According to ABC, oral sex is the new “goodnight kiss,” but in the network's attempt to titillate and shock it left out parents, morality and the media's involvement in sexualizing the culture.
On May 28, “Good Morning America” interviewed Sharlene Azam, a filmmaker who just produced a new documentary on oral sex and teen and pre-teen girls.
ABC's Claire Shipman warned parents: “Some girls engaging in everything from oral sex to prostitution literally before they reach their teens.” Shipman got her information from Azam's documentary which exposed teen girls trading sexual favors for a relationship or money or homework.
In Azam's documentary, she followed teenage girls to shed light on teenagers' sexual behaviors. The teens told her oral sex “is no big deal.” ABC reported that fifty-four percent of teenage girls between the ages of fifteen and nineteen have engaged in oral sex.
The ABC segment was shocking, but it ignored morality, parents and highly sexual programming on its own network.
After showing a troubling video of teenage girls talking about their past sexual history, “Good Morning America's” Robin Roberts asked Shipman, “How can parents get ahead of this?” Shipman answered, “You have to parent today, Robin, almost double time. Children have so many influences: the Internet, videos that can't be controlled.”
While the Internet and videos clearly promote sexuality, Shipman failed to mention the shows on ABC and other media that promote promiscuity and sexual acts.
Popular ABC shows, such as “Grey's Anatomy” and “Desperate Housewives” are filled with sex and can be viewed by teenagers. Another ABC channel, ABC Family also features popular shows for teenage girls that include sexualized living. “The Secret Life of an American Teenager” and “Greek” are both aimed at teenagers and promote a culture of sexuality.
At a screening of the Azam's documentary, one girl explained how, “There's a lot of social pressure especially because a lot of girls our age just want to be in a relationship I think.” Another girl said engaging in oral sex girls make girls still feel like they are still virgins.
According to Carol Platt Liebau, author of “Prude,” sex is a reoccurring theme in television shows designed for teenage girls. But instead of portraying sex responsibly, the programs often portray sex as a fun, casual occurrence. According to Liebau, television shows portray women as the ones who are aggressive and rarely are female virgins shown. TV helps create an image that since women on popular shows are engaging in sexual behavior then it is acceptable.