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Miley Cyrus Bigger Threat to Kids Than Hard-Core Porn! Say What?

Miley Cyrus twerks up a storm with Robin Thicke on the MTV Video Music Awards.

Miley Cyrus twerks up a storm with Robin Thicke on the MTV Video Music Awards. (Photo: Getty)

Miley Cyrus has been targeted in the UK as a bigger threat to kids than hardcore porn. A “child protection” expert made the claim and former Eurhythmics singer Annie Lennox backed him up, blaming record labels for tarting up young pop stars.

Seems like there might be some credence to that, except for the fact that the trend has been going on for at least a decade, if not longer, without a noticeable impact.

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In 2003, Billboard magazine first detailed the trend in an article about the increasing sexualization of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.

The industry defended the move at the time, saying they were playing the role of “seductresses.” It was the same year Madonna planted kisses on Spears and Aguilera at the MTV Video Music Awards.

The latest comments were made before a Culture, Media and Sport select committee in the UK looking into the impact of Cyrus and other performers on children, according to London’s Telegraph newspaper.

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“I think there is far to great focus and emphasis on [the online pornography] side of the debate,” said the expert, Jim Gamble, the former head of the government’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.

“If you look at Miley Cyrus, if you look at some of the other pop stars and their behavior, that has a far greater and much more easily accessible influence on young people today than actually seeing adult, or hardcore pornography,” he said.

“There is no debate or discussion really about that because you have young pop stars who young people want to emulate behaving in a highly sexualized way, and there is no filter,” he added.

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For her part, Lennox said record companies are “peddling highly styled pornography” at young “impressionable” girls, who were already bombarded with “a tidal wave of sexualized imagery.”

Maybe so, but what’s been the practical impact? Absolutely nothing. To the contrary, teens seem more responsible than ever.

The teen birth rate has declined almost continuously over the past 20 years, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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In 1991, the U.S. teen birth rate was 61.8 births for every 1,000 adolescent females between the ages of 15 and 19, compared with 29.4 births for every 1,000 adolescent females of the same age in 2012, according to the HHS. The teen birth rate is even lower in the United Kingdom.

Cyrus has produced a lot of hand-wringing, pearl-clutching and so-called “expert” commentary with her recent performances, but it’s all essentially quackery.

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