what their parents tell them. Thatís the point of educational television for children. That is also the point of fables, for that matter. People throughout the ages recognized that fictional stories were an effective method of instilling moral principles on their children, because a story makes a more effective impression on a child than a simple lecture on the merits of good and bad behavior. Showing them violence and sexually explicit behavior teaches them violence and sexually explicit behaviorÖbehaviors for which they are far too young to engage in any unexploited capacity. A parent who shows their child violence at an age in which they are unprepared (undeveloped) to view it abstractly and reject it intellectually, is instructing their child to do violence. Especially when the violence and sex is bottled up as being justified, abundant, consequence free, and/or pleasureable.

Suggesting that a society is full of violence and sex, so a child should be subjected to it at a very early age is strange logic to me. A child will (most likely) eventually eat steak, but you donít serve a him a T-bone before he has teeth, and you cut it up in small pieces until he learns to cut his own.

There are certainly no guarantees in parenting. A parent could actively set out to raise a serial killer and take every measure to ensure that direction, and their child might end up a monk. Likewise, they might take every measure to raise a good person and that child turns into a drug-addicted violent gang member. However, the probability is vastly higher that the parent who actively seeks to raise the child properly will end up with a better result.

The bottom line is, there is nothing to be gained by allowing a child to view violent and sexually explicit imagery at a young age when their minds are growing and they are especially impressionable. The stakes are extremely high and thereís no going back. No person is the product of any singular life event. Every impression, situation, image and experience that a person has throughout his or her life goes into the product of his or her character. No amount of explaining that the blood on the severed heads wasnít real and those people werenít really tortured will take the nightmares away. It certainly wonít remove the small, subliminal mental seeds planted every time the child viewed that material. Subconscious thought can influence perceptions and behavior in ways that even the people affected by it arenít aware of. My answer to your poll question, therefore, was yes.
perspective
I voted "it depends" because
"Children" is such an arbitrary term. Children means under age 12 in my explanation.

There is SO MUCH ELSE to do besides watch TV when you are young. Wow, when I think back to my childhood, television wasn't a part of it. On the rare occasion we did watch the tube, it was one of the awesome Disney movies - Disney has made scads of movies for children of all age groups. Any household where the children are watching adult movies or shows is a household where children are suffering from lack of imagination and adults are either lazy, uninvolved, or soft. Its sad that so many children these days cannot entertain themselves. There really is a lot to do. A lot to learn. And all the talk of breaking down the terrible stereotypes pushed by the media starts with refusing to participate in the media circus. Really. Violence and sex? You can start dealing with violence and sex once your "children" are teenagers.

The debate being about will violence and sex influence children? Yes, it will influence them out of their childhood. Shame on any parent who would shatter the delicate gift of childhood.

I've never been an advocate of trying to protect kids from the big bad world. But a parent's attitude can set the bar for children to follow. A parent who distains the media circus, who preaches the faults of it, and who shuns it in practice - will have children who find the tube uninteresting, non-gospel, and these children will find other things to do. No, I don't have any studies that prove this, but I have my own personal experience. Perhaps it won't work in all families - sometimes kids want to do whatever it is that the parent doesn't want them to do. But by pointing out that the world of television is so much less interesting, diverse, and REAL as the world the child actually lives in, mom or dad will be doing child a favor. Any child who thinks the make believe television world is more interesting than the real world needs creative encouragement.
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(perspective @ Jan 2 2004, 06:38 AM)
I've never been an advocate of trying to protect kids from the big bad world.† But a parent's attitude can set the bar for children to follow.† A parent who distains the media circus, who preaches the faults of it, and who shuns it in practice - will have children who find the tube uninteresting, non-gospel, and these children will find other things to do.† No, I don't have any studies that prove this, but I have my own personal experience.† Perhaps it won't work in all families - sometimes kids want to do whatever it is that the parent doesn't want them to do.† But by pointing out that the world of television is so much less interesting, diverse, and REAL as the world the child actually lives in, mom or dad will be doing child a favor.† Any child who thinks the make believe television world is more interesting than the real world needs creative encouragement.

Good for you, Perspective. I agree 100 percent. I will also add, that this philosophy will work in any household. Disappointment is instructive. A child learns to walk through the disappointment and pain of falling. A child might be disappointed if they can't watch anything they want at any time. That is an example of instuctive disappointment. Parents need to lead by example, even if avoiding television (and especially the violent or lewd) is inconvenient for them personally.

The association with television violence in children, and mental distress and violent tendencies is one of the most researched and conclusive subjects of child psychology. ANy search on Google for children-television-psychology-violence-association will yield tens of thousands of results. Here's one
Gravity
I agree with most of those comments, what disturbs me is the continued casual linkage of *Sex AND Violence*. There is a VERY big difference between the two, and what kind of message do we send to our children, or too each other, to keep mentioning both in the same breath as if they are both equally bad things?

Those very children are all there *because of* sex.

Yes sex involving violence is extremely disturbing. But two people making love doesn't in any way shape or form belong in the same breath as two people hurting or killing each other. But we reinforce this everytime we even say "sex and violence''. Its like saying "fish and bicycles'', no relationship to each other - and if we keep confusing the message like that, perhaps we actually encourage sexual violence!
Google
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(Gravity @ Jan 2 2004, 08:09 AM)
I agree with most of those comments, what disturbs me is the continued casual linkage of *Sex AND Violence*. There is a VERY big difference between the two, and what kind of message do we send to our children, or too each other, to keep mentioning both in the same breath as if they are both equally bad things?

Those very children are all there *because of* sex.

Yes sex involving violence is extremely disturbing. But two people making love doesn't in any way shape or form belong in the same breath as two people hurting or killing each other.† But we reinforce this everytime we even say "sex and violence''. Its like saying "fish and bicycles'', no relationship to each other - and if we keep confusing the message like that, perhaps we actually encourage sexual violence!

Should parents, then, engage in sexual activity in front of their young children? Up front and personal instruction in masturbation, oral gratification, and the numerous positions of the Kama Sutra? If not, why? It's all natural, afterall.

*Edited to remove questionable sexually explicit content*
Gravity
QUOTE
Should parents, then, engage in sexual activity in front of their young children? Up front and personal instruction in masturbation, oral gratification, and the numerous positions of the Kama Sutra? If not, why? It's all natural, afterall.

*Edited to remove questionable sexually explicit content*

Edited to remove inflammatory response/off-topic moderation question
I'm no new-age ditz, you'll never hear me using the word ''natural'' as meaning there can be no misuse of something. Hell, *uranium* is natural!

I was pointing out that grouping sex and violence together makes no sense at all, you mix a message and perhaps encourage sexual violence by doing. I was in no way saying this means we need to then purposely expose children to open sexual content.
Jaime
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TOPICS TO DEBATE:
Are children negatively affected by seeing sex and violence on the screen?
Please explain the reasoning behind your vote in the poll.
Looms
QUOTE
The association with television violence in children, and mental distress and violent tendencies is one of the most researched and conclusive subjects of child psychology. ANy search on Google for children-television-psychology-violence-association will yield tens of thousands of results. Here's one


It is? That's not what 4 years of psychology tell me. In fact, it is one of the more inconclusive and disputed subjects. The only thing that is more or less conclusive, is that a child who is 98% likely to kill someone (for numerous reasons) might become 99% likely after being exposed to media violence. and I can just as easily provide links that will support my point. Here's one Even many sites that I have seen against media violence still refer to the research as inconclusive.

