NPR Relishes in the Proliferation of Movie Nudity

So I was driving home from work the other day, and though I rarely listen to NPR (National Public Radio) because I can’t stand their left-wing, liberal slant on the news, I decided to tune in for a change. No sooner had I done this than I begin getting lectured to on the virtues of on-screen nudity and what an uptight prude I am for opposing it. The title of the piece is Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: Naked People, and here are some highlights, according to NPR:

“Movie nudity has a long history in Hollywood, going back to the silent era, so it’s hardly shocking at this point.”
“Last year’s Shortbus boasted not just nudity, but remarkably limber people engaged in actual on-screen sex, and it hardly raised an eyebrow.”
“Naked women on screen are generally sexy, naked men generally funny.”
“All of which suggests that Americans are less uptight than they once were about bodies, though we’re still pretty prudish about sex.”

Though NPR doesn’t bother to discuss the ill effects of on-screen nudity, I thought I would use this opportunity to explain to them why many people, particularly God-fearing people of religious conviction, are prudish about sex scenes in movies and television.

The problem with nudity and sex scenes is where it takes one’s thoughts. David O. McKay explained it this way: “Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap an eternal destiny.” This process has scriptural backup. The Proverb teaches, “as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Prov. 23: 7) Additionally, the Lord Jesus Christ, taught “that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matt. 5: 28) NPR has already admitted that such nudity and sex scenes are intended to be sexy, or in other words arouse sexual interest, exactly what the Bible counsels against.

I didn’t intend for this post to get so religious, but honestly, it is the backbone to my moral and political values. But besides the postmortem ill effects of letting one’s mind dwell on lustful thoughts, there are more immediate ill effects. Premarital sex, or any sexual relations outside of marriage, are not good for society for they frequently lead to teenage pregnancy, single motherhood, venereal disease, and a general weakening of the family. And as you might have noticed in many of my prior posts, strengthening the family is the key to strengthen our society.

According to Larry A. Tucker, it is well documented1 that movies and “television is a sex educator of our children and a potentially powerful one…likely to have an impact on young viewers’ sexual development and behavior.” He says that when sexual “material is entertained regularly, it influences values, attitudes, and in time, behavior.”

And this from a 2007 study entitled Watching Sex on Television Predicts Adolescent Initiation of Sexual Behavior by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Young people exposed to high levels of TV sexual content were twice as likely to engage in sexual activity than those exposed to low levels.
  • Watching sex on TV predicts and hastens adolescent sexual initiation.
  • Reducing the amount of sexual content in entertainment programming can appreciably delay the initiation of sexual activities.
  • 46% of high school students in the United States have had sexual intercourse.
  • 1 case of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) is diagnosed for every 4 sexually active teens in the United States.
  • Unplanned pregnancies and STDs are more common among those who begin sexual activity earlier.
  • The average youth watches 3 hours of TV daily.
  • Sexual content appears in 64% of all TV programs
  • Those programs with sexual content average 4.4 scenes with sexually related material per hour.
  • Talk about sex is found in 61% of all programs
  • Overt portrayals of sexual behavior are found in 32% of programs
  • Approximately 1 of every 7 programs (14%) includes a portrayal of sexual intercourse, depicted or strongly implied.
  • You see NPR, I am not simple an uptight prude for opposing nudity and sex scenes in TV and movies. There are real, harmful effects to families and to society by producing and watching this type of programing.

    Footnote 1:
    See Elizabeth Roberts, “Television and Sexual Learning in Childhood,” in Pearl, Bouthilet, and Lazar, Television and Behavior, pp. 209–23.
    See Doug Hill, “Is TV Sex Getting Bolder?” TV Guide, August 8, 1987, pp. 2–5.
    See Carlos Fernandez-Collado, Bradley Greenberg, Felipe Korzenny, and Charles Atkin, “Sexual Intimacy and Drug Use in TV Series,” Journal of Communication, 1978, 28(3): 30–37.
    See Susan Franzblau, Joyce Sprafkin, and Eli Rubinstein, “Sex on TV: A Content Analysis,” Journal of Communication, 1977, 27(2): 164–70.
    See George Gerbner, A Preliminary Summary of the Special Analysis of Television Content Undertaken for the Project on Human Sexual Development, Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania, Amenberg School of Communications, March 1976.
    See Roberts, “Television and Sexual Learning in Childhood,” in Pearl, Bouthilet, and Lazar, Television and Behavior, 2:222.
    See Dolf Zillmann, “Television Viewing and Arousal,” in Pearl, Bouthilet, and Lazar, Television and Behavior, 2:53–67.

    Abstinence Education: It All depends on Who You Ask

  • 9 out of 10 parents think young people should be encouraged to abstain from sex before marriage.
  • 9 out of 10 young people think they should not be encouraged to abstain from sex before marriage.

