NPR Relishes in the Proliferation of Movie Nudity

So I was driving home from work the other day, and though I rarely listen to NPR (National Public Radio) because I can’t stand their left-wing, liberal slant on the news, I decided to tune in for a change. No sooner had I done this than I begin getting lectured to on the virtues of on-screen nudity and what an uptight prude I am for opposing it. The title of the piece is Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: Naked People, and here are some highlights, according to NPR:

“Movie nudity has a long history in Hollywood, going back to the silent era, so it’s hardly shocking at this point.”
“Last year’s Shortbus boasted not just nudity, but remarkably limber people engaged in actual on-screen sex, and it hardly raised an eyebrow.”
“Naked women on screen are generally sexy, naked men generally funny.”
“All of which suggests that Americans are less uptight than they once were about bodies, though we’re still pretty prudish about sex.”

Though NPR doesn’t bother to discuss the ill effects of on-screen nudity, I thought I would use this opportunity to explain to them why many people, particularly God-fearing people of religious conviction, are prudish about sex scenes in movies and television.

The problem with nudity and sex scenes is where it takes one’s thoughts. David O. McKay explained it this way: “Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap an eternal destiny.” This process has scriptural backup. The Proverb teaches, “as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Prov. 23: 7) Additionally, the Lord Jesus Christ, taught “that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matt. 5: 28) NPR has already admitted that such nudity and sex scenes are intended to be sexy, or in other words arouse sexual interest, exactly what the Bible counsels against.

I didn’t intend for this post to get so religious, but honestly, it is the backbone to my moral and political values. But besides the postmortem ill effects of letting one’s mind dwell on lustful thoughts, there are more immediate ill effects. Premarital sex, or any sexual relations outside of marriage, are not good for society for they frequently lead to teenage pregnancy, single motherhood, venereal disease, and a general weakening of the family. And as you might have noticed in many of my prior posts, strengthening the family is the key to strengthen our society.

According to Larry A. Tucker, it is well documented1 that movies and “television is a sex educator of our children and a potentially powerful one…likely to have an impact on young viewers’ sexual development and behavior.” He says that when sexual “material is entertained regularly, it influences values, attitudes, and in time, behavior.”

And this from a 2007 study entitled Watching Sex on Television Predicts Adolescent Initiation of Sexual Behavior by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Young people exposed to high levels of TV sexual content were twice as likely to engage in sexual activity than those exposed to low levels.
  • Watching sex on TV predicts and hastens adolescent sexual initiation.
  • Reducing the amount of sexual content in entertainment programming can appreciably delay the initiation of sexual activities.
  • 46% of high school students in the United States have had sexual intercourse.
  • 1 case of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) is diagnosed for every 4 sexually active teens in the United States.
  • Unplanned pregnancies and STDs are more common among those who begin sexual activity earlier.
  • The average youth watches 3 hours of TV daily.
  • Sexual content appears in 64% of all TV programs
  • Those programs with sexual content average 4.4 scenes with sexually related material per hour.
  • Talk about sex is found in 61% of all programs
  • Overt portrayals of sexual behavior are found in 32% of programs
  • Approximately 1 of every 7 programs (14%) includes a portrayal of sexual intercourse, depicted or strongly implied.
  • You see NPR, I am not simple an uptight prude for opposing nudity and sex scenes in TV and movies. There are real, harmful effects to families and to society by producing and watching this type of programing.

    Footnote 1:
    See Elizabeth Roberts, “Television and Sexual Learning in Childhood,” in Pearl, Bouthilet, and Lazar, Television and Behavior, pp. 209–23.
    See Doug Hill, “Is TV Sex Getting Bolder?” TV Guide, August 8, 1987, pp. 2–5.
    See Carlos Fernandez-Collado, Bradley Greenberg, Felipe Korzenny, and Charles Atkin, “Sexual Intimacy and Drug Use in TV Series,” Journal of Communication, 1978, 28(3): 30–37.
    See Susan Franzblau, Joyce Sprafkin, and Eli Rubinstein, “Sex on TV: A Content Analysis,” Journal of Communication, 1977, 27(2): 164–70.
    See George Gerbner, A Preliminary Summary of the Special Analysis of Television Content Undertaken for the Project on Human Sexual Development, Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania, Amenberg School of Communications, March 1976.
    See Roberts, “Television and Sexual Learning in Childhood,” in Pearl, Bouthilet, and Lazar, Television and Behavior, 2:222.
    See Dolf Zillmann, “Television Viewing and Arousal,” in Pearl, Bouthilet, and Lazar, Television and Behavior, 2:53–67.

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