You know what will yield not tens but hundreds of thousands of search results? Type the words "Elvis", "still", "alive" on Google. Sheer volume of search results is not proof of validity.

QUOTE
Should parents, then, engage in sexual activity in front of their young children? Up front and personal instruction in masturbation, oral gratification, and the numerous positions of the Kama Sutra? If not, why? It's all natural, afterall.


That's like saying, "If somebody is going to have sex, they might as well do it with a family member." Do you believe that to be a valid statement?

I'm still curious why you think it's harmful for children to know about their own body, and it's functions. To me, this is no different than telling your kids the stork brought them, because they "aren't ready" to know the truth. As if the truth is something horrifying. wacko.gif
QUOTE
A child might be disappointed if they can't watch anything they want at any time. That is an example of instuctive disappointment.


I can't see what it instructs them. I personally don't believe in forbidden fruits and fig leaves.

Mrs. P, you seem to think that kids growing up normal in an uncensored environment is an extremely rare occurrence. It's really not all that rare.


The reason why i started this thread with both, sex and violence in it, is that they are both considered by many to have a negative effect on children, and both are often censored (though sex is definately more censored). Of course there is no inherent link between the two, hence the separate poll choices.
quarkhead
QUOTE(Looms @ Jan 2 2004, 12:24 PM)
It is? That's not what 4 years of psychology tell me. In fact, it is one of the more inconclusive and disputed subjects. The only thing that is more or less conclusive, is that a child who is 98% likely to kill someone (for numerous reasons) might become 99% likely after being exposed to media violence. and I can just as easily provide links that will support my point. Here's one Even many sites that I have seen against media violence still refer to the research as inconclusive.

I think research about this will always be inconclusive - there's no objectivity to it. There are billions of factors in every action - we do not possess the mathematical skills, or the observational skills, to record them to any conclusion. OK, that sounded rather abstract. Allow me to explain. An action (let's use killing someone as the example) has a causal chain, but it's not a linear A-B-C-D chain. It's more like the action is a bullet hole in shatterproof glass - the web of cracks shooting out in all directions from the hole are the causal chain. Bear with me on this analogy! blink.gif The bullet hole is the action (killing someone), and the web of cracks are all the factors which lead to the action. Action is one child with a million fathers...

That said, it doesn't take scientific experiments to see that people are influenced by what they see. MrsPigpen brought up advertisements - and they are an excellent example. Why do people buy "Pop Tarts" instead of the store-brand "Toaster Treats?" It's not because they taste better.

I don't think that a kid with good parents, who communicate, explain, and engage them, will become violent from watching violence on TV. But, as Wertz said, it definitely numbs them to violence, makes them accept it more. In my house we don't have cable or even an antenna. We only use the TV for movies. I let my 12 year old watch Gladiator. We viewed it in the context of learning about the Roman Empire. The violence shocked him. And it should have - it was shocking. But I know kids - some of his friends - for whom the violence in Gladiator would be practically unnoticed. I know 10 year olds whose parents do absolutely NO monitoring of what they watch. I have had conversations with these kids, some of whom watch movies like Nightmare on Elm Street or The Cell, and really don't think much about it. And that frightens me. Not that these kids are violent, but I do think it affects them negatively. Violence may be a 'natural' part of life, but we are NOT natural observers of violence. If you want to prepare your kid for the possibility of violence, you'd be better off teaching them Tae Kwon Do than having them watch all the Halloween movies.

As for sex: For very young children, sex and violence are hard to differentiate. There's also a similar idea as with exposure to violence - I am very honest with my kids about sex, how they got here, what it is, etc. But I don't sit them down in front of Debbie Does Dallas. Nudity on the screen doesn't bother me at all, however - and I'd much rather they see that than see graphic violence.

QUOTE
I'm still curious why you think it's harmful for children to know about their own body, and it's functions. To me, this is no different than telling your kids the stork brought them, because they "aren't ready" to know the truth. As if the truth is something horrifying.


I don't think MrsPigpen was saying that at all. A little moderation, however, might be a very good thing. If a three-year-old asks me where she came from, I would say that she grew inside mommy's belly; but I don't think she has the capacity to absorb the concept of daddy's penis, mommy's vagina, and the act of copulation and orgasm.
SuzySteamboat
QUOTE(perspective @ Jan 2 2004, 08:38 AM)
The debate being about will violence and sex influence children?  Yes, it will influence them out of their childhood.  Shame on any parent who would shatter the delicate gift of childhood. 

Eh, perspective - children are sexual beings huh.gif And some are even violent, all by themselves. Sex and violence does not "corrupt" childhood. It's that adults have an idealistic view of what childhood is. I don't know what kind of childhoods everyone else had, but mine would probably be considered very sexualized, according to most of the adults here at AD. And you know what? Being exposed to sexual behavior and engaging in it did not harm me. I grew aware of my own body, and my responses, and what felt good. You know what did harm me? My parent's response to it when they found out. mellow.gif Sex did not harm me, puritanical views did.
Grendel72
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Jan 2 2004, 09:08 AM)
The association with television violence in children, and mental distress and violent tendencies is one of the most researched and conclusive subjects of child psychology. ANy search on Google for children-television-psychology-violence-association will yield tens of thousands of results. Here's one

If that is true, you would expect the country that brought the world tentacle porn cartoons to have a staggeringly high violent crime rate. They don't. In fact their crime rate, while it has grown recently, is far lower than that of the US.

What about teaching children personal responsibility? What does it teach children when we come up with outlandish theories to excuse their behavior rather than blaming those who commit crimes?
The fact that hundreds of children see violent entertainment without becoming criminals should tell us that in the cases of those that do become violent criminals the fault lies in the criminal themself.
bucket
QUOTE
I'm still curious why you think it's harmful for children to know about their own body, and it's functions. To me, this is no different than telling your kids the stork brought them, because they "aren't ready" to know the truth. As if the truth is something horrifying.


My children are 4 and 5. And they do know all about their bodies and the functions of their bodies. Guess what sexual activity is NOT a function of a normal 4 and 5 year old and any kind of sexual activity occurring on a child at that age is considered abuse. Even mother nature herself who seems to often be the lowest standard of what is right or wrong in our society agrees with this.
Why is that so hard to understand??
Sex and nudity are VERY VERY separate things. I worry about all of you that have these two things confused personally. And I have NO problem with my child viewing nudity in a non-sexual manner I would have a MAJOR problem with any kind of sexual imagery being shown to my kids and I am quite certain this would be considered sexual abuse.

We all have maturity and level of understanding that we all must achieve. Sex is without question a very adult subject, nudity and body functions are not. My kids understand how we make babies and how babies are carried and birthed and there is absolutely no need for them to be shown or explained the sexual piece of that story just yet. I would imagine that a child shown two people engaged in sex at such a young age would in fact be horrified. I have heard many stories of couples whose children have walked in on them and the kids were completely terrified by what they saw.
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(Grendel72 @ Jan 3 2004, 12:56 PM)
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Jan 2 2004, 09:08 AM)
The association with television violence in children, and mental distress and violent tendencies is one of the most researched and conclusive subjects of child psychology. ANy search on Google for children-television-psychology-violence-association will yield tens of thousands of results. Here's one

If that is true, you would expect the country that brought the world tentacle porn cartoons to have a staggeringly high violent crime rate. They don't. In fact their crime rate, while it has grown recently, is far lower than that of the US.

What about teaching children personal responsibility? What does it teach children when we come up with outlandish theories to excuse their behavior rather than blaming those who commit crimes?
The fact that hundreds of children see violent entertainment without becoming criminals should tell us that in the cases of those that do become violent criminals the fault lies in the criminal themself.

