Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sex and TV are Americans too Uptight?

So lately I've been watching British TV and I noticed that in almost every show there is a lot more emphasis on Sex and it's not very subtle, in fact it's pretty blatant. So it leads me to ask the question are Americans to uptight about sex?

On the most popular prime time TV shows in Britain you see nudity and sex as graphic as anything you would see on any of the big cable networks. I don't think it's a bad thing and not just because I'm a guy and I'm not easily offended but because it reflects on society.

I think one of the reasons we let the government regulate everything on TV is because, god forbid, our children should see a naked person on TV or two people having sex. I'm not saying that children need to or should see this, they shouldn't, I'm just saying that we rely on regulations set up by the government to moderate TV and protect our children. This to me should be up to the parents to do.

Parent's should be the ones sitting with their children making sure they are watching the right programming. The fact that many parents rely on the government to make sure their children are watching suitable content, seems a lazy approach to parenting. To be honest taking nudity out of television doesn't affect teen sex. Kids in America are having sex just as much as their UK counterparts. The levels for teenage pregnancy are actually lower in the UK too even though their isn't as much government oversight with regards to the handling of sexual content on TV.

I think that watching a television show where the people involved are swearing, and talking very blatantly about sex is probably true to how we act in our daily lives. Why then are we trying to hide just how our society is on television? I talk to men and women and I know that the conversations about sex are frank. People in general don't pussy foot about when it comes to talking about sex.

I also remember what it was like being a teenager and this was back in the 1980's, we swore like pirates and talked about sex. I think if I had seen this sort of thing on television it might have made us a little less uptight. We would have probably had parents more concerned with talking openly about the importance of sex and relationships.

Plus, if parents are so concerned about their children seeing inappropriate behavior then they have to tools to monitor that. I mean how hard is it to program a television so that parents block out what they think is unsuitable for their children? Not at all really! It's like 5 button clicks on most modern televisions. Better yet set the television so that children watch what you want them to watch.

So it comes down to this, not only are Americans uptight but they are down right lazy about one of the things that children spend the most time doing, watching TV. They would rather see their shows censored then take the time to make sure their kids are watching whats proper.

I've watched several British shows, The Book Group, Misfits, Peep Show, Teachers, MI:5 and more, that are well written, high quality programs that wouldn't make it to American prime time based solely on the fact that the characters swear. The intelligent dialogue, relevant topics or overall quality of the programs don't matter because there's a censor who has already decided it's not appropriate for us to watch. Adults shouldn't watch this even though most of us really wouldn't be offended.

When was the last time you exited a Rated R or PG 13 movie and heard someone say I would have liked that more if they hadn't said, "Fuck Off" or mentioned "Blow Job?" Not very often because most Americans could care less. We pride ourselves on rights in America but when it comes to television those rights are only as good as what is proper for the average twelve year old to watch. I think this is wrong and I think that the right thing would be to deregulate censorship on television to some degree.

I'm not saying throw porn up on television, I'm saying that if television networks want to put mature content up let the people decide if they want to watch it or not. Make the parents work more to safeguard their children rather than sit back and have the government do it for them. We Americans, the creator of modern television, are 20 years behind Europe in this regard.

I guess that sums it up. What do you think?

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