Over the past few weeks, Channel 4 and BBC3 have each taken different approaches to the issue of teen sex with a series of programs. Channel 4 have advised us on how to make the most of our sexual experiences, whilst BBC3 have scared us into believing that we will get cancer every time we get into bed with someone. Which approach really works best?
I’m usually a fan of BBC three documentaries, but in the past weeks of its “Dangerous Pleasures Season“, I have not only been bored by their choice of ‘journalists’, but have been made to feel like I should never have sex again.
Tonight, Channel 4 started its new program, The Joys Of Teen Sex, taking a “frank and honest but sometimes shocking” approach. They gave a realistic look at younger people having sex, showing teenagers how to have the most satisfying, but at the same time responsible, experiences. It wasn’t only focused on heterosexual sex either; homosexual teenagers got the chance to ask what they should be doing in the bedroom as well, facing head on the more common situations of today.
Whilst Channel 4 made sure to sneak in that the UK has the highest STD rate with 100,000 teenagers getting an STD last year, BBC three heavily focused on this downside of sex. “Is Oral Sex Safe?” discussed the HPV virus that is capable of giving humans cancer through oral sex. This is something I personally knew nothing about, and if I knew sooner than I would have gotten the free jab that is offered to girls under 18. But now, at the age of 19, there’s nothing I can do about it unless I have £300 spare. So admittedly, yes, this is something that teenagers need to be made aware of, but you don’t need to taint the whole subject of sex to do so.
The main thing that annoyed me about The Joys Of Teen Sex was the use of a teenage journalist. I don’t mean to be contradictive here but it wasn’t her age that was my issue, it was her ignorance to sex as a whole. She said that she wanted to find out all that she could about the new trends in teen sex, which in this episode was genital makeovers and piercings, but she held a completely subjective stance throughout. The thought of everything she approached seemed to disgust her, which wasn’t really her part to play. Why question the reasons to why people shave and wax? Some people just have a little modesty.
Whilst both channels have a very different approach to the matter, each give valuable advice and information. Both may have their downsides, but at the same time it’s worth knowing the worst of it as well as how to make the best of it.