, Research Paper
Most parents want to do their best in talking with their kids about sex and sexuality, but often are not sure how to begin. Discussing sexual behavior early with your children will reduce the confusion and anxiety kids may feel about this subject, it may also teach them how to protect themselves and to care for their body. Teaching your children about sex demands a gentle, continuous flow of information that should begin as early as possible. These open discussions about sex are sometimes very hard for a family to encounter, and with it being a hot topic on television shows everywhere families are left no choice but to discuss sex openly and honestly at earlier ages than anticipated.
Today in America, watching television is the most popular form of leisure activity. Children of the United States are the major viewers of television. In the past several years, sex has overtaken violence as the main subject for most popular TV network sitcoms and drama shows. These networks think sex will likely attract a larger and broader audience, creating several sitcom programs to use sexual context as a theme. There was a time when television networks followed standards, which kept bad language, questionable morals, and sexual behavior off the airwaves. Some people at the time might of thought that such restrictions would dampen creativity and ideas. Those days have come and gone and now are considered “the golden age” of television. Today’s standards free television shows are open with sex and sexual languages that are obvious to the most casual viewer. Sometimes when stopping to think I say to myself what difference does sex on TV make anyway ? Isn’t it up to parents to teach their children about sexual morality ? The reality then is brought on society and the moral norms that have been established over the years. In society, cultural pressure to regulate behavior is also vital. Some subjects like sex used to be to embarrassing to talk about in public because it was not socially acceptable. For example television early days had shows like I Love Lucy that was one of the most watched television shows in the early 1950’s. Lucy and Rickie followed censorship laws as each episode was written. A simple thing like the word sex was unspoken, the couple even slept in different beds and rarely showed sexual affection to one another.
But now sex, sexual language and context is socially acceptable. Our society now clearly permits such behavior, since it is treated on television as no big deal, thus becoming the norm. One of the first pioneers of this sexual freedom was the Brady Bunch . For the first time in television history, a married couple was seen together in the same bed. Not having sex, just talking. But for its time, the acknowledgment that married people sleep together was provocative and risky. In 1970 s, sexuality in television moved to a higher level M.A.S.H. brought the discussion of homosexuality to the TV screen along with sexual jokes to create television s new comedy shows. By the time television had moved into the 90’s, sex seemed to be a major topic of conversation and focus within many shows. Many shows such as “Married with Children “Roseanne,” and Beverly Hills 90210 deal with teenage girls and boys engaging in sexual activities. It is acceptable for the young characters on the shows to interact with each other in a sexual manner and talk freely about sex. These types of shows provide to the audience with laughter and with some real life situations that kids deal with every day. Other shows like Seinfeld brings sex and comedy together discussing serious sexual issues in a joking manner. In one particular episode, one entire show was dedicated to masturbation but without using the word itself. This goes to show us even when taking chances, TV is careful not to offend the audience it has taken decades to capture.
Overall, sex on television is here to stay and is accepted by our society for the most part. The 1990 s and 2000 s sitcoms deal with many real-life situations, many of these issues are dealt with in weird ways, however different from how our family, these issues do occur. The truth of the matter is many of these fictional families do take some of the sexual context to the extremes, but what we must realize is that these are fictional families that make sex more open and easier to discuss when the time is right.