Angela Odah: It’s trending, so what?

Recently, I stumbled on a show called “You Got Issues” on Spice TV (channel 192 on the DStv). Spice TV is a lifestyle channel that focuses on beauty, fashion and life style. Its target audience is teenagers, youths and women.

I was concerned with the content of the episode I stumbled on. The concept of the show is that youths send in questions on issues they need advise on and the host, and two guests, tries to give their views on the issue.

Most of the questions discussed centered around “threesomes” and “pornography”. I wondered if these questions were made up by the producers or real questions sent in by viewers. Never thought our youths had started such sexual experiments that are trending in western countries and for which shows like “Sex in the City” and “Swinger Wives” showcased.

One of the questions was from a girl who claimed her boyfriend had introduced her to the “beauty of threesomes” and she was so hooked that she wanted more of such experiences. Another question was from a guy who wanted advised on how he could get his girlfriend to accept his love for pornography!!! I was not satisfied with the quality of responses that were given. The host and one of the guests seemed to affirm the issues as the trend, and so no big deal! Only one of the guests seemed to be aware of the negative effects and consequences of the two issues. The producers of the show should have researched the issues and provided information on the effects. Even an entertainment channel has a role to educate its viewers and provide different perspectives to every issue.

Parents, if these are some of the issues that our youths are exposed to or even “trending” among some youths, then we have a hell of a problem in our hands!!!

We need to keep up with them get educated on these issues through research and find a way to talk through them with our teens. We live in a world that is a global village and since we can’t hide our babies in caves, we need to wake up, smell the coffee and act!!! To have such shows airing on daytime TV (parental guidance or not) is plain wrong but these are the times we live in.

Since I wasn’t satisfied with the answered given in the program, here is my opinion. On question of having threesomes: Girl you have sure got issues. In the first place, you have no business sleeping around with a guy who isn’t your husband. It’s not just strategic to do so.   If he loves you so much, let him put a ring on it!!! Then, as if donating your assets for free and agreeing to be used as a disposable sexual object wasn’t bad enough, you are also experimenting with what? Threesomes, na wa for you o! You are the liberated educated black sista but engage in self-destructive behavior in the name of empowerment? The hook up culture has many negative effects. While seemingly a “no strings attached” alternative to conventional relationships, they have devastating effects. These effects are physical and mental in nature. Physical risks include unwanted pregnancies, STI’s, and non-consensual sex. The psychosocial and mental problems include regret, depression, confused emotions, anxiety and stress.

Pornography has an adverse effect on boys and young men already at high risk for aggressive behavior. High risk factors include impulsivity, hostility to girls/ women and promiscuity. Very frequent use of porn is associated with higher rate of sexual aggression.

While pornography use may result in a short term high, it eventually results in feelings of emptiness, low self-esteem and deep loneliness. It ultimately creates emotional distance in relationships. Studies show that actual brain function changes in someone who has addiction and the changes are the same in all addiction: alcohol, drugs or pornography. Because pornography use can become actual addiction, viewers are not able to stop through their own will power. Pornography addicts will need to engage in the same difficult recovery process, as a drug addict has to go through.

It’s imperative our youths are sensitized to know that just because everyone is doing a particular thing doesn’t make it right. Have a passion to be different. Be a change agent.

Do things based on your conviction not just because everyone is doing it or

It’s the trend. If you must go against the norm or morals let it be based on an informed stance not just being rebellious! Get educated about whatever is trending. A trend could be positive or negative. Don’t just assume it’s the way to go. We live in a “Google” world there is no excuse not to know. Find out things for your self; get a second, third and fourth view. Then make an informed choice. The National Broadcasting Commission needs to be more vigilant and strengthen it’s monitoring of content of shows being aired by media practitioners.

Angela Odah writes from Abuja, Nigeria

 Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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