BY TASHA LUNNY
Generation Y is too over-sexed for its own good.
The way sex is being portrayed in the media is having a direct effect on the millennial generation. Television shows such as 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, have turned the serious issue of teen pregnancy into a way to gain fame.
S & M, sexual role-playing, and other private, sexual acts have become sensationalized in pop-culture through music, film and erotic novels, such as 50 Shades of Grey.
Things that used to be considered downright inappropriate now go unnoticed. The 1953 movie release of From Here to Eternity includes a famous scene where Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr kiss passionately in the sand, wearing only bathing suits, as the surf rolls over them. What is now considered one of the most romantic movie scenes in history was a major cause for controversy in 1953, when it was branded too provocative.
In contrast to new media today, the public barely flinches when 21-year-old Miley Cyrus swings naked on a wrecking ball and gets hot and heavy with construction supplies in her new music video. This is considered the norm.
Times have definitely changed. Sex in the media has hit an all-time high, and the truth is generation Y has been overloaded. According to Sexuality, Contraception and the Media, an article published Aug. 30, 2010 by the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, studies have shown that exposure to sexual content in the media can double the risk of early adolescent sex. Not only is our generation having sex younger, but long-term relationships are becoming a thing of the past. According to Statistics Canada, in 2005, 36 per cent of 18- to 19-year-olds admitted to having multiple partners in one year.
We are also the generation that leads the new digital world. Social media is a pathway for everyone to be in contact 24-7. A Pediatrics journal survey showed that 20 per cent of the American teens and young adults asked admitted to having sent or posted nude pictures or videos of themselves. This has sadly become a trend that often has caused cyber bullying. This past year the media has written about the deaths of several Canadian teens who committed suicide due to these types of situations.
Though the media is sexing up TV, it can also be a good avenue for sexual education. The millennial generation might be having sex at a young age, and with multiple partners, but the teen pregnancy rate has actually fallen and, according to Statistics Canada, 80 per cent of 15- to19-year-olds reported using condoms.
From Madonna’s scandalous 1984 performance of Like a Virgin, which ended with her hip thrusting the stage in a wedding dress, to the age of social media where celebrities commonly post half-naked photographs to Twitter, our generation has become desensitized to sex. It’s clear that the age-old cliché “sex sells” is true, but at what price are we willing to buy it? I think the answer to that question is at the expense of the next generation.