I think Jois is right. Your standards will change many times over the course of your life. They may even swing back and forth to where you, at some point in later life, end up with similar standards to what you have now.
I think what is behind the TV standards becoming more and more lax, is that there is more and more of a push toward the shows reflecting real life (well, to some extent anyway… if they got too real, they would be very boring most of the time). I don’t know if you (bradysg) ever watch reruns of older TV shows, but in case you don’t… For a long time, they NEVER showed a MARRIED couple sleeping in the same bed together. They would always get into separate beds in the same room that were separated by at least a nightstand. That is certainly not realistic, and everyone knew that the vast majority of married couples did indeed sleep in the same bed together. It was considered scandalous when they first showed a married couple getting into the same bed (I forget which show it was, but I’m sure that someone will remember). The TV standards changed to reflect what actually was going on in society. The more people saw it, the more they got used to it. They slowly realized “hey… that’s just life”, and let it go. I don’t think it added anything to the overall quality of the shows. It simply introduced a tiny touch of realism.
Of course, that’s just one little change. They couldn’t make all of the changes at once (nor was it desired). I’m not trying to make it sound as if this “move toward realism” is an organized or planned progression. I think that it is just that each group of “censors” change TV a little each year, and let something slide that doesn’t seem like a big deal to them. As with the married couples sleeping in the same bed thing, people get used to it, and then it is not a big deal after awhile.
As for the use of profanity… At one time, I thought of the words that are considered “profane” to be bad. That’s not to say that I didn’t use them… quite the opposite actually. I used them to excess because (I suppose) using these taboo words gave me some type of thrill. Now, I really don’t understand how, given two words that mean the same thing (“poop” and “shit” for example), someone could be offended by the use of one, and not the other (given the same context).
“Awww poop! I just stubbed my toe.”
“Awww shit! I just stubbed my toe.”
Both expressions convey the same idea. “I’m mad, and the first thing that popped into my head is feces.” Same idea. Different words. One is considered silly. One is considered profane. It makes no sense to me. The idea behind the word is the same in both cases. The difference is societal. As you mentioned, “bitch” is used on TV almost constantly. As a result, people are becoming desensitized to it. It still means the same thing it did when it was taboo (a mean or rude woman), but now society is beginning to think of it as casual slang.
“Poop”… “Shit”… A rose by any other name…