So anyway, I was reading Google News earlier today and I came across an article about sex on TV and how it has increased in recent years. The article goes on to give the statistics on sexual representation on television as given by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The study tracks sexual content on TV over the years. From intercourse (or implied intercourse) to sexual behavior, to sexual talk to any sexual content. The picture that accompanies this rant would surely qualify, even though I'd actually argue that there's nothing truly sexual implied by it at all. More sensual. But I wouldn't be surprised if something like this were lumped all the way into the implied intercourse category.
I always find studies like this suspect from the beginning – the KFF was responsible for providing their own definitions of sexual behavior – but, even accepting their definitions, I have to wonder, why does everyone simply accept that sex in the media is bad?
Even people, like myself who tend to defend media rights, pretty much do it while acknowledging the "poor taste" or "adult nature" of the programming. "Why yes, Howard Stern is offensive, but you can turn the channel." "Why yes, pro-wrestling is violent, but its not meant for everyone." "Why yes, sex is glammorized on The OC, but its not meant for little kids." Why do we do that? Who says any of those things are bad in the first place.
We are human beings. We like humor and violence and sex. Why are we embarassed by that?
Let's take sex, cuz I said we would, and because really, its the most fun. That's the thing. If I learned anything over the years with all the cultural study stuff is that as much as we like to deny it, sex is pretty much the most driving force behind the human condition. It is our third most important instinctive drive. Humans in dire need will always instinctively strive for nourishment first, followed by shelter and next sex.
And moreso, of those three top drives, sex is the one we create art about. Its the one we tell stories about. We like to pretend they're deeper. We like to pretend that we don't that we tell great stories of love. But true love stories are hard. They don't occur much. Passion is so much easier to portray and identify with. Its always been there. Romeo didn't love Juliet, he wanted to fuck her (Act 2, Scene 2. Look it up). And he didn't even want to fuck her because she was hot. He wanted to fuck her because he'd just been dumped and his boys take him out looking for some nice rebound pussy (Act 1, Scene 1. I don't make this stuff up). Things just get out of hand. Because when you're really horny, that's what happens.
The article states that the KFF found that 70% of our shows are sexual, up from 56% in 1998. I bet I'd argue that its probably always been that high. At least in the modern age of television. But moreover going back to all the great works of literature. Shakespeare, Hemmingway, Fitzgerald, fucking Homer, for HOVA's sake! Hell, have you ever read the bible. people bang each other left and right in the bible. There's hardly a page of the old testament where someone isn't killing a man or going to war or knocking down a temple or something all because they want some pussy. The new testament doesn't really have it, not as much anyway. But when you really read it, the new testament is really kinda gay sometimes. And really, its also much shorter and in a lot of way more instructive and less entertaining. If you look at the bible in terms of TV, you really have to think of the NT kinda as Bravo, maybe with a smattering of The Learning Channel or something. Its all about makeovers. Kindof the extened basic cable of the bible. But even on Trading Spaces and the Book of John you have the occasional flirting and temptations and such.
If anything, I think we're just looking at TV finally maturing into a cutural medium. The way painting, music, dance, film and literature did long ago. FCC regulations aside, I think TV is simply becoming an actual artifact of our times. And all the censoring and fining in the world, can't stop that. Its akin to bookburning. And we see how well that worked.
That's what we're really talking about here. Whenever a culture artifact type becomes popular it becomes sexual. Then it is ostracized until it is accepted by later generations. And then those generations force it on their younger generations as an important example of how much better cultrure was back in the day then it is now. When I'm ruler, I will be incorporating TV into the high school canon. No one will be able to get out of the tenth grade without reading Great Gatsby, and the Watchmen, seeing performances of Romeo and Juliet and Carmen, watching the movies Taxi Driver and American Beauty watching the episode of Moonlighting where they finally do it. And the episode of Gilmore Girls where Rori finally loses her virginity. I've never actually seen the show, but I hear its good. And you know, Alexis Bledel is hot in a wholesome kinda way. You know... good for the kids.