by Maggie Kenney
After an earlier fight Nate Archibald pulls his girl friend, Serena van der Woodsen, into the coat check room at a formal event. Although he explains to her that he wants to take their relationship slowly, they begin to kiss. Still kissing, they move to the back of the closet, while taking off their coats and shoes. As the couple falls onto the couch together, the scene changes leaving viewers of the popular television show ‘Gossip Girl’Â to assume that one thing led to another.
Some teenagers feel that many television shows today misrepresent the sexual aspect of relationships, therefore sending the wrong impression to teenagers with a boyfriend or girlfriend.
‘I think producers want the viewers to see the physical aspect of the relationship, but they go too far in expressing it,’Â said junior Anna McTygue, who’s currently dating Rockhurst High School junior Matthew DeRuyter.
According to McTygue the idea of a richer, more glamorous world draws teenagers into watching the show. McTygue thinks the New York background of ‘Gossip Girl’Â and clothes the characters wear are ‘cool.’Â
‘If ‘ËœGossip Girl’ or ‘Ëœ90210′ was based in a small town, no one would watch it,’Â McTygue said. ‘We want a parallel to a better life.’Â
Though many people like ‘Gossip Girl’Â and ’90210,’Â they might not always be portraying the right image according to STA junior, Rachel Edmonds. Edmonds thinks the sexual relationships of the couples in the show move quicker than they normally would, and because of this, they often leave out the social aspect of the relationships.
‘I don’t think the sexual relationships expressed on shows are realistic,’Â DeRuyter said. ‘The shows don’t display any consequences to the couples actions, and in real life there are many consequences to what you do.’Â
According to DeRuyter, some people think sex is interesting, so producers show sexual scenes to keep viewers watching and entertained. DeRuyter also thinks that the producers fail to show the consequences to some of the couples’ actions where in the real world couples, have to think about them before they act.
Both DeRuyter and Edmonds believe, the shows make having sex a casual activity and can bring people out of their comfort zone when watching it. Consequently, DeRuyter thinks ‘Gossip Girl’Â and ’90210′Â can make teenagers feel self-conscious about themselves, and their relationships.
‘Some people might compare their relationships to those on television shows,’Â Edmonds said. ‘It depends on the person and how secure they are with the relationship they’re in.’Â
According to McTygue and Edmonds, media puts more pressure on girls. The ideas boys have for perfection are much smaller than they are for girls. According to McTygue, there is so much more girls must do to be ‘perfect’Â. Edmonds agrees that media puts pressure on girls to have the perfect hair, clothes, body, etc.
The media puts pressure on teenage couples to appear like the couples in the shows, according to DeRuyter, but it all depends on how you take the message.
‘Personally I don’t feel pressure from the media, because I know it’s fictional,’Â DeRuyter said. ‘Girls might feel they have to act like the characters in the shows to get boys to like them.’Â
Although many popular television shows may be dramatic and the relationships may be unrealistic, Edmonds believes teenagers can avoid the pressure the shows put on relationships by viewing the content with maturity.
‘I think [the content of the shows] is okay, as long as [teenagers] don’t look too far into the physical aspect of the show.’Â