Gossip Girl, The Secret Life, and 90210 unfortunately influence high school students

Normal 0 0 1 445 2538 21 5 3116 11.1282 0 0 0 Dressed in nothing but a sheer black slip of lingerie, Blair Waldorf nestles in the soft light of a dozen candles. She’s waiting for her boyfriend, Nate Archibald, to show up, and then she’s going to lose her virginity to him, something she’s been planning for a long time. Scenes like this are among the reasons that Gossip Girl has previously been rated worst of the week by the Parents Television Council, an organization of more than 1 million extremely concerned parents dedicated to protecting their kids from sex, drugs,and alcohol on television. Gossip Girl, 90210, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager are all popular teen dramas with teenage girls as their main characters and target audience. Sex, drugs, and alcohol make frequent appearances on all three (sex shows up an almost unbearable amount in Secret Life ). Are these shows really due causes for parents to be concerned, or are teenagers just a lot more mature than their parents want to think? “You’re exposed to all that stuff in school anyway, so it doesn’t really matter,”sophomore Hayley Johnson said.” Sophomore Molly Isebrands expressed a similar view, one that seemed to be shared by many students. “I don’t think any ofit’s a big deal,” Isebrands said. Students did, however, admit that television shows such as those listed above have a definite influence on how some Ames High students act, most likely one of the major reasons parents are nervous about what’s showing on TV. People “trying to be dramatic” and“being cliquey” were just some of the examples given. Some students criticized The Secret Life of the American Teenager , an ABC family television show that follows the life ofAmy, a band geek who gets pregnant at band camp, for sending a misleadingmessage about teen pregnancy. “They make [teen pregnancy] look ok because the parents are helping her the whole time,” freshman Abby Nash said. Freshman Emily Hall agreed, and said, “That’s not how it goes normally, your parents would flip.” The Parents Television Council rates almost all Disney Channel shows as being acceptable for teenagers to watch. Disney Channel shows, however, are watched mainly in the elementary and middle school age group and most Ames High students found the idea of television being limited to The Suite Life of Zach and Cody offensive and ridiculous. “They should try watching it, and see how we feel,” sophomore Kezia Knight said. Hall opposed the idea for a different reason. “I don’t think kids should be watching Disney Channel,” Hall said. “With all the princess shows, it makes kids feel like they’re going to be princesses too, but they’re really not.” Whether their parents approve or not, most students watch shows like Gossip Girl for pure entertainment- the lives of fabulously wealthy teens living in the Upper East Side provide unparalleled scandal and drama. For the most part, they can more than handle what their parents have labeled as inappropriate, and in the words of sophomore Katie Kokemiller, “You gotta see everything to know what everything is.”