Living America, Abroad

Not so long ago, in one of my women and gender studies classes, a student brought up the statistic that “the average age a boy first views pornography is now 11.” (Colvin) This led us into the age old discussion, ‘what impact is porn having on society?’ Considering how young and impressionable children are at that age, it’s fair to say a lot. So why is porn particularly harmful to people of this age? “the danger for these boys is that at 11 they haven’t had any other sexual experiences, so when they see these images they become the boy’s baseline, their “normal” for what sex looks like, for what it is and what it should be.” (Colvin)51+uVoy7zKL

This is no way is an indication of my stance on porn, and who should be watching it. but instead reminds me of how influential the media can be and which people are being most strongly effected by it. Mirrlees’ book Global Entertainment Media, talks about the United States’ export of television to neo-colonialist countries. Essentially American networks would produce TV shows that would be sold and first run in America, and then re-sold to non-domestic networks at a fraction of the price. This incentivised foreign cable companies to buy TV programming from the United States instead of domestically producing it. This one-way flow of programming significantly cut down the amount of local television shows being aired.

Schiller supported this venture because he believed

“both US citizens and the citizens of postcolonial states were under-served by the commercial media model, and that an informed and critical thinking citizenry was both a prerequisite for a functioning democracy and a force of progressive change in all societies. He argued that a public broadcasting model organized to support values of national education, information, and citizenship – as opposed to mass consumerism- would benefit US and non-US citizens alike.” (Mirrlees, 27)

But then in a situation like this, what is the outcome? Yes, there are adults that can differentiate between the ‘propaganda’ filtering in from the United states, but can children aged 11 know the difference too?

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This leads me to ask, what impact, does programmed American television have on the average child viewing it non-domestically? Does it steer them towards a capital, consumer driven ideology? Or perhaps push them towards a lifestyle that isn’t conducive for the countries the do live in, where we live and experience America, abroad?

Colvin, Claire. “Is Porn Replacing Sex?” Power to Change Is Porn Replacing Sex Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.

Mirrlees, Tanner. Global Entertainment Media: Between Cultural Imperialism and Cultural Globalization. New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.

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