“Is It OK to Watch Shows with Occasional Nudity and Sex?”

“Is It OK to Watch Shows with Occasional Nudity and Sex?”

In contrast to the media-scape we grew up in where nudity in shows means an “R” rating, shows on Netflix and other popular online content platforms include sex scenes and occasional nudity. How much nudity is your child exposed to and how do you want to handle this?

By Focus on the Family Singapore | 7 January 2021

The Tween Years (Ages 10-12)

The Teen Years (Ages 13-15)

Establishing healthy communication between parent and child is key. Do you encourage your kid to come talk to you about anything they see on their screens? Have you established yourself as a safe place that they can approach without worrying that you will scold or berate them and take away their devices?

As awkward as it may be, being upfront with your tween or young teen about shows or content that is inappropriate for them and why is the best preparation you can make as a parent today.

According to local Film Classification Guidelines, shows with a G rating do not depict any nudity. At a PG or PG-13 rating, depictions of rear or side profile nudity in a non-sexual context may be presented. Some films depict nudity because it is a historical or medical film in which the producer finds it a necessary part of telling the story. There are also films which have nudity edited out to allow younger audiences to enjoy them.

However, unlike at the cinemas where viewers can be checked for age restrictions, no one is checking your child’s age before they choose a show on Netflix, YouTube and other providers that bring content directly to your home. In fact, as your child grows into a teenager, he or she is probably having a lot more unsupervised screen time. So make it a point to notice what they watch and do your own research on them. Learn about film classifications and teach them media discernment.

Continue to revisit boundaries and values your family holds on to. Avoid using fear as a deterrent. Instead, always provide the Why behind the What, for example, talk to them about modesty, explaining that their bodies are precious and private, so they do not share it with anyone freely. Similarly, it is not right for us to see the nakedness of others.

You can also teach them to check their own motives by asking themselves: Why do I want to watch this show? How do these scenes make me feel? Do I want to be watching this with my friends? Why do I feel this way? 

Help them connect their responses with their values so that when they do face tricky situations in life, they can lean on their convictions to guide their actions.

Finally, teach them to respond fast when they are in uncomfortable situations: When a scene comes on that falls outside of what they should view, turn it off immediately or walk away.

Emerging Years (Ages 16-19)

Your teen is now older and mature enough to understand a lot more. Treat their opinions with respect. You can continue to influence their choices by helping them reflect and process issues at a deeper level.

On media consumption, engage your teen on the broader issues, for examples, talk to your teen about the porn industry and how its prevalence and acceptance have changed the restrictions on nudity and sex on free-to-air and other content providers. Get them thinking about whether this is good and why this change happened, and help them understand supply versus demand to recognise how our consumption of certain programmes drives their supply.

If your teen has a boyfriend or girlfriend, help them think about what programmes they are comfortable watching together. Be straightforward enough to ask how they would feel if the show has nudity or a sex scene.

You can also have conversations with your teen on respectful and consensual physical touch, dressing appropriately and sexting to help your teen think about how one’s media consumption could shape our attitudes and values, and in turn affect our behaviour.

In our highly digitalised world, accessing sexually explicit and inappropriate content takes but a few casual clicks. These critical conversations will help your teen develop an inner compass to navigate the many media choices available.

© 2021 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.

 

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