In the show a man was stood up at the alter by his finance. Instead of seeking compassion from his
friends he went to Paris to get over her. There, he met a beautiful Zoo Keeper who
later in the day he was having sex with. During the sex scene it reveled the
womans breasts and showed them engaging in intercourse (Bellafante).
Late night cable television is allowed to show these scenes and does so
frequently. Over 75 percent of late night shows on premium stations like: HBO,
Cinemax, and Showtime show sex scenes like the one on strangers often
Sexual content is not only found on late night premium stations but also on
regular sitcoms shown during family hour. (Impoco) On NBCs popular sitcom
Friends, Phoebe has a major problem. Her boyfriend wont sleep with her! The
guy still wont put out, huh? a friend asks. The gang then speculates that he must
be gay. But Phoebe then rules that out by bringing up a circumstance when she
was dancing with him recently. She points out that while they were dancing he
became aroused. She knew this because she felt his penis poking into her hip.
Later in the show she can barely contain her happiness when she tells the gang that
they finally made it.(Tyler pg 954-65) The trick she says was that she made it
clear to him that she wasnt expecting a commitment just because they had sex.
In an extensive study by, Robert Lichter, Linda Lichter, Stanley Rothman
and Daniel Amundson found that a sexual act or reference occurred every four
minutes on average during a prime time show (Polymorphous). On NBCs
Caroline in the City, penis size is a running joke. When a male character asks
does size matter? a female responds Give women some credit! Of course not
unless youre having sex.(Impoco) On ABCs Grace Under Fire Grace
promises to repay her boyfriend with Mother Natures credit card if he watches
her kids (Polymorphous). On NBCs Mad About You a neighbor asks Paul for
permission to loosely cup his dogs testicles to prove a point. On Foxs Melrose
Place a plastered Jake takes a stranger to his hotel room. He asks her no strings
attached, right? (Steinbeck pg 565-573) none but these she replies as she drops
her spaghetti straps of her slip. And on NBCs Seinfield a minicrisis erupts
because of a shortage of contraceptive sponges. Because of the circumstance
Elaine must interview her date to see if he is sponge worthy. He passes with flying
Recently the comedy sitcom star Ellen has came out of the closet by
revealing the fact that she is a lesbian. Her weekly sitcom is now based on her
being a lesbian. The number of gay/ lesbian/ or bisexual characters on television
has increased dramatically since TVs beginning. (See chart below)
The first gay character appeared in 1970 in the UK Since then many TV
shows have had characters appear as being gay
(http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~wyatt/tv-characters.html). One sitcom, which ran
from 1972-1977, had 14 characters appear as being gay on a regular basis
(http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~wyatt/tv-characters.html). From 1971-1980 21
shows had a total of 55 gay characters
(http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~wyatt/tv-characters.html). From 1981-1990 45
shows had a total of 93 gay characters
(http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~wyatt/tv-characters.html). And from 1991-present
there have been 66 shows with 138 gay characters making an appearance
(http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~wyatt/tv-characters.html). That is a drastic increase
from the one show and one gay character appearing between 1961-1970
Some say television is the best sex educator that society can offer. But the
message being sent out is to go for it (Tan pg 912-917). On television it is taken
for granted that after a few dates you sleep with the person. In a recent report sent
out by the Media Research Center it was found that portrayals of premarital sex out
numbered sex within marriage by 8 to 1 (Impoco). Furthermore, casual sex was
almost always condoned.
In our survey we asked teens and adults a series of questions about sex on
television. The questions were Do you think TV has too much sexual content?,
Do you think what is portrayed on TV effects your personal decisions?, and Do
you think TV events are real and believable and would actually happen in
everyday life? (See chart below for results)
TV effects personal decisions? Too much sexual content?
TV is real and believable?
92% of teens say that TV does not have too much sexual content. 100% of
teens say that TV does not effect their personal decisions. 76% of teens say that
TV is believable and could actually happen.
Too much sexual content? TV effects personal decisions?
TV is real and believable?
68% of adults say that TV has to much sexual content. 72% of adults say
that TV does effect their personal decisions. 60% of adults say that TV is
believable and could actually happen. In the kite poem the auther says they fled
to their young men….And kissed and kissed,(Merrill pg 1119) they did this
against their fathers will.
Friends showing on NBC at 8 p.m. have plots loaded with references to
casual sex. 61% of Hollywood leaders think TV places too much emphasis on sex,
and 92% say TV does a poor job of encouraging abstinence (Impoco). Melrose
Place showing on FOX during the family hour (referred to now as sex hour
by the article text).
Anyone who watches day time talk shows and listens to the topics that are
discussed will find it hard to reject other kinds of behavior that are wrong yet less
unreasonable.(Updike pg 898-901)
On the Jerry Springer show, a hefty woman with orange hair and a notably
missing tooth, named Peaches tells her boyfriend she wants to get physical with
another female (Polymorphous). On Ricki Lake, Brenda, with a variety of missing
teeth scolds her son-in-law for caring too much about what she does on her own
personal time. She finally gets so disgusted that she bends over and points her rear
at his face (Polymorphous). On Sally Jessy Raphael, a 13 year old boy named
Rocky wearing lipstick and a red dress tells why he enjoys dressing like a girl
while his mother sits nearby and weeps.(Alverez pg 903-910)
Miss Raphael defends her show by saying that it is a kind of modern
morality play which really encourages wholesome behavior (Polymorphous). The
show may not be telling 13 year old boys to wear lipstick and a dress but what it is
doing is just as bad or worse. Daytime talkshows raise the nations shock threshold
(Polymorphous). Anyone who watches these shows and listens to topics like the
ones listed above or Geraldo Riveras show on a 16 year old girl who is bisexual
and needs sex all the time, will find it hard to reject other kinds of behavior. The
other things that are still bad but not as bad seem less harmful and more O.K. to do.
(Lee pg 968-976)
So as you can see sex on television has definitely increased over the years.
It is still getting worse and our children will probably be able to say the same thing
about our generation, as far as sex on TV goes. This is only one problem between
the generations but it is a fairly serious one.
Anderson, Robert. Et Al. Chicago. Holt, Riveheart, and Winston, 1993 pg-pg
Steinbeck, John. The leader of the People pg.565-573
Updike, John. Son pg.898-901
Alverez, Julia. Daughter of Invention pg.903-910
Tan, Amy. rules of the Game pg.912-917
Tyler, Anne. Your Place is Empty pg.954-965
Lee, Andrea. New African pg.968-976
Merrill, James. Kite Poem pg.1116
Bellafante, Ginia. Now, the Sex Files. Proquest Resource
Impoco, Jim. TVs Frisky Family Values. Proquest Resource
Polymorphous Perversity. Proquest Resource
Wyatt, David. Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Television Characters.