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Is America (and its TV) prudish?

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Is America (and its TV) prudish?

Old 10-24-01, 01:09 AM
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Is America (and its TV) prudish?

Is American tv too conservative (in terms of sex, not violence)? There is never any nudity shown, well, besides Dennis Franz's ass but that just counts as torture. Sex isn't a taboo topic or anything, so why keep it off television? Countries like Canada and many in Europe do not censor sexual scenes on TV. What's the deal? Deep down, are we al just conservative prudes who would just die if we saw the hair from down there on tv?

p.s.: To clarify I'm not talkin about two people having sex, I'm talking about nudity.

Last edited by huzefa; 10-26-01 at 09:23 AM.
Old 10-24-01, 01:28 AM
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Well, usually sex in movies is just in there so people can see some skin. Why force nudie scenes in shows if you don't need them?
Old 10-24-01, 08:58 AM
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Yes, Americans are overly sensitive about sexuality compared to many countries, and I guess we're very liberal compared to others. This isn't a television thing, but a cultural thing. Personally, I wouldn't mind it on TV, but I'd rather not see anyone do it other than HBO ... they're the only channel with enough integrity to include nudity without having it dominate the show. The networks would just churn out a bunch of trash and clog the airwaves, likely pushing out quality shows. Sure, if it's necessary to the story, I'm all for it, but it rarely is.

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Old 10-24-01, 12:05 PM
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The American attitude toward sex in entertainment is fairly juvenile... The tease of sex or nudity is what sells, rather than actual sex or nudity itself... Movies like Porky's or American Pie, or a TV show like Three's Company capture the dynamic well... As a culture, we're both sex-obsessed and prudish at the same time... Very little of the sexuality in our media could be called "grown up" in tone-- but then, our entertainment industries are overly-geared toward the youth dollar to begin with...
Old 10-24-01, 09:03 PM
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In contrast, the intensity of violent acts on U.S. TV is much much higher than in other countries.
Old 10-24-01, 09:45 PM
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Originally posted by tor_greg
In contrast, the intensity of violent acts on U.S. TV is much much higher than in other countries.
that's what i've always found laughable, you can show people getting stabbed, shot, blown up, decapitated, gorey crime scenes, but the minute someone threatens to flash a breast, all the red flags come up.
Old 10-24-01, 10:54 PM
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Ahh...who cares?!?!?!

Really, the quality tends to be bad as it is, will adding sex and nudity won't make it any better, it'll make it worse! So Germany shows hard core porn after 10PM...and? Is that good? I don't know. I don't really ponder these things that often.


Originally posted by monkeyboy


that's what i've always found laughable, you can show people getting stabbed, shot, blown up, decapitated, gorey crime scenes, but the minute someone threatens to flash a breast, all the red flags come up.
Not on TV though. And thats really such a cope out answer, it doesn't address the issue, sure makes a nice quote though.
Old 10-25-01, 12:17 PM
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It may be prudish to other countries, but does it matter? Does there need to be more sex on TV? Would it improve the quality of the already horrible programming or would it just sink even lower?

I'm thinking it would just go even lower. Instead of craptacular writing we would just get to see a butt or something else when the writers were stumped.
Old 10-26-01, 06:02 AM
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Originally posted by tor_greg
In contrast, the intensity of violent acts on U.S. TV is much much higher than in other countries.
yes I wanted to point this out too. so you cant show a naked guy, but you can blow as many as you want away with a machine gun on prime time.

Hey, just realized you are from Everett WA. Im from Everett MA originally.
Old 10-26-01, 06:08 AM
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Originally posted by clemente
Ahh...who cares?!?!?!

Really, the quality tends to be bad as it is, will adding sex and nudity won't make it any better, it'll make it worse! So Germany shows hard core porn after 10PM...and? Is that good? I don't know. I don't really ponder these things that often.
Not on TV though. And thats really such a cope out answer, it doesn't address the issue, sure makes a nice quote though.
im not sure if this was the intent of the originally question or not, but I think he meant just plain nudity, not sex. For instance, if you have a couple in bed, male, female or mixed, and they are getting up in the morning, its nut completely unthinkable that they might be sleeping nude. in europe television, they might have the guy get up with nothing on. no big deal.

By contrast in american tv, you'd expect that you could see the full frontal shot of the gal, but only if they were "making love", in a family values sort of way.

My point is, the nudity on European TV does not have to do with sex necessarily. In this way, yeah, i think Us tv is a bit prudish and childish as well at times. And when you consider the violence that is permitted, it just makes you wonder.
Old 10-26-01, 12:00 PM
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most parents would be quicker to cover their childrens eyes from a pair of breasts on tv than someone being shot.
Old 10-26-01, 03:04 PM
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Originally posted by Apocrypha
most parents would be quicker to cover their childrens eyes from a pair of breasts on tv than someone being shot.
Thats whats so sad about it, and why when asked "who cares", i say I do.
Old 10-26-01, 04:02 PM
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Originally posted by renaldow
It may be prudish to other countries, but does it matter? Does there need to be more sex on TV? Would it improve the quality of the already horrible programming or would it just sink even lower?

