TV Shows with Homosexuality and Children

Updated on March 06, 2012
M.R. asks from Allen, TX
60 answers

Do you let your children watch TV shows with homosexuality? We recently got rid of our Direct TV so all we have is basic cable. We like to watch TV as a family at night, but it seems like all the shows on nowadays, even as early as 7 pm, have at least one gay couple. I have NO problem with homosexuality - but I am not sure how I feel about exposing my 6 and 9 year old to it and/or how to address the subjet?

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So What Happened?

WOW! I haven't checked this since yesterday, but boy did I get some responses!
The show we love is Modern Family. My oldest saw the two men kissing and was like...Why are they kissing?! He seemed shocked and had lots of questions. That is what I meant by exposed to it - because now I have lots of questions coming my way and I'm unsure of how to answer them. It just seems like seeing two men kissing at age 6 and 9 might confuse them about boundaries with friends, etc. By the way, we live in a VERY conservative Christian town and I am probably one of the only people I know who supports gay rights. Heck, most people in this town still think its a sin to be gay. My kids are absolutely naive about homosexuality.
I do have to say, that this is quite an eye opener. I guess I'm not as accepting as I thought I was. If I'm honest, I would prefer my kids be straight, so they can get married and have their own biological children. BUT, if one of them was gay, I would absolutely love and support them.

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R.K.

answers from Appleton on

30-40 years ago people were hesitant to accept a bi-racial couple on TV and in movies. Women who had large boobs were mostly portrayed as dumb blonde types. Men who were not classically hansome were portrayed and nerds or criminals. Hispanics/blacks were portrayed as either servants or criminals. Sterotypes were all over the place and it did have an influence on how children and adults viewed these sterotypes. Now it's the GLTB who are sterotyped most of the time. In most cases gays are no different than hetrosexuals, they just love same sex people. But they do love--they go to work/pay taxes-they want children-they want to have the same rights as everyone else.

I think you need to do some real soul searching and find out why you have such an adversion to gays. If you can't love and accept everyone -- you can't love and accept anyone.

15 moms found this helpful

C.P.

answers from Columbia on

Love is gender blind. 'Nuff said.

To the "It's a sin" crowd:

So is divorce, sex before marriage, sex that isn't for procreation, adultry....the list goes on and on. You don't see anyone forcing unhappy couples to stay together based on this biblical sin. Nor do you see anyone condemning couples who cohabitate. If sin is sin...why are we so worried about homosexuality specifically? In the grander scheme of things, there are FAR worse sins out there.

13 moms found this helpful

M.M.

answers from Tucson on

2 men or women that love eachother that are the same sex? Leave it at that. WE watch modern family and my 8 yr old is perfectly fine with Cam and Mitchel. I also have 2 very good gay male firends who have a little boy and we hang out with them a lot. My kids dont think anything of it. Just another couple with a kid. Kids arent going to think about the relationship sexually if thats what you are afraid of. Its not different than a hetersexual relationship to me.

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R.J.

answers from Seattle on

Dontcha hate it when you run up against a prejudice you didn't know you had?

If you honestly had no problem with it, you'd never question 'exposing' your children to it.

Tty replacing your question with something you really have no problem with:

Do you let your children watch TV shows with people wearing shoes?
Do you let your children watch TV shows with straight people in them?
Do you let your children watch TV shows with animals in them?
Do you let your children watch TV shows with magic in them?

Ouch. Right?

Personally, I wish there was a lot more, especially kids programming.

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T.B.

answers from Miami on

When you say you have no problem with homosexuality, my take on that statement is that you are not prejudiced against anyone. With that said, it would have probably been better to say that you don't judge those who practice homosexuality but you perhaps are uncomfortable seeing it or having your children see it. I tried to read through some of the responses and honestly, I"m surprised that many answered so harshly.

From a Biblical standpoint, and I am a born again Christian, the Bible is clear that homosexuality is a sin. Personally, I prefer not see two men or two women kissing, so when I am watching a program/movie that depicts homosexuality, I CHOOSE to look away or fast forward through the parts that clearly make me uncomfortable and no, I wouldn't want my children to see it either because I feel that I am somehow condoning that behavior if I allow them to watch it. On the same note, when I am watching a show that depicts a steamy love scene with a heterosexual couple, I look away and will even turn it off when my children are present because it is very well known that images DO play a vital role in anyone's imagination and why would I want to introduce sexual content of any kind to my young and impressionable children? And I don't want my children to believe that sexual relations outside of marriage is okay either. Not everyone feels this way and that is fine. We are all different people with different feelings and beliefs on a wide variety of topics. I choose to do what is right for me and my family while keeping the Bible front and center to back up what I believe.

