I am a member of the TV generation, having grown up in front of the ever-thinning and -widening box. I like having the sounds of fictional people interacting on somewhere in earshot all day. Usually, we just have old television channels running, without anyone necessarily watching the show. There are dangers in that, of course.
My son and I were talking today as we also naturally diverted our eyes from a couple passionately kissing on a TV show. And that's what happens. It can be hard for me to notice at the time; I'm just not as sensitive as I ought to be. I know, though, that those images, even a second or a glance, damage us. I know it damages my children. It damages their concept of sex. It damages their natural inhibitions, breaking down safe barriers that ought to remain. It damages their thoughts; it takes what should be mystery and defines it -- visually and wholly wrong.
And what we watch is mild. It's not only or even mainly because of the children either; it's because I know pornography damages me. It damages everyone. And it is everywhere.
I can handle it; they can handle it -- I say to myself. The problem is this is true. Over time the children, me, anyone can handle the suggestions of intimacy, but we should not want to.
Is it fair to call anything allowed on daytime television potentially pornographic? How could two people embracing with no visible nudity whatsoever be considered damaging? I ask myself questions like this to justify leaving the channel on. I can handle it; they can handle it -- I say to myself. The problem is this is true. Over time the children, me, anyone can handle the suggestions of intimacy, but we should not want to. Protect your own sensitivity and rebuild it. Protect your children's sexual sensitivity. It is more valuable than you realize.
I've mentioned what we call our health and body curricula before. It has been a long break since we've covered any material in either the younger set or older. I say "set," but neither are more than a book which I read aloud and then use for discussion. Since Christmas we've been off-track on all of our family subjects, which are classes we do all together. They include Bible, Shakespeare, Health including Sex Education, Geography, and basic Science. With puberty not far off, I have to get more serious about getting these subjects off of the back burner.
I know that the way to significantly hem-round our natural sense of the mystery and loveliness of sexual intimacy is to hear and to speak what's true about it. Feeding my children the desensitizing imagery of TV while withholding the surpassing joy they'd find in what is true and far far better, sets them up for devastating failure.
featured image by karabadgak6