Should Glee or other TV shows 'celebrate' teen sex?
The Parents Television Council this week slammed Glee for an episode that aired Tuesday that depicted two young couples (one straight, one gay) having sex for the first time. They said, "The fact that Glee intends to celebrate children having sex is reprehensible. The gender of the high school characters involved is irrelevant."
Their concern is that a TV show will influence a teen's decision to become sexually active. They don't like the idea of a green light that OF COURSE you will lose your virginity in high school. On the other hand, that is likely the reality.
I watched the Glee episode and here's my takeaway:
The pros: They talked of condoms and protection. The emphasis was on waiting for someone you love, how disappointing it is to do it with someone "just to get it over with" and there were no steamy sex scenes between the couples just some passionate kisses (between the boys and also between Finn and Rachel) and the end showed shots of both couples cuddling (fully clothed) looking dreamy in soft light
The cons: There was a passing reference to Quinn's pregnancy but I think the school nurse would like to have seen a little more caution about pregnancy and STDs. In the episode, the adults literally ran out of the room at the talk of sex. Too bad none of the characters turned to the adults in their lives, but that may also be reality. Both Rachel and Kirk wanted to wait but they didn't seem to have a clearly defined idea of why they wanted to wait. They changed their mind when they realized they were in love and they wanted their First Time to be special.
I think what folks worry about it how much entertainment normalizes the idea that teens have sex and if they are in love, that's a good thing. To wait is portrayed as the odd thing. It doesn't mean the teens watch one episode and go on a booty hunt. But when you see show after show (Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, etc) routinely show casual sex among teens, it starts to make a kid think it's normal and expected.
But shouldn't TV shows reflect the reality that teens are sexually active?
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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