Most people agree that child trafficking is a horrendous crime that should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, but if this is the popular opinion of society, why are child trafficking and child pornography so prevalent in the U.S. and all over the world?
I'm not going to blame everything on the American Mass Media. That's too easy and simply inaccurate. There are many wicked men and women out there desiring to sexually abuse children and who want to make money while doing so. That is ultimately the reason for child trafficking and child porn.
However, I do want to challenge everyone to stop and take a look at our culture as portrayed by television, movies, music and so on. There's an old saying...the storytellers define the culture. In our day, the storytellers are in Hollywood, TV networks, and record labels, so what culture have they defined for us? Here's a specific exercise you can try.
First, get your computer ready (or pen and paper if you're old school) and start taking notes on how young, teenage girls are portrayed in the most popular shows, especially the ones with a younger audience. How many sexual references are there involving minors? How blatant or graphic are the references? Now watch the top grossing movies aimed at teenage audiences. Again, how is sex portrayed? Now listen to the most popular music for teenagers (I'll give you a hint...it's hip hop) and take a note of how many sexual references there are involving young teenage girls. You won't have to listen for very long to get the idea.
Now comes the important part..imagine you're a young teenager who is just discovering what sexuality is really all about, and who has tons of questions rolling around inside your head. What kind of impression would all of this media give you about sex? As you continue to grow and fill your head with this stuff, what kind of sexual tastes do you think will develop? Here's an idea. There's a book called "The Sexualization of Childhood" that goes into graphic detail about how the porn industry has changed drastically over the years. Everyone's sexual desire now is aimed at women that can look like young teenage girls. Many of you reading probably know exactly what I'm talking about.
It's not just media, either. Take a look at toys being marketed to little girls, like the Bratz dolls and Strawberry shortcake. They're all wearing skimpy outfits that one would expect to see on a 20 something trying to get a man's attention. I can remember the Strawberry shortcake of the 80's. She was innocent and cute. If little girls learn to aspire to these twisted ideals, how will that affect their health and spiritual well being for the rest of their lives?
Furthermore, when men are encouraged to satisfy their sexual desires with younger and younger girls, why are we so shocked at the high amounts of child trafficking and child pornography the world over? The best thing we can do as child advocates is to speak out against the problem and to refuse putting our dollar towards products and media that support it. Remember, your dollar is a vote, and every vote counts.