I'm thinking it would just go even lower. Instead of craptacular writing we would just get to see a butt or something else when the writers were stumped.
Remember, some of the best written, thoughtful shows on television featured NO nudity, relatively little cursing, and NO hard (sh!t, f58k, a$$hole) language whatsoever.

I'm talking about shows like Hill Street Blues and M*A*S*H. I'm sure you can think of others.
Old 10-26-01, 04:06 PM
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Have you seen the Disneyfication of the over-the-counter porn industry? While I realize that most Americans' naughty habits have gone electronic in nature, have you noticed that adult businesses in the U.S. are about as rare these days as a drive-in movie theater?

Try and find an adult bookstore these days. Or better yet, an adult movie theater. They're practically extinct. The ones that do exist have re-fashioned themselves as something akin to a seedy version of Starbucks (or better yet, a Borders). The insides are all brightly lit with operating room white walls and row upon row of day-glo colored oversized/Disney-style film VHS cases. They have window displays with rainbow colored sex toys - like someone from the Gap suddenly went on a designing bender. (In fact, there's one on Broadway here in Chicago that has an elaborate aquarium themed display window - complete with life-size models of skin-divers and floating fish, with a trunk of brightly packaged sex toys on the sandy bottom as a buried treasure. At Christmastime, they use a life-size Santa and his elves motif that mimics the windows at large downtown department stores. Unfortunately, if you don't know any better about what type of store it actually is, the window display is very attractive to children, I might add.) They're so sterile, anti-septic and squeaky clean that they drain all the sleazy (but fun) menace out of the whole business.

I'll be the first to admit that 90% of the fun of walking into an adult business is the "am-I-going-to-get-caught?" buzz you get when you finally work up the courage to finally walk in. (Granted it's a cheap thrill and one that wears off as you grow older - but it is what it is.) How much of a buzz can you muster when those adult establishments have taken on the ubiquitous hallmarks of your typical suburban strip mall? The "Sex Gap." The "Nude and Crude Cinnabon Stop." "Old Navy Fetishists."

Where are the Mitchell brothers when we really need them? Why isn't Larry Flynt doing more to promote his wares? Where are the documentaries capturing the decline of the sex industry in the U.S.? (Anyone know of any?) I've seen countless nostalgic coffee table books on the decline of drive-in theaters and soda fountains. What about this particular underground segment of society? What about all those aging strip clubs and run-down porno houses? Seems like it would be ripe for a "soft history" project. Something the History Channel could show after 10:00 p.m. on a school night.

I think a lot of the problem stems from the fact that American society is so incredibly preoccupied with making the world safe for 5 year olds. That means that adult sensibilities are definitely the first to be sacrificed along the way. I don't know about everyone else. But after the world altering events of recent weeks, I'm getting pretty tired of living in Disneyland U.S.A. My tastes are not identical to those of the nation's first graders and I resent entertainment - of any type - televised, filmed, or printed on cheap newsprint and sold from a back-alley newstand - that tries to appease "kids of all ages." I'm not a kid anymore. I don't want to see the world accented with colorful graphics and anthropomorphic mascots, expunged of nudity or so-called "adult content." It's time we started catering to adults again. The world, quite frankly, ISN'T safe for 5 year olds and we shouldn't always try to pretend - even in our fictional entertainment - that it is.
Old 10-26-01, 04:39 PM
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Originally posted by grunter
Have you seen the Disneyfication of the over-the-counter porn industry? While I realize that most Americans' naughty habits have gone electronic in nature, have you noticed that adult businesses in the U.S. are about as rare these days as a drive-in movie theater?
[snip]
Speak for your own city. These are just the businesses that choose to advertise in a certain local adult magazine:

http://www.xmag.com/advertisers/modeling/index.html
http://www.xmag.com/advertisers/stores/index.html
http://www.xmag.com/advertisers/clubs/
Old 10-26-01, 07:22 PM
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I saw Show Girls on tv, totally unedited
it was on a canadian station on buffalo's cable system
Old 10-26-01, 07:51 PM
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Originally posted by FaustBos


yes I wanted to point this out too. so you cant show a naked guy, but you can blow as many as you want away with a machine gun on prime time.
.
But see, people don't get blown away on TV (movies, yes) There is gunplay, people die, but never do we see gunshots entering the body. Pundits like to say that theres to much violence on TV, but uhm, do I watch the wrong shows?
Old 10-26-01, 08:02 PM
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Yeah, I think you watch them wrong. Split hairs if you like, but when gun play on tv ends with countless dead people, I call that violence, whether you saw the blood or not.
Old 10-28-01, 02:36 PM
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Originally posted by adamblast
As a culture, we're both sex-obsessed and prudish at the same time...
Exactly. On the one hand, you have so little nudity on tv/movies that people go ape when they see Katie Holmes breasts in a film. On the other hand, 90% of porn is made in the US. There is no middle ground. For people who say "who cares", you are seriously deluded if you think this has no sociological impact on your society. If you are raised to believe that nudity/sex is something taboo and if your only references to what sex is come from porn, then you're much more likely to have a deviant attitude towards nudity and sex in general.
Nudity is normal, so is sex. There's is no reason that more nudity and 'normal' sex shoudn't be shown on tv or in the movies. Of course, for economics reasons, the movie studios and the porn industry would not agree.

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