    These are the results of two surveys I recently came across. The first one to catch my attention was headlined thus, “89 percent of California Parents Favor Comprehensive Sex Education in School.” (source) Since my kids are approaching school age, what they will be taught in school is of paramount concern to me, so I read on. It further stated that “a new study from the Public Health Institute found overwhelming support among California parents—regardless of parents’ political leanings, religious affiliation or location—for school-based comprehensive sex education. Parents were asked about preferences for comprehensive versus abstinence-only sex education, opinions on specific sex education topics and reasons for preferences and opinions.”

    I next asked myself, what exactly do they mean by “Comprehensive Sex Education.” And the answer is in the survey question they asked: “What do you think teenagers should be taught in sex education classes?”
    (a) ONLY about abstinence, that is, not having sex until marriage
    (b) ONLY about how to prevent pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted
    infections if they do decide to have sex
    (c) BOTH about abstinence AND about how to prevent pregnancies and the spread of
    sexually transmitted infections if they do decide to have sex

    Now, given those three options, which would you consider “Comprehensive Sex Education?” If you said “C”, of course, you would be wrong. According to the writers of this report the answer is “B” and “C.” As a logically thinking person I cannot figure out the reason for this other than the fact that the writers of the report seem to want to pit the teaching of abstinence against their preferred comprehensive sex education. 1

    While the writers of this report focus on comprehensive sex education, if you dig into the internals of the survey results you’ll find some interesting, and (if you think abstinence is the best course before marriage as I do) encouraging data. “Overall, 82% of the sample reported a policy preference for abstinence-plus-protection sex education, 7% for protection-only and 11% for abstinence-only.” That means 93% of parents want their children taught abstinence before marriage!

    As I was researching the results of the first survey, I came across another set of data with completely opposite results. It said that less than 10% of the global population polled thinks “Young People Should be Encouraged to Abstain From Sex Until Marriage” (source) This statement seemed unbelievable to me initially, but then I did some further research. The survey was conducted by a company called Durex 2 and respondents appear to have been frequenters of their website, which is no doubt a young and sexually liberal group of individuals. The question posed to this group was “Do you think that young people should be encouraged to abstain from sex until they are married?” And not surprisingly, given the sample population, only 8% (14% in the US) of the respondents said “Yes.”

    So you see, when it comes to the popularity of abstinence eduction, it all depends on who you ask.

    1. “We refer to the three options offered as abstinence-only, protection-only, and abstinence-plus. For most of the analyses reported, we combined the protection-only and abstinence-plus categories into a new category of protection-included, referred to subsequently by the commonly used label of comprehensive sex education.”

    2. “Durex condoms represent around one quarter of the global market for prophylactic sheathes, manufacturing around one billion units per year in 17 factories worldwide.”

  • Seat Belts Do Not Save Lives?

    I read an article recently about some teenagers that got in a car accident. The only person to survive was the one who was wearing his seat belt. It takes a liberal to read a story like that and conclude that seat belts are ineffective in saving lives. You see, the people not wearing seat belts died, so obviously the multi-million dollar ad campaigns to get people to wear their seat belts are not working and should be abandoned.

    Crazy as it sounds, this is the logic of the liberal politicians use when they say that abstinence does not work. Democrat congressman John Dingell recently called abstinence education a “colossal failure” and Democrat representative Diana DeGette said abstinence education does not work and labeled spending money on it as “squandering.” (see this FoxNews article) Like the seat belt example above, they say it doesn’t work because a great many teens do not heed the warning to abstain from sex before marriage. While we wouldn’t stop advising our kids to use of seat belts because some do not heed the advice, we definitely should not abandon abstinence education programs.

    If anything, we should push abstinence even more because, the fact of the matter is that abstinence is the only method guaranteed to work 100% of the time. Seat belts don’t even have that guarantee. When seat belts fail (or people fail to use seat belts), Democrats say we have to increase funding and expand the program (i.e. the $30 million Click It or Ticket program), but when abstinence educated has lackluster results, those same democrats want to get rid of it entirely.

    Abstinence works every time it is tried, and we as parents, and society at large must do more to encourage kids to wait until they are married to engage in sexual activity. But unfortunately (Democrat run) government is failing us and Hollywood, TV and movies continue to glorify sex outside of wedlock. I would expect these societal trends to continue, which leaves abstinence education up to the parents. And this parent will continue to teach abstinence before marriage to my own children and all within the sound of my voice, because while you may be able to prevent 90% of the physical consequences, there is no condom for the emotional, mental or spiritual consequences of premarital sex.

