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Not that Innocent: Fighting for the Souls of our Children

By Kelly McElveen
CBN News Producer - Many have argued that America lost its innocence in the 1960's. But in the 21st Century there is a growing sense that America's children have become the latest victims in a revolution of relativism.

Every generation has its struggles, but immoral messages and pressures seem to target today's youth more than ever.

“Seems like you can get your hands on alcohol and drugs and everything a lot easier than my parents did,” one boy said.

"There's nothing positive. It's all about how they fulfill their pleasure and do what they want,” one teen-ager said.

Feel good for the moment... pleasure now… instant gratification… anyway you word it, that's the theme of America's youth.

“One of my friends who is only 16 skips class to go have sex with her boyfriend,” said one girl.

“I think kids today do those kind of things because they don't know any other way and it makes them feel good for that moment,” said one young adult.

Americans used to work together to help raise kids, but now parents have to fight on their own, with all their might, against the immoral messages that bombard their children from every side.

“We are finding it a harder time to transmit our values to our kids than our parents did,” said Dr. Dana Mack, author of Assault on Parenthood. “It's an uphill battle to raise kids because everything out there is a threat to us. It's a threat to the values we want to transmit to our kids.”

The assault comes from all sides: advertising, television, the Internet, peers. Childhood innocence is disappearing and parents are struggling to keep decency a part of their family. But it's not easy as they face the force of the media and its damaging influence.

“It wasn't so long ago that we had an idea as a culture as a society that there were certain things you didn't talk about in front of kids,” said Michael Medved, author of Saving Childhood.

But times have changed. Just flip on the TV and see a world where sexual deviance, violence, and betrayal is all the talk and teenagers having sex is the norm. Acts of violence are glorified entertainment and Bible verses become a mockery.

Pop star Britney Spears is now the role model for little girls even as she proclaims that she’s “not that innocent.” And that’s what these young girls want to hear.

“She's a good role model,” said one fan. “She's the best. She's awesome,” another girl said. A third fan exclaimed, “I love her clothes. You go girl!”

And while girls want to be Britney, parents are struggling to keep them little girls.

“The fact that children become pregnant, the fact that children have venereal disease, the fact that children are shooting children, the fact children are raping children, speaks very clearly to the change in the perception of a child,” said Judith Reisman, author of Kinsey Crimes and Consequences and president of the Institute for Media Education.

Innocence is lost as children deal with very adult issues, ones they see on the television every night. A new study shows that two-thirds of all television programs contain sexual content. That number has risen from half just two years ago. With children spending about 1500 hours a year watching television, kids spend more time with the TV than their parents.

“Do you really want to give up your children, that you have raised and sacrificed everything for and say ‘Here you are Fox network, here you are CBS, here's our children for you?’" Medved asked.

Mack believes the message portrayed by the sexual content on TV is especially damaging. “One particular message is that sex has very, very, little to do, maybe it has something to do with fondness or affection or even love, but it has very little to do with commitment.”

And that is a message teens seem to be getting. Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in this age group as they have never been before. Although more teens say they are virgins, more teens also say they are having oral sex and to them, that doesn't count.

“A lot of people don't consider that having sex. So they still say they're virgin but they will do that,” said one girl.

“You become more comfortable talking about it,” another teen said. “Once it's known, then you can act that way, you know you don't have to have like a facade anymore in front of your parents, cuz they already know that you're doing this. And so you can act however you want.”

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