The bottom line is that you need to do what is best for you and your family.

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C.W.

answers from Santa Barbara on

So not at issue at our home because at a very young age my daughter was aware that there are all types of people and families. Because we have friends and family that are homosexuals, she grew up very open and accepting (such great qualities).

I'm afraid that if you are concerned about exposing your children to it you really DO have a problem with homosexuality.

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A.G.

answers from Boston on

If you sat down at a restaurant and there was a gay couple at the table next to you would you get up and leave because you don't want your kids exposed?
If you are worried about exposing your children then yes you do have a problem. If they ask just explain. If you make a big deal out of it they will

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J.B.

answers from Atlanta on

If you have no problem with it, then what's the problem? My kids are "exposed to homosexuality" in real life (gay family members, neighbors, classmate's parents) -and I'm fine with it. They're 3 and 5 (almost 6) and have never commented or asked any questions about it. Yours most likely will be coming in contact with gay people in real life sooner than later, so perhaps you should just watch the shows that you would normally watch and explain what being gay is if any questions come up. They're exposed to your heterosexuality every day, so unless you feel that homosexuality is a problem, then it shouldn't be weird for them to see it.

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Absolutely! The younger the better. I think kids will grow up to be more tolerant and respectful of others the more they are exposed to different lifestyles at a young age. This goes not only for sexual orientation, but race, religion, economic and cultural differences as well.
It's easy enough to say sometimes men fall in love with men, and women fall in love with women, there's no need to address the sexual aspect of their relationships, if that's what you're worried about. At 6 and 9 they don't care about any of that yet anyway.

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

You address it when they ask. The first time my kids asked about a gay couple, I told them straight up - "They just love someone of the same gender" - they shrugged their shoulders and said "oh" and went on about their business. There just really isn't anything else to explain.

Gays/ lesbians aren't aliens to be ogled at, they are just another human part of our life. Most or even none of the gays played on network TV (I'm not talking cable channels) are ever racy or overly affectionate which is contradictory to their heterosexual counterparts. There are plenty of heterosexual shows on during prime time that I will not let my kids watch.

This was never an issue for us though. We have some good friends that are our neighbors that are lesbians - they are in a long term 20+ year relationship. It is part of our kids' 'normal' now. However, even if we hadn't had friends that are gay, it still never would have been an issue.

I also agree w/ Christine W., if you are concerned about your children seeing a gay couple on TV, then you do have some kind of issue w/ homosexuality.

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L.U.

answers from Seattle on

If you have NO problem with homosexuality than what's the problem? If it's not a problem for you then it wont be a problem for them.
L.
(and good for you! More parents need to teach their children that people are PEOPLE and we can love and accept all different kinds of lifestyles)

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A.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Last night we saw two couples at the restaurant...all women. Holding hands, laughing, and just minding their own business. Should I have removed my children from the lobby? No, because gays/lesbians are here and here to stay. We've talked about how people can love someone if they are both men or both woman...they love each other just like mommy and daddy do. It's really not that hard of subject to talk to children about. They are far more open minded than adults.

So, yes I would let my kids watch TV shows with homosexuality in it.

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S.K.

answers from Dallas on

No. I don't. I am pretty picky about what our kids watch. They don't watch anything with adult content.

FWIW, I do teach our kids to accept others but I don't think they need to know about people's sexual preferences at their ages. Homosexuals, heterosexuals, swingers, friends with benefits, etc. Why fill their minds with things that I don't want them to think about right now? I want them to think about kids stuff like playing in the dirt, baseball, butterflies, puppy dogs, riding their bikes... The adult stuff will come later. Some will criticize me. Who cares? I don't! To each his own.

Phil. 4:8

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A.B.

answers from Pittsburgh on

You may want to "batten down the hatches, matey"...! I feel a storm coming over this one.

While I think your question is valid (and you wouldn't be alone in your feelings) you'll take a lot of heat from those who will call you prejudiced and judgmental for even suggesting that such a thing could be an issue, totally ignorant of the fact that they are invalidating themselves by being intolerant, prejudiced and judgmental to you and your concern.

Good times on MP!

