Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders What Does the Rise of Nudity on TV Say About Our Youth?

What Does the Rise of Nudity on TV Say About Our Youth?

What Does the Rise of Nudity on TV Say About Our Youth?

In 2013, The Discovery Channel launched a show with the title Naked and Afraid. It’s now in its fifth season. The following year VH1 launched Dating Naked. The Season Three premiere was on this summer.

What’s next…Bowling Naked?

Nudity has been a draw for audiences since before I was born, but now, much more commonplace. Many of you might recall an article I wrote on the subject in 2013, The Naked Truth. That previous TV season had seen a 407 percent increase of “blurred nudity” than the season prior.

Blurred nudity is exactly what these two shows are all about. In Naked and Afraid a pair of strangers try to survive together for 21 days with no clothes or supplies. Not very sexually provocative by anyone’s standards, especially the poor editor who has to add all this blurring frame by frame. Dating Naked, on the other hand, has flirting, caressing and plenty of sexual talk as they talk about each other’s body parts and sexual attraction.

It’s interesting to see people polarize on this subject. Some say, “What’s the big deal? It’s natural!” Others are asking corporate sponsors to reconsider their support of “bottom of the barrel programming.”

All today’s parents know is, it’s becoming a little more difficult to find family-friendly programming on the numerous screens available in our houses.

Common Sense Media calls Dating Naked “gimmicky,” gives it 0 out of 5 starts for positive messages and positive role models, and rates the show for age 16+.

Here’s what I find amusing. Common Sense Media also posts reviews, showing what parents say and what kids say. Parents say the show should be 18+. Kids are saying it should be 11+. Here’s the review from the 13-year-old user-name “Nicholasmcc” who reviewed it…I’m leaving the spelling intact:

“kids should be allowed to watch it when there 11 because it’s just adults dating, nothing that naked and it’s not like its porn.”

Today’s youth have a different barometer than young people in the past.

In other words: NicholasMcc’s perspective shouldn’t be taken lightly…because he might just be in the majority. Today’s entertainment media is so inundated with nudity that sadly, Dating Naked is no big deal in comparison.

Are you familiar with what’s available on Netflix lately? Do you know what they’re actually seeing on shows like Orange Is the New Black? American Horror Story? Penny Dreadful?

Don’t get me wrong—Netflix is just like the TV in your living room, it’s a source of all kinds of entertainment, good and bad. The difference is, parents haven’t quite become savvy yet about exactly what little Johnny is streaming in his bedroom at night. That’s why parents need to take time to step into their kids’ world. They can even use Netflix binging as a connection point with their kids.

Are you having these conversations? (Here’s what one of those conversations can look like.)

Are you taking steps to help your kids be responsible with their mobile devices?  

This article originally appeared here.

Jonathan McKee is the president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of 20 books including the brand new 52 Ways to Connect With Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; More Than Just the Talk; Sex Matters; The Guy’s Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan and his wife, Lori, and their three kids live in California.