In Depth

TV Finds Married Sex Boring, PTC Says

The Parents Television Council is accusing broadcast networks of promoting extra-marital sex while portraying sex between married couples as boring, burdensome or non-existent.

The conservative special-interest group said that during one prime-time period last fall, verbal references to non-marital sex outnumbered references to sex in marriage by nearly a 3-to-1 margin. Scenes implying sex between unmarried partners outnumbered similar scenes between married couples 4 to 1.

PTC said the study was based on observing 207.5 hours of scripted prime time series during four weeks from Sept. 23 to Oct. 22, 2007. It calls its report “Happily Never After: How Hollywood Favors Adultery and Promiscuity Over Marital Intimacy on Prime Time Broadcast Television.”

The results “suggest that many in Hollywood are actively seeking to undermine marriage by consistently showing it in a negative manner,” PTC President Tim Winter said.

“Even more troubling than the marginalization of marriage and glorification of non-marital sex on television is TV’s recent obsession with outré sexual expression,” he said. “Children and teens are now exposed to a host of sexual behaviors that less than a generation ago would have been off-limits for broadcast television.”

He said he was referring to suggestions in TV shows of threesomes, partner swapping, pedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality and sex with prostitutes. He also noted TV is featuring more discussion of strippers and references to masturbation, pornography, sex toys and kinky behavior.

“Behaviors that were once seen as fringe, immoral, or socially destructive have been given the stamp of approved by the television industry,” he said.

(Editor: Baumann)