To answer your question, I find that the shows that this would even apply to usually illustrate complete dysfunction and disrespect in ALL of the relationships, regardless of age, gender, or family role. As I wouldn't want my son imitating those behaviors and attitudes toward us, I wouldn't allow him to watch the show. It's getting harder and harder to find shows where ANY healthy relationships are modeled, so methinks we'll be doing lots of after-school activities. HA!

If my son ever asked me about it, I would explain the reality of it to him, because it is a norm and it will come up at some point. I would like us to be able to have a healthy, family discussion about it rather than him learning about it through stereotypes and mocking cliches.

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J.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

They're not showcasing sex, they're showcasing a relationship. If you're uncomfortable with it, think about why. You say you have no problem with it then why would you have a problem with your kids knowing about it?

Think about it, when you see a show with a straight couple, do you think about what they do in their bedroom? Homosexuality isn't about sex, it's about gender...same gender attraction. I'm thinking about Modern Family as an example, the couple is loving and stable. They have a funny Lucy/Desi interplay and they are just like any other couple out there with the same issues as a lot of other couples out there, they just happen to be of the same gender.

We don't plan on going out of our way to explain the dynamics of any particular relationships to our children but if they ask we will be open. Like in the case of modern family we'd say something like: Some families have a mommy and a daddy, or just a mommy, or just a daddy, and some have two daddies, while some have two mommies. And what makes a family is that they all love each other and take care of their kids. (or something like that, edited for the circumstances)

As they get older and issues of inequality arise, I will take time to explain in age appropriate ways...your 9 year old may be ready for such a conversation...that some people disagree with the way other people feel and the way they live their lives, and some people say that when someone is gay it is wrong because they believe the bible says it's wrong, but that's not what we believe. We believe everyone has the right to love whoever they love because love is a wonderful thing and we need more of it in the world. And if someone is gay, that only means they are different from you in the way that so-and-so has brown hair and you have blonde. Laughing at someone, making fun of them, or bullying them because they are gay is very wrong and if you are ever confronted with a situation like that at school or anywhere you should tell a teacher or if your friends are talking in a mean way about being gay you can tell them it's not cool and they need to knock it off.

YOU have to be comfortable with it first.

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M.P.

answers from San Francisco on

Do you watch shows with heterosexual couples? Does that require explanation? My children have friends (since preschool) who have same sex parents and they have never questioned it. Have never mentioned it , nothing. Children recognize that we are all different. We have different colored hair, different colored skin, different colored eyes and yes, some parents are the same gender. Who cares? There's nothing to address.

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T.F.

answers from Dallas on

I don't understand your question either... IF you have NO problem with gays/lesbians then why are you making a big deal about it. The more of a big deal of it ( as in no no) the more interested your children will be with the no no.

It is simply 2 people in love who want to be treated with respect just like I am sure you want to be treated.

What gets me is people getting all uptight about something that might be a little sexual on tv but they they are ok with watching programs where people are blowing each other's brains out and all that type of violence.

I'd much rather see a naked boob, rear or gay couple vs all the blood and guts.

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G.H.

answers from Chicago on

Geez, it's quite ignorant of people to say you are intolerant of gays.

That's one of the reasons why we got rid of cable on top of all the sex talk, kids talking sassy, young girls doting on boyfriends etc.

I monitor anything they watch on regular t.v. and will not allow those type of shows at this time. One day they will learn about everything form sex, to gay people but no need right now.

I am sure if they were exposed to it as if we had a gay family member then we would address it much sooner. I don't have a problem with gay people and have had many gay friends when I was in the working field, but no need to expose my kids to this just for the sake of exposing them.

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K.A.

answers from San Diego on

ABSOLUTELY!! To us love is love and that is all. We have family that is gay and we have friends that are gay so they already have been "exposed".
We don't make a huge To Do out of it because there isn't a big To Do about it. It is just a couple in love. This is exactly how we handle it.
One funny story about a show we watched once when the boys were younger. The bad guy of the episode got romantically involved with one of the good guys of the TV show (of course the good guy did not know she was a bad guy as we, the audience did). Of course good guy finds out about bad guy etc. The take away message my boys got from the show was not that the couple was 2 lesbians but "Never fall in love with the bad guy". It was never a factor that it was 2 girls in love or that the romance was in any way wrong because they were 2 girls but that it was wrong because the one was the bad guy.They would have come away with the same message if the couple had been heterosexual too. This is how we handle it. If you don't have a problem with it then don't make a problem out of it. If they ask just say people love different people. Sometimes a boy loves a girl, sometimes a boy loves a boy, sometimes a girl loves a boy and sometimes a girl loves a girl. It's the way they were born. Easy.

