Chastity vs. Media?

"Never before in the history of telecommunications media in the United States
has so much indecent (and obscene) material been so easily accessible
by so many minors in so many American homes with so few restrictions."
 - U.S. Department of Justice, Post Hearing Memorandum of Points and Authorities, at l, ACLU v. Reno, 929 F. Supp. 824 (1996)


Media, however, is neither inherently evil, nor inherently opposed to chastity education. 
Media and entertainment has the potential to elevate the mind to think about things that are true, good, and beautiful.  Parents should use the media as a teaching tool, showing their children how to evaluate the messages portrayed about sexuality with a critical sense, and rejecting the message when it does not conform to a Christian worldview.  Consistently pointing out the messages of media is a great way to reinforce the message of chastity, and help it become a way of life and a way of viewing the world for your child.  Parents will find that there is also media that will promote a chastity message - see the sub-page under the Media and Entertainment tab for a list of movies with a chaste message.

Still, "parents should be watchful that certain immoral fashions and attitudes do not violate the integrity of the home, especially through the misuse of the mass media" (Truth and Meaning, 56).  A Report in Pediatrics Magazine from April 2006 shows that young people who have significant exposure to sexuality in the media are significantly more likely to have sex between the ages of 14 and 16.

Looking at the transformation in the lives of teen idols is always a wake up call to the degradation that happens to innocence when subjected to the evils of the culture (not that everything about culture is bad, but some aspects of culture definately are bad!).  We all remember what happened to Britney Spears, but what about the idols that teens are watching and imitating now?

Take a look at the evolution that has already taken place in the life of Miley Cyrus.  Like Brittney Spears, she too started out with Disney, but towards the end of this video you will see she is losing her innocence fast:
Where were the parents of these young celebrities?  Teen idols may not be fortunate enough to have parents looking out for their sexual purity, standing up for them against the pressures of the world, but this does not have to be the case for your children!  "There is the duty especially for believers, for men and women who love freedom, to protect the young from the aggressions they are subjected to by the media.  May no one shrink from this duty... Parents as recipients must actively ensure the moderate, critical, watchufl, and prudent use of the media"  (Truth and Meaning, 56).

Resources: 

* The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality:  Guidelines for Education Within the Family published by The Pontifical Council for the Family(paragraphs 56, 72, and 84 specifically deal with the media)

* statistics from: http://www.safefamilies.org/sfStats.php