Marriage gets little respect on US network television shows, even in prime time, says a not too surprising report from the Parents Television Council. After studying four weeks of scripted shows on the major networks at the start of the 2007-2008 season, the council concludes that prime-time TV “seems to be actively seeking to undermine marriage by consistently painting it in a negative light”.
What appears to fascinate the networks, according to the report, is bizarre sexual behaviour including partner swapping and paedophilia. Visual references to “kinky” practices outnumbered married-sex references by nearly 3 to 1.Behaviour that was once seen as “fringe, immoral or socially destructive has been given the imprimatur of acceptability by the television industry” and children are absorbing or even imitating it, the report says.
References to adultery outnumbered references to marital sex by 2 to 1. The “family hour” — the first hour of prim-time TV, which draws the most young viewers — contained the highest ratio of references to non-married vs. married sex, the study found. It cites “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Boston Legal” and “Desperate Housewives” as providing bad examples of sexual behaviour. While some shows have better attitudes, says the council, they are not necessarily suitable for children.
Parents do not necessarily have the tools to identify programmes they may want to block via the V-chip, and the council says designations such as “S”, signalling sexual content, were applied inconsistently or inaccurately. ~ AP, August 5