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M.B.

answers from Orlando on

my son has grown up knowing gay couples, as well as my best friend who's transgender, he me her when he was still living as a man. so yes i would let him because he doesn't see it as anything wrong, and neither do i. i agree that if your sheltering your kids from it they will see it as wrong because thats how you are portraying it to them. as far as addressing it, when my gay friends had their commitment ceremony my son was the ring boy, he asked why 2 women were having a wedding, i told him because they love each other and it doesn't matter who you love as long as they make you happy.

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B.F.

answers from Minneapolis on

My girls grew up knowing gay couples, so this is no big deal. What I was concerned about is violence on TV.

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E.T.

answers from Albuquerque on

You've already gotten a million responses... but I wanted to weigh in too.

OF COURSE I'd let my kids watch a show that had a gay couple on it -- provided the show was appropriate for their age. And what that means to me is that it doesn't contain sexual references, whether gay or straight. And no violence. [I should admit here that my almost 5 year olds are no where near watching a show with real life people on it. All they've ever seen is Dinosaur Train and Sid the Science Kid. But whenever we DO watch TV as a family, sexual orientation of the characters will not be a deciding factor for me]

Homosexuality is a fact of life, and if you have no problem with it, I don't know why it would bother you if your children know about it and can have a frank discussion with you about it. My kids are several years younger than yours and already know that families come in all shapes, sizes and colors... and that some kids have two mommies while others have one mommy and one daddy. You might be surprised that your children already know what homosexuality is (as much as a young child can understand, of course).

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I.G.

answers from Seattle on

Yes, I don't have an issue with it at all. We know all kinds if families: mom and dad, two dads or two moms and single parents...so I don't have an issue with shows or books reflecting that in an age appropriate way.

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K.M.

answers from Chicago on

Why does it matter? By keeping it from them you are only teaching them that it IS wrong in your eyes, if you really are open to it then it does not matter. My son LOVES to see the men go from men to women in Ru Paul's Drag Race, the only thing is the constant use of the term "bitches" I am not impressed with - so he sees the pictures! My son does not care if it is my two dads(moms) or mommy and daddy, he actually has not even asked about it - I think he sees that all the kids are loved so it matters not by whom.

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J.P.

answers from Chicago on

It seems to me to be a great opportunity to talk to your kids about different types of families. Why wouldn't you want them exposed to this while you're there to talk about it and teach them that there are all kinds and forms of love in the world?

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M.G.

answers from Seattle on

Of course my children are allowed to watch shows with gay families, as they are allowed to watch shows with any type of the other various types of families out there. My 5 year old does not understand what he is viewing other than a family my 8 year old knows full well that there are gay(using this term to encompass all GLBT) families. My children are going to grow up knowing that everyone is different and to accept the differences and welcome all types of people into their lives so why not include it in their choice of tv programs?

I see this as a great chance to have a discussion with your children and it should not be something that is hidden or looked down upon. Gay families are just another facet of life in the world.

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J.✰.

answers from San Antonio on

Nope. I make sure to watch those shows when my son is asleep (napping/bedtime). BTW - if you notice, ABC has more of those shows than other chanels. And I just read a few comments where someone was saying that you have a problem. I don't think you do. I think we are all allowed our own opinion on the subject. If you sat down in a restaurant and there was a gay couple, you have the choice to get up and leave or the choice to stay seated. In your home, you have a choice to allow your children to watch it or to change the channel. I have a cousin who is gay and this has become a huge battle at family gatherings - he is welcome to all gatherings. His boyfriend is not welcome to certain events. Not because they're gay, but because of the touching, the kissing, the "look at me. I am gay and proud of it" attitude that they show every single time the two of them are together. I am proud to be straight, but that doesn't mean I have to kiss and hug on my husband in public.

Added: Amy - so true. Grey's Anatomy - how many people are sleeping with how many others in one given season of the show? Yikes. Gay or straight doesn't make a difference in this show. The lesbian women are at least monogamous (sp?) on the show.

Amen Dana! (eh I guess I promote it a bit since I do watch two programs with gay couples while my son's sleeping.)

