TV’s Latest Sex Obsession: Virginity

Written by PTC | Published May 13, 2013

In the sex-obsessed world of TV, the sex topic du jour on TV is virginity. Recent plot lines on Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and New Girl have centered around characters’ first sexual encounters, chastity vows, and a man confiding to a date that he has never had sex. Though superficially this may seem like a positive development -- especially for parents of teens who often take their sexual cues from television – it would be wrong to assume that television writers have suddenly become champions of chastity. As’s Hollie McKay points out, these stories often are little more than a plot device to help push sexual content at viewers. “The mixed messages found on TV in regards to sex from teen pregnancy to celibacy are more likely to confuse today’s slate of young viewers than educate them. If we taught the impressionable audience that things are gray, rather than black and white, they would be more apt to make informed decisions on their own,” explained life coach Kimberly Friedmutter. “Parents shouldn’t be fooled by this wolf in sheep’s clothing. If a program is tackling the subject of virginity, then sex and sensuality are also going to be front and center.” ( Television has been described by one researcher as a “sexual super-peer,” helping to form normative expectations for teens about how much sexual experience their peers may have, how much is expected of them and how soon. But parents admonishing their teens to postpone sex aren’t likely to get much of an assist from these programs.

Take Action. Stay Informed.