sexuality in todays media
Recently I read several articles covering various topics about sexuality in the media. I stumbled across many cultural views concerning media and its sexual influences on today’s society. I was shocked at how blatant women were targeted for the exploition of their sexuality. Sex Education out side of the school the authors Keller and Brown (2000) relate the media as being obtusely irresponsible concerning the types of images the media portrays in today’s American culture. Concerning themselves with profit margins and marketing tactics they have almost completely extinguished social responsibilities. It is the author’s beliefs that today’s media excels in depicting the potential for and the infatuation with sex rather than the consequences. The media institution prey on the insecurities of middle and working class women and men alike. By portraying images of glamorous life styles using scantily dressed women and rich well dressed men. About one in 11 programs show the risk of STD’s (sexually transmitted disease) and there are almost no programs that depict unplanned pregnancies. The overall idea this article is that the media exerts immeasurable amounts of energy in to educating today’s youth on how to, where to, the pleasure of having and the glory behind being sexy, yet gives no reasons and offers little support in abstaining from sex. The education and ramifications of having unprepared sexual relations is completely circumvented in to days media. These cleverly disguised advertisements highlighting sex is a class and gender issue in that the media is using degrading images of women.
objectifying them and selling products to the unsepcting working and middle class portraying the illusion that this projuct will make you pretty and happy.
family planning perspectives (255) Sex Education out side of the school Vol, 32 #5 2000
Pepper Schwartz (2000) writes extensively on the subject of sexuality in today’s media.
It is his opinion that today’s media portrays a more liberated sexual America yet still place moral and ethical prejudices on those who partake in premarital sexual acts. Schwartz bullets problems on pg 2 of his article, focusing on the discriminations of both men and women. He outlines the contradictions of media and congressional agendas in that media promotes homosexual sexuality yet the government will step in and dictate the rolls either gay or lesbian parents will have in their children’s lives. Among many other topics in this article the author talks liberally about political discrimination in the elections he make a great point about dole and bushes campaign being supported mainly by there sexual relations by reminding his readers about Dole being a Viagra poster boy and Bush’s not to distant bad boy reputation but also goes on to point out discriminative ideologies of our culture and it’s the beliefs that women are biologically too incompetent to even run for political positions. But I have to ask my self while I’m reading this article is sexuality in the media targeting everyone the same or is it mainly focusing on a specific audience. As I read further I came to realize that these topics were clearly a class prejudice. With highlights on simulated intercourse in soap operas, surgery press coverage’s of celebrities, I came to realize that these were shoved in the faces of those who had time and money to watch, absorb and fall victim to. Sure we see these things in the evening prime time programming but the working class has little energy time or money to really become involved in these cultural practices. Schwartz does support this subject but spend more time discussing the ever evolving taboos behind sexuality in the media and how it will affect our society in the years to come. It is Schwartz’s belief that we as a culture will absorb these taboos as a cultural norm and will they will eventually depressurize hot topics like nonmonogamy and homosexuality.
Contemporary sociology, Creating Sexual Pleasure and Sexual Justice in the Twenty-First Century (219) , Vol. 29, 1
As early as the 1920’s the music industry has been using women and sexuality to sell and promote main stream music and their performers, But not until the early 70's has the black culture entered in to music media as prominent figures targeting the youth and the modern hip hop culture. Yet this seemingly ethnic and racial breakthrough apparently has a two-faced out comes. In the Article “Where My Girls at?” Emerson (2002) depicts the deceptive nature of this type of attention given to black females in this quickly evolving hip-hop generation. In one hand we see successful, beautiful, seemingly independent women performing on stage and in the modeling and acting fields, then in the other hand were seeing them objectified and portraying “sexy” being subservient and exposed. The author did extensive research in the music /hip-hop video industry focusing on black female performers and found that out of hundreds of videos an overwhelming number of them shown a one dimensional woman and in many video identified the artist by primarily showing her body parts. Emerson goes on to explain how the one-dimensional woman in the media is shown as flat, not being multifaceted but are reduced to being sex symbols and this is seen even more so prevalent in the African American pop culture.
Gender and society (135) Vol, 16,1 2002
Although our culture has made giant leaps in ethnic and gender equality it still places certain stereo types on women portrayed in the media. As Bogerdus (1998) writes in his article Modern Mass Media and the desires in making of American consumer culture the objectifying of women in media advertisement is not a new concept. He carefully documents many advertisements dating back to the 1800’s pointing out that the socially constructed ideas seen in todays media have evolved from earlier images targeting and degrading women. He uses corset advertisement from the late Victorian era to show how women were used to promote clothing by exploiting women’s sexuality. posing women in an open non-private manner many company’s have stolen the personal identities of women and exposed there private sexual nature. Bogerdus goes to say that “women did not accept jobs in advertisement with the intention of exploiting other women and subsequently getting ahead of themselves, but on first glance earlier advertising women seemed to have done just that.” The over view of this article seems to focus on the fact that women have been manipulated throughout the last few generations to believe that men will not be interested if they in some way don't objectify themselves or promote their own sexuality.
Sexuality in the media is an institution ever evolving, adapting and catering to the desires of society. Ethnic awareness is increasing in American culture, the women rights movement and minority groups like NAACP have helped to contribute to human right and equality. Yet, we are still seeing the media taking advantage of many week and underclass citizens. Today’s media has preyed on women minorities, it seems more so than any other group minority group. With the rise of sex in advertisement, the exploitation of women seems more excepted in the modern household. But we are still noticing that color blind racism is being used everywhere in the media. Perfect well dressed submissive women selling tile cleaners for the bathroom or the hot scantly dressed women selling perfume and lingerie. Even though women rights activists have struggled to break the old fashion depiction of dependant and submissive women, women are still mainly portrayed in the media as house wife and sex objects.