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K.G.

answers from San Diego on

I have NO problem with my children watching shows that have gay couples. It just shows that their are different types of relationships. To me the most important thing is seeing people in relationships treating each other in a loving and respectful manner. Aren't children exposed when they see a gay couple walking hand in hand on the street? Wouldn't you rather explain (if you even had to) to your children that their are couples and families that may be different then their own but they all love the same while at home in front of a television instead of on the street where they may be confused and blurt out "Mommy why are those men holding hands?"

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D.T.

answers from Muncie on

I rather my daughter see nothing sexual at all, straight and gay. Then again she's only 5. She really doesn't need to see more then hugging and kissing. I make sure she only watches certain channels and after a certain time when the tween shows come on, the TV goes off. I never watch anything until she's in bed at 8pm. I have DVR for a reason. I even watch rented G and PG movies before her just in case. A side note, Elmo in Grouchland terrified her but the Nightmare Before Christmas is one of her favorites.

As for wanting to have TV time with your kids, rent a movie. Or DVR the shows and watch them first without the kids. What are you watching anyway? I can't think of any shows on after 6pm that would be appropriate for a 6-9 year old.

Just my two cents.

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V.C.

answers from Dallas on

We did not let our boys watch shows with sexual content. We also tried to keep them away from violent shows. But since other parents didn't have our standards, we would have had to keep them isolated to avoid that.
I think sexually explicit scenes in tv or movies (straight or gay) feeds into voyeurism and I don't care for it. It adds nothing of value.

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L.B.

answers from New York on

what do you mean "exposed to it" as if it is something dirty. Just tell them that there are all kinds of families, single parent families, families with 2 men or 2 women who love each other and families with a man and a women and that is just the way it is. If you act normal then it's not a big deal. My kids see homsexual couples and don't give it a second thought, because my husband and I have taught them acceptance of all kinds of people and couples.

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S.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

Um, my daughter (9) has a 30 year-old male cousin who has a male partner of five years. We see them and socialize with them as often as we can. She also has had school friends who had two moms. TV shows are just reflecting "real life" in our case. She's known what "gay" means for a few years now. I would have no reason to censor her shows because of this subject. I am quite open to what she watches because it creates opportunities for us to talk about lots of subjects.

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A.G.

answers from Houston on

Ya I do ,,,, gay people are reality. Why not?

Updated

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K.S.

answers from Denver on

Well your question does make sense to me, because I hear what you are saying. My DD is 11 and we watch shows like Modern Family. Honestly, I don't think we did the best job of addressing it. It wasn't for a while that she realized Cam and Mitchell were a couple. She hasn't asked many questions about it, just sort of a 'huh' kind of response. It is probably good that she doesn't see it as a controversial topic. She knows that our religion doesn't think homosexuality is ok, but we've just said that the issue is between God and the person, it is not for us to judge. My DH has a cousin who is gay, so he's had a hard time managing the difference between our religious belief and his admiration for his cousin. So we've just left it at that. So she sees it on tv and it's part of the culture of her life. And hopefully she can just make up her mind later on. I don't know, it's weird, I feel like it's an awkward issue for us and we haven't done a super job of putting it into context for her. But if nothing else, she is learning that it's nothing to cause any kind of hate for her, nor to condone hate from others.

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T.J.

answers from Seattle on

Omg! Sorry but I think we as parents are the best way for our kids to learn about the world. Its not like the shows are likely to show the glbt couples having sex or other inappropriate things you wouldn't want your kids to see! I would way rather educate my children about the fact that everyone in the world is unique and that some people believe different things than others than have them learn on their own or be misinformed by others. My kids know very well that some people marry people of the same sex, and some people don't. Heck, some people never get married at all! It's a very important part of parenting to teach them tolerance and understanding of the differences in status, race, orientation, etc. and a good teaching opportunity to let them know what your own beliefs are and what's important to your own family. My girls are 4 and 7.

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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

My daughter was "exposed" to it in real life. I have numerous gay, lesbian, and trans friends and family members. To her, Aunt Kate being in love with Aunt Karen was no different than Uncle Jim being in love with Aunt Betty. And she had no problem with the fact that her Uncle Wolfe used to be her Aunt Wendy.

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B.

answers from Augusta on

no I don't and I do have a problem with it.

