Written by PTC | Published December 6, 2021
A recent research report found that nearly 1 in 7 children aged 9-12 shared their own nude photos last year, almost triple the number from just one year earlier.
The report also found a sharp increase in the number of children – again aged 9-12 – who admitted that they’d seen non-consensually re-shared nudes of others, and they were more likely to think sharing nudes is normal among kids their age.
What on earth could possibly cause such a huge one-year spike, especially in such outrageously dangerous conduct and beliefs? Parents aren’t suddenly encouraging their children to share nude photos of themselves, so what has changed so abruptly?
I believe there are two root-causes for this sudden change.
The first is related to the pandemic. Children were thrust in front of computer screens, and their screen time reached levels never before seen.
The second – and I believe the far bigger culprit – is that the entertainment programming children are consuming is actively encouraging them to engage in, and to approve of, such conduct.
The tragic increase in what children are doing and thinking coincides with the production and distribution of specific Netflix, Hulu and AT&T/HBO programming that the PTC has been condemning.
You may recall that just over a year ago, the PTC led a national campaignagainst the Netflix film “Cuties” for sexualizing 11-year-old girls – including a scene in the film where the lead character pulls down her pants, snaps a picture of her genital area and uploads it to social media.
Then Disney-owned Hulu released its TV program called “A Teacher,” which normalizes sexual relationships between teachers and schoolchildren; and “PEN15,” which depicts an underage character masturbating in front of a mirror.
AT&T/HBO is targeting kids with “Euphoria” which depicts sexual relations between a teen and an adult.
And by now you’re well-aware of our crusade against the Netflix program “Big Mouth.” The PTC’s recent research report entitled “The Big Problem with Big Mouth” disclosed a 12- or 13-year-old boy offering to perform a sex act on his own father, as well as multiple scenes with full-frontal nudity of children in sexualized situations.
So… back to my original question… why are we seeing such a dramatic increase in sexualized behavior by and among children?
Because we are simultaneously seeing a dramatic increase in sexualized behavior on-screen, particularly in entertainment marketed to and consumed by children.
The greatest blame lays squarely at the feet of those in the entertainment industry who have made a practice of sexualizing children, and who are normalizing the sexual exploitation of children.
I’m angry about this, as I know you are. And in a few years, these children will be angry, too. In a few years, they are going to look back on their lost childhood. On their lost innocence. And they are going to ask: “Why didn’t anyone intervene to protect me?” “Where were the adults when this was happening to me?” “Why was I denied my childhood?”
This is an epidemic…And we need to put a stop to it, now.
We can turn the tide, but to do so, we need to grow our army of concerned parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to stand shoulder-to-shoulder to fight back against the multi-billion dollar entertainment industry. We need more voices speaking out.
Will you please share this message with friends, family members, neighbors, colleagues – anyone and everyone you know who shares your concerns about America’s children – and ask them to join you in this fight?
Together we can make a difference. And we MUST make a difference.
Because our children are watching.