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Sex on Television, iPad and Smart Phone

By Barrington H. Brennen, 2000

Update April 10, 2013. 2022



Once again I want to remind parents about the effects of television and other digital devices on the sexual development of their children.  Several years ago I shared on this subject and I will present a few excerpts from that article.  

Since I wrote that article on television and sex, more gadgets have been developed by which children and accessing images, games and videos that are impacting their little lives negatively.  Now there is the iPad, iPhone, smart phones, Kindle, Surface, and much more.  Therefore, when I use the word “television” in this article I am referring to all of these gadgets.   

These little gadgets are in the hands of little one who are mastering the skill to maneuver difficult menus to get what they want.  I see little children 2 to 5 years old who are walking around while they navigate these little gadgets. While on one hand it is great to see our little ones developing skills that are needed to navigate this digital world we live in.  On the other hand the accessibility to negative information is just at the slide of a figure to on a screen.  Unless these gadgets are being monitored by adults, our children are being introduced to hours of sensitive, action-packed, and often sexually suggestive information.

“Television is perhaps the most powerful force today that’s negatively affecting the minds and future of our children. It is feeding their minds with sexual images and ideas that leave them mentally and emotionally crippled. Our little children are spending too much time watching the glass tube. In a recent survey I conducted, I discovered that on an average, a Bahamian child watches at least 3.8 hours of television a day, more than 30 hours a week, and more than 105 hours a month. That is a total of 1280 hours of television a year. These are certainly modest figures, for there are a great number of children that watch television from the time they get home from school until they fall asleep at night. Still other children say that they "cannot sleep unless the television in on." This would mean that in many cases our Bahamian children are watching up to 6 to 8 hours of television a day, totaling to about 3000 hours of television viewing a year.

How do these figures compare to other social and family activities of the child’s world? A typical Bahamian child who watches television a lot gets an average of 4 to 7 hours of sleep per night. This is not enough sleep. For normal healthy growth, children between the ages of 5 and 12 should get between 9 and 13 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep leaves our little children irritable, troublesome, edgy and difficult to deal with while in school. Our Bahamian children spend about 3 to 4 hours a week eating; 30 hours a week in the class room with the teacher, and only 1 to 2 hours a week in total one-to-one communication and personal interaction with their parents. To compare these figures, our children are watching up to 3,000 hours of television a year and are spending only less than 100 hours per year in personal interaction with their parents. This is pathetic. Now we can see why our children are so troublesome.


The most talked about and demonstrated subject on television is sex. It is even on the "good" shows that our children watch. It is in the language of the dramas, cartoons, comedies, soap operas, etc. When our children watch these pictures every day or week, they are fed information prematurely that leave them stimulated, excited and inquisitive. A daily dosage of these programs is damaging to the mental and sexual development of our children. These programs demonstrate adolescent children (preteen and teenagers) involved in romantic relationships on each show. The teenagers kiss, caress and talk a lot about relationship issues. The little child’s unconscious mind cannot distinguish between acting and the real world.


Therefore, a daily dosage of these shows gives him the impression that what he sees on the show is for real. Secondly, everybody laughs at the foolish gestures, sly remarks, and suggestive sexual material. Thus, we become desensitized to the wrongness of early kissing, petting and premature romantic relationships. Our little girls and boys are learning that it is all right for a 10-year-old to kiss. Our teenagers learn that it is normal to have multiple relationships and be sexually involved. By the time our children reach the age of 18, they would have watched at least 93,000 scenes of suggestive sexual activity on television. Too many of our little children sit and watch the deep heavy breathing, long intense kissing, and passionate clothes shedding. Although they may not see the actual sexual act, they see enough to leave a permanent impression on their mind of what sex is all about. Our children get a daily dosage of this kind of activity much too early in life.



Who is the "boss " in your family? Is it mom and dad, the children, or the television/iPad/Smart Phone? Do you know what your children are watching or playing? Do you have time limits for television viewing? Do you sit with your children when they watch a movie or play a game? Do you use television to baby sit your growing child? Parents must deal with these questions and more to make a change in the way their children are being raised and influenced by the television.

Parents, it is now time that you turn off the television (gadgets) and proclaim a television/gadget black-out week or month in your home. Remember that the lack of television will not make your children illiterate. However, too much television certainly will.

Take the television out of your child’s bedroom. If you have more than two televisions in the house, sell them and put the money toward the child’s school fee. Limit your child’s television viewing to no more than one hour per session. Select lots of nature pictures that portray natural animal life. Do not use television as a reward or punishment. Encourage your child to spend her free time in activities such as sports, hobbies, playing with friends, or reading rather than sitting in front of the tube.

Take a piece of paper and write down (or print out) the following message then stick it on your television or on the iPad screen: 


Unwise use of this television/gadget may be hazardous to your mental, physical, social, sexual and spiritual health.
It may cause fatigue, anxiety,
undue stress, laziness, and
premature sexual appetite.



Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist.  Send your questions or comments to question@soencouragement.org or call 242 -327-1980 or 242-477-4002 (WhatsApp) or Visit www.soencouragement.org.org


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April 26, 2000, TAGnet/NetAserve / Network Solutions

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