Michel Foucault famously suggested that we stop congratulating ourselves for our willingness to talk about sex (“We are just so, like, liberated!”) and ask what it is exactly that we are saying. I thought of him as I pondered this 50-second compilation of each time a character in a single episode of the ABC Family show, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, utters the word “sex.” How many times?  70 times.  70 times in just 45 minutes of programming.

So we definitely know that we’re talking about sex.  That’s for sure.  But what is the impact of all of this talk?  You can imagine a thousand different messages contained in the space between one “sex” and the next.  Whether that’s liberating is up for debate.

Found at The Daily What.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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