Been noticing the hilarious amount of press this week over a new study by something called the Kaiser Family Foundation, to the effect that the amount of sex on television these days is so prevalent that it's only a matter of time before the #1 rated network will be something like The Fisting Channel and, over on PBS, Bert and Ernie decide to come out. Kind of makes me think I might want to watch a few TV shows myself for a change. But then I know what would happen. I'd channel-surf for about two hours, think, Well, that was a waste of time, and go back to what I was doing beforehand.
Reading the study, you come across passages that make snarky phrases like "Way too much time on your hands, isn't there?" run laps across your mind.
The study found that 70% of all shows include some sexual content, and that these shows average 5.0 sexual scenes per hour, compared to 56% and 3.2 scenes per hour respectively in 1998, and 64% and 4.4 scenes per hour in 2002.
It occurs to me that sitting around meticulously timing sex scenes and working out mathematical percentages and stuff is not exactly what you're meant to be doing when you're watching them. I think the intended effect is meant to be, you know, a bit more visceral. I mean, how dweeby do you have to be to stopwatch this stuff? Good grief.
Anyway, I'm sure to the chagrin of the previously mentioned Parents Television Council (why do all the "ooo, sex is bad" groups have names with words in them like "Parents" and "Family"? — how do they think you're supposed to make a family!?), all this forniculatory copulational stuff cannot exactly be blamed for any increase in actual naughty behaviors. As the Washington Post reports:
In the slightly more than 1,000 shows scrutinized in the study, nearly 4,000 scenes had sexual content, compared with fewer than 2,000 in 1998, when the foundation started studying TV sex. And yet the rate of teen pregnancy in this country has plunged by about one-third during approximately the same time.
So, I guess the "For God's sake, won't someone think of the children?" argument has been intercepted before it could even get off the line of scrimmage. Fact, folks: Television shows don't take normal, sensible, well-adjusted people of any age and reprogram them to do things they wouldn't otherwise do. Your kids are not hard disc drives into which TV shows can install viruses that corrupt their system software and make them stop operating properly. If your kid is going out having wanton irresponsible sex, you should forget about what may or may not be on TV, and take a good hard look at your own parenting skills.