Fighting with the Sky

Sexual Television

Posted on: September 30, 2009

From a tip from meloukhia (thanks!), I learned that there are people who think Glee is too sexual.  Seriously?  Have these people been watching any other television lately?

Ok, Glee has storylines about teenage pregnancy, premature ejaculation, and girls wanting sex just as much as guys (shocker!).  But is this really that more sexual than other television programming, even on network television…even on networks geared towards tweens and even children.  Any show on the major networks (CBS, NBC, ABC, etc.) involves some sort of sexual aspect.  And why wouldn’t it, sex is part of the human experience.  And yes, I can understand not wanting your children to watch some of the shows that primarily focus on sex (off the top of my head, I’m thinking Two and a Half Men — which I don’t really care for — and How I Met Your Mother — which I love).  But why did you really expect anything different from Glee?

As the article that I linked to before brings up, it’s because people thought Glee was going to be High School Musical with better songs, writing, and acting.  But it’s not, and people just have to accept that.

Let’s look at some of the shows on channels that tweens and even children are watching and how much they focus on sex as well.  The Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family is all about teenage pregnancy and the sex lives (or lack there of) of teens.  Greek on ABC Family focuses a lot of romantic relationships and the sex involved in them.  Drake & Josh on Nickelodeon features Drake making out with numerous girls and making that seem commonplace.  Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Suite Life on Deck on Disney as well as Hannah Montana focus on romantic relationships quite a bit.  Even if these shows don’t explicitly talk about sex (or “show” it), there are still sexual undertones.

So before you go criticizing Glee for being too sexual because you thought it was family-friendly, think about what is on these tween and children’s channels.  A show that depicts teenagers talking about sex (and even having sex) in not a shocker, though people might still want to believe that their teenagers don’t even know what sex is.  Glee could actually foster some good, healthy discussion about teenage sexuality.

Look for my review/analysis of tonight’s episode of Glee tomorrow.

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4 Responses to "Sexual Television"

Right on. 🙂 Sexuality and sex are a part of most people’s lives. Wanting to keep them away from young people is not only hopeless but damaging.

[…] Read the original: Sexual Television : Adventures of a Young Feminist […]

I really like what you said here. Children are being sexualized younger and younger (I mean, have you SEEN the Hannah Montana line of clothing? Some of it is just ridiculous) and at least Glee presents a fairly balanced and nuanced view of human sexuality. Plus it is a really kick ass show, so, you know, that helps. I would be rushing to defend it less if it were, say, Gossip Girl.

iCarly is another one–Sam and Carly often pursue boys, and in more than one episode, Carly initiates kisses with boys.

also, have people forgotten about a previous Fox show about high school? I’m thinking Boston Public, which was on when I was still in high school. there were several episodes involving teen sex. granted it wasn’t a musical or as upbeat as Glee, but still. it involved a lot of sex. including one relationship between a student and a teacher…

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