Need for media literacy is heard since the media often gives us what they want us to believe and do. We need the tools to think critically on what is presented, understand how the messages shape our culture and society, recognize the bias, spin, lies, omissions and evaluate the messages according to our beliefs and values and what we know to be true.
An article in the Catholic Peace Weekly on sex
education and the way the media presents sex requires Christians to
discern and make proper judgements on what they see and hear.
Discernment is a big order and necessary for a life well lived.
Philippians 4:6 gives us a good starting point: "fill your minds with
everything that is true, everything that is noble, everything that is
good and pure, everything that we love and honor,and everything that can
be thought virtuous or worthy of praise."
introduces us to a young woman, a nurse and health educator. Her
words give the readers her impressions after a training course she took on
am a nurse and a health teacher. I am
teaching sex education programs and find it difficult. In nursing
college I learned all about anatomy, genitals and the sexually generated
diseases but little about the understanding of sexuality in society and
culture, making me unprepared to teach a course in sexuality. I did take
a course in
media literacy and sex education which opened my eyes and gave me a lot
of confidence in what I was meant to teach.
realized how blind I was before taking the course. When I was a
teenager and listening to pop music and musical videos I never realized
what was happening to me. Why was I so ignorant? I was
brainwashed to see sex as a game and once this began to sink in I could
see it clearly in the media. I was brought up and fed this understanding
of sex. I learned in middle school what it meant to be sexy watching
dancing in musical videos mimicking the sexual act, although as a middle
school student it was only vague.
Students that I am now teaching are exposed to what I grew up with. There is a need for me
to examine myself and the society in which these young people have to
live. I need a correct understanding of sex, the words, thoughts and actions to match what I am
trying to convey.
During my college years
I was free in the way I lived my sex life with my boy friends. I enjoyed it—life
and responsibility never entered in. I took contraceptive medicine; I
will not be pregnant. Most of my girl friends had no problem with this
way of life.They weren't frivolous but living a proper social life:
this is what is to be done, there was no big worries on the way we were
living. During the training program at the beginning I took issue with
much that was said, sex is a personal matter, a person's taste, nothing was wrong with
the way I lived was my strong feeling.
way thru the course my thinking changed. Each one of the boy friends left
with mutual scars from our encounter. I began to see society as
going in the wrong direction. I began to feel guilty and saw a need to
recover a sense of responsibility. I began to see the need for a
'butterfly effect' in the way I was to teach.
the training I considered the royal road to sex education was
contraception. We don't talk about contraception, the reason why we have
children in their teens pregnant and abortion—contraception is a simple solution.
have forgotten the place of love, creation of life,
responsibility in sexuality. When I reflect on the past, I am
embarrassed at my ignorance. As an educator with a new moral sense I am
ready to explain the meaning of sex to the young people who have been
exposed to a wrongheaded cultural understanding of sex and this came
from a course in media literacy.