No Sex Please - We're Teenagers
It seems that evangelical Christians are really learning how to exploit the “reality-TV” format, After the uncritical exposure they got on the faux-reality “documentary” three years ago – Alpha: will it change their lives – it seems like they’re back for another shot.
This time they’re touting the Silver Ring Thing-style challenge to a group of teenagers to, as the BBC (who is airing the show) puts it: challenged 12 teenagers to stay celibate for five months.
The BBC describes the show thus:
In No Sex Please, We're Teenagers, two Christian youth workers tried to get participants to swap "casual sex for old-fashioned courting rituals".
"This is not a reality show in the Big Brother sense," a BBC spokeswoman said. "It is a three-part observational documentary series."
The teenagers, aged between 15 and 17 and from Harrow, north-west London, attended weekly "Romance Academy" sessions with the youth workers.
The first part of the series aired on BBC 2 last night.
The BBC excuses this partisan evangelising on the grounds that the two Christian youth workers, Rachel and Dan, “have both practised celibacy and think that teenagers would be much happier if they were involved in long-term, serious relationships. With teenage pregnancy and STD rates in Britain the highest in Europe, this documentary gives them the chance to test their beliefs."
The show is already getting extensive media coverage, including on the BBC’s ‘Breakfast Show’ (Watch the video)
GALHA member Jim Thorne became “quite irritated” by the discussion on the Breakfast programme that he dashed off the following email to them:
"There seemed to be an assumption in your early morning discussion of this programme that the choice is between a Christian morality or being amoral. Morality and ethics predate Christianity and humans from their earliest incarnations have always developed appropriate codes for living. In a modern world the codes for responsible sexual behaviour are based on the need to avoid unwanted pregnancies and the spread of SDIs. Placing sexual behaviour within a secure relationship goes towards meeting these needs but none of this is in any way dependent on the Christian religion. The introduction's emphasis on 'Christian' morality detracts from the universality of the issue."
He’ll let us know if he gets a response.