I was in complete shock with my mouth hanging open. I’m not as naïve to think that kids aren’t having sex, but for it to be shown, especially in such a romanticized manner, is overboard. At no point throughout the season do any of these 3 sex scenarios present troubling consequences, like teen pregnancy, STDs or emotional heartache, to teach its young, impressionable audience the severity of sex.

As one who’s seen every episode, there has yet to be a plot encouraging the audience to wait. There are some effects, like Maggie’s trouble discovering the real her and what she wants out of life, but they are so hidden in the glamor of everything that young minds may not be able to connect the dots and draw the implications. At this point, Carrie is the only one who still has her virgin innocence, but I’m not sure for how much longer since she’s expressed to her boyfriend, “I wanna have sex with you.”

Unfortunately, it seems as though glamorously marketing sex to teens is becoming more of a norm. A similar episode of popular TV show “Glee” showed almost every character ending up in a hotel room with his or her significant other after a high school dance. In addition to television, there’s also been an increased suggestive nature behind branding techniques of other youthful markets, like apparel.

As a former employee of Abercrombie & Fitch, I remember half-dressed models plastered on the shopping bags and store walls. Teen girl models would be topless wearing unbuttoned low-rise jeans, showing just enough without exposing it all. Even the kids’ store who carries merchandise for elementary school aged children released thong underwear for their little girl consumers with provocative wording like, “wink, wink” and “eye candy” printed on the front.

I’m not an extremely conservative person, and I’m all for showing the reality just as much as the hopeful but unrealistic ideals— in moderation, though. While teens and even middle schoolers are having sex in real life, media shouldn’t depict it as a norm without including the consequences.

If TV shows, clothing stores and other teen-targeted markets are going to incorporate sex into their branding, it should be done in a responsible way that encourages their target audience to first learn themselves as individuals and wait until they are responsible, wise adults. When it comes to media illustrating teen “love” and relationships, there’s a thin line between cute entertainment and just flat out creepy. As a society, we’ve far surpassed the entertainment phase and have officially entered the latter.

What are your thoughts on the way society markets sex to youth? Do you think glamorizing sex to young audiences contributes to teen pregnancy and other social ills?

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