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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Sex in Teen Dramas

Thanks to the nice people at Slate for this vital guide to "Virginity Lost - and the Very Special Virginity episode.

Not my dramatic cuppa, so I'm glad to have this useful summary:
"Since 1991, when Brenda lost her virginity with Dylan at the spring dance on Beverly Hills, 90210, teenagers have been having sex on television.

Where there are school-age children, there are virgins about to be deflowered. In the past year alone, teenage characters have lost their virginity on Summerland, Veronica Mars, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Dead Like Me, Life As We Know It, The OC, One Tree Hill, 7th Heaven, and Gilmore Girls. That's, like, a lot.

The conventions of the Very Special Virginity episode are well-established: Articulate kids fret about the decision, parents learn of it in some way, giving them access to become the moral arbiter of the situation. Sex tends to be represented by both the parents (and the show) as forebodingly destructive—to the teens' future, to their mental well-being, to the family unit. Needless to say, the relationship usually doesn't last very long after it's been consummated, with the reasons for the breakup ranging from unreturned phone calls to nervous breakdowns. (And occasionally they are a bit odder: On 7th Heaven, Simon's minister father reminded him he wasn't capable of casual sex because of his "more than casual relationship with Christ.")"

I think you're right on track and not many people are willing to admit that they share your views. board lost message is an AWESOME place to discuss LOST.
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