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Austin Cline

Teen Nudity, Child Pornography, and Sexuality

By September 27, 2006

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That America and European nations have different attitudes towards sex and especially teen sexuality is widely known. Sometimes, though, those differences come out so starkly and strongly that they can still surprise. Bravo is a teen magazine published in Germany which contains not just nudity, but photos of nude teens - boys and girls. Imagine if someone tried to publish this in America.
It's Bravo, the most popular teenage magazine in Germany and one of the most widely read general-interest youth publications in Europe. Target reader age: 10 and up.

Sandra's parents gave permission for her to pose nude. Her spread comes in the same issue as a free sheet of fake tattoos, a feature about Harry Potter, and an exclusive report on the German boy band currently making girls swoon.

Bravo's editors say the full-frontal pictures are intended not to be lewd, but to be instructive and reassuring to teenagers just learning about the birds and the bees.

Source: The Charlotte Observer

The images aren't intended to be salacious or pornographic; instead, they are intended to help teens feel more comfortable about and with their bodies. They accompany a regular column by "Dr. Sommer," which answers teens' questions about sex, sexuality, and their personal lives.

"I am often asked if it's even necessary. People think our society is very sexualized, and naked bodies and sex are everywhere, and young people should know everything. But they don't know anything sometimes." [said Eveline von Arx, who has been writing the Dr. Sommer column for three years]

Each weekly issue of Bravo now features photos of two nude teenagers - male and female, generally between the ages of 16 and 20. The feature is called "That's Me," and the pictured teenagers talk about their bodies and their experiences with love and sex.

You can bet that conservative evangelical Christians would complain that such features only "encourage" sexual behavior, but it's fact that teen pregnancy in Europe and Germany is much lower than in America.

[Bravo's deputy editor-in-chief, Alex] Gernandt points to Germany's lower teenage pregnancy rate as proof of which approach is better.

About 85 out of 1,000 U.S. young people ages 15 to 19 become pregnant, compared with 16 out of every 1,000 in Germany.

"We are more liberated," he says. "We try to deal with (sex) as something normal."

In Europe, adults have come to terms with the fact that teens will have sex so efforts are invested more into making sure that sexual behavior is conducted wisely, safely, and responsibly. Adults in America resist this and deny that sexual behavior among teens is inevitable. I suppose I should use the term "adult" here loosely, since it's probably a sign of adulthood that one is able to accept what reality is and is able to deal with reality rather than their own wishful thinking.

 

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Comments
Todd(1)

i grew up an American in Germany, from ages 9 to 18 (84 to 94). Their attitudes towards sex/nudity, substances and socioeconomics are far advanced of our own. The have some issues with free speech and individualism, but overall they were doing pretty well. i watched the wall fall and the economy grow.

Of course it is easier to have great social programs when your defense is provided by another country. But that’s another topic. The point is….

Liberal attitudes allow people to learn for themselves and think for themselves. When they can do that, they tend to make better choices. If having legalized prostitution reduces spread of STDs and the incidence of rape, great! If letting kids drink booze early on means they are less likely to binge drink, drink and drive or become alcoholics, awesome! And so on.

October 4, 2006 at 4:27 pm

Military graft and corruption do not defend freedoms. People using their freedoms defend freedom. The Cold War was as bogus as the War on Terror. The Russians offered Eisenhower a chance to end the arms race, but he turned it down.

October 5, 2006 at 2:27 pm

Money is not the root of all evil. Instead, it amplifies all evil. The combination of teenage nudity and money would probably unleash a storm of corruption over here. (Then maybe not.)

October 5, 2006 at 2:31 pm
blackat20(4)

“The Russians offered Eisenhower a chance to end the arms race, but he turned it down.”

John Hank is a historical idiot. Russia didn’t even exist until after the Cold War ended. The SOVIET UNION began to fail when Konstantin Chernenko DIED. The end of the Cold War began when Mikhail Gorbachev came to power.

November 9, 2008 at 1:54 pm
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