America’s children are at risk as never before, partly due to our increasingly licentious culture, partly due to the Internet, but is there anything we can do about it?
Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #73 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.
There are certain topics I do not want to think about, much less spend time researching and writing about them. This includes pornography, the subject of the last podcast, and it certainly includes the sexualizing of children and youth.
These are ugly, debauched, perverse, dark side subjects that—and I am serious now—make my stomach turn as I learn more about what is actually taking place.
Yet if we are not informed, how can we do what we should do as salt and light? If we do not have some understanding of the sexualization of children trends gripping our culture, how can we fulfill Jesus’ statement in John 17?
Jesus prayed to the Heavenly Father in what is the true Lord’s Prayer, “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world.”
“My prayer,” Jesus said, “is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world,” (John 17:6, 15-18).
So, believers are in the world, are to be not of the world, and yet are to go into the world as ambassadors of reconciliation.
Do we do this best in ignorance? Of course not. We fulfill our calling as unto the Lord if like the ancient men of Israel who God called to leadership, we become “from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do,” (1 Chron. 12:32).
For some time now, “the far left has been hard at work normalizing the sexualization of young children. Attempts to expose children to sexual material are pervasive in schools across the country and often involve teaching the leftist gender and sexual ideology.
From obscene books in school libraries to explicit content in entertainment, children from preschool to high school are faced with sexually charged content while their parents are kept in the dark.”
“Children are being exposed to numerous sexual messages every day of their lives. In fact, by the time a child reaches puberty, she or he has likely been exposed to thousands if not tens of thousands of sexualized messages…Often, these sexual messages are not only explicit but also violent and demeaning in nature.”
“The biggest impact, however, that the super-sexualization of children can have is its overall looming effect on the day-to-day existence of kids. Sexuality becomes much more of a player than it should, irrespective of the child's age. It's as if children's normal curiosity towards sexuality gets ratcheted up a number of notches as if on steroids.”
“The "facts of life" have not changed, but ‘inclusivity’ and ‘sex positivity’ and other popular buzz-word concepts have changed sex education. Despite studies showing that modern sex education fails to achieve its stated goals and results in increased student sexual activity, school systems are devoting up to 70 hours of classroom time per child to sex education.”
“A troubling trend in sex education is the push to teach ‘sexual consent,’ presumably to equip kids to resist committing, or being a victim of, sexual assault.”
“But many parents aren’t buying it. Consider this statement from a ‘Get Real’ trainer at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts: ‘Building skills around consent means moving beyond the ‘how to say no’ model of teaching refusal skills to also teach young people how to ask for consent...’”
But “consenting to a sex act does not make that act healthy, acceptable, or safe—especially when the actors are children! The ‘consent’ movement seems less about avoiding assault and more about promoting sex and sexual rights.”
Sex education “lessons can be highly manipulative—carefully designed to get children to approve of the concept of sexual rights and fluid sexual “identities,” and to reject their religious beliefs, the authority of their parents, and even physical reality itself.”
Sexualizing children, I mean 5-16-year-olds, is shocking enough. But even more shocking is that what I’ve listed illustratively thus far just skims the surface. This isn’t happening in some clandestine, back-alley way. It’s taking place every day in America’s schools, and increasingly, teachers charged with purveying this so-called sex education are told not to inform parents, or students are told not to inform parents, especially when transgender issues are involved.
But schools are only one battleground. Rapid sexualization of children is even more pervasive on the Internet.
Law enforcement officials are talking about a “global sextortion crisis.”
Sextortion involves “cases where children are coerced into sending explicit images online before being extorted for money are increasing dramatically, with more boys falling prey.”
“Sextortion cases where local children are being coerced into sending nude and explicit content online is being fueled by a growing overseas market.”
“Once a perpetrator has a photo or video, they can then turn around and use it to either extract money or more photos and videos from the victim.”
“Typically…with boys…the extortion or the motivation for the extortion is cash or money or some monetary benefit…With the girls…the currency is more photos.”
“The sextortion cases are mainly occurring on digital platforms where children are spending their screen time. Phones, gaming consoles and computers by way of social media, gaming websites or video chat are often used by predators posing with fake accounts as girls of a similar age, deceiving boys into sending explicit photos or videos... Offenders then typically threaten to release the photos unless the victim sends payment. And in many cases, the predator will release the images anyway.”
“The sexualization of young girls is an ongoing problem in America that’s leading to a myriad of problems, from exposing girls to societal pressures to perpetuating sexualized violence. Sexualization is negatively impacting many girls’ cognitive functioning as well as their physical and mental health.”
“Girls, in general, experience more mental health issues than boys and sexualization often factors into the way girls identity themselves and measure their self-worth. When girls experience sexualization or objectification first-hand, it can stir up a wide range of emotions. Depending on the severity of the instance, it can lead to anxiety, depression, or even PTSD.”
Hypersexuality in media is like toxic air. It’s everywhere and always harmful.
Sexualization of children in America is happening for several reasons,
1) first and foremost, sin. Remember that word? People’s hearts are deceitful and wicked and if they can find ways to do wrong, they will.
2) Another reason is money. Bad actors make money off the sexualization of children, whether through sextortion or trafficking or kiddie porn or sex appeal marketing. (“Advertisements and programming that target and sell commodities to children, particularly girls. Such items include Bratz Baby Dolls, which target six-year-olds with fishnet stocking and miniskirts, and padded bras on bikinis sold for seven-year-olds, raising national controversy on the dangers of encouraging females to portray their identities using sexual items from a young age.”
3) There are people who embrace a Leftist philosophy that socially and politically rejects Judeo-Christian values and traditional religion like Christianity, and promoting the sexualization of children is a direct hit on parental rights, family values, and the nuclear family as a basic unit of society.
4) Smart phones, the Internet – technology does not cause sexualization, but it certainly is a means by which it can happen, quickly, globally, without boundaries or borders.
I don’t suppose I need to develop a theology of why sexualization of children is wrong and injurious. But it wouldn’t take much time in Scripture to do so.
The wisest thing I think I can say is: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com.
And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2023
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