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Archive for November 17th, 2005

Sex on TV

Bill O’Reilly had a segment on last night discussing whether or not there is too much sex on TV.

According to a new study, the prevalence of sex scenes on television has doubled over the past seven years. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Robin Bronk of the Creative Coalition debated the impact of sexual activity on the tube. "We have children watching these shows," Perkins complained, "and kids are doing what they see on television. There are clear guidelines for indecency, and some of this material goes over the line. The FCC has a responsibility to make sure that this indecent programming is addressed." Bronk claimed it is mom and dad, not Hollywood or Washington, who need to be vigilant. "This is a travesty of the American family, not a travesty of entertainment. It’s parenting that we need to be worried about, and I am terrified about where the parents are. We need to begin training parents." The Factor countered that it is unrealistic to put the onus on parents. "There are children at risk who don’t have responsible parents. There are millions of parents who don’t give a hoot what their kids watch on television."

Discussions like this vex me, because I have to choose between a far right prude who, to demonstrate how pious he is, admits he never saw what he is complaining about and an unrealistic liberal who seems utterly incapable of understanding what a parent is up against these days.

As much as Tony Perkins may be more on my side on this one I hate holier than thou types. Yes, I watch Desperate Housewives and the Sopranos. I’m not worried about that stuff- it’s on after I put my kids to bed. I have a degree of control. What worries me, and this is something Robin Bronk can’t grasp, is the stuff they sneak in at inappropriate times during the day. I agree that parents have to monitor what their children watch, but I can’t manage what a neighbor has on TV over cookies and milk. When you are watching 3pm programming, a sporting event, or an 8pm "family" sitcom you have a right to expect that things will be relatively clean. But to have no safety net between zealous parental diligence and a discussion not needed for another 3 years is a problem, and one that Robin Bronk does not seem to care about.

Linked to Stop the ACLU and the Political Teen.

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