Hollywood seems to have sex on the mind this summer. From pop music to reality shows to dramas, the sexually charged material currently being offered up by the entertainment media is making Woodstock look like a Boy Scout jamboree.
That Hollywood peddles sex is not exactly news. What is news, though, is the increasing evidence that our society's libertinism comes at a steep price. In addition to soaring cases of sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies and abortions, the sex culture is inflicting a wealth of emotional injury on teenaged girls.
A new study by the Mental Health Foundation in England reports that young girls are being victimized by premature sexualization, commercialization and alcohol abuse, resulting in high levels of stress and unhappiness. According to the study, “Sexual advances from boys, pressure to wear clothes that make them look too old and magazines and Web sites directly targeting younger girls to lose weight or consider plastic surgery were identified as taking a particular toll.”
The statistics are shocking: 40 percent of the 10- to 14-year-old girls surveyed said they know someone who has “self-harmed,” and nearly that many know somebody who has experienced panic attacks. A third have a friend suffering from an eating disorder.
The head of the Mental Health Foundation told Life Site News, “Girls and young women are being forced to grow up at an unnatural pace in a society that we, as adults, have created and it's damaging their emotional well-being.”
Hollywood's studio execs, producers and writers should sit up and take notice. Sexualized entertainment may attract adult audiences, but children are watching too, and it's too much for many of them to handle. In addition to robbing kids of their innocence, the constant sexual images and allusions are creating a cultural environment that makes demands on children that they are not ready to meet and should not have to think about. Children's innocence is a valuable commodity that society ought to guard jealously. Hollywood moguls have children too, and their children are not immune from Tinseltown's destructive cultural influences.