How in the world do you conclude that I don't advocate teaching personal responsibility? blink.gif How do you conclude that I am in favor of diffusion of responsibility? Taking responsibility means not allowing your five year old to watch Freddy Kruger, BTW... No saying, "Gee, what happened to him?" twelve years later.
Did you read anything I wrote beyond that one paragraph? I've never heard of tentacle porn, but I would assume it isn't something a young child should view, even in Amsterdam. Here is an excerpt from one of my previous posts.

QUOTE
There are certainly no guarantees in parenting. A parent could actively set out to raise a serial killer and take every measure to ensure that direction, and their child might end up a monk. Likewise, they might take every measure to raise a good person and that child turns into a drug-addicted violent gang member. However, the probability is vastly higher that the parent who actively seeks to raise the child properly will end up with a better result.

The bottom line is, there is nothing to be gained by allowing a child to view violent and sexually explicit imagery at a young age when their minds are growing and they are especially impressionable. The stakes are extremely high and thereís no going back. No person is the product of any singular life event. Every impression, situation, image and experience that a person has throughout his or her life goes into the product of his or her character. No amount of explaining that the blood on the severed heads wasnít real and those people werenít really tortured will take the nightmares away. It certainly wonít remove the small, subliminal mental seeds planted every time the child viewed that material. Subconscious thought can influence perceptions and behavior in ways that even the people affected by it arenít aware of.


Edited to add: From The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Edited (later again) to add: Another link from joint statement by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
QUOTE
"The conclusion of the public health community, based on over 30 years of research, is that viewing entertainment violence can lead to increases in aggressive attitudes, values and behaviors, particularly in children," the organizations' statement says.
Looms
Mrs. P, earlier you stated that the research was conclusive. The link you just provided doesn't refer to it that way. Words like "may" and "sometimes" are there all through it. Of the "hundreds of tests" they refer to, how many are those idiotics word association tests? Considering the popularity of those things, i bet quite a few. Not to mention that there are also hundreds of tests, as well as cases suggesting the opposite.

QUOTE
Guess what sexual activity is NOT a function of a normal 4 and 5 year old and any kind of sexual activity occurring on a child at that age is considered abuse.


bucket, did I at any time mention anything about child porn? Then what's the point of this statement. And when I say "their body" I meant the human body in general, not limited to age.
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(Looms @ Jan 3 2004, 08:27 PM)
Mrs. P, earlier you stated that the research was conclusive. The link you just provided doesn't refer to it that way. Words like "may" and "sometimes" are there all through it. Of the "hundreds of tests" they refer to, how many are those idiotics word association tests? Considering the popularity of those things, i bet quite a few. Not to mention that there are also hundreds of tests, as well as cases suggesting the opposite.

I said that research has shown the association is conclusive.
QUOTE
The four health professional (American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) groups left no doubt about their feelings in the statement:
* "Children who see a lot of violence are more likely to view violence as an effective way of settling conflicts. Children exposed to violence are more likely to assume that acts of violence are acceptable behavior," it said.
* "Viewing violence can lead to emotional desensitization toward violence in real life. It can decrease the likelihood that one will take action on behalf of a victim when violence occurs."
*"Viewing violence may lead to real-life violence. Children exposed to violent programming at a young age have a higher tendency for violent and aggressive behavior later in life than children who are not so exposed."


That doesn't mean that every child who is exposed to graphic violent imagery is absolutely going to kill someone. From the first link
QUOTE
While TV violence is not the only cause of aggressive or violent behavior, it is clearly a significant factor.

From YOUR first link
QUOTE
No one seriously doubts that the mass media have profound effects on our attitudes and behavior. But the effects vary tremendously, depending on the different ways that media content is presented, and the personality, background, intelligence, and life experience of the viewer.
Even that pro-media site has no doubt of the profound effects, but the effects vary with maturity. What sort of education, experience, and background does a young child have which would offer resistance against those effects?

I donít think many of us would suggest that child abuse is beneficial to the child, but the reasoning some are giving here could easily make it so. Children should view sex and violence because it is natural. Not every child which is exposed to it is permanently harmed, therefore research indicating the relationship between viewing violence and aggressive tendencies is not definitive. Likewise, children should be abused because pain and violence are natural. Not every child which is exposed to it is permanently harmed, therefore research indicating the relationship between violent tendencies in adulthood and child abuse are not definitive.

Heck, at one time almost every child was a physically abused child by todayís standards. My father and grandfather turned out okay, so that must mean itís fine.
QUOTE(Looms @ Jan 3 2004, 08:27 PM)
bucket, did I at any time mention anything about child porn? Then what's the point of this statement. And when I say "their body" I meant the human body in general, not limited to age.

Just out of curiosity, why not child porn? Where do you draw that line, and why?
Ultimatejoe
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Jan 4 2004, 02:56 AM)
Just out of curiosity, why not child porn? Where do you draw that line, and why?

Child porn has nothing to do with a child's sexuality and everything to do with the sexuality of an adult who is exploiting a child. When two kids go to the attic and play doctor it is not sexual abuse, it is two kids doing what came into their heads to do.

Sexuality at any age is natural, it just grows and changes as a person grows and changes. The sexuality of a child has so little in common with the sexuality of an adult that sex is not something that they understand.

What I don't get is why you persist on linking the two. You've demonstrated that there may (I agree that there is, but of a different nature than you suggest) be a link between violence and media representations of violent behaviour; and it is obvious where the harm is that. But what does any of that have to do with sex? Is sexuality in movies encouraging sexual behaviour in children? I've seen no proof of that. I myself am disgusted when I see ten-year olds wearing tube tops and talking about sex, but I don't think the link is as direct as you are suggesting. Violence is given almost a carte-blanche in American culture where sexuality (while omnipresent) is still characterized as taboo or exclusive. Let's look at it this way: if your parents (assuming you were six) had a cocktail party at their homes for work-friends; filled with boring people and unfriendly strangers chances are you'd stay in your room. If however a bunch of people came over, went into the dining room, told you to stay in bed and they then shut the door, chances are your interest would be piqued.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the reason why a young person would pick up and become interested in sexuality (before they understood it) in film is NOT because it was onscreen, but because the parents (and society at large) is holding a hand in front of their face and saying "you're not ready to see this."
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Jan 4 2004, 01:12 AM)
Child porn has nothing to do with a child's sexuality and everything to do with the sexuality of an adult who is exploiting a child. When two kids go to the attic and play doctor it is not sexual abuse, it is two kids doing what came into their heads to do.

Sexuality at any age is natural, it just grows and changes as a person grows and changes. The sexuality of a child has so little in common with the sexuality of an adult that sex is not something that they understand.

What I don't get is why you persist on linking the two. You've demonstrated that there may (I agree that there is, but of a different nature than you suggest) be a link between violence and media representations of violent behaviour; and it is obvious where the harm is that. But what does any of that have to do with sex? Is sexuality in movies encouraging sexual behaviour in children? I've seen no proof of that. I myself am disgusted when I see ten-year olds wearing tube tops and talking about sex, but I don't think the link is as direct as you are suggesting. Violence is given almost a carte-blanche in American culture where sexuality (while omnipresent) is still characterized as taboo or exclusive. Let's look at it this way: if your parents (assuming you were six) had a cocktail party at their homes for work-friends; filled with boring people and unfriendly strangers chances are you'd stay in your room. If however a bunch of people came over, went into the dining room, told you to stay in bed and they then shut the door, chances are your interest would be piqued.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the reason why a young person would pick up and become interested in sexuality (before they understood it) in film is NOT because it was onscreen, but because the parents (and society at large) is holding a hand in front of their face and saying "you're not ready to see this."

