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I Do, Just Not As Much

The Parents Television Council issued a report this week that criticized the broadcast networks for their disproportionate attention to sex outside of marriage in their TV programming.

The study, Happily Never After: How Hollywood Favors Adultery and Promiscuity Over Marital Intimacy on Prime Time Broadcast Television, criticized, with a straight face, the fact that "sex between nonmarried partners outnumbered scenes depicting or implying sex between married partners by a ratio of nearly 4 to 1."

Hmmm. The networks are suggesting that unmarried people have sex far more often than married people, then crack jokes stemming from that disparity. Sounds about right from here. Newsweek did a story in June about the degree to which married couples are not having sex.

Now this is an issue that TV should be talking about a lot. Getting to the root causes. Finding real solutions. Perhaps doing prime time news specials to replace all those "penny-dreadful "stories about murders and teen prostitiutes that have been masquerading as news magazine shows.

At least today’s TV suggests that adult married couples actually have sex. The "Golden Age" of TV with all those whitebread-and-milk families that family values folks all like to invoke acted as though no married couples did more than peck cheeks and look knowingly at each other when junior wrecked the family Hupmobile.

As I have probably said here before, anyone married to Whitney Blake (Mrs. Baxter on Hazel) or Laura Petrie (Mary Tyler Moore) who relegated them to a single bed with a nightstand standing in for the "Wall of Jericho" sheet in It Happened One Night didn’t deserve to co-star in a prime time TV series.

Criticize the networks for swearing or excessive exposures of skin if you must, but don’t knock them for shining a light on one of the most serious deficits outside of national fiscal policy.