On Friday, I began reading James Dobson's book, "Raising Boys". I began reading it with skepticism, because I have often disagreed with conservative Christian radio hosts. However, I want to give it a fair read. Lord knows, one can never read too much about parenting. Well, I guess one could read too much of the wrong thing, but I think Doctor Dobson has his heart in the right place. It will be interesting to learn about some of his parenting theories.

So far, he has documented how boys are at particular risk in today's modern society. He has placed special emphasis on the risk of unscrupulous media. He also has written about the "wounded spirit" of boys, and the primary task of parents to prevent the wounding of a boy's spirit. He spoke harshly against Disney, parent of Miramax, which produced the movie Scream. Now, I didn't see anything particularly wrong with Scream. I don't remember what it was rated, but I thought it was a good movie for adults and mature young adults. Certainly, I wouldn't want a toddler or young adolescent to see the movie, but more mature children can recognize it for what it is--a movie, particularly a spoof movie. When it comes to criticism of the media, I think that some people get out of hand. Parents should have control over what their children are watching on TV. TV and movie producers are always going to try to appeal to what they perceive will be entertaining for people. I guess that I believe that TV and movies reflect culture, as opposed to creating culture.

For better or worse, probably worse, violence is all around. It is not just from Hollywood. Our country executes criminals in the name of justice. We go to war. There seems to be an underlying philosophy in this country that might makes right. Violence is extreme, and it appeals to many viewers. Dobson himself uses statistics to assert that boys are drawn to violence. As long as their is a market for violence, the media will contine to exploit it. Parents should understand this, and act accordingly.

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