Wednesday, 27 January 2010


Juno, Shinchan, F.R.I.E.N.D.S, south park,Sex in the city, video games like- resident evil,God of War ....and many more to be named
Do kids these day have a choice to select what they want to see or what not?

Few weeks back I was forced to ponder.

Sex Sells!

Browsing through books in our college library I stumbled upon this title 'Sex Sells' by Rodger Streitmatter, and boy! I got to know that almost everyone in our class had read it! I picked it up, partly to be in the league with my classmates, and partly curious to validate Ms. Neha Dhupia's thoughtless yet true quote --Sex and SRK sells.

This book is an interesting insight into the dubious nature of media when it comes to the tabooed topic of Sex. Though written with reference to the American media's dealing with this topic from early 1940s to the millennium, the scenario fits pretty well in the Indian arena too.

How it all began?

Queer, but true. It began with the invention of oral contraceptive pill! This gave women the freedom to plan their family life and be more focussed toward their career. This was a major step towards female empowerment and decision making.

The era of rebellious sixties had Hugh Hefner’s Playboy magazine blurring the boundary between obscenity and aesthetics while rockstar Jim Morrison pushed the limits of ethos and morality by scripting seductive lyrics and performing them even more erotically on stage. Gradually, American motion picture brought Bond girls to life thus triggering an era where skin show would be as normal as having dinner with family.

What followed..

During 1980s and 90s, cable tv came into picture, internet was then a luxury and media was getting sex obsessed. Whilst nudity in movies became common in 1980s, the next decade targeted gays and showcased Afro-American sexuality.Media began to challenge the obsolete social norms. Issues of homosexuality, crime of incest, education about STDs and abortion were taken up. Newspapers slapped Bill Clinton’s sexual escapades on the front page and the words like semen and oral sex came to be accepted in mainsteam print media.

Media was backed by socio-cultural factors during this seismic shift. Just to think of it, in 1940s, even mentioning the word "pregnant" was banned onscreen!

How much of it is too much?

This brings me back to my initial question which the book forced me to ponder. Have media gone too far regarding sexual content? The answer could be given as affirmative. Media over the period of time has increasingly trivialized sex. Infidelity, polygamy and live-in relationships are depicted as a modern way of living. Sitcoms like FRIENDS, Sex and the city, Will and Grace, and films like Juno, American Pie have influenced the generation Y into believing in these newfound norms.

I'm not saying that these notions are entirely wrong, but they are being watched by children as young as 12 years old. Media is not giving an option for the children to choose. It is just feeding them content- sexed up content. Be it then sitcoms or cartoons!
Give childhood a break!


ankita said...

nice today is really being insensitive towards younger children..gud 2 c that there r pple who r actually concerned bou it.. :)

Alpna said...

Kids as young as 7 are watching this....atleast here in US. it's sad, but that's the reality of life today. I have to watch out for this media and my growing up daughter. Great article!

Atul Thakur said...

Nice article! Well media seem to becoming the backbone of many of the social problems. People watch big boss type of program. Its actually like peeping into somebodies private room and fulfill the wicked lust.

Besides there are horrible reality shows where the kids dance on certain erotic song which they may not even aware the meaning of.

Would love to read more like this :)

Don't walk as if you own the world, Walk as if you don't care who does!