Sexy Time: Teenage Sex on TV

‚ By  Love-Guys-Sexy Time: Teenage Sex on TV
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For all of you MTV junkies out there, I’m sure you’re more than aware of the Skins US premiere. The show surprised viewers not only because it was actually decent, but because it apparently caused quite an uproar — turns out teenagers having sex, drinking, and doing drugs doesn’t sit too well with some adult viewers.

There’s been multiple stories about advertisers who have pulled out of the show, aghast at the topics that were tackled in the pilot. Some people are even expressing concern over the show violating child pornography laws. In all fairness, I haven’t seen the show (US or UK), but I’m aware of the subject matter. While these things might be a bit of a taboo, I think the uproar is going a little bit too far. Mostly, I have a question for the execs and reporters who are making comments on the show – do you have any idea what high schoolers are actually like these days?

Of course, not every teenager can be lumped into the “drinking, smoking, and having sex” group, but I can guarantee that those who don’t participate are, at the very least, aware that these things are going on; which explains why it’s the adults that are concerned, not the target audience.

I’m not going to comment on whether these sexual activities are “right” or “wrong” – that’s a whole other story – but what I’m saying is that teenagers are not as innocent as the 40-and-older group likes to think. No one likes to think about it, but teenagers are sexual beings. This is made pretty evident by the fact that the average age of “first contact” (read: when people use their virginity) is around 17-years old globally — which is just about the same age as the show’s target audience. That’s not to say they should be going out and having unprotected sex with everything that moves, but teenagers aren’t stupid, they know what sex is, and someday – probably sooner than later – they will be doing it.

Not having seen the show, I honestly don’t know if they took it too far, but I can’t help but wonder if this is just a symptom of a larger problem — why are so many adults so afraid of teenage sexuality?

We’re already aware that abstinence-only education doesn’t work, but maybe sheltering kids and removing shows that portray teenagers as sexual beings has the capacity to make young adults feel even more that their behaviour is bad. They’re already hearing this message from their parents, churches, and schools; do we really want sexually-active teenagers to feel nothing but shame? Most of us have our formative sexual years in our teens — and if those years are riddled with shame and guilt, what does that mean for the rest of our sexual lives?

Maybe what teenagers need is to hear the message that sex is okay – just wait until you’re ready, and make sure you’re being as safe as possible. What people are looking for is a middle ground between silence and pornography, and perhaps that middle ground is a non-sensationalized honest look at teenage sexuality.

Now maybe this is going to come from a show like Skins US, and maybe it’s not. More than anything, the teenage populace needs to be able to learn about sex without the adults in their lives trying to shield their eyes and cover their ears. High schoolers deserve more credit than they’re given, and I’m fairly confident that if they’re given access to the information they’re curious about, they’ll make the right decisions.

What are your thoughts on teenage sexuality in the media?

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