Let’s talk about sex … or not

I turned on a rerun of “Friends” earlier today. I don’t watch that show much anymore, since I have seen most of the episodes a million times and I have all of the seasons on DVD. However, I thought it might be a harmless way to decompress for a few minutes between finishing Max’s bottle and starting his dinner.

There were three sex jokes in the first few minutes we watched. Max probably doesn’t understand what he’s hearing and, even if he does, he doesn’t know what it means yet. But it made me really uncomfortable. Uncomfortable enough to turn it off.

What’s the problem? I asked myself. You watched “Golden Girls” with your mom and grandparents every weekend when you were little. You watched “Roseanne” every single week. It all went over my head. I was shocked at the content when I starting watching the reruns in college. They’re not that racy by today’s standards certainly, but they are family shows and were on during the family hour. I don’t think it was wrong for my mom to let me watch them, so I wonder why I felt so uncomfortable with Max. (Of course, I was school-age, not a toddler.) Especially since I watch “The Golden Girls” around him with no problem. “Roseanne”, too. (Although I have gotten a bit fidgety during that one.) Does the sitcom format make it seem less serious? It’s a joke, so that makes it seem more appropriate. They’re not actually SHOWING sex, so that’s ok. Is it? (Just a note that I am talking about whether it’s ok for my son’s viewing. As far as I’m concerned the shows can do what they want. I don’t have to watch.)

I don’t think sex or talk about it is embarrassing and I don’t want to convey that impression to my son. He is only 13 months old, though. He’s too young for it. But he doesn’t notice the racy talk yet. And he probably won’t for a long time. And if he does, he’ll probably ask questions, which means he’s ready for some sort of honest answer. (Of course, there are degrees. A three-year-old doesn’t need as much detail as a six-year-old or a nine-year-old, etc.) Is it ok if they’re just talking about sex or joking about it? Is it ok if he doesn’t seem to notice it?

And while we’re on the subject, what is UP with the racy and/or violent commercials on family channels during family shows?? Yeah, I’m talking to you ABC Family.

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