MTV's Explicit Spring Break Programming and What To Do About It

"MTV does an incredible job of communicating to this generation but the overwhelming majority of what they communicate is harmful to the Christian faith."

MTV Programming has gone from "bad to worse" with "endless drinking parties and relentless sexual stimulation," and this year promises to be no different, states Teen Mania Ministries.

"For years, MTV has filled TV sets across America with a relentless stream of sex, violence and profanity. Music videos have gone from bad to worse, teetering on the edge of pornography, while reality shows hold nothing back with new dating games and cameras that follow young couples in to the bedroom," states TMM.

The Parent Television Council analyzed MTV's Spring Break 2004 coverage and found "eye opening" statistics, according to Teen Mania. In 171 hours of MTV programming there were 3,056 depictions of sexual dancing, gesturing, and various forms of nudity, 1,548 sexual scenes, and 2,881 verbal sexual references. Every hour, there are an average of 9 sexual scenes, 18 sexual depictions, and 17 references to sex every hour.

MTV tells its potential advertisers, "Young adults 15-17 are excited consumers and extremely impressionable. Now is the time to influence their choices." MTV is viewed an average of 6 hours a week by 73% of boys and 78% of girls ages 12 to 19.

Glenn Murdock, Spokesperson of Youth Specialties, says “It’s as if culture has abandoned [kids], turning them into consumers rather than people. MTV, television, movies, etc have left them with not much in terms of role model.”

"That's right, MTV is pulling out all the stops… making sure no one walks away empty handed. So, grab your bikinis, your sun tan lotion and your wildest dreams because this year Cancun is being transformed to an oasis of fantasy as we grant your biggest wishes and make your dreams a reality. This is MTV's Spring Break 2005." (

"You don't need a plane ticket to join the endless drinking parties and the relentless sexual stimulation in Cancun this spring break. Thanks to MTV, young children and teens can watch it right in their living room," states Teen Mania Ministries.

According to Dr. Jane Brown, journalism professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, "If you believe Sesame Street taught your four-year-old something, then you better believe MTV is teaching your 14-year-old something, because the influence doesn't stop when we come to a certain age."

Research proves that MTV does influence the attitudes and perceptions of its viewers. After watching MTV for only one hour, a group of seventh and ninth graders were more likely to approve of premarital sex than before watching.

NNYM places MTV's topmost harm on their explicit content or "loose attitude towards sex." Doug Clark, Director of Field Ministries of National Network of Youth Ministries, who has been working with teenagers for thirty years, said.

"MTV does an incredible job of communicating to this generation but the overwhelming majority of what they communicate is harmful to the Christian faith," he added.

Clark also believes that this generation should be taught how to think critically as there is "not a thing that you watch on TV that isn't trying to teach you something." Because "every bit of media has some kind of a message to it," "it's very important that we teach our young people how to think critically to something they see and be able to identify what God says about that."

He also said that many parents "choose not to know, or they just don't want to fight the battle with your kids," placing the responsibility into the hands of the youth, who are being subjected to the culture.

However, Matt Smith, Webmaster of TeenLife with 5 years of experience in youth ministries places the responsibility into the hands of parents and Christians to "do something about it."

"We're not at the mercy of MTV. We're the ones who watch those shows and those shows get paid for their advertising... We don't have to lose," he said, and urged parents and others to respond to MTV.

He went on the MTV's the Real World New Orleans in 2000-01 and in the MTV's Road Rules Challenge last year, to bring some "goodness" to the show.

Smith says, "MTV's spring break programming is just short of soft-core porn." However, like the crackdown on the tobacco industry and the fast food industry, he believes the next wave will be on the media. "There is a certain responsibility that the media has." They cannot just "abuse [their] viewers" for money.

MTV's Spring Break 2005 programs began Friday, March 18.