Consider a day in the life of a typical American adult. The waking moments begin with the radio alarm reporting weather, traffic, and headlines. Breakfast is gulped down with a side of business news and features from the morning newspaper.
Then the commute to work, where the companion for the drive is a radio talk show host lathered into a political frenzy or a shock jock whose tongue releases a barrage of crude humor.
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Our culture bombards us with sexualized images — Facebook ads, magazines, YouTube clips, television, catalogues, Netflix, and just about every other possible medium. That’s a truth so obvious you can’t miss it. But here’s a not-so-obvious truth: not only does our culture show us sex; it also speaks to us about sex.
Right or wrong, our culture teaches us about sex. The media conducts sex education all the time.
Two thousand years ago, the apostle Paul warned, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things [for example, sexual immorality, impurity, and covetousness] the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:6). Apparently, the culture of Paul’s day was speaking deceitful words concerning sexual immorality, tantalizing and seductive words empty of truth, wisdom, and godliness.
What Does the Box Say?
What lies does our culture tell us about sex? I once conducted an informal experiment, watching ten random minutes of a television show popular with teens and young adults in order to see what it would tell me about sex.