    Unbiased vs. The Truth

    Being a Mormon, as I am, there has been a lot of discussion lately among my family and friends about the PBS special entitled The Mormons. Personally, I did not like the overall tone of the piece, but you can click here to see the Mormon Church’s official response. Some say it did good at showing both sides, but unfortunately, one side was frequently an attack by Mormon detractors and the other side was Mormons on the defensive.

    This documentary was touted as “balanced” and praised for its “unbiased” approach. While that may be true, this approach made no effort to uncover the truth and, in fact, it led the documentary to propagate many lies. For example, in its discussion of the Mountain Meadows massacre, the Mormon Church’s side was presented by stating that there is no evidence that Brigham Young had anything to do with that event. Then the documentary presents the other side with a detractor of the church saying that he thinks Brigham Young ordered the massacre. The truth was told, the fact that there is no evidence that Brigham Young was involved in the event, so giving the baseless opinion concerning Brigham Young’s involvement does nothing more than muddy the water and further propagate a lie.

    To provide so-called journalistic integrity, news media personnel frequently think they are on the high road by not taking sides and presenting an unbiased or balance view. (Take CNN journalist Bernard Shaw’s refusal to be debriefed as a prime example. After returning from Iraq, he refused to be debriefed by the US military because he didn’t want to take sides in 1991 Gulf War conflict.) The truth has no side, though. But, if you really want to consider the truth as a side, then the other side must be a lie. So you see how this kind of journalistic integrity should never be confused with the truth.

    Sometimes, I fear, we stop short of arriving at the truth and become satisfied with that “unbiased” presentation of both sides. Obviously, the reason some news media present that balanced approach is so that consumers of their medium can arrive at their own conclusion of the truth. But when they intentionally counter the truth with lies, this destroys any pretense of objectivity. When they knowingly present a lie just to balance the truth, this kind of “objectivity” actually reveals their intention to hide the truth. And that kind of unbiased objectivity should never be confused with the actual truth.

    Why I Oppose Gambling/Lotteries?

    Standing in shawdows of the thrid largest gambling destination in the US, Tunica, MS, I tackle today’s topic: why I oppose gambling? I could spend hours giving you anecdotal evidence of the negative consequences of gambling (stories of poverty sticken adults buying lottery tickets instead of family necessities or college students flunking out of school due to an online poker addiction). But this blog is about the facts, so lets take a look at them.

    This Country has a Gambling Problem
    According to the American Psychiatric Association some signs of problem gambling may include (

    Sign Evidence of it Happening
    Increasing the frequency and the amount of money gambled As you can see in the chart above, casino gambling is skyrocketing in America. Also, 38 of the 50 states now have a lottery.
    Secretive behavior such as hiding betting slips or lottery receipts What better example of promoting secretive behavior than the “What happens here, stays here” ad campaign for Las Vegas.
    Losing time from school due to betting or gambling College males gambling online weekly has quadrupled in the past year, leading to neglect of school work. See “Poker: Online and Obsessed”, Sports Illustrated, 05.25.2005 or this article
    Jeopardizing or losing a career opportunity because of gambling The Financial Times reports that gambling at work costs UK employers £300 million (that’s about $600 million) a year. With the majority of online gambling website users coming from the US, there is no doubt that similar trends exist in America.

    Negative Social Impact
    My opposition to gambling is a matter of principle as I feel that this practice has a negative impact on the society. Take for example, Neveda, home of the top gambling destination in the US, Las Vegas. It also ranks very high in some other categories of interest:

  • Most dangerous state in the nation
  • Most suicides
  • Most divorces
  • Third most high school dropouts
  • Third most alcohol related deaths
  • Fourth most bankruptcies
  • Fourth lowest voter participation
    (source =

    Gambling/Lotteries Prey on the Poor and Less Educated

  • The Associated Press recently reported that many (particularly the less educated) see the lottery, not saving, as way to wealth (
  • Evidence exists in major media plans of the lotteries target the poor. The advertising plan for Ohio’s Super Lotto game stated that lottery promotions should be timed to coincide with the receipt of Government benefits, payroll and Social Security payments. (
  • Clotfelter and Cook recently reported that the top 5 percent of players accounted for 54% of total lottery sales. The top 20 percent accounted for 82% of sales. Clearly, this small group of heavy players are the life blood of the lottery; the average player provides little from a lottery revenue perspective.
  • Proponents of state lotteries justify their existence because money raised is used to fund education. But that is like selling one’s soul to the devil. The social degradation this practice brings is a heavy price to pay and definitely not worth it. I echo Gordon B. Hinckley’s sentiments on the subject of gambling, “There are better ways to spend one’s time. There are better pursuits to occupy one’s interest and energy… please do not fritter away your time or your talents in an aimless pursuit. If you do so, it will lessen your capacity to do worthwhile things.” (source)