Addressing Consent and the Movie “Show Dogs”

BGCA’s Child & Club Safety and Youth Trends teams recently learned about some controversy surrounding a recent film release. Keep reading for a list of free resources for discussing consent that can be used alongside the film or at any time with your members.

The movie Show Dogs was recently released in theaters as a fun summer children’s movie. However, some adults expressed concern over a plot point present throughout the movie that may teach children that it’s OK for strangers to touch their private parts.

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After concern gained publicity, culminating in a statement from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, the film’s producers announced that they will be reediting the film, cutting out the objectionable scenes. For more information on the content of the scenes and the responses, you can read more here.

Whether you watch the film as a Club or not, it can serve as a great opportunity to talk about and teach consent to your members. Consent means permission for something to happen or an agreement to do something. Consent is more than just “yes” or “no” – it is a dialogue about desires, needs, and level of comfort with different physical and/or sexual interactions. Consent is rooted in respect, and needs to be clear and specific. Below is a quick, easy to understand video to help explain the concept of consent to youth.

We’ve vetted some resources from trusted organizations to help you discuss consent and touching with youth that can be used as a follow up to this movie, or as general discussion topics in the Club. They are all freely available at the following links:

Teaching consent doesn’t have to be difficult, and it can be done at any age! The first step is initiating dialogue and ensuring everyone feels safe and comfortable with the conversation. We hope these resources can help get the discussion around consent started in your Club, and encourage you to seize teachable moments as they arise throughout the day.

If you would like more information on guiding youth through this or other difficult topics, you can email ClubXBlog@bgca.org to get connected to the right content team at BGCA. To report any concerns regarding possible inappropriate behavior towards a Club member, call the free and confidential safety hotline at 1-866-607-SAFE (7233). For more safety resources, Club staff can visit BGCA.net/childsafety.

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Rachel Greene-Wilbur is Director of Youth Program & Trends at BGCA. In her spare time, she loves to go on hikes with her dog! LOOK HOW HAPPY SHE IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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