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Reader Question:

I just bought a magazine targeted for my daughter’s age group but I am appalled at the articles in it. She’s only twelve and the sexual content is blatant. I really don’t want her to read this. Am I being too sensitive?

The sexual content marketed to tweeners and young adolescents in magazines is abundant, graphic and often encourages sexual activity. At a time when tweeners struggle to understand their sexual development and are undecided about sexual choices, the editors and writers of these magazines stimulate readers to act out their impulses and expose them to sexual messages prior to their emotional readiness.

For example, one magazine I picked up had an explicit article on how to French kiss—a step-by-step guide! Not something I want to teach my daughter! Another article instructed tweeners to keep secrets from their parents and seek sexual advice from friends!

As parents, we are simply doing our jobs when we screen print media and make decisions to allow or not allow it into our homes. I wish all parents were as “sensitive” as you. You need to know the messages given in popular magazines. Sit with your 12-year-old and ask if the content is helping her develop self-control or encouraging impulsivity. Help your daughter understand the culture’s obsession with sex and how it is used as a marketing tool to sell magazines. Discuss the clash of values and the biblical view of purity. Instruct her regularly on who she is in Christ – wonderfully made, created in His image, more valuable than the sparrows, etc.

Sexuality is a part of her beautiful make-up, not something to be exploited and used to make money. When it comes to magazine selection, suggest a Christian or wholesome alternative.

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