I believe that showing a child graphic sexual imagery is exploitive as well, for similar reasons. A young child doesn't have the ability to discern that they lack the maturity to engage in the activities they are watching. There is no link to the responsibilities, emotional conflict, and potential danger of that activity by watching it on a film. Furthermore, a child is less able to distinguish between fantasy and reality (I'm speaking of young children). I've personally known children who talked about having sex (using the F word) in kindergarten. What is the logic in exposing them to that? I didn't tell my son that the stork brought him, but I'm not going to show him a video of a couple having sex and explain, "See, honey, she's faking that orgasm. Now, that man is ejaculating into..." There's an age for everything, and the time to learn about sex from a movie doesn't begin at birth.

What I don't understand (along with Bucket) is the persistence of many posters in linking nudity with sexually explicit material. I see no relationship between the two.
kalabus
The problem I have with American society blaming everything on porno, movies and video games is that it doesnt hold true around the world. Japan is the god of violent bloody video games and they are maybe the most dossile people on earth. Europe and Canada all import American movies and pop culture and they dont have near the amount of violence as the US does. Europe has porn in fact more graphic porn then the US does. This leads me to one conlclusion pop culture isnt the problem. You can point the finger all day but the second you compare foreign nations the whole theory falls apart.
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(kalabus @ Jan 4 2004, 01:46 AM)
The problem I have with American society blaming everything on porno, movies and video games is that it doesnt hold true around the world. Japan is the god of violent bloody video games and they are maybe the most dossile people on earth. Europe and Canada all import American movies and pop culture and they dont have near the amount of violence as the US does. Europe has porn in fact more graphic porn then the US does. This leads me to one conlclusion pop culture isnt the problem. You can point the finger all day but the second you compare foreign nations the whole theory falls apart.

How does the theory fall apart when you compare the US to other countries? I highly doubt that European children view the amount of television that American children do (nor do the Asian children, for that matter). The European and Asian children are much thinner, too....and excessive television has been linked to childhood obesity. I didn't know many Italians who watched even an hour of television a day, nor a Korean child who watched it on a regular basis...it would have been impossible to juggle much television viewing with their ten +hours of academics a day, and Tai Kwan Do at night.
Furthermore, there is nothing to indicate that the availability of hardcore pornography and very violent imagery in the media overseas extends to the viewing of hours of that type of material in CHILDREN.

Edited to add: I'm also curious who you think is pointing a finger, and at what? No one here is blaming violent and sexually explicit movies/television on all of society's ills. The question to be debated is Do movie sex and violence negatively affect children?.
Gravity
I'm just addressing violence here, since though I think children being exposed to pornography is likely unhealthy for them -- its violence, when mixed with sexual content or by itself, that is the real danger to us and our society.

-------------------

No matter how rare it may be, if even one person has had their self-control lowered just enough to snap -- and pull the trigger someday, because of being desensitized by the violence they saw on TV as a child . . . that one killing justify's controlling the violence in the media. And likely, there have been many more than one killed.

As somebody mentioned, comparing the cultures of other countries. Clearly there is a lot more going on in America than just violence on TV. But whatever other cultural problems we have that make us so violent, if we are already on the knifes edge all the time -- ready to pull that trigger -- then constant exposure to violence can only make us that much more prone to indulging in such ourselves.
Grendel72
QUOTE(Gravity @ Jan 4 2004, 10:42 AM)
No matter how rare it may be, if even one person has had their self-control lowered just enough to snap -- and pull the trigger someday, because of being desensitized by the violence they saw on TV as a child . . . that one killing justify's controlling the violence in the media. And likely, there have been many more than one killed.

So by your logic we should ban rock music because Charles Manson was inspired by the Beatles, ban religion because of abortion clinic bombings, ban newspapers because of the Spanish-American war... whistling.gif
Parents are the ones who should decide whether or not to censor what their children see, not the government. The rest of us shouldn't have our options limited by what might set an already emotionally disturbed child off.

I grew up in the 70s and saw plenty of sex and violence in the movies when I was young. No matter how many violent horror movies I saw as a child, I've still never even been in a fist fight. I remember finding my dad's Playboy magazines when I was about 8, it didn't cause me to become a sex fiend...

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Jan 3 2004, 08:26 PM)
How in the world do you conclude that I don't advocate teaching personal responsibility?† blink.gif How do you conclude that I am in favor of diffusion of responsibility? Taking responsibility means not allowing your five year old to watch Freddy Kruger, BTW... No saying, "Gee, what happened to him?" twelve years later.
See, for example, the British court ruling in the James Bulger murder case: "How it came about that two mentally normal boys aged ten and of average intelligence committed this terrible crime is hard for me to comprehend. It is not for me to pass judgement on their upbringings, but I suspect that exposure to violent video films may in part be an explanation." The court, influenced by the tabloid press, placed the blame on horror movies (movies the children, the parents, the police in charge of the investigation all denied the children had even seen), leading to censorship of what adults were allowed to watch, while the killers were sentenced to 20 years in prison and were just recently released.
Gravity
QUOTE
So by your logic we should ban rock music because Charles Manson was inspired by the Beatles, ban religion because of abortion clinic bombings, ban newspapers because of the Spanish-American war... 
Parents are the ones who should decide whether or not to censor what their children see, not the government. The rest of us shouldn't have our options limited by what might set an already emotionally disturbed child off.


No, thats not my logic actually, thank you. - I never talked about banning anything. Rather, I agree that its the parents who should be making the decisions.

QUOTE
I grew up in the 70s and saw plenty of sex and violence in the movies when I was young. No matter how many violent horror movies I saw as a child, I've still never even been in a fist fight. I remember finding my dad's Playboy magazines when I was about 8, it didn't cause me to become a sex fiend...


This is silly, since again we were talking about exceptions - if there is any negative influence (and I don't claim to *know* one way or another, unlike some) it is going to be influencing just a minority of the most vulnerable and most susceptible to the weakness of giving into violent desires.
Hobbes
Possibly the most violent thing on TV (or the movies) is Looney Tunes. Kids have no trouble discerning that this is 'pretend'. You don't see all the kids exposed to this walking around dropping pianos on each other for fun. So, to blanketly state that kids, or even adults, simply mimic what they see on TV or in the movies is obviously wrong.

QUOTE
if there is any negative influence (and I don't claim to *know* one way or another, unlike some) it is going to be influencing just a minority of the most vulnerable and most susceptible to the weakness of giving into violent desires.


Exactly--this, at most, only effects a very small number of people. Personally, I'd have to say that most of these would probably have gone astray anyway--it's not the movies that did it. In fact, watching violent movies might do just the opposite--satisfy people's innate bloodlust without their having to resort to violence. This was essentially the theory behind the Gladiator shows at the Colesium--let them watch violence, rather than practice it.
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(Grendel72 @ Jan 4 2004, 11:12 AM)
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Jan 3 2004, 08:26 PM)
How in the world do you conclude that I don't advocate teaching personal responsibility?† blink.gif How do you conclude that I am in favor of diffusion of responsibility? Taking responsibility means not allowing your five year old to watch Freddy Kruger, BTW... No saying, "Gee, what happened to him?" twelve years later.
See, for example, the British court ruling in the James Bulger murder case: "How it came about that two mentally normal boys aged ten and of average intelligence committed this terrible crime is hard for me to comprehend. It is not for me to pass judgement on their upbringings, but I suspect that exposure to violent video films may in part be an explanation." The court, influenced by the tabloid press, placed the blame on horror movies (movies the children, the parents, the police in charge of the investigation all denied the children had even seen), leading to censorship of what adults were allowed to watch, while the killers were sentenced to 20 years in prison and were just recently released.

