A recent study conducted by the Parents Television Council reveals American television depiction of marriage is getting the short end of the stick compared to sexual imagery describing the “joys” of extra-marital sex, BDSM, swinging, and the like.
Such references, according to PTC, outnumber marital sex 3:1.
So? What’s Wrong With That?
So why is a study like this rubbing me the wrong way? Because this study is nothing short of a scare tactic trying its best to get viewers ashamed of themselves from ever talking about any sexual issues couples, married or not, are talking about in the real world.
“Why do you want to go down this road? Come back to marital sex; come back to the traditional and the true.” I wish we all could but judging by the recent divorce rates, the number of struggling marriages nationwide, and the number of extra marital affairs in the news and in private the marriage brand is looking pretty worn and dusted instead of new and busted.
How Does Society Affect The Marriage Bed?
Again the age old question of does television affect society or is society affecting television comes into play. We see how today many couples and singles are talking about everything from sex toys to an occasional “booty call”. In suburbia, we see couples mowing their yard and taking their kids to soccer practices all the time.
However, these same couples are out at the strip clubs or “swapping” with their neighbors when the sun goes down. Also in suburbia, the drama of couples making up and breaking up happens much more frequently (and without a Hollywood script) than on Wisteria Drive among the ladies from Desperate Housewives.
In putting this story together one study from 2005 (from the New York Times) finds 51% of women are living without a spouse, up from 35%. The 2005 study also found married couples becoming the minority instead of the majority.
For the PTC blaming television of the ill news about marriage is both asinine and thoughtless. Or, to put it in the popular vernacular, it’s sounds like a “you” problem not a “we” problem.
The idea of marriage not getting a fair shake on television is ludicrous! Marriage for years is portrayed as the “cure all” to all sexual issues and lustful intentions. Someone forgot to tell those proponents it shouldn’t be used as a stop gate to begin with.
To blame television as the “ill” maker of society has more to do with the lack of creativity on the part of television executives and in Hollywood (i.e.–reality television) cheapening the airwaves with fast food programming then families and couples going through the struggles and challenges of everyday life.
The Real Problem
I find fault on many levels, but I think my biggest issue lies with the PTC itself. Why on God’s green earth do we need a group like this? Here is the groups statement describing the groups purpose:
The Parents Television Council (PTC) the nation’s most influential advocacy organization protecting children against sex, violence, and profanity in entertainment with more than one million members and growing!
Protecting children against sex, violence and profanity on television?? What about taking the fight to society against violence in society and how it is glorified in movies and media. How about letting parents deal with profanity in their own way stressing to children how these words are poor choices and find better ways to express their frustration.
Instead of your group trying to find sexual issues on every channel why not talk to your neighbors about it or maybe urge Hollywood and the main stream media to stop with the drivel of reality television and actually put on shows with intelligence and depth instead of dumbing down the populace.
America Has Had Enough!
American society is fed up and tired of being force fed the joys of martial bliss; we’re tired of being told marriage is going to solve all our problems. Truth is we all have our issues regarding relationships/sexuality coming from many voices with most of it not true.
To be told marriage will magically change the way we look and feel is a bold face lie. Why don’t we level with couples, young and old, about marriage. “Look, if you are getting married hoping you do things the right way or change the way you act and behave I think you two may need to do some heavy duty counseling before taking the next step. Why not talk to each other and find out what makes each of you tick. Honest straight talk, not the B.S. you call lover’s chit chat.”
I also think groups like the PTC need to disband and find a new aim instead of trying to harp on a subject which has more to do about society in general than the screen facing families day and night. They might find we’ve been talking about sex toys, swinging, voyeurism and the like for years and it’s the critics, not television, that’s behind the times.