So it's the day before the election that will supposedly sweep away all vestiges of conservatism in American life and what do I find? The Washington Post carries a front-page story about TV contributing to teen pregnancy.
"Teenagers who watch a lot of television featuring flirting, necking, discussion of sex and sex scenes are much more likely than their peers to get pregnant or get a partner pregnant, according to the first study to directly link steamy programming to teen pregnancy."
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, followed 700 12- to 17-year-olds for three years. Those who viewed the most sex-drenched TV shows were twice as likely as their peers to impregnate someone or get pregnant themselves.
The Post interviewed the usual "experts" for reactions to the research. "We have a highly sexualized culture that glamorizes sex," said Valerie Huber of the National Abstinence Education Association. Well now, there's an understatement!
Look no further than the pages of the Washington Post itself. It features an almost-daily ad on Page Two that touts "Sex for Life" and features imagery of a man and woman with come hither looks. She dangles her bra over his shoulder. Recently, The Post saw fit (as did the New York Times and I'm sure many other "family" newspapers) to publish an obituary for that great cultural icon Jerry Gerard, whose contribution to the world was pornography like "Deep Throat" and "The Devil in Miss Jones." I don't know about you, but I could have let him meet his Maker unheralded. Publishing an obit for a pornographer (remember when that was a dirty word?) is part of the general mainstreaming of pornography. You can order it at most hotels now. And so can your kids if they are in a separate room and you are not very careful. Sometimes the Playboy channel is offered without the necessity to order it by phone. Isn't that grand for the kids who are in the adjoining room to mom and dad?
This sort of thing is not limited to liberal outlets, of course. We have XM radio in our car. The commercials that run on the Fox News channel seem to be about 50 percent for Viagra and other "performance enhancing" drugs. Aside from explicitly Christian and other religious entertainment (which is overly goody two shoes for my taste), inappropriate sexual content is everywhere -- in music and music videos, in magazines (have you been to a supermarket checkout lately?), in video games, in movies, and on television.