A recent study conducted by the Parents Television Council found that sex continues to permeate television, and that most of that sex is pre- or extra-marital, with depictions of monogamous sex in a loving, legally binding relationship are less common
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.
Uh oh. Our children are going to somehow think that it’s OK to enter into consensual sex with a willing partner without the arcane financial agreement between families to ensure wealth consolidation represented by the modern marriage license. Yikes! Just kidding, I don’t care. Get married. People love getting married, it’s like their favorite thing.
But so I was looking through some transcripts of primetime programming to see what these parents were talking about, and it’s totally true.
Take a look at this scene from C.S.I.:
C.S.I., EPISODE “BONE TOWN”
INT. LABORATORY – EVENING
MR. GRISSOM approaches the lab table where analysis of evidence is going on to solve all the crimes.
What have you got for me?
Well, from these hairs I found at the scene, the victim was definitely having a bunch of sex.
Marital sex? With her loving husband?
No. Unmarital sex.
Well you know what they say, Nick, if you want to win the horse race you’ve got to come with your own bridle.
GRISSOM walks out of the room. STOKES barfs over all the evidence.
And here’s a scene from the hit NBC sitcom, The Office:
THE OFFICE, EPISODE: “PAPER TOWN”
INT. OFFICE – DAY
MICHAEL is sitting at his desk looking silly or frustrated. PAM walks in and looks like she doesn’t even want to be there.
Your doctor’s office called. They want to confirm an appointment.
How often do you and Jim have sex?
I really don’t think that’s any of your business, Michael.
Did you know that married people have more sex than single people?
I’m going back to my desk now.
A recent study shows that married couples engage in sexual activity more regularly than single people, for whom sex is sporadic.
PAM leaves MICHAEL’S OFFICE.
And yet, everyone agrees that pre- and extra-marital sex are the best. They are so fun! Also there is anal sex.
JIM looks into the camera and shrugs.
Whoops, I think both of those scenes include equal mention of marital and non-marital sex. But since they’re totally real scenes that appeared on human television, it mostly just proves that the Parents Television Council should shut up.