Adrienne considers moving to Europe on a regular basis. Why? Because there is sex in the media there. She doesn’t like the weird issues Americans have around sex, and she thinks Europeans’ more “blasé” approach is healthier.
“Sex is a normal part of adult life, and that’s kind of the attitude in Europe,” she said.
Adrienne is the mother is two-year-old Aria, and she doesn’t shield her daughter’s eyes from images of women’s naked breasts, like many other parents would.
“It seems like a weird crusade to protect kids from seeing sex,” she said, “since that’s how they got here in the first place.”
The media content Adrienne definitely will try to protect Aria from is excessive violence. It bothers her that characters in children’s movies and even cartoons are killed or maimed on a regular basis.
Adrienne hopes that Aria is developing a healthy understanding of violence and aggression, in part because her father is a martial artist. But she still struggles with the messages she knows her daughter sees in the media.
“It’s so weird and hypocritical for us to tell them not to hit each other,” she said, “and then it’s [supposed to be] funny when they see it on TV. “
She plans to expose Aria to specific types of media content gradually, as she thinks her daughter is ready to think critically and talk about what she’s seeing. Adrienne said she’ll know it’s time for something new when Aria asks questions about it, but she doesn’t know at what age to expect that.
“I don’t know what those intervals are yet,” she said, “because I haven’t met her in the future.”
Adrienne does not agree with the approach many parents have, which is to prevent children from seeing sexual content altogether.
“If you think that you can keep sex away from your child, you are craaaazy,” she said. “They will find it. It will find them.”
Adrienne said she would rather give her daughter good, healthy information about sex than have her learn wrong things from peers or some media messages. She added that her own father let her watch movies with sexual content at a young age, but the real problem was that she felt like she couldn’t discuss sex with him. Adrienne very much wishes he had considered what the messages were in those movies, and had a conversation with her about them at the time.
“We did NOT talk about it,” she said, “and that right there is the problem.”