Friday, June 15, 2007

Sex and Television--What You Know Is Wrong

I love studies like this that completely reduce Christians' arguments about television to nothing. We've heard it all our lives: "Sex is all over TV--and getting worse!" and so on. But it's wrong.

Study: TV sex actually has cooled off since the '70s
Was the era of “Charlie’s Angels” and “Three’s Company” really raunchier than the era of Janet Jackson’s bared breast? Apparently yes. A new study of American primetime network programming between 1975 and 2004 says sexual content of nearly every kind has decreased sharply and consistently over those three decades, leaving today’s viewers with one-third the sexual content they’d have seen in the 1970s. That may be a surprise considering the big outcry over broadcast indecency the past few years. Analyzing 2,558 hours of programming, Amir Hetsroni, a professor of communications at Yezreel Valley College in Israel, found that kisses have become less passionate, suggestions of sexual intercourse have gone missing, and there’s been less talk about sex, including safe sex. The study also finds less content about what it calls “illegal sexual interactions.” Content related to homosexual sex is the exception, having increased markedly in the past two decades.