The usual complaint about television content is about violence. There are many familiar arguments that have been made common by pundits on television, newspapers, and magazines. Violent images on television are said to promote violence among our youth, desensitize all age groups to death and human suffering, and the list goes on and on. What do the prevalent and explicit sexual images that parade across our television screens do to our society? Due to the fact that sex is an acceptable part of life, the graphic sexual images which invade our living rooms have not drawn as much attention as violence has. It is a much more serious and impactful problem which often goes unnoticed and unmentioned by members of society and activist organizations. Sex on television is so engrained in our culture that no one seems to be aware of the negative ramifications such programming has caused and continues to cause. Education by way of social programs and changes in public policy must be enacted to ensure that this bombardment of uncensored quasi-pornography is stopped. In our society there is nudity on network television, not only cable channels, and these images have caused a decline in society’s moral fiber. Even broadcast networks are exposing our children to scantily clad women, parading their nudity and sexuality around on the small screen. If we continue to ignore the problem of sexuality on television we will be faced with an increase in teenage pregnancy, STDs, rape, and incest.
Sexuality is an issue which should be explored when someone is at the right developmental stage psychologically. The mind must be emotionally mature in order to correctly interpret sexual actions and behaviors. The reason there are more teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases is because children are having sex before they are emotionally and intellectually prepared to deal with such an intense and important experience. In a recent study, the RAND Health Institute found the following conclusions:
Teens who watch a lot of television with sexual content are more likely to initiate intercourse within the following year. Television in which characters talk about sex affects teens just as much as television that actually shows sexual activity.
In the same study, it is reported that “Unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are more common among youth who begin sexual activity at earlier ages” (http://www.contenidos.com/files/141.pdf). Children and adolescents in Western society are not developmentally mature enough to engage in sexual behavior. While in some cultures children have sex as early as nine years old, they live in a different world than we do. They marry younger, take on family responsibilities younger, and therefore develop at a different rate than American youths do. However, even though it is the norm in some areas of India, Asia, and Africa to have sex and marry during early adolescence, I would still argue that it is too early to become sexually active at that age, regardless of the culture. Imagine then in this country…our children are ill equipped to deal with the emotional intensity and individual responsibility associated with sexual activity. When sexually active there are many things to take into consideration: safety, pregnancy, diseases and infections, love, respect, and many more. The typical adolescent is not responsible enough to do all their chores without being reminded. Adolescence is a transitional period of development when a child slowly evolves into being an adult. If constantly assailed with sexual images and sexual content they are being provoked to engage in sexual activity before they are ready. There are reasons why we have age minimums for voting, driving, and drinking alcoholic beverages. Young people are not emotionally ready to or equipped to deal with making important choices or indulging in potentially dangerous activities. The same holds true...