Research already provides evidence on how the teens emulate the risky behaviors they have seen in the media. Should we coddle kids? Absolutely not, but this type of adult material should be given to them in a tactful manner and Episode stories do nothing of the sort. Episode nor the authors are obligated to do so, but the age limit is there for a reason outside marketability/profits. Y’all really think Episode could land all these deal with movie studios if they had a rated r app, with cartoon models that are seemly marketed to children. Early exposure to sexual content in the media has been shown to have a major impact on children’s values, attitudes and behaviors toward sex and relationships. Let’s be real it’s rare for an Episode story to truly reflect the type of moral or message parents want to give their children on these subjects. No one is conscious of or would want to admit the effects a movie, song or story has over them, but they do. It’s never “just a story”. Nevermind the fact that that statement is easily debunked and contradictory. One of the most common resources used in early childhood to instill messages and morals are stories, but that is another rant for another day.
Kids do aim for more mature stories because at those ages they’re sexual curious. They’re hitting puberty around 10-14. Puberty is physical, mental, emotional, and social. Research also heavily supports that children prefer to get information about sexuality from their parents. And that children who talk to their parents about sex are less likely to have early and unprotected sex. The information kids obtain from Episode about sex is…well look at any rant thread people pretty much spell it there.
And for those saying that teens understand abuse is bad. Yeah everyone knows abuse is bad, but again research and data does not collaborate with your claims. Because abuse isn’t as nuanced as “being hit or being yelled at is bad” abuse is a complex thing and abusers know all too well how to manipulate their victims. Young girls, in particular, have over-romanticized/ unrealistic ideals and expectations of love and romance due to their inexperience. Hence making them more susceptible to abuse. Young dating abuse is a huge problem.
Stats from loveisrespect.org
- Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
- One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
- One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average.
- Among female victims of intimate partner violence, 94% of those age 16-19 and 70% of those age 20-24 were victimized by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18.
- The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.
- Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.
- Eighty-one (81) percent of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue.
- Though 82% of parents feel confident that they could recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse, a majority of parents (58%) could not correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse.
And while teenage pregnancies are down. STD rates among teens have skyrocketed.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Service, “Adolescents ages 15-24 account for nearly half of the 20 million new cases of STDs each year. Today, two in five sexually active teen girls have had an STD that can cause infertility and even death.”
It’s always one extreme or the other I tend to see on the forums. We shouldn’t underestimate the intelligence of children. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t need proper guidance or limits.
And to clarify, I’m not demonizing sex. I am not arguing that abstinence and coddling is the way to go. I’m saying that our society does not allow kids to enjoy their youth. Society throws all this adult material at them but hardly does anything to prepare or explain to them the complexities of sex, healthy relationships, the warning signs of abuse, etc. Adults rather make up excuses, bring up their own lives, and blame the internet rather than actively being apart of a solution. We’re truly doing a disservice to our youth. While parents should be more involved in this aspect of raising their children the responsibility is mostly on them tbh they can’t always know the outside influences impacting their child hence why adults should idk act like adults in this instances.
Being an adult myself, especially one that will be working with this population in a few months. I can’t sit idly by and state that age doesn’t matter. That age limits don’t matter. I’m all for teens exploring their sexuality, but in a healthy way. There’s a happy medium between safety and freedom.