My local paper, The Attleboro Sun Chronicle posted a story today entitled, “Growing up in a porn culture.” The article is the first part of a two-part series precipitated by the rape of a 14-year old girl at a local middle school in Attleboro by a 15-year-old boy. The article cites a number of other incidents involving teen or preteen boys attacking girls.
The article reports:
“The pervasive nature of pornography, both in print and on the Internet, and sexually exploitive behavior on TV and in the movies, some say, are increasingly influencing adolescents – especially boys – to adopt casual or irresponsible attitudes toward the opposite sex.”
I am not in any way shape or form an expert, but I am an observer, and I take issue with this statement. The strongest influence on children, even through their teen years, is the family they grow up in. Not what they are taught–but what they see. If dad has an attitude problem dealing with mom, children pick that up. If dad generally respects women, the children pick that up. I am not condoning the porn culture we live in–it exists, but there are ways to combat it. First of all–put any computer children or teens have access to in an area where mom or dad can see what is on the screen. You don’t have to look over their shoulder, but the fact that you can should be enough to keep them somewhat in line. Secondly–as a parent, you are in charge of the video games they play in your house. They may play junk in other places, but you are in charge in your house. You are also in charge of what they watch on television in your house. You can’t control the world, but you can control the environment in your home.
Our society is not responsible for the rape of this young girl–a very disturbed young man is responsible for that. You can debate why he is disturbed or how he got disturbed, but he is guilty. This is not a childhood prank–this is an assault on a young woman, and the young man needs serious counseling and a serious attitude adjustment. If the counseling and attitude adjustment do not occur, he needs to be locked up for a very long time. I honestly do not know if there is hope for a 15-year old who is guilty of rape. We could get into a discussion about the impact a spiritual change can have on a person’s life, and I believe that would be the only answer, but barring that, society needs to be protected. I hope at least the 15-year old has been kicked out of school.