Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

13 August 2008

Dave wise talks through an article about Marital Sex on TV

Article: A new study says the boob tube is undermining traditional family values and creating a world where adultery and pre-marital sex are the new normal. The study by The Parents Television Council, titled "Happily Never After" finds that television broadcast networks depict sex within marriage as "either non-existent or burdensome while showing positive depictions of extra-marital or adulterous sexual relationships with alarming frequency."

Dave: This actually annoys me. The "my dumb old husband won't stop trying to get me in the sack" or "the ole' she hag that won't put out" characters are actually worse than the midgets who struggle with necrophilia in some ways. Because all marriages have sex issues that need tweaking... few midgets struggle with dead lust.

Article: "These study results suggest that many in Hollywood are actively seeking to undermine marriage by consistently showing it in a negative manner," said Tim Winter, president of the PTC, in a release. He goes on to say that in addition to its mostly negative portrayal of marriage, television has also become a stage for sexual expression that would have been unacceptable less than a generation ago.

Dave: Just a wee bit. Actually had to give up watching CSI a bunch of years ago. Not because of the gore... because of the episode where people dressed in mascot suits kept having sex with each other... then killing each other. Yuck.

Article: Those include, according to the survey, threesomes, partner swapping, pedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality and sex with prostitutes. Add to that depictions of strippers, references to masturbation and sex toys, and television has created the perfect storm to blast away the last remnants of family values in Hollywood, the report suggests.

Dave: Yeah there weren't too many Ricki and Lucy episodes based around vibrators. Just sayin.

Article: Winter said the phenomenon will undoubtedly influence the values of future generations. "Throughout much of the history of broadcast television, the networks adhered to a voluntary code of conduct which stipulated that respect should be maintained for the sanctity of marriage and the value of the home. Our report finds that not only are the boundaries no longer respected - they have been obliterated," Winter said.

Dave: Part of me agrees. Part thinks the term "sanctity of marriage" is overused by conservative nerds. It makes marriage sound too squeaky clean. How could those involved in something so saintly ever get it on... down and dirty like? Maybe that's why outside of marriage passionate sex portrayal is less a left wing conspiracy and more a result of our religious hangups about sex in the first place?

Article: Following are some of the key findings of the study across all networks:
  • Verbal references to non-marital sex outnumbered references to marital sex three to one.
  • Scenes depicting or implying sex between non married couples outnumbered by a ratio of four to one, scenes between married partners.
  • References to adultery outweighed by a ratio of two to one, references to marital sex.
Dave: Again... annoys me. First it tells me that (go figure) sex is an integral part of our daily lives. We have it... think about having it... plan parts of life around it. It's part of the human plot line, which is why TV talks about it. So married people need to talk more about it positively. Honestly. In this case (and in many cases)... art reflects life. Why? Because they are selling what entice people. And Christians are squeamish for no reason whatsoever.

Article: Following are some of the study's findings broken down by network:

  • ABC has the most references to marital sex, but many of them put it in a negative light, while almost all referenced to non-marital sex were positive or at worst, neutral.
  • In 46 hours of programming NBC has only one reference to marital sex while there were 11 references to non-marital sex and one reference to adultery.
  • Also on NBC, references to incest, pedophilia, bestiality, prostitution, transsexuals/transvestites, partner-swapping and necrophilia outnumbered references to marital sex 27 to one.
  • And a tally showed NBC's depictions of adults having sex with minors as equal in number to scenes implying or depicting sex between married partners.

Dave: So then... NBC is evil. Clearly.

Article: But Rob Salem, television critic for the Toronto Star, said the PTC is naive if it believes television has a role as an ambassador for family values."There's the expectation that television is some reflection of reality. Reality television isn't even a reflection of reality," Salem told CTV Newsnet."Have these people been living in a cave? I mean, pre-marital sex, extra-martial sex, it's not like this is new to television. It's been around for a while."

Dave: He's somewhat right. It's not a reflection of reality... but it's a pimped up version of mindsets that are enticing to the audience. If married people had the best sex then (oh wait... every study says that's true... we do)... so maybe we should just say it a bit louder and prouder.

Article: The study mentions the steamy "Grey's Anatomy", "Boston Legal" and "Desperate Housewives" as harmful to families, while the shows "Everybody Hates Chris" and "Friday Night Lights" are listed as depicting solid family values.

Dave: And now turn to the gospel of Chris Rock...

Article: But Salem said TV has always pushed the boundaries and is continuing that trend."The thing I find encouraging is a lot of these shows are going beyond that and reinforcing non-traditional families with single parents or same-sex parents," Salem said.

Dave: Like Ellen? Or Rosie?

Article: Winter, on the other hand, is calling for a return to more modest prime time programming. "Broadcasters, knowing television's ability to influence behavior, must exercise greater responsibility when handling sexual situations during primetime hours -- opting for less graphic visual content, and favoring storylines that don't celebrate promiscuity, glamorize criminality, or denigrate monogamy," he said.

"The American people need to hold the networks and their local broadcast affiliates accountable for pushing questionable content into their homes over the publicly owned broadcast airwaves."

Dave: I'm not sure that the people CAN hold a network accountable. How would that look? Picket signs? Angry Christian letters? Yeah... Christendom could use juuuuust a bit more of that!

But... you can get free, live free and free others from some of the trappings of the conservative mindset... then go shape the culture. Frankly, I like some sex stuff in sitcoms. It's part of our lives. There are some killer King of Queens episode about sex. We actually enjoy laughing about sex in our home. Go figure... sex... is fun.


Jeff said...

The thing I don't get is why people complain about this stuff. I mean honestly, shows stay on the air because people watch them. Complain all you want, but if people are still watching the shows, it's going to stay on. So the emphasis should not be about getting the morals into the television, it should be about getting the morals back into the people watching it. You want less sex on TV? Start evangelizing...

Dave Carrol said...

You are right. I guess one of the reasons why some of this bugs me is what you find out when you get married and begin to realize just how much your perceptions about sex have either been formed by

a)Media who shows sex as frivilous
b)Conservative folks who, either on purpose of by accident, treat sex as dirty

Neither are the truth so you spend years working to overcome bad mindset that in small way rob you of little bits of God's good gift.

Jamie said...

You sure post alot of stuff about SEX... lol

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