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B.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Honestly, at age 6 and 9, I would bet your kids have already been exposed whether you know it or not. As to your question, we judge our television watching on the content of the show as a whole, whether the theme of the show is too adult, but don't care about showing homosexuality. My son at 3 1/2 has at least one other kid in his class with same sex parents and his school has a book they use describing all kinds of families (mom and dad, two moms, two dads, one mom, one dad... you get the idea). And we have several same sex couples who are close friends. So, for us, this is another kind of normal.

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K.U.

answers from Washington DC on

i have an issue with all sexual content on TV. I dont want to see it regardless of who is involved...not even russell crowe in that gladiator suit. Im just real funny that way. it is one thing to be open minded and accpeting and throwing sex in peoples faces. i dont have cable, I dont watch the news, read what I need on the internet. I refuse to pay for what they call "entertainment" these days. Id be more offended for my kids to watch a kardashian/snooki darmafest and cheer then see to gay men in love. but thats just me....

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P.G.

answers from Dallas on

I think most of those shows are on a bit later, 8-9pm or later, so if you want to avoid the conversations about same-sex relationships. BUt your 9 year old is approaching puberty, so you're going to have to deal with talking about sexuality on a basic level soon. Switch to DVD's if you want to avoid sexuality on TV. I don't watch much "regular" TV, but I think there's a LOT more sex going on between same-sex couples on TV. Gay couples are just "couples" on tv - they may kiss, but they don't do much more (as far as I know).

Re. "exposing" your kids to it - there's nothing to expose them to, really. One of the boys in my son's daycare has 2 moms. I don't think he's noticed, and if he has, it doesn't matter to him. Same sex couples tend to be more reserved with public displays of affection. Try to get comfortable with the idea. "Exposure" will not influence them negatively. It's just a fact of life, and life is diverse.

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A.J.

answers from Williamsport on

My five year old daughter and I LOVE Downton Abbey. There was a scene in season one (haven't seen season two yet) with two men who "almost kissed". The dialog was way over her head, but she did take notice of the "two men" acting somewhat romantic at that one moment. We watch almost no other TV. But Downton Abbey is EXTREMELY HIGH QUALITY intelligent writing, music, costumes, acting, everything, with a lot more going on than just that one little part, so I felt it was OK to watch. Also, we have explained to her and her younger brother that some men are with men and some women are with women-because they are. Including my best friend who is gay and several of our other friends who the kids know. So I welcome "tasteful" broaching of the topic. Would I let my kids watch trashy network TV? No. Not straight or gay. To me Shrek was way too bratty and rude to watch. Everyone has their different ideas of what is bad for kids. Stand by your principles, and don't let them watch anything you don't want them to. Good work.

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T.V.

answers from San Francisco on

You do have a problem with homosexuality and that's fine. Don't use your children as an excuse....just ebrace your beliefs and admit it.

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T.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

To me it's no different than a man and a woman. My kids are only 4 and 14 months so I just don't want any shows that are slightly sexual in nature... Like too much kissing no matter who it is. Gays don't want to be different and just explain it as simple as you can if the subject comes up.

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J.S.

answers from Hartford on

I'm sort of shaking my head at your concern over your children being "exposed to" homosexuality." My children have grown up knowing people in their daily lives that are gay just as they know people who are Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Portuguese, Italian, Indian, Native American, Really Old, with Parkinson's, with Autism, with Down Syndrome, with amputated limbs, or purple and green striped mohawks.

They're aware of the classmates and Girl Scout sisters who have two married moms. They comment on how cute it is to see the college girls holding hands and kissing while eating ice cream when we go for a walk. They know my hairdresser is a man married to another man and think they make a very handsome-not-cute couple with cute dog babies and a pretty teen daughter.

What they see on TV, when gay couples are shown in a casual manner and as being normal/common, is simply a reflection of what they see in their daily lives. What they don't understand is why it's debated in politics, religion, and civil rights (and we're Catholic). My daughters cry at the thought of the issues gay people have to face... but danced for joy the day Connecticut passed the law making it legal for gays to marry.

You can probably tell that it's all in how WE as parents approach the subject and how we live by example.

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C.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

Since about age 2 my daughter has been very in tune with a female who is not so feminine or male not so masculine. If she would see someone she would ask...some times the answer was a male, some times a female, and some times, I don't know. So she has been exposed and recognized some differences for quite some time.

She has an aunt who is a lesbian, but she has never met her. I have tried to find recent pictures of her, but can't find her online. She completely looks like a guy. She is visiting her Grandparents and maybe they have a photo of her and she will come home and ask.

