Sex, Guns, TV, and Classrooms

Tara Parker-Pope writes too quick a byte on sexual harassment in our schools. One of the comments states,

What boy HASN’T played “Tune in, Tokyo” with the girls in school? Sex is a beautiful, natural act and should be encouraged, not confined into a dark, shameful corner. Let’s work to produce an enlightened, healthy Generation Y.

Tara fires back,

FROM TPP — But the discussion here isn’t about sex. It’s about harassment. And “tune in tokyo” is about grabbing a girls breasts without permission and turning them like they are radio dials. The fact that you think this is just harmless boy behavior is really disgusting.

I think Tara and her commenter both miss the mark. Sex, harassment, violence, and bullying are interrelated in complex ways that we may never fully understand.

I rarely watch TV. Each time I do, however, I see two things in almost all shows: violence and sex. The violence is explicit, graphic, and acceptable. It is most effective when used by the good guys. The sex is usually implicit, seductive, and subliminal. When it is shown graphically, it is usually lustful not loveful.

What a recipe. Take kids aged 12-18, add hormones, and stir a toxic mix of acceptable violence and unacceptable sex. The result cannot be anything but harassment and bullying.

I think Tara’s commenter, for all his misunderstanding, may have stumbled on a better solution than Tara’s violent name calling. I suspect if sex was acceptable and violence was not, the results in our classrooms might be different.


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