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Press Release

August 5, 2008

PTC Advisory Board Member Michael Medved Reacts to New “Sex on TV” Study


LOS ANGELES (August 5, 2008) - The Parents Television Council™ Advisory Board Member and Nationally Syndicated Talk Radio Host Michael Medved offered the following statement in response to the new PTC study, Happily Never After: How Hollywood Favors Adultery and Promiscuity Over Marital Intimacy on Prime Time Broadcast Television, which revealed that broadcast networks depict sex in the context of marriage as either non-existent or burdensome, rather than an expression of love and commitment, and depict extra-marital or adulterous sexual relationships with greater frequency and overwhelmingly as a positive experience.


“For many years, parents have worried about television’s glamorization of destructive sexual behavior.  This important new report suggests another cause for concern: the de-glamorization of marriage.  Statistics show that the overwhelming majority of Americans feel satisfied and fulfilled by their marriages – and the commonly repeated claim of a ‘50% divorce rate’ is a malevolent myth.  In his new book, ‘Gross National Happiness,’ Professor Arthur Brooks of Syracuse University shows the consistently high levels of marital satisfaction, but on television matrimony is an institution that reduces, rather than increases, joy and pleasure.  Moreover, the General Social Survey of the National Opinion Research Center (and countless other surveys of sexual behavior) show that married people in every age group report more sex -- and much more pleasurable sex -- than their single counterparts.  The notion that sex outside of marriage is inherently more exciting, more important, more worthy as the subject of story-telling, is a toxic message for parents and children alike.


“By overstating the incidence and acceptability of cheating, the television industry tends to normalize behavior of which vast majorities disapprove.  By exaggerating the prevalence of pre-marital, teenage sexuality the networks and cable companies suggest that kids who aren’t sexually experienced are missing out on one of life’s great and expected adventures.  No one expects television to take the place of parents when it comes to imparting decent values to youngsters, but it’s by no means necessary for popular culture to undermine the messages of responsibility and self-control that most parents try to pass on to their children.”


To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.



The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.




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