We have a gay couple that live on our street. She knows they live together, however, they don't display any type of affectionate acts in their driveway...nor do any of our other neighbors who are male female. If you had a couple living on your street would you explain it to them if they asked?

We don't allow our daughter to watch any shows that show too much affection, without any prejudice to any male female mix. She is six and we just feel right now her focus in life should be someplace else. Once in a while one of her Disney shows will show a boy and girl kiss and I just change the channel. These are shows of high school kids and she is only in Kindergarten.

While I think you may not want to expose them to "any" sexuality at a young age, if it comes up you may want to explain things in your own way, rather than have them ask someone else, which they will. By the way, I believe the public schools now teach a gay segment. Probably just enough to explain there are such families. Hopefully someone else can explain what or how they are introducing this.

While I am not promoting nor denying gay rights, this is new to so many people and I think we will see more to come. I grew up in a very closed minded family, so a lot of this is different for me, but if you look at people for people and teach that to your children, maybe it won't be such a big deal.

Best wishes.

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S.L.

answers from San Francisco on

I guess my issue would be with overt sexuality in general (hetero- or homo-) at your kids' age. If it is a gay couple who are portrayed as other hetero couples are in the show, it would not be a big deal to me. As some other posters have pointed out, by age 6 most kids have seen same sex couples out in public so the concept is not shocking. I remember when my kid was 4 she asked me if a boy would want to marry a boy...I simply responded about 10% of the time, that was the case...

FYI the questions keep coming...my daughter, now 13, informed me the other night that a character on "Glee," a high school girl, was bisexual. What the %$*?! I thought it was a show about kids dancing and singing. I am so not ready to take that one on. <sigh> This is just one tiny example of what is to come, M.. Our kids are exposed to a lot of different ideas, and I think we just have to keep the lines of communication open...
ETA: I just realized after reading some of the other responses that my post might have come off as judgmental...I don't judge anyone choosing bisexuality--I just did not realize that shows like "Glee" covered stuff like that, or I might have been more careful in what I allowed my daughter to watch...

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D.K.

answers from Pittsburgh on

My son doesn't watch tv so that is not an issue. However we have many gay friends and DS knows that families come in lots of configurations - some have two daddies, some have two mommies, some have a mommy and a daddy, some kids just have a mommy or a daddy and many couples do not have kids. What is the problem? If you want to raise kids who believe we are all equal, they need to see it in practice.

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C.O.

answers from Minneapolis on

I know you have tons of responses but just wanted to post. My kids are 5 year old girl and 7.5 year old boy. Both of which know that two men, two women, a man & a woman can be together, love eachother and have kids together. I answer any questions they have as honestly as I can. They also know that some kids only have 1 parent or parents that are not together or families that all sort of different colors.

We also watch Modern Family and my kids have never really asked much about the gay couple on there.

Sorry I had to add after the last response. We are an inter-racial couple, my husband is caucasian white and I'm latina. So our kids are mixed.

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C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

We don't have a TV but I'd have no problem with it if it were a good, quality, intelligent show. After all we spend time hanging out with 2 different couples that are lesbian couples (one of these families has kids and one does not). They are very good friends. Our oldest is almost 8. He asked once or twice when he was about 4-5 if men could marry men and if women could marry women. We just said, yes. He has never asked again or even seems interested. Our youngest is too little to notice.

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A.G.

answers from Dallas on

I don't have a problem with my 7 year old watching shows with homosexuality. Two of my best friends are a lesbian couple. I do have a big problem with him watching some of the trashy TV that constantly shows people talking about sex and that makes jokes that demean women. He doesn't need to see that.

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M.F.

answers from Portland on

Our daughter is 6.
She knows that men have penises, women have vaginas.
She knows that semen from a man and a egg from a woman make a fetus.
That fetus eventually grows and is born and is a baby.
Some women have abortions, some give babies up for adoption (she knows what that is) and some keep the baby.

She knows what Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender means.

She knows that ANY 2 people who love each other can get married and have kids and be any size family they want.

When she talks about getting married and having kids as a grown up her specific words are
"When I grow up and have a husband or a wife, I want to have 2 kids."

I see ZERO difference between her seeing her dad and I kiss and her seeing 2 men kiss.
I think it is hypocritical to teach about one and not all.
I think it is selfish to not prepare your kids for the fact that they will encounter all kinds of people in life,
AND they themselves might be gay.