I personally don't advocate censorship for adults. I believe that there is a direct correlation between the way a person is raised and the type of adult they turn into. A factor in that equation is repeated exposure to violent imagery at a young age. That doesn't excuse the affected individual's criminal behavior later in life. We are all the product of our environments, but we also have free will and choose our actions.
FlutePlayer
Yes children are negatively affected when they see those two things on the screen.
Children learn violence and become conditioned to be violent. Violence desensitizes children - it makes them aggressive and mean. On ABC News, there was a report that Colombian military personnel had used child soldiers and desensitized them by having them watch violence. Movies that portray violence can condition children to believe that violence is the proper way to handle disputes. When children are exposed to violence, it programs them to be violent. The photonic movie substance (violent imagery) is optically consumed by children and then the substance (violent imagery) then brainwashes children to be violent. Movie violence is a form of photonic poison. All "entertainment" violence depicted is a form of photonic poison. "Entertainment" violence that is heard is audio poison.
As for sex, it can cause them to become curious about it and they might (and probably will) be more inclined to irresponsibly have sex. Movies about sex can condition children to believe that it's the thing to do is to have sex.
quarkhead
QUOTE(FlutePlayer @ Jan 4 2004, 04:29 PM)
Children learn violence and become conditioned to be violent.  Violence desensitizes children - it makes them aggressive and mean. 

In my experience, I've seen far more violent kids who participated in football programs than couch potatoes. These sentences, taken away from the context of television or music, are certainly true. And I do agree that seeing violence in any form, including on television, can have a negative effect on children - at the very least, it does desensitize them to violent images. I have seen the results again and again - kids who think The Exorcist is merely "cool," kids who think Hannibal Lecter is "funny." However, I don't think it is possible to conclude that this desensitization actually leads to increases in violent behaviours. I'm sure that in some cases, it can be a determining factor, but I think there are other, far more prevalent, factors - namely, parental behaviour.

Also, and here I speak from my own experience, seeing the results of real violence is not the same as seeing it on TV. I have seen countless splatter movies - from a fairly early age, but nothing could have prepared me for my first serious trauma case as an EMT - a man who shot himself in the face, missing his entire lower jaw, his breath coming in bloody gurgles. A person might think they are desensitized, but I guarantee you that seeing real gore is wholly different. Nothing prepares you for it.

Going back to my first point in this post, I really do think that football programs, in which children are encouraged and rewarded for actually being violent, produce far more aggressive people than anything on the screen.

QUOTE
Movies that portray violence can condition children to believe that violence is the proper way to handle disputes.


But again, it comes down to the more influential factors - the parents. Parents who display violence raise violent children - there's hardly any question about that. Fathers who beat their wives are way more likely to raise future wife-beaters - or daughters far more likely to get involved in abusive relationships. On the other hand, parents who, by example, are peaceful, loving people, are going to overcome the influence of the media on their children. These parents are going to be more likely to place limits on what their children see, anyways.

QUOTE
The photonic movie substance (violent imagery) is optically consumed by children and then the substance (violent imagery) then brainwashes children to be violent.  Movie violence is a form of photonic poison.  All "entertainment" violence depicted is a form of photonic poison.  "Entertainment" violence that is heard is audio poison.


Here, you're standing on shaky ground. You're drawing completely unprovable conclusions. Now, it's fine if you believe it, that's your opinion. But remember that's all it is. In my last post, I gave a solid reasoning as to why studies about this kind of stuff are never provable.

It all really comes down to the parents. So why should everyone else be censored because of the bad parents?

I think it would be naive to believe there are NO negative effects from watching violence, just as it would be naive to think that getting rid of violence in the media would be some sort of panacea for children. As for what that negative effect is, I don't think it really brainwashes kids to be violent. I think the negative effect is part of a negative effect produced by media in general. People (children or adults) who watch TV all the time are: more apathetic, less intelligent, less creative, more complacent, and worse readers. whistling.gif
FlutePlayer
Television is basically a photonic and audio babysitter. The violence on it conditions viewers to be violent. What a person sees and hears is what a person learns. The more a person learns something the more a person does that something.
quarkhead
QUOTE(FlutePlayer @ Jan 4 2004, 05:46 PM)
Television is basically a photonic and audio babysitter.

Only if parents allow it to be.

QUOTE
The violence on it conditions viewers to be violent.  What a person sees and hears is what a person learns.  The more a person learns something the more a person does that something.


How many ads for McDonalds do you think the average TV viewer has seen? Do they all eat at McDonalds everyday? Does everyone buy Tide? The most popular shows on prime-time TV tend to be sitcoms. Yet I don't see most people being any funnier because of it - nor do they tend to solve domestic disputes or ethical quandaries in neat little 30 minute episodes. Also very popular are crime dramas - and yet I have heard of no big spike in the number of people becoming detectives, or spending their free time solving crimes.

Also, let's look at violent crime. While it may be big on the news, the number of violent crimes in our country each day is quite small when compared with the whole population. I don't have hard numbers, but I'm willing to bet a lot of money that FAR more people watch violent programming regularly than commit violent acts.

Is it healthy for a kid to watch violent programming all day long, every day? Of course not. But doesn't this stem from another problem? The parents, perhaps? You can't solve this problem by controlling the content of the media - it's a far broader problem, one that can't be solved through legislation.

I do agree with you that violent programming can have a negative effect on children who view it regularly, with no supervisory balance - and that's too bad, but what should we do about it? Censorship is not the solution. Furthermore, while I agree that it has a negative effect, I disagree that it "trains" them to be violent. Someone might mimic an act of violence they see in a movie, but how can anyone say that the movie caused the act? Humans aren't such simple creatures. And if causation was so obvious, philosophy would be a hard science! laugh.gif

In cases where kids have commited crimes which mimic those they see in movies or on television, who's to say that, minus the movie, the kid would have not merely commited some other violent act?

Should artists only be allowed to produce art which depicts people sharing, hugging, and smiling? blink.gif
bucket
QUOTE
bucket, did I at any time mention anything about child porn? Then what's the point of this statement. And when I say "their body" I meant the human body in general, not limited to age.


Why does it have to be child porn? You asked why any parent would feel that sexual images would be harmful since they are natural functions. Yet that is not true is it? Because when sex or when a child that young is sexualized it is really UNnatural isn't it and it is harmful don't you perhaps think maybe? So there is your answer.
I also doubt any young child would be able differentiate between sex and violence in how they are portrayed in the media.
I would rather my children learned about their bodies and their functions from reality.
How is that being restrictive? It is just a different approach. Some of us feel that the media is not the place to learn about ourselves because it is a very distorted and unrealistic view of ourselves.

In most of Europe children (this is not all) are not as bombarded and sought after and pursued like they are here in the US by the Media. In the US children from very young ages are considered a hot commodity and one the industry wants to entice. I have some real issues with some of this stuff actually and it is mostly in re: to the advertising community. Yet I have to wonder why so many people here in the US have no issue with others, others who are so removed from any true human conscience, playing a pivotal role in their child's value system..shame on them.
I think most European children get to grow up far more innocently for lack of a better description. They are not at age 7 wanting to dress like Brtiney, or knowing what a six pack means, or knowledgeable of how to fire an assault rifle.
The difference does lie in our media but I feel it has a lot more to do with how we have placed the media in such an all encompassing all important highly desired of the authority position in our society.

