Government Insists On TV Sex Education

Sex education
The British Government is set to ask TV bosses to include more references to contraceptives and sexually transmitted diseases in their shows. The popular TV shows do not have enough scenes featuring the characters discussing contraceptives such as condoms.

Out of 350 episodes of soap operas and comedies shown on the television, only seven per cent of educate viewers about safe sex.

A report, entitled Mis-selling Sex, to be released by the Department of Health, will call on telly writers to include more dialogue about condoms and plot lines featuring the results of unsafe sex such as unwanted pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD).

The move comes after David Cameron, the Leader of the Opposition, criticised pop singer Lily Allen last week for her sexually explicit lyrics, which he believed were unfit for children.

"Young people relate to the programmes they watch on TV, so it's important that they see both realistic and responsible portrayals of sex and contraception," said Gillian Merron, the Public Health Minister.

American favourites like CSI, My Name is Earl, Grey's Anatomy, Lost and Desperate Housewives were also analysed. Researchers discovered that a mere seven per cent of sexual content featured discussions on safe sex.

Just 13 per cent of sexual encounters where contraception was not featured dealt with any kind of consequence, such as pregnancy or contracting a sexually transmitted disease.

Of the 99 instances of unsafe sex, only nine characters regretted their behaviour, according to the report.

The report says that nearly 37 per cent of youngsters turn to television for guidance on sex and relationships and almost 50 per cent of young adults say they would feel more confident about using condoms if they were discussed more openly in the media.

Story first published: Tuesday, February 23, 2010, 10:09 [IST]

Get Notifications from Indiansutras