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Raping the Innocence of Generation Z

Kent Shaffer —  March 3, 2009

Generation Z is everyone between 2001 to 2021. They are who your children’s ministry will strive to reach for the next two decades.

While it is difficult to forecast how Generation Z will evolve, I think we have enough data to predict that these children will have their innocence robbed at earlier ages and engage in sexual activities earlier and more often than previous generations.

THE POWER OF LYRICS
The University of Pittsburgh surveyed ninth-grade students and discovered:

Exposure to lyrics describing degrading sex was one of the strongest associations with sexual activity.

Compared to those with the least exposure to lyrics describing degrading sex, those with the most exposure were more than twice as likely to have had sexual intercourse. Similarly, among those who had not had sexual intercourse, those in the highest third of exposure to lyrics describing degrading sex were nearly twice as likely to have progressed along a noncoital sexual continuum compared to those in the lowest third.

GENERATION Y STATS
Currently, the United States has 750,000 teenage pregnancies each year.
One in four (25%) U.S. teen girls have sexually transmitted infections.

GENERATION Z TODAY
Obviously, pop lyrics have digressed from the days of the Beatles (i.e., “I wanna hold your hand.”) to the era of Beyonce (i.e., “I know you want my body. Tonight I’ll be your naughty girl”).

Many of today’s Generation Z kids already listen to mainstream pop music. In fact, 44% of UK parents sing their babies pop songs and TV theme tunes rather than nursery rhymes. And if they do not listen to provocative pop music yet, media conglomerates will package it to them and tell them to listen.

Look at the some of music nominees for Nickelodeon’s 2009 Kids’ Choice Awards:

  • Beyonce
    “Now take it off while I watch you perform.” (Suga Mama)
  • Chris Brown
    “Let’s get and make love on Venus.” (Gimme Whatcha Got)
  • Alicia Keys
    “So maybe we can go to first base because I feel you.” (Teenage Love Affair)
  • Jesse McCartney
    “Spend the night with me and I’ll rock you.” (Rock You)
  • Katy Perry
    “I kissed a girl just to try it. I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it.” (I Kissed a Girl)
  • Pussycat Dolls
    “I can get off when you ain’t around.” (I Don’t Need a Man)
  • Rihanna
    “What you got up in them jeans? Put it on me, or get lonely.” (Lemme Get That)
  • Kid Rock
    “that little p**** l***** finger f***** h* a** c***.” (F*** U Blind)
  • T-Pain
    “She was s***** on me. And I was l***** on her.” (69)

Considering a large part of Nickelodeon’s audience is Generation Z, the future looks rough for these kids, particularly those who are already listening to Kid Rock, T-Pain, the Pussycat Dolls, and Katy Perry.

For Discussion:
- Where do you see hope for Generation Z?
- How can ministries best help Generation Z from becoming the probable statistics of teen pregnancies and STDs?