Youth Culture Window
Wanna know what’s tougher than having “the talk” with your mom and dad? How about having “the talk” in front of millions of television viewers!
That’s exactly what MTV will do on their new show Sex…With Mom and Dad.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Talk
It’s a known fact that most parents are apprehensive when it comes to having “the talk” about sex with their children. It’s often an awkward moment on both sides of the generational gap, and for lots of reasons. Kids might be worried that their parents don’t really understand their highly sexual world, and parents may be worried that their kids know more than them! The end result is, too often, these fears prevent the conversation from ever taking place.
MTV hopes to change that.
At 7:00 p.m. EST on Monday, September 29th, MTV will launch their brand new show called Sex…With Mom and Dad. Each half-hour episode will feature a family that’s working through the tough issues of dating, sex, and relationships with renowned addiction and sex therapist Dr. Drew Pinsky. (After a quick commercial, you can view the show’s trailer here.)
The 3-Part Prescription
Each episode is broken down into three segments. First, Dr. Drew will meet the family in a neutral setting so he can get a feel for the problem, and the personalities involved in it. Subjects ranging from safe sex practices to homosexuality to “manwhores” and much more will be fair game.
The second segment of each show will center on sex-related activities that the parent(s) and the child must do together. A boy might have to drive his mom around town on “The Bonk Tour” showing her all the places he’s had sex, or a young girl might have to go condom shopping with her dad. One teenager whose mom is worried he doesn’t choose “quality women” will be sent on “A Real ‘Blind’ Date” where he will spend time with several girls, while blindfolded, forcing him to pick the girl before he sees her.
Finally, the family reconvenes with Dr. Drew to discuss the success or failure of the assignments and whether or not the family has agreed upon a solution for the problem. The hope is that barriers between parents and children will be broken down, thus improving the relationship and paving the way for future conversations on the touchy subject.
MTV believes “that if families can talk about sex, they can talk about anything.” Their website promises a show that is “shockingly frank, upbeat, and funny.” MTV’s not taking any chances on the “shockingly frank” part, so they’re giving the show a strong dose of Dr. Drew.
Dr. Drew Pinsky is a board-certified doctor who specializes in addiction therapy. Though he is highly educated and has authored several medical books, he is best known for hosting the late night radio show, Loveline, which airs on rock stations and adult talk stations around the country five nights a week.
He and Ted Stryker host the show together, but celebrities like Adam Carolla and Lindsay Lohan occasionally drop in or call in to help out. The show is very sexual and incredibly graphic in nature. These archives of the radio show reveal that it’s often downright filthy, as well.
VH1 has also highlighted the work of Dr. Drew with young TV viewers. In January of 2008, they aired Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew, a reality show that centers on Pinsky’s efforts to help celebs get over their addictions. Dr. Drew also makes frequent appearances on MSNBC and The Tyra Banks Show.
What To Expect
Call me skeptical, but I have serious doubts that MTV’s motives for the show are to genuinely help young people in their struggle with sex. The show’s purpose probably has a lot more to do with ratings than sexual purity. (If they really wanted to help kids, they would make major changes in their offensive programming, eliminating the controversial content.)
Plenty of our teenagers will watch the show, no doubt. What can we do to help them navigate the turbulence of today’s hyper-sexual culture?
- Don’t let MTV beat you to the punch. You’re armed with God’s Word which includes ample instruction on sex, love, and relationships. Use it! Granted, sexuality is often a tough subject to cover with teenagers, but it’s a necessary one. Be prayerful, disciplined, and creative in your teaching on sex. If you need a little help on the subject, check out a couple of freebies from TheSource4YM.com (like this one and this one).
- Encourage parents to have “the talk” with their kids…on a routine basis. That’s right, I mean more than once! MTV knows that one episode won’t capture an audience, so we shouldn’t expect one talk to do the trick, especially when our kids are being bombarded with more sexual messages than ever before. When it comes to sex, parents are crucial. Nothing makes an impact like a parent who’s committed to the ongoing conversation. Again, if they need a little help, TheSource4YM.com is ready to lend a hand with some of our Parent Seminars.
Sexuality is one of the most important battles kids face today. Let’s make sure they have access to us and godly counsel when they face it.
David R. Smith
is a 15-year youth ministry veteran who helps youth
workers and parents through his writing, training, and speaking. David specializes in sharing the
gospel, and equipping others do the same. He co-authored his first book this year,
Ministry By Teenagers
. David provides free
resources to anyone who works with teenagers on his website, DavidRSmith.org
David resides with his wife and son in Tampa, Florida.
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