The American Psychological Association released a report yesterday that analyzed 300 studies over the past 18 months dealing with media's packaging of girls as sex objects. Over the next few days I'm going to review the findings and report back to you.
First, let me explain today's headline. Media pedophilia is the low down, lecherous use of girls as sexual commodities. Media is that sociopathic pimp that packages and markets highly inappropriate sexual images of girls to viewers, consumers, and the girls themselves. The sexy girl is so ubiquitous in media we now think she's normal. So do our girls.
Psychomedia perpetrator disorder is a term created by Alfred "Coach" Powell, author of Hip Hop Hypocrisy: When Lies Sound Like the Truth. It means "media copycatting" or imitating behaviors promoted in media. Media pedophilia and psychomedia perpetrator disorder go hand in hand. Hip Hop Hypocrisy exposes the devasting impact of 'gangsta' rap on youth development, academic performance, and behavior. I edited and co-wrote Coach Powell's disturbing manifesto, and I must admit, it kept me up at nights, thinking about the world that my daughter and nieces will have to negotiate.
When my own book, Sensual Celibacy, first came out in 1999, the reception was lukewarm. Reviews were positive, but my target audience, single women, had mixed feelings about the issue. In fact, unless they were of faith, they really didn't want to discuss it. Naively, I was shocked.
Whenever and wherever I spoke, women unleashed their anxiety, anger, depression, and irritation on me because I had the nerve to suggest that if you keep doing what you're doing, you're going to keep getting the same result (definition of insanity). A message board suggested that something was wrong with me for practicing celibacy. I agree! I was miserable in "relationships" that were going nowhere but to bed.
Looking back I realize my sistas were mad but not necessarily at me. I was just the messenger, and you know what happens to the messenger. The celibacy message is hard to take because it puts responsibility for your love life in your own hands. Can't blame the man anymore.
Interestingly, the group that really hungers for guidance is teen girls. Whenever I speak to girls about relationships, celibacy, and virginity, I have a rapt audience. ESPECIALLY if they've had sex!
From what sexually active girls tell me, and the studies are providing evidence, they regret having had sex. Yet, nowhere in the media will you see commercials or sitcom characters express this sad revelation.
If adults find sexual responsibility a challenge, why would we think our girls (and boys) would know what to do with their raging hormones? It's up to us to teach them and protect them from harmful images and themes. If we don't, we'll have only ourselves to blame for losing an entire generation.