TV promotes unhealthy sexuality

In its report Happily Never After: How Hollywood Favors Adultery and Promiscuity Over Marital Intimacy on Prime Time Broadcast Television, the Parents Television Council writes:

“Today’s prime-time television programming is not merely indifferent to the institution of marriage and the stabilizing role it plays in our society, it seems to be actively seeking to undermine marriage by consistently painting it in a negative light.

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. Today more than ever teens are exposed to a host of once-taboo sexual behaviors including threesomes, partner swapping, pedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality, and sex with prostitutes, to say nothing of the now-common depictions of strippers, references to masturbation, pornography, sex toys, and kinky or fetishistic behaviors. Behaviors that were once seen as fringe, immoral, or socially destructive have been given the imprimatur of acceptability by the television industry — and children are absorbing those messages and in many cases, imitating that behavior.”

Key findings include:

Across all broadcast networks, references to adultery outnumbered references to marital sex 2:1.

Verbal references to sex outside marriage outnumbered references to sex within marriage by nearly 3 to 1.
Scenes depicting or implying sex between non-married partners outnumbered those between married partners by a ratio of nearly 4 to 1.

The family hour contained the highest frequency of references to sex outside marriage as opposed to references to sex in marriage, by a ratio of 3.9:1.
References to incest, pedophilia, partner swapping, prostitution, threesomes, transsexuals/ transvestites, bestiality and necrophilia combined outnumbered references to sex in marriage on NBC by a ratio of 27:1.

“Happily Never After: How Hollywood Favors Adultery and Promiscuity Over Marital Intimacy on Prime Time Broadcast Television,” Parents Television Council, August 5, 2008,

Copyright © 2013, Daniel Weiss. All rights reserved. Used with permission.