Twilight—Does It Have the Power to Desensitize Us?

We've been discussing discernment here on LYWB. As part of that discussion, I wanted us to take a hard look at the series Twilight. Why? Because it seems that this is an element of pop culture where many young women are struggling to decipher between truth and lies. There are several reasons why I think Twilight is an unwise media choice. One of the most compelling reasons is that the books get progressively more dark, violent, and sexual. It is possible to argue that the first book is relatively harmless. The plot stays pretty clean, and the story line is simple. But this certainly isn't true in the subsequent books. In the final book, Breaking Dawn, there is an increasing focus on horror and the occult. Bella dies and is transformed into a vampire. How? Edward transforms her by biting her all over her body. The scene is sexually charged and violent. But it gets worse. Bella soon gives birth to a half-vampire/half-human baby that rips its way out of her womb. This is obviously scary and violent. But by now readers of the series are so hooked that it seems they are desensitized. This is dangerous indeed. Nancy and Dannah write about this desensitization process in Lies Young Women Believe:

"If you are taking in regular or significant doses of music, television, the Internet, and movies, you are being affected by them. The question is: Are you being influenced positively or negatively? The impact is usually not felt immediately-it's more like an IV in your arm that goes drip ... drip ... drip ... gradually pumping a foreign substance into your system. If the substance dripping through the plastic tubing is toxic or poisonous, you may not feel the results right away, but once it gets into your system, your whole body will definitely be affected! Likewise, the consequences of taking toxic media into your mind and soul may not be realized until further down the road when it's too late and the damage has been done" (Lies Young Women Believe, 152).

Second Timothy 2:22 tells us to "flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart." This passage gives us clear instructions for what to do when we have an encounter with evil. We are supposed to run in the opposite direction. I think the most dangerous part of this series is that the violence, sexuality, and darkness are introduced so slowly that most readers miss their cue to run.

About the Author

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is married to her high school sweetheart, Jason, and together they parent four energetic boys on their small farm in the midwest. She is the author of more than a dozen books and Bible studies, the content manager for Revive Our Hearts, and a host of the Grounded videocast. You can hear her teach on The Deep Well with Erin Davis podcast.