Mrs Pigpen ..isn't it interesting that even tho the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the others you listed support this link we still have our doubters.
Yet I would imagine that almost all of those here doubting these recommendations follow the immunization schedule also recommend by these same groups to the day. If you do not give your child these jabs on the dates they suggest is it a guarantee your child will fall ill of one of these diseases....no. When it comes to our child's physical health many are much much more cautious and protective...yet when it comes to our child's mental health we see obviouss laxness. Why our children's mind and spirit is of less importance to many then their physical state is beyond me but I do feel it shows a definite misunderstanding or perhaps badly prioritized approach to the whole picture involved in what it takes to raise a happy healthy child smile.gif

QUOTE
I grew up in the 70s and saw plenty of sex and violence in the movies when I was young. No matter how many violent horror movies I saw as a child, I've still never even been in a fist fight. I remember finding my dad's Playboy magazines when I was about 8, it didn't cause me to become a sex fiend... 

Well that was the 70s .. in 2004 children's access to media and the intensity that media is pursuing and attempting to covet their attentions can not even compare to what it was like for you as a child in your days or yon. How many extremely violent movies would have even of been accessible for you to view at home? And the video games of 70s...any confusion of reality with those? The music ind wasn't pursuing young children like they do now with playboyesque imagery, commercial execs did not even know the powers of early brand recognition etc etc etc
Gravity
QUOTE
How many ads for McDonalds do you think the average TV viewer has seen? Do they all eat at McDonalds everyday? Does everyone buy Tide?


So advertising doesn't work at all then? Wow, the folks who study this for a living - and therefore advise the advertisers - who then based on their recommendations spend *billions of dollars* every year would be suprised!

Nobody is saying that an ad, or any other programming, turns children or adults into zombies who then do nothing but what they have been told. However -- clearly it DOES influence them, if it didn't work - they wouldn't keep doing it.

Even spam makes money, or they wouldn't keep doing that either.
quarkhead
QUOTE(Gravity @ Jan 5 2004, 07:43 AM)
QUOTE
How many ads for McDonalds do you think the average TV viewer has seen? Do they all eat at McDonalds everyday? Does everyone buy Tide?


So advertising doesn't work at all then? Wow, the folks who study this for a living - and therefore advise the advertisers - who then based on their recommendations spend *billions of dollars* every year would be suprised!

Nobody is saying that an ad, or any other programming, turns children or adults into zombies who then do nothing but what they have been told. However -- clearly it DOES influence them, if it didn't work - they wouldn't keep doing it.

Even spam makes money, or they wouldn't keep doing that either.

I'm sorry, but you missed my point. Obviously advertising can influence people - my comment was in response to fluteplayer's blanket assumption that watching violence makes people violent. Also, McDonalds ads are balanced out by all the other food ads. And on TV, there is probably as much or more so-called "good" messages being conveyed, through sitcoms and the like, as there is violence - but no one's out there trying to prove that peoples' good deeds were caused by the cast of Friends.

The problem with this whole issue is that there is no science we can currently use to measure how much mental influence external data. like television, has. There's no instrument we can use to quantify the causal chain of every action. smile.gif

It should be noted (this is directed at fluteplayer) that using a term like "photonic poison" is probably not helping your cause - whatever that may be. It is a value judgement, and as such is meaningless when you try and present it as if it were a fact.
perspective
QUOTE(SuzySteamboat @ Jan 2 2004, 05:10 PM)
QUOTE(perspective @ Jan 2 2004, 08:38 AM)
The debate being about will violence and sex influence children?† Yes, it will influence them out of their childhood.† Shame on any parent who would shatter the delicate gift of childhood.†

Eh, perspective - children are sexual beings huh.gif And some are even violent, all by themselves. Sex and violence does not "corrupt" childhood. It's that adults have an idealistic view of what childhood is. I don't know what kind of childhoods everyone else had, but mine would probably be considered very sexualized, according to most of the adults here at AD. And you know what? Being exposed to sexual behavior and engaging in it did not harm me. I grew aware of my own body, and my responses, and what felt good. You know what did harm me? My parent's response to it when they found out. mellow.gif Sex did not harm me, puritanical views did.

Eh, Suzy - children - in my definition of humans under the age of 12 - are not sexual human beings. Sexual activity adds a several levels of emotional complexity, health-related responsibility, and social consequence that CHILDREN OF AGE 12 OR UNDER should not have to deal with. For you to claim that your childhood was very sexualized, it makes me feel sorry for you. It is a shame that you were robbed of at least a few years without having to worry about all the serious, non-trivial adult issues that sexuality brings with it.
Looms
QUOTE(perspective @ Jan 5 2004, 11:38 AM)
QUOTE(SuzySteamboat @ Jan 2 2004, 05:10 PM)
QUOTE(perspective @ Jan 2 2004, 08:38 AM)
The debate being about will violence and sex influence children?† Yes, it will influence them out of their childhood.† Shame on any parent who would shatter the delicate gift of childhood.†

Eh, perspective - children are sexual beings huh.gif And some are even violent, all by themselves. Sex and violence does not "corrupt" childhood. It's that adults have an idealistic view of what childhood is. I don't know what kind of childhoods everyone else had, but mine would probably be considered very sexualized, according to most of the adults here at AD. And you know what? Being exposed to sexual behavior and engaging in it did not harm me. I grew aware of my own body, and my responses, and what felt good. You know what did harm me? My parent's response to it when they found out. mellow.gif Sex did not harm me, puritanical views did.

Eh, Suzy - children - in my definition of humans under the age of 12 - are not sexual human beings. Sexual activity adds a several levels of emotional complexity, health-related responsibility, and social consequence that CHILDREN OF AGE 12 OR UNDER should not have to deal with. For you to claim that your childhood was very sexualized, it makes me feel sorry for you. It is a shame that you were robbed of at least a few years without having to worry about all the serious, non-trivial adult issues that sexuality brings with it.

Sigmund Freud would strongly disagree with you. Plenty of children do become curious about their bodies, there is no reason to lump them in with true victims (i.e. kids who got molested).

I really don't see a reason to feel sorry for Suzy, she seems to be quite content with her experience (at least that's the impression I got). She seems to have been harmed by views such as the one you seem to think is the only right one for every situation. Life is made up of exceptions, not rules. If someone is happy there's nothing wrong with it, even if the thing that makes them happy is not what you think their childhood should be.
Wertz
QUOTE(Looms @ Jan 6 2004, 12:56 AM)
QUOTE(perspective @ Jan 5 2004, 11:38 AM)
QUOTE(SuzySteamboat @ Jan 2 2004, 05:10 PM)
Being exposed to sexual behavior and engaging in it did not harm me. I grew aware of my own body, and my responses, and what felt good. You know what did harm me? My parent's response to it when they found out.  mellow.gif  Sex did not harm me, puritanical views did.

For you to claim that your childhood was very sexualized, it makes me feel sorry for you. It is a shame that you were robbed of at least a few years without having to worry about all the serious, non-trivial adult issues that sexuality brings with it.

Sigmund Freud would strongly disagree with you.

So would I. mrsparkle.gif So would anyone who knows anything about human sexuality. We are - all of us - sexual beings from birth, no matter how much trepidation adults may have about their own children's sexuality.

