Television sex education panics? An analysis of three public debates in The Netherlands

Anouk Mols

Abstract


In 2013, television sex education show Dokter Corrie instigated a heated public debate in the Netherlands. This study places the Dokter Corrie uproar in a broader perspective and identifies the moral dimensions in the reactions to three Dutch television sex education shows: Open en Bloot (1974), Spuiten en Slikken (2005) and Dokter Corrie (2013). A contemporary notion of moral panics and media panics provides a suitable theoretical basis for understanding the multiplicity of voices, the reflexive relationships between interest groups and the deliberate use of media tools in the debates about Dutch television sex education. The qualitative frame analysis and quantitative content analysis led to a detailed account of the three public debates and showed that moral attitudes concerning the problematic conditions of television sex education recurred over time. The resulting four frames each revolve around the claim that sex education needs to be handled carefully. The Indispensable education frame and the Inadequate attempt frame regard television as the right channel for this goal. In contrast, voices within the Degenerating media frame and the Religious anxiety frame claim that television sex education threatens the social sexualisation of children.

Keywords


television sex education, media panic, public debate, sexual morality, framing

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15847/obsOBS1022016961

License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/