In today’s society are we becoming to obsessed with sex? Are we becoming to obsessed with trying to make ourselves desirable to the opposite sex? And in turn are we robbing the children of today their innocence with bombarding them with all these highly sexualised images ranging from movies and TV shows to music and fashion? Well…. If I were answering those questions purely from viewing the above video I would have to answer, YES!
Wait a minute though… Is this threat on the innocence of children just society experiencing moral panic or is there legitimacy for this concern? Lumby & Funnell (2011) states that ‘moral panics constitute an intense site of debate about ideas that are grounded in belief systems and that are connected to embodied and visceral ways of knowing and to ideological systems of meaning.’ So this fear of pop culture sexualizing our children, could it be around societies ideal that a childhood is pure or a state of innocence? And is this ideal purely a fantasy that us adults like to convince ourselves to be reality.
The daily telegraph recently reported (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/raunchy-popstars-a-bad-influence-on-little-kids/story-e6freuzr-1226349392364) on a research study conducted by an academic from the University of South Australia who found that raunch culture is rampant among children, who are learning to pout and thrust by watching music videos. It was also found that there are direct links between what children watch on television and how they dress and behave. Wooaaahh….
Now I’m somewhat cynical of this moral panic around the sexualisation of children, I personally think that it is to easy to blame pop culture for the shortcomings of children today. Why aren’t we using this as a means of educating as apposed to not acknowledging the big elephant in the room? As Gilbert Herdt states:
Moral panics, can provoke authoritarian policies and heated debate in the short term, but over the longer term they are also capable of providing an opportunity to take the heat out of taboo subjects and of offering progressive social and political groups a window for lobbying for change.