Our daughter knows that the most important things to us are that she gets a good education, finds someone (man or woman) who treats her well and makes her happy and that she is financially and emotionally secure and mature before marriage or kids.

Again, she is 6, going on 7.
We have been having "bird and the bees" talks for a couple of years, with more and more info over time.
SHE is the one asking, I am not forcing info on her.

She watches GLEE and Modern Family with us.
My best friend is a married lesbian with a son.
I am bisexual, my daughter knows this.

I see no problem here, my daughter is and will always be a open minded, caring, loving, person who never judges anyone based on shallow things like who they love.

My opinion.

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A.M.

answers from Kansas City on

it's hard to judge without knowing what shows you're referring to. to me if it was like a sitcom where a couple was gay, i wouldn't address it at all. it's part of life. no different than if the show was about a man and woman who were married.

but i agree that it is hard to avoid the "sex" in tv nowdays. either they're showing someone in a sexual situation or they're talking about it. my 5 year old doesn't "get" most of it (and we watch most of the grownup shows after he goes to bed anyway) so i haven't had to address that YET but i know it's coming...

(in general, i am most proud of the fact that my son sees his mom and dad love each other very much and treat each other very well, more than worrying about what he sees on tv, which he knows isn't always real)

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A.V.

answers from Washington DC on

It would depend on the content the same as it would on any other show. I'd rather her see a committed gay couple than a character that has a series of one night stands and three kids he or she doesn't pay attention to or support or a bunch of crude humor passed on as entertainment. Not everything we watch is appropriate for children. Not everything geared toward kids is appropriate for kids. You might do better do OnDemand something you find appropriate or pop in a DVD to enjoy as a family if the general content on TV bothers you.

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C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

We typically don't watch Modern Family or other shows like that - so they don't get exposed to things we don't want them to be exposed to. We watch Storage Wars, Sons of Guns, NCIS, Wipe Out, Last Man Standing, etc. as a family.

NCIS is adding - it appears - a new agent to their cast - who is gay. And we watch that show. I don't know how they will handle it.

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K.H.

answers from Boston on

I don't think it has come up in any of the shows my kids watch. With that said, I don't have any issue with them seeing homosexuality on tv. They have already been exposed to gay couples in real life, so I don't see any issue with it. At 4 my daughter said "Mom I really like your friends. <pause> Two guys and a baby. Where is the mom?" I responded with all families are different. Some have a mom and a dad, some have 2 dads, some have 1 kid, some have 5 kids etc. The important thing is to have people who love you. Her response? Okay. Since it isn't an issue to me, I hope to teach tolerance in my kids as well.

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L.M.

answers from Denver on

I guess I am confused. If you have no problem with homosexuality, why would is this even an issue?

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L.B.

answers from Provo on

Here is a new concept. If you don't like the content of what is available on television, get rid of the television and do something more constructive in the evenings than watching and exposing your children to corrupt shows. I got rid of mine five years ago and have not missed it for one minute.

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D.H.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Embrace the opportunity you have when your kids ask tough questions. As uncomfortable as giving the answers may be... This is a GOOD thing. It will help them become better decision makers later in life. If you aren't sure how to answer the question at that moment, don't be afraid to say, 'ya know, that's a good question. Let me give that some thought and we'll talk about it later tonight'. Don't forget to answer it though! Alternatively, ask your child what they think about it first. This can also give you some time to think about a response. ;) I often tuck in at bed time with my 10 year old and ask HIM some of these tough questions (admittedly, the homosexuality question is not tough for us), or I'll just ask to tell me about something on his mind. Good luck!

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R.A.

answers from Providence on

If I did, none of the people in my household would notice.

Obviously , as parents, we don't watch shows that are sexual and extremely violent with our son( age 8), so really, I don't see the problem. He's never pointed it out to us, we never pointed it out to him. He understands that people choose to love someone regardless of gender or color or whatever. If he sees a man kiss another man, or two women holding hands, it's not going to affect him any differently then if it were a man and a women kissing, or holding hands..So , I don't think I am really "exposing" him to anything wrong.

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S.

answers from Denver on

My kids are 7 and 9 and we watch shows with homosexuality, like Glee. They get uncomfortable when ANYBODY kisses on t.v. I just act like it is not a big deal so they don't think it is a big deal. Because it is not.

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