Two Brief Experiments
“Test all things; hold fast what is good” 1st Thessalonians 5:21 (NKJV)
Experiment I: Commercials (Desensitization Through Repetition)
Are Christians becoming desensitized through repetitious commercials? Many who have been exposed after a period of time would say no. However, researchers have determined that not only adults are desensitized, but their children are as well. In addition, these commercials have stuck in the viewers’ memories, due to catchy jingles and fantasy-creation.
DATA AND METHOD
Four (4) Christian women between the ages of 25 and 50 watched four different television networks, for two hours, around the same time of day for three days. They each were given written instructions and a questionnaire.
They were asked the following:
1. Type of Commercials Viewed?
2. How many times it aired within that two-hour period?
3. Were the commercials informative or persuasive?
4. Were they sex related? If yes, how so?
5. Would you be inclined to purchase any of these products? If yes, why?
6. Were you offended by any of these commercials? If yes, how so?
7. Any catchy jingles stick in your mind? If so, which ones?
Subject A: Latisha
Latisha watched television between 6:00 – 8:00 AM (Early Morning). She viewed commercials like: tax return, money investments, local newspaper subscription, weight loss, pharmaceutical sales, hospital recruitment, trade school recruitment, computer services and mortgage company advertisements. She recorded that they were equally as persuasive as they were informative. During that two-hour period, the majority of the commercials viewed were the weight control and health related advertisements. Latisha claimed that most of the weight control/health related ads she viewed had sex-related content. There were women wearing bathing suits or a man posing to be sexy to a woman.
In answering questions 5-7, Latisha stated that none of the commercials offended her and none of the jingles were catchy enough to stick in her mind. However, she was inclined to try the weight/health related products that peeked her curious to know whether they really work or not.
Subject B: Paula
Paula watched television between 3:00 – 6:00 PM (mid-late afternoon). She viewed commercials like: informative, educational, lingerie, cell phone and diet soda advertisements. She recorded that they were very much persuasive. During that two-hour period, the majority of the commercials viewed were the lingerie and diet soda
advertisements. Paula claimed that the lingerie and cell phone ads she viewed had sex-related content. Naturally, the lingerie commercials were sex-related, but surprisingly the cell phone ad exploited sexual-related content.
In answering questions 5-7, Paula stated that she was offended by the cell phone commercials and that the diet soda commercial jingle stuck to her head because she use to her the song when she was a child. She was very much inclined to buy the lingerie, because she likes lingerie, yet, she did not like the exploitation of the women.
Subject C: Vanessa
Vanessa watched television between 8:00 – 10:00 PM (Primetime). She viewed commercials like: furniture (viewed 10-15 times a night), automobile (in excess of 20 a night), and food/fast food restaurants (average of 20 per night) advertisements, among some others. She recorded that the majority of the ads she viewed were very persuasive. Only one advertisement about a learning institute was boarder line informative. No jingle stuck in her head she claimed; none of the commercials were sex-related and nor was she offended by any of them. However, one evening, she admits that she was enticed to eat after seeing so many food commercials. “The later I stayed up, the more hungry I got. The “KFC” and “McDonald” commercials were very enticing.” Another night the furniture store commercials nearly had her running to buy: “I would be inclined to buy some furniture. I like (love) Haynes and I need some new furniture. The more I saw the
commercial, the more I wanted to go to Haynes and purchase something.”
Subject D: Jada
Jada watched television between 10:00 PM – 12:00 AM (Late Night). She viewed commercials like: food/restaurant, household items, pet food, personal hygiene and medication for STD advertisements. She recorded that they were equally as persuasive as they were informative. During that two-hour period, she viewed a variety of commercials. None of which appeared to be sexually related to Jada.
In answering questions 5-7, Jada stated that she was quite offended by an “Aqua Velva Man” commercial, because men and women were kissing and touching too much. She does believe that the advertisers promoted their products in such a way that appear beneficial if purchased. The jingles to “Burger King,” “Oscar Meyer” and “Applebee’s” (all food/Restaurant) commercials stuck in her head.
In examining the four Christians ladies, it is evident that these ladies are either desensitized or becoming desensitized by repeated exposure to certain commercials. Although, Subject A: Latisha found that most of the weight control/health advertisements had sex-related content, she was not offended; in fact, inclined to try the advertisers’ products to see if they really worked. Since Latisha was not bothered by the sex-related content, it is apparent that she is insensitive to sex-related material exposure, therefore
being desensitized to repeated exposure. Also, fantasy-creation was obvious, since she desired to try the products to see if they would work for her as they worked for the actors.
Subject B: Paula expressed that even though she did not like the exploitation of the women in the lingerie ads, she was still inclined to purchase the lingerie because they appealed to her taste. In addition, she shared that a jingle to a diet soda commercial stuck in her memory, because it was a familiar tune.
Subject C: Vanessa watched so many food commercials in a two-hour period, until she was driven to eat. Although it was late, her emotions bypassed reasoning and desired to indulge. Also, Vanessa developed a need to purchase furniture after being exposed repeatedly.
While, Subject D: Jada stated that none of the commercials appeared to have been sex-related, one commercial did offend her due to excessive touching and kissing. This would appear to be a contradiction. Speculative, they may have been other commercials sex-related, but were unnoticed due to desensitization. Jada also stated that three food commercial jingles stuck in her mind.
Experiment II: Programs (Desensitization Through Exposure)
Are Christians becoming desensitized through the exposure of decadent programming? More and more programs are crossing the line of immorality. They are designed to expose little by little the world’s view, while it poisons innocent minds and unsuspected minds that enjoy television. People are being desensitized by these exposures and in fact willing to watched them again without complaints.
