Men Like Sex and Action on their TV Screens

by rwalc1 on September 13, 2013 - 11:37am

            “What Do Guys Want?” is a Time magazine article by James Poniewozik that centers on American television and the coveted 18-34 male demographic.  Quite simply, male viewers are attracted to sex, nonstop action, and crude humor when searching for a television program to watch.  When shows attract these young male viewers the networks attract the attention of corporate sponsors and advertisers.  But ever since the Super Bowl halftime show where Janet Jackson’s breast was exposed and the FCC crackdown that took place shortly after, television shows are having trouble finding a line to walk on that combines “commerce and decency.” (Poniewozik, 2004)  What public networks are finding is that the shows either lose male viewers and therefore revenue if they can’t put certain content in them or they get fined by the FCC when they do put the content in.  It’s a lose-lose situation for the networks; and another “lose” can be added when it is known that cable channels like HBO and video games are steadily gaining an audience because of less restrictions.

            The overall standpoint of the article is a passive point of view that says something needs to change if networks want young men to continue watching their programs.  To me, the whole concept of censorship is corrupt in the first place.  The United States censors music, books, movies, television shows, and the internet and in doing this they are censoring ideas.  And at what cost?  Sure, a child may not see a nude human being or hear a few certain four letter words (both of which they are extremely likely to see and hear at some point in their life), but in censoring you remove some of the art and some of the writer’s true vision.  Not only this, but countries like Germany and Italy have much more relaxed codes on what can be shown on their TV screens.  In addition, the fact that the young men as a whole are looking toward these features for entertainment does not concern me at all.  This social group is just part of a movement toward a more liberal society that will hopefully include the passing of social reform like the legalization of gay marriage and free healthcare.  The United States of America needs to stop living in a 1950’s suburban household and wake up in the year 2013.

Poniewozik, J. (2004, May 31). What Do Guys Want? Time, 163(22) pp. 68-70.,9171,994300,00.html


I completely see where you are coming from when you argue that men go out looking for sexual content in TV shows although I beg to differ with the fact that want sexual content in TV shows. Men tells themselves they want sexual content in TV shows because the media and society tells them that’s what they should want to see. Men will do whatever it takes in order to avoid humiliation that would come from not conforming to the typical masculine ideal. If it was socially accepted for men to show emotions and for men to want sex not for the pleasure that it brings but for the sense of closeness and intimacy that it offers, men would embrace it in a heartbeat. In fact, men do experience many other emotions other than anger and they are constantly looking for a sense of partnership although they are not allowed to show it. Have you ever thought about how men would act if they would be exposed to emotional and intimate men in TV shows, if it was accepted by society? I can guarantee you that they would not have a problem with it. In short, it’s not entirely true to say that all men go out looking for sexual content in TV shows because even though there are some men that do in fact have sex for the pleasure that it brings, a good percentage of men have sex in hopes of forming connections and bonds with their partners that would later manifest into a deeper intimate relationship. If society would encourage men to be emotional intimate beings then they would be, but men are constantly being penalized for behaving in such a manner that they have learned to tell themselves that they want sex for the pleasure it brings but there is more to it.

To further understand my point, I think you should explore this article that I have found

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