Like Suzy, I had some early childhood experiences which had no adverse impact on my life whatsoever - as a child or as an adult - but which have had a formative impact on my thoughts on this subject. (I've actually gone on about all this at great length elsewhere in this threads: starting here, continuing here, having a brief digression here, and concluding, somewhat abortively, here.) To go on any further about the subject of childhood sexuality in this thread might be to take the discussion off-topic. I will simply say here that I do not feel sorry for Suzy - or for myself.

Obviously, though, if I don't feel that participation in actual sex acts have a necessarily deleterious impact on a child, I don't feel that any amount of "media" exposure to sex is going to negatively affect children. In fact, I rather suspect it has more of a beneficial effect - desensitizing them to the destructive taboos that are frequently associated with adult neuroses regarding sex.
Paladin Elspeth
Everything a child is exposed to influences the child on some level, as everything influences adults. The difference is that adults by virtue of their years on this planet have had more experience in order to make value judgments on what they see and hear.

When there is a movie scene that portrays sexuality in a light where either partner is objectified, not respected, by the other and tenderness is absent, it can influence a child to regard the act as devoid of mutual consideration and tenderness. That seems reasonable. It is how we as parents and guardians view sex that will ultimately determine what we think is realistic and desirable for a child to learn about it. At any rate, we need to know what our kids are seeing.

Whenever there is violence that is unjustified and especially brutal in movies, it has shock effect, for adults as well as for children. I suppose that viewing enough of this genre tends to desensitize individuals after a while.

There is a boy in Florida who has taken a plea agreement and will not be serving a life sentence now for body slamming and using other moves he saw on TV wrestling which caused the death of a little girl. While he did not presumably do this with malice, the effect was the same. It is unquestionable that the behavior on television influenced his behavior.
bucket
QUOTE
Sigmund Freud would strongly disagree with you. Plenty of children do become curious about their bodies, there is no reason to lump them in with true victims (i.e. kids who got molested).


QUOTE
So would I. mrsparkle.gif So would anyone who knows anything about human sexuality. We are - all of us - sexual beings from birth, no matter how much trepidation adults may have about their own children's sexuality. 


I think the general consensus is the Freud was a bit of an idiot and that is especially true in concerns to his views on young children, girls and women. I strongly disagree with a lot of his "theories" ...as do many others smile.gif

Tell me now where a child could get a healthy view of human sexuality form a TV or a movie screen? Where exactly is there programming of this occurring? What does our mainstream media have to do with normal happy children and their sexuality?

Sexuality is a very broad term..so to some using it is in reference to actual sex acts and to others it is in regards to gender and hormones. I think it is quite obvious that this discussion and the context in which sexuality is being discussed that it is about media's portrayal of sex and sex acts and if they are appropriate viewing for children.

Being aware of your body and not afraid of it and open and clean feeling about it is normal. What we see on TV or in movies is not real..it has nothing to do with and I feel it should have nothing to do with a child's sexual development.

Sexualizing a child to me means to place the child and their appearance, behavior in a very sexual context....a very adult perception of sex.
Young children dressed like strippers or wearing shirts that proclaim "Future Porn Star" are an example of this. People thinking little girls can not go topless is another example of this...or that a child of 4 is being too sexy by wearing a bikini..that a child is behaving dirty or inappropriate for self exploration etc etc etc. Children are not adults...very simple thought here...and they don't view their bodies or the sexual nature of them like adults do and they should not be asked to.

QUOTE
There is a boy in Florida who has taken a plea agreement and will not be serving a life sentence now for body slamming and using other moves he saw on TV wrestling which caused the death of a little girl. While he did not presumably do this with malice, the effect was the same. It is unquestionable that the behavior on television influenced his behavior.


Very good example! And I think this case with this young boy shows the hypocrisy our society has on this issue as well. The boy was originally sentenced by a jury of his "peers" to life in prison with no parole. Because society does not want to to admit when a child this young does something like this that they might have had any responsibility. They want to claim that their adult desires of media have no effect on children and that children bear all the responsibility if they show or act otherwise. How very adult of us.
perspective
QUOTE(Wertz @ Jan 6 2004, 02:09 AM)
So would anyone who knows anything about human sexuality. We are - all of us - sexual beings from birth, no matter how much trepidation adults may have about their own children's sexuality.

Like Suzy, I had some early childhood experiences which had no adverse impact on my life whatsoever - as a child or as an adult - but which have had a formative impact on my thoughts on this subject. (I've actually gone on about all this at great length elsewhere in this threads: starting here, continuing here, having a brief digression here, and concluding, somewhat abortively, here.) To go on any further about the subject of childhood sexuality in this thread might be to take the discussion off-topic. I will simply say here that I do not feel sorry for Suzy - or for myself.

Obviously you didn't read my qualifier - that the term "children" in my argument, designates human beings under the age of 12, in most cases before the age of sexual maturity.

All of those posts that you refer to you are talking about the trivial line between teenagers and "legal adults". This area is of no interest to me, teenagers are very sexual beings - I would know.

My argument also has no interest in "sexual exploration" that children under the age of 12 do in their own innocent ways.

My argument pertains to the adult-projected, adult-influenced world of sexual activity in the movies - this world that children have no business experiencing. This world is tinged with adult-themes that have nothing to do with sex(like power, emotion, infidelity, dishonesty, commitment). I feel sorry for children who are affronted with these issues.
Wertz
bucket: I am far - very far - from being a strict Freudian, but one of Freud's few theories which has not been widely disputed among the serious psychological community is that of childhood sexuality. It is generally accepted - I'd so so far as to say "common knowledge" - that children are, indeed, sexual beings from infancy. What has been widely debated - and, to a large degree, refuted - is the extent to which childhood sexuality can have a negative impact on the future life of the adult.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::

QUOTE(perspective @ Jan 6 2004, 10:06 AM)
Obviously you didn't read my qualifier - that the term "children" in my argument, designates human beings under the age of 12, in most cases before the age of sexual maturity. 

All of those posts that you refer to you are talking about the trivial line between teenagers and "legal adults".  This area is of no interest to me, teenagers are very sexual beings - I would know.

Obviously you didn't read those links very carefully. mrsparkle.gif The Rind Report, which figures prominiently in two of those links, looks at the experiences of children twelve and older and eleven and under, for example - and my personal account begins with sexual activity at the age of six.

QUOTE
My argument pertains to the adult-projected, adult-influenced world of sexual activity in the movies - this world that children have no business experiencing.

And on what grounds do you make that assumption?

QUOTE
This world is tinged with adult-themes that have nothing to do with sex (like power, emotion, infidelity, dishonesty, commitment).

To an extent, yes - but is it those themes to which a child will respond or to the images themselves?

In my experience, kids are eager to examine sexual imagery. Do you know of many kids who have come across a copy of Playboy before they hit puberty and who were scarred for life? I remember actively seeking out such material in book stores and newsagents from a very early age - as did many of my peers. Even revealing fashion plates - or mail-order catalogue images of swimsuit and underwear models - were a source of fascination and delight. Much of my early interest in art and literature emerged from the quest for nudes in painting and sculpture and "good bits" in books. I expect many people here had the same experience. I know that if I had access to Cinemax - or, damn it, the internet - as a child, I would have been consuming porn left, right, and center. I suspect thousands of kids are doing so as you read these words. And I don't think it's going to cause them irreparable harm - physical or psychological.
perspective
QUOTE(Wertz @ Jan 6 2004, 09:13 PM)
Even revealing fashion plates - or mail-order catalogue images of swimsuit and underwear models - were a source of fascination and delight. Much of my early interest in art and literature emerged from the quest for nudes in painting and sculpture and "good bits" in books. I expect many people here had the same experience. I know that if I had access to Cinemax - or, damn it, the internet - as a child, I would have been consuming porn left, right, and center. I suspect thousands of kids are doing so as you read these words. And I don't think it's going to cause them irreparable harm - physical or psychological.

