Friday, October 9, 2009

Dr. Phil: Another Irresponsible Talking Head

I’m on a forever media watch. We have lies about health care, propaganda of political agendas. I’m confused: is it the media’s job to relay information that is happening among the everyday people or is it to find little tidbits of material to sensationalize and broadcast over the air?

Dr. Phil’s latest episode Teen Sex Trends, has done an enormous disservice to people who are raising and caring for young adults in our society. Jezebel sums up the episode very well with an edited video clip. Dr. Phil's opening is infuriating, referencing “your” young daughters as these little stuffed animal toting powder puffs that are being destroyed by sex. He says he will “arm” and “prepare” you to “inoculate your daughter against getting caught up in this.” Ugh. He goes on misconstrue statistics to support his argument that “teen whoring” is every where.

His view, unfortunately, goes along with how a majority of our society approaches sexuality: that, in this case, young girls need to be “protected” from the evil ways of sex. Disease, disaster and dysfunction are is often the framework of how people think of sexuality and here is a prime example of it in the mainstream media.

Educating about sexuality is the answer here. Talking to kids and young adults is the answer. Making assumptions about why young people are participating in oral sex is not the answer. For some amazing commentary on this topic check out the Sex Positions blog on the National Sexuality Resource Center website (one of my fav sites!).

P.S. I'm excited for my first post here! I'm an outreach and education specialist here at PPRSR. You'll be hearing more from me soon.

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