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Teenage Loving Entertainment Trend; Adolescents and Parents' Opinions
  • By Seo Ji-min, reporter
  • 승인 2023.11.06 08:38
  • 호수 325
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▲ A screenshot of the TVING's variety show 'Boy and Girl Love' (Source: YouTube TVING)

Recently, various entertainment shows on the theme of dating between adult men and women, such as 'Heart Signal,' 'Transfer Love,' and 'I'm Solo,' have attracted great attention from the MZ Generation. The characteristic of love entertainment, which is more stimulating, has hit viewers' demand because it deals with 'dating:' a situation where it is easy to form a consensus as the subject of 'love' that everyone has felt directly or indirectly, and has to fully reveal the rawest emotions. Thanks to this enthusiastic trend of 'love entertainment,' entertainment programs dealing with the romance between teenagers have recently appeared one after another. However, unlike existing adult dating entertainment shows, the reaction is mixed as the performers are underage.

Underage dating programs that have been aired so far include Netflix entertainment show 'Nineteen Twenty,' a concept in which nineteen- year- old students get to know each other until they become twenty years old; MBN entertainment show 'High School Parents,' which introduces the stories of students who started dating underage and became parents in their teens; and Tving entertainment show 'Boy and Girl Love,' where art high school students from all over the country meet to find a romantic partner. On the online community, which is dominated by teenagers, there were many positive responses such as, "It's more fun to watch it because it deals with relationships of the same age," "It looks pure and cute," and, "My friends around me, including myself, are in a lot of relationships, so I can relate to it." On the other hand, most of the parents are concerned about such broadcasts, stating, "I am afraid that it will give teenagers, who need to be faithful to their studies above all else, a perception that 'our relationship is a given right,'" "It is premature to appear when things are not properly done, such as sex education for students," and, "I am worried that it will become increasingly stimulating as it is media content."

The negative reaction of parents in their 40s and 50s to the youth love- themed entertainment, seems to be due to the fact that the perception of those days still remains, because the 'student relationship' was a 'no- holds- barred matter' when they were in middle and high school. In fact, according to the Ministry of Education, 1,190 high schools, which is more than half of the nation's high schools, had school rules related to sexual intercourse until 2013, and there were many cases of school disciplinary action against students who violated them. However, since the enactment of the Student Human Rights Ordinance, which stipulates that, "students have the right to form the human relationship they want and to be respected," restrictions on sexual intercourse in school have disappeared, and relationships between students have become more free. As such, students have become more flexible in forming their own relationships with the change of school rules and the trend of the times, but the generation of parents has not been able to adapt to this, and there is a conflict of opinion by pessimistically looking at underage relationships and related media content. Kwak Geum- joo, a psychology professor at Seoul National University, advised, "Parents need to accept it as one of their developmental tasks and help their children experience it in a healthier and more positive way, rather than blindly opposing their children's sexual intercourse. Emotional support should be given to teenagers who are still immature, so that they can talk comfortably about relationships or even sexual problems."

It may also be a natural phenomenon to deal with the sexual intercourse of minors in the media, as the age group who opens their eyes to love is getting lower. These broadcasts may be an opportunity to inform parents, who view adolescent relationships negatively, about changing social trends and make them have deeper conversations with their children. In fact, producer Nam Sung- hyun, who is directing MBN's entertainment show 'High School Parents,' said, "I hope it will be an opportunity for all age groups to think about the love of students and adolescent sex culture through teenage parents who appear in 'High School Parents." However, even considering that current teenagers have more values than past teenagers, it is clear that they are still at an age that requires consideration from guardians and society. Therefore, related broadcast producers will have to make conscious efforts to avoid stimulating consumption and objectification toward teenage cast members.

By Seo Ji-min, reporter  jmseo1215@naver.com

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