By Bonnie Messbarger
Sunday night I was channel surfing for something to watch on television. While filtering through ESPN, all the versions of CSI, and of course my favorite kid cartoons I spotted a show called ‘Virgin Diaries’. With my curiosity peeked and nothing else good on, I flipped the channel to TLC. Up pops a young couple who are in the process of explaining why they not only have been saving their ‘first time’, but also their first kiss for their wedding day. A little confused and even more intrigued I proceeded to watch.
Needless to say the entire show was like a train wreck, I couldn’t look away. The more people’s stories they kept discussing the more uncomfortable I felt. These people were being portrayed as very odd individuals, especially the ones who weren’t intentionally ‘saving themselves.’ This portrayal made them seem awkward and strange, as if being virgins was somehow a shortcoming of theirs.
The problem I have with this show is the effect it will have on the audience watching. This show permeates the idea that not having sex is wrong. As if it’s something everyone should be shocked by, and be working to correct. How do you think teenagers will interpret a show like this? ‘I don’t want to be that guy; I need to find someone to have sex with now!’ Teenagers should be supported to have safe and smart sex when they feel they’re ready to have it.
The K State Collegian says “The National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) showed an uptick in abstinence among 15- to-24-year-olds. It revealed 29.9 percent of men had not had any sexual contact ever, while 28.3 percent of women had abstained.” Nearly 30% of youth hasn’t had any sexual contact. That’s a pretty good chunk of young people. Why are we showing them television like this that continues to drill into our heads that being a virgin or not being sexual isn’t okay?