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America’s Attitude Toward Sexuality Essay

1292 words - 6 pages




“Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.” -Napoleon Bonaparte “Playin' a fool's game, hopin' to win; And tellin' those sweet lies and losin' again; I was lookin' for love in all the wrong places; Lookin' for love in too many faces”. –Johnny Lee, 1980

Every night many Americans turn off their lights and lock their doors to prevent unwanted intruders from inviting themselves into their relatively peaceful homes. But what do they do ...view middle of the document...

The media world has become careless and reckless with its portrayal of sex and relationships and the coming generation has to pay the high price that comes with it. In his book Sex and God at Yale, Nathan Harden says, “This generation has grown up experiencing and learning about sex in a way that is profoundly


different from what our parents experienced. Our ways of relating have been shaped, inevitably, by our immersion in a kind of sexuality that distorts gender roles and constantly confuses sexiness with sexism.”2 (pg. 115) Pornography is a great example of this. A lot of people think pornography is explicit sexual activity shown in magazines or movies but it is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as, “printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.” Many public advertisements alone could fall into this category. It is usually a woman being promoted in these types of media advertisements and in a subtle way it implies to young men that when they pursue whatever is being sold, they will have the woman that comes with it. On the flip side, it teaches young women that to get the attention and affection they want they need to offer their body and anything that comes later is worth the collateral damage. Hooking up is something that is implied as common and normal in many television shows and movies that are watched by young people. Young girls are perpetually being shown that hooking up is what is expected to be considered adequate in a social setting, lest they spend their Friday nights alone and their weekend’s outcast from the crowd of “cool kids”. The hooking up culture also perpetuates this sort of hypercompetitive nature that reinforces the idea that women are natural rivals and need to compete with other women to prove their self-worth. In the movie Grace Unplugged a young starlet has been used to gain publicity for another star and in the recovery process she is counseled (regarding men) that, “You just have to beat them at their own game. Use them more than they use you. Your body is your biggest asset. It’s your currency, and sometimes you have to spend it.”3 Whilst this is an example displayed because of a former attitude of epicaricacy by one of the characters this is the mindset that is perpetually thrust on women. They are taught that


to get what they need or want out of someone or a situation they have to use their body or that they have to “spend their biggest asset”. How ridiculous is it that just walking into a store or down a street a woman is almost forced to be self-conscious by the unnecessary whistling and derogatory statements yet they are also encouraged to “be happy” that they are receiving deceptively positive attention. With the double...

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