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Sex On Television Essay Research Paper Sex

Sex On Television Essay, Research Paper

Sex and intimacy on television has long been a fought

over topic in our society. For years, the FCC and the

MPAA have censored any content they deem sexually or

verbally explicit from our viewing, and as we know

television is one of the largest influences on our

culture ever artificially created. Still though, sex

and intimacy seep through the cracks of the system and

into aspects of our lives.

During the early days of television, sexual

situations were rare and intimate moments were few and

far between. On “I Love Lucy”, the Ricardos were no

exception. Lucy and Ricky rarely touched each other

for any reason other than a quick embrace or in a

friendly manner. Their contact was nothing like the

way we now expect a husband and wife to interact. And

as you may know, they slept in separate beds, which

has also been a topic of great discussion. While, of

course, married couples at the time, almost without

exception, shared the same bed, television producers

thought displaying this implied sexual contact, which

was of course a big no-no in the mid-fifties.

The Bradys were slightly more liberal about

intimacy. This is most likely attributed to the fact

that the show ran from 1969 to 1974 during which our

society was still going through an enormous shift in

its value system. Contrary to rumors, Mike and Carol

Brady were not the first married couple on television

to share a bed; the Munsters had done that already.

There were also segments during some episodes which

showed Carol and Mike in bed together discussing the

days events and usually they would conclude by kissing

each other good night and going to sleep. Kissing

between them was also not that big of an issue; they

did it frequently and without hesitation as a sign they

loved each other, as most couples on television

before were unable to express physically. Again, this

type of activity contained sexual innuendos but, as I

said, our culture was already fairly comfortable with

this. And besides, the fact that they had six children

between them clearly implied some kind of intimacy for

both parents. Greg, Peter, Bobby, Marcia, Jan, and

Cindy did not just fall from the sky.

Roseanne again displayed a radical shift in

the development of sex on television. Dan and Roseanne

Connor, were completely open, not just about their own

sex lives, but about everything else they dealt with.

Excluding the witty retorts and frequent fat jokes,

the show itself couldn’t have been more accurate if

they’d put a camera in almost any blue-collar

household. The two of them were constantly intimate

and, as a fairly new concept to television, so were

the kids. Becky had a boyfriend whom she made clear

she was having sex with, especially since she married

him. Darlene, the younger daughter, also had a

boyfriend it was mentioned she’d had sex with. They

were also intimate with their boyfriends openly on

camera, which really made no difference to the parents.

Dan and Roseanne had the children when they were

young and understood what it was like. Not many

television shows before this one could claim to be as


The Simpsons, the last family we watched on

television, are also completely open about their

relationship. For example, I can recall a particular

episode where Marge and Homer found they got excited

by having sex in public places and were eventually

caught naked in the middle of a football field, and

this is just one small example from a show that’s

been running for well over ten years. Although

animated, the Simpsons still display intimacy and

sexual situations with humor, showing us that our

society should be able to laugh at our own little

ridiculous shortcomings. Homer and Marge are quite

often seen in the same bed cuddling without any

hesitation. This show in particular, has shaped the

thought patterns of our generation in regards to how

a married couple should conduct themselves, without

all the minor pratfalls. Marge and Homer genuinely

love each other and they make that abundantly clear

in every episode, whether they express it physically

or through their relationship with the children.

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