GLEE Perpetuates Problematic Myths About Female Sexuality, Says Clinical Specialist Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus

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Female Sexuality expert and clinical director of the Medical Center for Female Sexuality in New York says Fox TV’s Glee perpetuates problematic myths about female sexuality in teen life.”

GLEE, Fox TV's popular show about high school is noted for its sensitive and progressive treatment of gay issues may also perpetuate some questionable myths about female sexuality.

According to noted sex educator and female sexuality expert and clinical director of the Medical Center for Female Sexuality ( in Purchase and NYC, Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus says, “The realistic situations and relationships on the show are rooted in antiquated and harmful stereotypes. GLEE needs to strike a better chord when it comes to defining sexuality in teen life.”

Dr. Marcus continues to say, "GLEE essentially portrays frustrated boys who have a hard time controlling their need for sex, and girls who don’t seem to really want it or need it but “give it up” - or not - to please the boys. As we close in on 2011, do we really need another show that caters to stereotypes about men, women and sex? Hasn't anything changed? Must we continue to propagate the myth that ‘Boys want sex but girls just want to be kissed?’ What’s particularly upsetting is that girls internalize the message: girls
don’t really have a libido. "

In Dr. Marcus’s view, denying girls their libido on screen is not good because it encourages them to ignore their own natural feelings and urges on a sub-conscious level. Encouraging girls to deny that undeniable part of themselves can lead them to believe that those feelings of desire are bad or abnormal. This does women a great disservice.

"Girls who are keenly aware of their libidos often end up feeling like there is something really wrong with them”, says Dr. Marcus. Kids have been known to use the term ‘sex-crazed‘ to describe girls who acknowledge their normal desire. By trying to ignore their sexual feelings, they miss important cues about what turns them on, what things about sex are appealing to them and, most importantly, how they manage those sexual feelings.

Dr. Marcus argues that "promiscuity does not come from acknowledging sexual feelings; it comes from the inability to understand them and manage them with appropriate behavior."

Bat Sheva Marcus, Ph.D., clinical director of The Medical Center for Female Sexuality, is a licensed social worker with a Master’s degree in public health and a doctorate in human sexuality. Along with her medical colleagues at the Center, Dr. Marcus assesses the physical and psychological causes of a woman’s sexual issues. She and her team use this integrated approach to diagnose and treat hundreds of women seeking to improve their sexual experience. To learn more about female sexuality and female sexual dysfunction visit:

Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus is available to discuss:

  •      How GLEE & TV shows impact teenage sexual development and behavior
  •     The Holiday Turn On; Sex During Christmas Break
  •     Talking to Your Teens About Sex
  •     The Dynamics and Cultural Cues Influencing Women's Sexual Desire
  •     Sluts & Virgins: The Dynamics of the Teenage Sexual Behavior
  •     Understanding and managing sexual desire at all ages
  •     Innovative solutions to painful sexual intercourse

For questions and to make a press appointment with Dr. Marcus please contact:
Fern Flamberg

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Ilene Rosenthal
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