The arguments of topic don't claim irreparable harm in any way. The topic asked are children negatively affected.

Let's think about a 6 year old watching the girls gone wild series. Here is a scene that a 6 year old can identify with - the beach. This child has been to the beach, knows about bikinis and bathing suits. This child thinks nothing of it - he knows that girls have to cover up certain areas and boys have to cover up certain areas. He knows that letting strangers touch his privates is bad. He knows that touching other people's privates is bad. He sees men and women, at adult age, in public, in a frantic orgy. Not only the verbal language, but the body language is communicating with the child in these videos.

Why does a child need to watch this? How does it influence him positively?

What does it tell him about the family values that his family is trying to teach him? How do you explain to a 6 year old that sometimes, men and women do these things with no regard to their health, their reputation, their significant other. "Yes, honey, their mommies and daddies told them that its bad, but once you get older you can make those decisions for yourself. These people are putting themselves at risk for STDs, pregnancy, lawsuits. I hope if you ever find yourself in this position you would make a smart decision."

Meanwhile all the child is thinking about is "...those people sure look like they are having fun - just the same expressions and excitement as those chucky cheese commercials, and I know I love Chucky Cheese..."


According to one study, early exposure (under fourteen years of age) to pornography is related to greater involvement in deviant sexual practice, particularly rape.
W. L. Marshall, "The Use of Sexually Explicit Stimuli by Rapists, Child Molesters, and Nonoffenders," The Journal of Sex Research 25, no.2 (May 1988): 267-88.

The habitual consumption of pornography can result in a diminished satisfaction with mild forms of pornography and a correspondingly strong desire for more deviant and violent material.

As more and more children are exposed not only to soft-core pornography, but also to explicit deviant sexual material, they are learning an extremely dangerous message from pornographers: Sex without responsibility is acceptable and desirable. Because pornography encourages sexual expression without responsibility, it endangers children's health.

Research has shown that "males who are exposed to a great deal of erotica before the age of 14 are more sexually active and engage in more varied sexual behaviors as adults than is true for males not so exposed."

Above facts, with sources sited here


There are so many more sources like this, I could list them for hours. I suppose that doesn't make them true, but from my own common experience with porn as a child, I know how it desensitizes, and I know how it forces one to escalate.

Not all children will react the same way to the same stimuli, not all children will be unaffected. There are plenty of sources that prove that at least some are negatively affected. How can you determine which will be negatively affected, and which will be unaffected? Wouldn't it just be safer to refrain from the risk of negatively affecting, by not chancing that it will be a neutral affect? The risk just doesn't make sense. And I'd love to hear argument that it has some positive affect. I'd be very curious to hear that one.
bucket
QUOTE
bucket: I am far - very far - from being a strict Freudian, but one of Freud's few theories which has not been widely disputed among the serious psychological community is that of childhood sexuality. It is generally accepted - I'd so so far as to say "common knowledge" - that children are, indeed, sexual beings from infancy. What has been widely debated - and, to a large degree, refuted - is the extent to which childhood sexuality can have a negative impact on the future life of the adult.  


I think that is untrue. I think that Freud's most widely disputed theories are in fact his ideas on sexuality, and as I already stated, especially his ideas on women, girls and children. I don't think that any serious psychologists accepts much of any of what Freud (the cocaine addict) theorized.

As a woman and a mother myself I am pretty much offended by most of the garbage Freud has to say about me and my relationship with my girls and how he believes we perceive ourselves. I think most of his ideas on this subject have no place in modern thought.

When did I say children are not sexual beings? Humans as a species are...and so why would children not be? What children are not is sexual in the same way you and I are as our sexuality grows and develops and changes. Our images, perceptions, acts, sexual pleasures, are not equivalent to what a child's are. I think perhaps that perspective just probably disagrees with you by means of terminology. Again as I already tried to explain the word sexuality to many and how it is being used in this debate pertains to sex ....as in the act itself. Maybe sensual is a better word ?

Anyone who believes the images of sex and the idea of it we project in the media is a useful tool for any child to learn about their own sexuality is in fact imo forcing a very non-realistic image and is in fact altering and influencing how their child will learn about this. There is nothing of self discovery and self knowledge to be found here and I do feel that it can harm a child's sexuality.

Negative body image of young girls is a very very evident symptom of this. As a mother of two girls and to a woman who remembers what it is like to be a young girl I am very concerned about my children and very much strive to provide a happy home so they may have a good positive image of themselves, strong self esteem and in return live healthy lives sexually and asexually.

A child independently seeking out sexual imagery for pleasure is a whole different subject compared to parents providing sexual material of their liking to be shown without censor to their children. That is the parent's sexuality being forced upon a child...who may or may not of sought this in the first place.

Beside if you accept the idea that children are so sexually motivated and curious why would children need any kind of assistance or additional stimuli from a much farther and higher advanced stage of sexuality to help them naturally achieve their own stages of development? It does occur naturally...no need as a parent to be providing this cheap imitation.
Gravity
>>and engage in more varied sexual behaviors as adults than is true for males not so exposed<<


Well, more varied sexual behavior as an adult doesn't seem like a problem to me. Life is short, sex is one of its few real pleasures - and between consenting adults is much less harmful than many other pleasures/behaviors.

Worry about "more vaired sexual behaviors" among adults, seems like a bit of twisted moralizing!
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(Gravity @ Jan 7 2004, 02:26 PM)
>>and engage in more varied sexual behaviors as adults than is true for males not so exposed<<


Well, more varied sexual behavior as an adult doesn't seem like a problem to me. Life is short, sex is one of its few real pleasures - and between consenting adults is much less harmful than many other pleasures/behaviors.

Worry about "more vaired sexual behaviors" among adults, seems like a bit of twisted moralizing!

It depends on the "variety" in question. Not all sexual variation is healthful. Sexually deviant behaviors or sexual asphyxiation are examples.
Looms
Hypothetical scenario:
There's a guy who works around asbestos. He then he gets lung cancer. He also smoked. Would you use that guy as an example of the harmful effects of smoking? Surely, smoking played SOME part in his cancer. But the most logical conclusion would be that this guy spent the better part of his life inhaling asbestos, which tends to kill people who smoke or who don't.

The point is this: most people seem to agree that a person who is otherwise perfectly normal, and has a good family life and good upbringing will NOT be turned into a killer or rapist just because they watch R rated movies. People that have "issues", for whatever reason, might be affected. Basically, the straw that broke the camel's back. But such a person will most likely not grow up normal as it is. Charles Manson seemed to find all the reasons to do what he did in a Beatles record.

If a child is at the point where a movie will tip the scale and turn them into a psycho, they needed help long before they snapped.
Gravity
>>Sexually deviant behaviors or sexual asphyxiation are examples.<<

I think asphyxiation is clearly not very safe, but there again is a pretty loaded and very subjective term - the word "deviant". I don't want to be too graphic here, but there are folks who view anything between a couple besides ''missionary'' position as ''deviant''. Some nearly universally engaged in sexual practices are actually still on the books as "deviant'' and therefore illegal in many states!
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