MTV’s relatively new TV show, Awkward, aims at educating and talking to teens about sex in a realistic and relatable way. Awkward producer, Lauren Lungerich created this show based on her drama filled hometown of Palos Verdes, California, which, coincidentally, is where I am from. To get ideas for this show, the cast and producers came to my high school once a year and talked to students about what goes on in a typical day, so the daily struggles of my school are reflected on the show, making it more believable in terms of sexual education to teenagers.
In this TV show, the producers go beyond the heteronormative culture of straight couples, and have characters that are gay, lesbian, and confused as well. I believe this is beneficial because teenagers that live in a very uniform area, consisting prominently of white heterosexual individuals, need to be exposed to other types of people as well. The idea that ‘different is not bad’ is one that I think a lot of people need to get used to in our ever-changing society; what is the “norm” today will not necessarily be the same in a couple of years. Also, because the plot is based on a real high school, a lot of the story line is easily relatable to teenagers everywhere, and therefore ironically makes it not awkward to talk about sex.
In today’s world, a lot of teenage education about sex comes from TV or the Internet, so it is crucial that we fill the two with good information that helps teenagers feel more knowledgeable and keeps them safe. Similarly, we need to expose teenagers to the real world by not only including information and media about straight couples, but expanding it to all couples and not promoting a right or wrong way to love.
We have come a long way from hating all gays, to “ask don’t tell,” to now where gay marriage is allowed in some states. Because of this progression, I don’t understand why some people are scared to become accepting of gays and lesbians and the LGBQT community in general? Just because they are accepting and open of other’s sexualities does not mean it is contagious.