Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In The News: Revealing Photos Are Becoming Passe?

inthenewsTwo decades after a nude photo scandal helped cost a Miss America her title, Americans may be adopting a more ho-hum attitude toward people who bare it all for the cameras.

Some experts say the Internet and more explicit TV are fostering a more relaxed response by Americans to public displays of bare flesh, even if many people profess to be more conservative.

Take, for example, the muted reaction to nude photos of 18-year-old Vanessa Hudgens, the star of Walt Disney Co.’s squeaky clean “High School Musical” franchise,

One day after the photos surfaced on the Web last Thursday, Hudgens issued an apology and family friendly Walt Disney Co. said it would continue negotiating her appearance in the third installment of the hugely popular series, one of the most popular programs in U.S. cable TV history.

While some expressed outrage, many fans pledged support on her MySpace page …

… Some lashed out at her critics.

“Quit moaning and if you have any kind of decent filtering on the computer, kids aren’t going to see it,” wrote one poster on a media blog Web site …

… It’s a far cry from the scandal in 1984 when Vanessa Williams, the first black woman named as Miss America, resigned after nude photos surfaced of her and another female model.
“I do think that general attitudes about nudity are becoming more relaxed, but these changes take time, which is why there’s still mixed responses,” said Paul Levinson, communication and media professor at Fordham University.

“We as a society are finally growing up and it’s a healthy thing,” he said.

Sex and nudity are also more prevalent on television, especially cable stations. Last week’s opening episode of the HBO drama “Tell Me You Love Me,” contained at least half-a-dozen sex acts.

Sue Zeidler, Reuters

Analysis:

Two peculiar things about this story. First, there is no outrage being heard about the 18 year old’s sexual relationship with her boyfriend. While some are upset that she took a nude photo of herself that, without her consent, became public; no one is condemning her for taking nude photographs of herself for her boyfriend, or maintaining a sexual relationship with him. Such has become so commonplace in our time that it no longer even raises questions in the mind of most.

Second, is the fact that many equate our toleration of promiscuity and pornography as a sign we are now “growing up.” While such activities have long been classified as “adult”, to establish they are unsuitable for children, they have also been known to be the pursued most vigorously by the adolescents and delayed adolescents among us. In effect, the immature.

One warning for parents of young people who have an active presence on the internet. In the article, a trauma psychologist named Robert Thomas was quoted as saying that the shock threshold for young people is higher than for adults because baring one’s soul and flesh is so common on web sites such as Myspace. “The line is being blurred,” he said, “The distinction between what’s proper and what’s not is constantly changing.”

In contrast, Christians must keep themselves pure (cf. 2 Timothy 2:22, “Flee youthful lusts…”).