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Parents Television Council criticizes nudity on TV

The networks aired more than 70 full nudity scenes

There's simply no rest for the US. Sex is everywhere. At first, there was talk about sexual content in seemingly harmless films (see here) and now a study released by the Parents Television Council (PTC) criticizes the US networks for their depiction of full nudity. The networks that we're talking about here are the likes of ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, CW which are receivable almost everywhere and which have strict rules regarding sex, violence and vulgar language that are not present in pay-tv, where there's less hesitation with these issues.

76 scenes with full nudity were counted in the last TV season 2011/2012, including normal series such as The Office, Suburgatory or America's got Talent. But actually, not really since the scenes are normally blurred or covered by black bars. The networks know where to draw the line but only the PTC wants to change it nonetheless.

They gave the following statement regarding scenes with blurred nudity to FOX News:

“The impact is virtually the same as actually showing it. Just as ‘bleeping’ an ‘f-word’ or ‘s-word’ is virtually the same as airing the actual word [...] It just calls attention to the thing that has been edited out.”

So, according to the PTC, the censorship of scenes with nudity or coarse language weighs just as heavy as if they were shown uncensored. On the contrary, the censorship even increases the attention. Of course, the PTC doesn't draw the conclusion to waive the censorship altogether. Instead, working on a solution to ban the undesirable completely without anyone noticing seems to be the way they are heading towards.

They also quote a therapist on the matter:

"Simulated or blurred nudity can be just as titillating as real nudity in the human brain. Upon any stimulus, the brain searches for anything remotely similar or familiar, and reacts in a similar manne [...] If something is missing -- as in pixelization -- the brain will fill in the blanks from the existing storehouse of knowledge. Indeed, it will work harder to do so than if the real image were there. This explains why fantasy is many times better than reality. It triggers our imagination, which is endless."

Okay, the therapist obviously views censored nudity as being even worse than real nudity since the gaps (caused by the censored scenes) are filled in the viewers' brains by relying on own experiences or memories of nude scenes (real or in a movie).

This leads to a number of interesting questions. This "storehouse of knowledge" in the brain. What if it doesn't contain any nudity of man and woman because its owner has never seen anyone naked? Not even himself because the eyes were covered, even in front of the mirror at home? If there are no pictures of nudity in the brain, they can't be accessed and therefore, the censored scenes cannot be reinstated and can't cause damage. In contrast, some peoples' storehouse of knowledge can be filled up with depictions of nudity. But what is more harmful in that case? Letting those mental images locked up and wasted away forever or putting them to use in the daily TV program?

 

Two and a Half Men

Release: Sep 02, 2012 - Author: Bob - Translator: Mike Lowrey - Source: PTC (PDF)

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