Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Prime Time TV: The Gospel Hour(s) for Sexuality

posted by Linda Mintle

I was reviewing a large study on the sexual attitudes of singles and I was surprised by how much shift has occurred regarding sexuality.

And then I wasn’t surprised when I began to think about how media preach their nightly brand of  sexuality.

In almost every case (I am struggling to find one story line of conservative sexual values not mocked), the person who doesn’t have sex outside of  marriage is made to look like a freak. The message- sexual appetite must be fed.

Joseph saying NO to Potipher’s wife would not make prime time. The TV gospel hour does not preach fleeing from sexual temptation.

Grey’s Anatomy, like most of prime time television, is one of those shows promoting the gospel of open sexuality. Casual sex is the norm. The person who resists is weird, an outsider and neurotic.

In Grey’s, one of the married couples couldn’t be themselves in marriage, so they divorced and are now having fantastic sex all the time because they are free of the confines of marriage. The sermon is very clear–marriage undermines who you are and sex is better outside of it.

And even though homosexuality remains a consistently small  percentage of our population, gay and lesbian story lines dominate most of prime time. This is purposeful. The writers use their bully pulpits to promote tolerance  and condemn anyone who thinks differently, even if that thinking is based on a moral code. You will not see a moral position against homosexuality ever presented with love or tolerance–a hypocrisy that cannot be discussed without accusation and attack.

Another story line featured a transgendered teen couple. We had much dialogue from the teen’s perspective of being trapped in the wrong body. The dialogue was compassionate and empathetic towards the teen. The father of the 18-year-old girl who is about to have her breasts removed in order to begin her journey towards becoming a man, enters the hospital and is portrayed as unloving, intolerant and misguided. When he questions the choice of his still developing daughter, all the sympathy goes to the loving and supportive transgendered friend, who tries to get the dad to accept his daughter’s decision to change her gender. The father asks what the rush is to change so quickly but is rebuffed for that question, even though it is a realistic question, and one any father would ask an 18-year-old considering reconstructive surgery. But of course, he is just misguided and lacks compassion. The father leaves the hospital, unable to show love because he didn’t agree with the decision. He abandons his daughter (son) at his time of need. Again, tolerance  trumps and makes a realistic conversation impossible. If you oppose the change for any reason, you don’t love your child.

The single Christian on the show gave in to her sexual appetites long ago, had passionate sex often until the guilt became too great. Her sexual partner moved on to an intern. Last night, she questioned whether anyone goes out on a real date and allows romance to blossom. The other doctors looked at her like she was from another planet and made no comment. No one has questioned sex in an uncommitted relationship. And of course, none of the sexually active doctors ever contract an STI or have emotional fall out from casual sex.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

I long for the day when writers on these shows write characters who have a different view of casual sex without being portrayed as freaks. Or maybe, in the name of tolerance, a different viewpoint could be presented in a loving way (that would be real tolerance!). Or maybe a character could actually say NO to casual sex and be a hero at least once.

In the meantime, television continues to push its brand of sexuality. They have an audience and they use the pulpit!

When you preach something long enough and often enough, people begin to believe. That’s a power of media.

Is it any wonder our attitudes towards sexuality are changing?

Brain Dead? Why You Can’t Use That Excuse!

posted by Linda Mintle

Ever heard this conversation between two people at work?

” I am so brain dead, I can’t do another thing today.” “I know, right. We are way overworked. And I heard that we only use 90% of our brains! I think mine is maxed out! ” 

How many times have you heard someone say that we only use a fraction of our brain?

How many of you believe this to be true?

Ok now put down your hand –if you said, YES!

You believe a popular myth perpetuated by many sources, e.g.,a 20th century, misquoted psychologist, who suggested that humans don’t take advantage of their full mental resources; William James who said we use only a fraction of our brains, etc.  Through the years, pop culture has concluded that we only use a fraction of our brains.

The truth is that we use all of our brains, 100% of the time. Imaging (MRI) confirms that all areas of the brain are wired and active.

Dr. Paul Aravich, Professor of Pathology and Anatomy at Easter Virginia Medical School, tells us that the brain is in constant use, even when we sleep. In fact, the brain is more active in REM sleep that when we are awake.

The  “brain dead” excuse doesn’t cut it! Even when we do nothing, the brain continues to work.

No the next time you tell someone to, Use It Or Lose It, think again …wait you already are, you can’t lose it even when you don’t use it, because you are already using it!

 

Three Divorce Predictors

posted by Linda Mintle

It may surprise you what researchers Alan Booth,  Paul Amato and colleagues at Penn State found to be important predictors of divorce when they studied long term marriage and divorce.

1) Couples who do NOT own a house. House owners are less likely to divorce. Owning represents commitment and stabilizes relationships. Think about it. House owners may be reluctant to sell or divide the property. So owning a house may help a couple avoid divorce.

2) Intergenerational transmission of divorce. If your parents divorced, it is twice as likely that you will divorce. This is one of the strongest risk factors. Sometimes this is due to a lack of skills regarding conflict, dealing with emotions compromising, etc. So if you didn’t have great role models for interpersonal skills in marriage, go to seminars, be open to changes and learn to better communicate and meet the needs of your spouse.

3) Living together. Couples who live together prior to marriage report more problems and are more likely to think about divorce. Living together does not help create a stronger marriage like so many people think.

Dr. Linda’s 10 Super Bowl Highlights

posted by Linda Mintle

Super Bowl  is a bit like Christmas.- the hype outweighs the actual event. Don’t get me wrong, it turned out to be a good game even though I was routing for San Francisco. But all the hoopla surrounding the game is exhausting.

Like most of you, I watched the game (although in and out of it many times). Here are my highlights, love to hear yours:

1) The best moment was when the lights went out.  Twitter was ripe with pithy comments. My favorite from Neil Pollack , “This time, it’s the rich people trapped in the Superdome.”

2) President Obama’s comment, “…if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football.”  Jim Harbaugh’s response to that comment–this means less competition for his 5 month old son Jack!

2)  Alicia Keyes--Someone forgot to tell her this was a football game, not a concert–piano, gown, soulful. I believe it was the longest version of this song ever! It was a great beginning for those not so interested in the game.

3) The First Family’s Role Model–Beyonce in leather and lace, the outfit we want all our teen girls wearing to sell a sex kitten image. Come on, Mr. President!

4) Beyonce again. At any moment, I expected Michael Jackson to appear and the two would end doing a Pepsi commercial.

4) The Clydesdale commercial. It was WAR HORSE all over again. The entire movie flashed before my eyes.

5) Oprah being vintage Oprah–I like it when she is not confusing me with her brand of spirituality.

6) When everyone in the room yelled, “Ooh, creepy!” every time some dark beer commercial appeared.

7) Jim Harbaugh’s desperate attempt to get a ref to call holding near the end of the game. Looking at the review, it was holding and even the announcer began to change his mind.

8) The Facebook photo of Jim Harbaugh telling mom that his brother wasn’t playing fair. 

9) The suggestion that post Super Bowl Monday become a national holiday. 

10) The actual game. Turned out to be a good game once the lights went out. Congrats to the Ravens!

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