After glancing back at my findings, I came to several valuable conclusions:

  1. It is important to have talk about sex with your kids, but leave the rest (that you’re uncomfortable discussing, or don’t know much about) for the sex educators at school.
  2. Dan Savage is one of the many helpful sex educators that can be contacted in a time of need. Seek out people who can provide you with resources to make responsible sexual decisions.
  3. Get involved in Sex Week at your school. Help supply condoms, lube and other forms of contraception to students. Advocate for safe sex and encourage others to be responsible as well.
  4. Parents, fight for mandatory sex education in your child’s school. Know what type of sex ed your child will receive (abstinence-only or abstinence based) before piggybacking on concepts that he/she learns in school.
  5. Remember that everyone is unique. Some people identify as a gender that is inconsistent with the sex they were assigned at birth. While this poses conflict with sexual norms in society, it is up to the community to welcome him/her in with open arms, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity (as seen on Glee).
  6. Be aware of the bills passing in your state. Do you want to live in a state like Tennessee where there is a limit on your exposure to homosexuality? Or do you want your kids to know that their friends are raised by gay parents?
  7.  Use your judgment to monitor or even restrict your child’s exposure to the media, especially the Internet and television/movies.
  8. Do not try to combat your sexual urges by playing soccer.

How should our kids learn about sex?

Once again, according to US News Health, parents are trying to gain control of their children’s media access, to prevent them from exposure to negative images. Instead, parents are encouraged to step up and help children learn how to become responsible human beings (“Children, Sex, and the Media”).

According to statistics this past year, parents have not been very successful in monitoring the sexual responsibility of their children. The United States has the “highest rate of teen pregnancies in the developed world and 25 percent of American teenagers have a sexually transmitted disease” (“Children, Sex, and the Media”). Instead of turning to parents to answer sex questions, teens find their answers in the media. In order for parents to regain control and monitor their child’s sexual behavior, they must do the following: 1) Limit all screen media time to a maximum of two hours a day; 2) Get the TV and computer out of children’s bedrooms; and 3) Use sex in the media to do on-the-spot sexual education (“Children, Sex, and the Media”).

In my opinion, number 3 is most important because it allows for parental involvement, as opposed to passive aggressive behavior of turning off the television. Number 3 will help parents relate to their children and ease into the conversation of sex while there may never be a better time to bring it up.

In terms of proper, responsible media usage, US News also suggests that parents: 1) Ban the TV from the kids’ bedrooms; 2) Turn off the TV during dinner; 3) Ask your kids about their “media day”; 4) Set rules for your kids’ media consumption; and 5) Turn off your phone (Shute).

Most importantly, you have to be a role model for your children; however, I don’t think you need to set such strict rules surrounding media usage. Children in the next generation will learn how to adapt to their environment and will learn how they work best, whether it be in a noisy environment or in a quiet setting. Either way, these parental involvement suggestions are only meant to offer alternative ways to solve an overexposure to media. Most families should handle such issues on a case by case basis.

How would you handle this situation – if your child spend 6 hours a day watching television, on the internet, and on his/her phone?

 

 

Works Cited:

“Children, Sex, and the Media: 3 Ways for Parents to Gain Control.” US News. U.S.News & World Report, 01 Sept. 2010. Web. 16 Apr. 2012.

Shute, Nancy. “5 Ways to Make Kids’ Media Use Safe and Healthy.” US News. U.S.News & World Report, 20 Jan. 2010. Web. 20 Apr. 2012.

Glee “comes out” with a transgender character… thoughts?

According to Instinct Magazine, Glee “made waves and history by introducing its first transgender character” on the Tuesday night, April 17 (Higbee).  The transgender character, Unique, is an African-American student and performer, hoping to find her place as an outsider in the high school community (Higbee). Previously known as Wade, a shy student from a different high school, Unique stormed through the halls of McKinley High and sought out Kurt and Mercedes to help clarify his identity on-stage. While Kurt identifies as a man, he was still able to provide some insight on how to dress differently and flaunt it.

As a proud child of GLAAD, Glee took steps in the right direction to expose a controversial public figure on national television. With the help of faithful Glee fans, Unique’s appearance was received well and she will likely be returning for another episode in the near future.

Fortunately, this portrayal was done surprisingly well and I applaud Glee for making such a daring move. I hope that we will continue to see new characters of all sexual orientations and with various identities, to help expose the younger generation to our “uniqueness” at an early age – to essentially create a more tolerant society in the near future. Same goes for educating students; at an early age, students should learn that it is okay to be different.

What do you think? Is it appropriate to introduce a transgender character on a television show for young adults? Should transgender identity be covered in sex education?

 

 

Works Cited:

“Glee.” FOX. Web. 19 Apr. 2012.

Higbee, Jonathan. ‘Glee’ Welcomes Its First Trans Character (Video). 18 Apr. 2012. Web. 19 Apr. 2012.