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Study: TV shows sex, but not in marriage

Think Christianly: Study: TV shows sex, but not in marriage

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Study: TV shows sex, but not in marriage

Sex sells and it is everywhere. TV is powerful because for good or ill, it conveys images. But images are more powerful than simply ideas. Mainly because they, in many ways, bypass rational thought or interaction--they are simply perceived (like the awareness that a tree is in front of me). Images are embedded with an idea or cluster of ideas that lead either to life with God or without God. Dallas Willard writes, "Every idea system is present among us as a life force through a small number of powerful images" (Renovation of the Heart, 99).

Few desires in life are as powerful as sexual ones. God has created sexual intimacy for a context suitable to human flourishing and delight--a married relationship between a husband and a wife. It is a GOOD thing! Sex is beautiful and provides life, light, warmth, laughter, and pleasure to a married relationship. That is the ideal. It is what we say yes to as Christ-follower's. It is good indeed.

Now images shape emotions and habits and values. So what are we learning on TV? Especially the next generation who quite honestly, many of whom have not thought rationally about sexual intimacy--what it is and is for. That is not a slam; just the truth.

So a recent study comes out that shows that "Behavior that once was seen as “fringe, immoral or socially destructive have been given the imprimatur of acceptability by the television industry” and children are absorbing or even imitating it, the report contends."

They looked at 4 weeks of primetime TV shows and discovered among other things that:

"The study analyzed four weeks of scripted shows on the major networks at the start of the 2007-08 season, noting content including depictions of sex; implied sex; discussions on the subject, and visual references to strippers, pornography and other aspects of sexuality.
Among the networks overall, references to adultery outnumbered references to marital sex by 2 to 1. The “family hour” — the first hour of prime-time TV, which draws the most young viewers — contained the highest ratio of references to non-married vs. married sex, the study found."

Now I am not saying boycott TV. But we can't be passive observers in media consumption--nor can we sit idly by while images are uncritically bypassing the rational process of our youth. To do so, would be to treat them in an unloving manner; we would not be telling them the truth.

Please take a minute and read this article to make yourself aware of this so that you can think Christianly about your viewing habits.

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