There’ve been teen moms. There’ve been “guidos.” There’ve been rednecks. The next cultural subgroup to get the MTV reality show treatment are a little more, well, innocent: virgins. The hour-long “docu-soap” will follow a group of 18- to 25-year-olds who are remaining abstinent. Some will undoubtedly be tempted and struggling with their abstinence, while I imagine others will give voice to a segment of the population — young, cool and not having sex — who aren’t often portrayed on MTV.
I think a show like this has the opportunity to be beneficial to youngsters, like showing teenagers that virgins aren’t their stereotypes: ugly, unloveable, socially awkward or dorky. (Come to think of it, why isn’t “The World’s Oldest Virgins” a reality show? Anyone? Anyone?) But I’m also wary of how the show will treat abstinence-only education, whether it comes through school or religious groups like True Love Waits. Not even knowing who the cast members will be, I know there’s going to be someone — if not several someones — who went to a high school that wouldn’t teach comprehensive sex education in the hopes that kids wouldn’t have sex until marriage. And they don’t, of course. Instead, youngsters have sex anyway and have no idea babies get made or how sexually transmitted diseases actually spread.
So, how this particular program deals with the medically inaccurate bullshit those kids are taught will be my litmus test of how good it will be. Don’t fail us, MTV!
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