DATA AND METHOD
Four (4) Christian men and women between the ages of 25 and 50 watched four (4) different television networks, for four (4) hours, around the same time of day for three days. They each were given written instructions and a questionnaire.
They were asked the following:
1. Type of Program (Drama or Situation Comedy)?
2. What was the length of the program?
3. Was there moderate or excessive profanity?
4. Was there casual or crime related sex?
5. Were there any drugs or alcohol presented in a casual or criminal manner?
6. Were you exposed to homosexuality? If so, was it accepted or rejected by the actors?
7. Were any of these programs offensive to you? If so, which ones?
8. Did any of these exposures affect you?
9. Are you accustom to these exposures?
10. Which programs you watch weekly?
Subject A: Valerie
Valerie watched television between 4:00 – 8:00 PM. She watched a total of eleven (11) sitcoms and four (4) dramas. Out of the eleven sitcoms, two (2) had moderate profanity; five (5) had exposure to casual sex; and four (4) exposed her to drinking alcohol in a casual manner. Out of the four dramas, Valerie was exposed to one (1) excessive profanity; two (2) exposed her to moderate profanity; two (2) also exposed her to casual alcohol consumption; one (1) exposed her to sex crime and one (1) program also displayed acceptable homosexuality.
In answering questions 7-10, Valerie stated that some of the programs viewed appear to glorified casual sex. Another program glorified gangster and crime life and the display of disrespectful children to their parents. She was affected by the fact that casual sex, profanity and homosexuality are so acceptable: “This makes me angry.” She claimed that she has grown accustom to these moral violations, but is very much displeased with the portrayal of the parents being naive and the children as being witty and worldly. She does watch the majority of the sitcoms weekly.
Subject B: Brenda
In watching from 6:00 – 10:00 PM, Brenda summed up her viewing in an essay to express her frustrations after being exposed to particular programs: “It seems to get more disturbing to find a decent program on television. As I flipped through the channels about 60 percent of the programs are inundated with sex, homosexuality and everything else you do not want your children to be exposed to. Even this reality show called ‘Fear Factor’ is to expose you to your worst fears. How inhuman to subject your mind, body and spirit to this treatment. This type of exposure can harm you more, permanently, than cure you from your fears, especially if you do not have God. On another program, I was repulsed by two women who were kissing and then later exposed to men openly expressing their homosexuality on a show called ‘Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.’ Another night I decided to watch the music video channel (the channel 90 percent of our children watch) and discovered that they are literally having sex with their clothes on, while others look on. Another day I watched a network that was just for kids, and they were promoting that it is okay to be gay and experimenting with kissing the same sex will help you decide whether you are gay or straight. Teenagers have a lot to contend with and it is not getting any easier. We can only pray that they have a close relationship with their parents to discuss these issues if they should come up. These television programs are also promoting the use of strong language. For some, it is natural.” Brenda
Subject C: John
John watched television between 6:00 – 10:00 PM/ 8:00 PM – 12:00 AM. The first night of his viewing, John watched the “Super Bowl” although, much was not happening on the field in relations to desensitization, a great deal took place at every break and at half time. The “Super Bowl” for a little over four hours was overflowing with advertisements. The “Super Bowl” perhaps the only time on national TV where a single 30 second commercial can cost an advertiser millions of dollars. John stated that the commercials were filled with the exposure of casual sex and casual drinking. However, he was not affected by the exposure, but was offended by one commercial. The next two nights he watched four (4) dramas and one (1) sitcom. In viewing the dramas, two (2) had moderate profanity and three (3) exposed casual sex and alcohol. One (1) drama was over the top; it had excessive profanity and both crime related sex and drug/alcohol abuse. The single sitcom revealed the acceptance of casual sex.
In answering questions 7-10, John was highly offended by the movie with the excessive sexual content and language. Although he was accustomed to this type of exposures, he was very much affected by the movie.
Subject D: Jasmyn
Jasmyn watched television between 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM. She watched a total of ten (10) dramas and four (4) sitcoms. Out of the ten dramas, five (5) had excessive profanity; six
(6) had exposure of casual drinking; and two (2) exposed her to sex in crime. Out of the four sitcoms, Jasmyn was exposed to one (1) excessive profanity; three (3) exposed her to moderate profanity; two (2) exposed her to casual alcohol consumption; one (1) featured homosexuality as acceptable. In fact, a gay couple was getting married. “‘Will and Grace’ had a gay wedding and it made me feel sick to where I could no longer watch.” Jasmyn claimed that she was offended by seven (7) out of fourteen (14) programs. “The language in these shows were too much and unnecessary. They usually are pretty good shows.” She is not accustomed to profanity and she finds it irritating.
All of the participants found an excessive amount of profanity; sex of a casual and/or crime nature; alcohol/drug consumption both casually and in an abusive way; and the exposure of homosexuality. Two out of four stated that they were accustomed to such exposures. However, all four complained of the severity and the extremity of such exposures. Will they no longer watch television? I think not, for it is a great source of information and entertainment.
From these findings, it can be determined that either commercials or television programs will have sex-related, alcohol or homosexual content all day long. There is no way to escape them, unless you shut the television off and vow never to turn it on again. No matter how unrealistic this may sound, it becomes the genuine solution. Less TV and
more family time, sit down dinner discussions, home Bible studies and other godly projects will make for a healthy and happy life together as a Christian family. TV, video games, Internet and other activities that cause solitary or family separation are designed to sever the family bond, so the enemy can destroy.
1. What is desensitization?
2. Explain the sequence of desensitization?
3. What does it mean to “Bypass Reason?”
4. What manipulative technique where titillation and teasing is the heart of propaganda
5. Along the way of training Christian children, what interloper has injected worldly
desires into their minds?
6. Do commercials and television programs affect the behavior of our children? If so,
Resisting Mind Manipulation, Lesson 18
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