In the textbook, “Human Sexuality: Diversity In Contemporary America,” the author Yarber mentions, “next to sleeping, young people spend more time engaging with the media than any other activity- average of 7 ? hours per day, 7 days per week” (p. 5). By watching TV and films, listening to music, browsing the Internet, and playing video games, people are constantly receiving the messages that the media sends. Among the various messages, sexual-related issues are the one of categories that can be seen everywhere since it is available anytime.
Therefore, whether people like it or not, overwhelming amount of sexual-related issues or sexual content in the media directly or indirectly affects people’s thoughts and behaviors. For example, the mass media provides images, expectations, and values, which show the social context of sexuality such as gender-role attitude, gender-role behavior, and gender presentation. And people consciously or unconsciously get the ideas of appropriate behaviors and the reason behind them.
Furthermore, through intense advertising that are presented in the media, people learn what to buy, how to dress, and how to behave in relationships. In the textbook, the author Yarber further mentions that “advertising in all media uses the sexual sell, promising sex, romance, popularity, and fulfillment to make sure consumer will only purchase the right products. In reality, not only does one not become “sexy” or popular by consuming a certain product, but the product may actually be detrimental to one’s sexual well-being” (p. 7).
As this shows, portrayals of both men and women in advertisements cultivate people’s beliefs in each gender’s physical appearance and sexuality. Nowadays, it is considered “normal” for women to wear make-ups, skirts, skinny jeans, jewelry, fashionable items, and high heels and have a slim body with healthy skins. And, women also learn from the advertisements, or media, that men are attracted to women who look “feminine”. Thus, the advertisements tell them they should buy things that look “feminine,” such as perfumes, skirts, and many beauty products so that they look more attractive than others.
In parallel, it is considered “normal” for men to wear trousers and necktie, and men also learn from the media that they should have a masculine body and a nice-looking car in order to allure women. It can be different from person to person, but usually, the societies view the person as “abnormal” when man is wearing women’s things like skirts and high heels, and when a woman is wearing men’s things like trousers and necktie. As it is, the media is such a powerful tool that can influence people’s thoughts and behaviors.
Even if people think that they are not affected by advertising, they still are, because advertising brings the cumulative effects. For instance, they might not buy the Dior’s perfume after they see the advertising, but they would get the sense of idea that perfume increases one’s self-esteem and seductiveness. The sexual content in the media also influences people in a negative way. Even though it can affect any age groups, young people are at risk because they are not fully developed yet. Young people are still in a developmental stage where gender roles, sexual attitudes, and sexual behaviors are not fully shaped yet.
Nowadays, many music videos and video games contain sexual violence, and TV shows rarely talk about the importance of using condoms and negative side of unprotected sex. Rather, the media makes young people to think that sex is an easy or risk-free. According to the article, “Adolescent sexuality and the media,” “a recent study of African American girls aged 14 to 18 years found that teens with either multiple sexual partners or a history of sexually transmitted infections reported a higher rate of viewing television shows that depicted women as sexual objects or prizes.
A few experimental studies have shown that viewing sexual content can have moderate effects on sexual knowledge or attitudes. ” As this article shows, many young children are being the victims of the media which can causes harmful reactions. So, it is important to prevent them from seeing sexual images and messages to avoid negative consequences. An example of the negative influence from the media can be seen through the article called “Chrissie Hynde under Fire for Suggesting Women Who Dress Provocatively ‘Entice’ Rapists,” which was published on August 30, 2015 through Yahoo News.
To summarize, legendary rocker Chrissie Hynde mentioned during the interview that women who dress provocatively, such as short skirts with high heels, entice rapists. During the interview, she also said, “If you don’t want to entice a rapist, don’t wear high heels so you can’t run from him. ” Moreover, she said it was “all her doing” when she was sexually assaulted at age 21 by a motorcycle gang in Ohio. This article shows how Hynde conveys the wrong idea which can possibly influence young people in a negative way.
Her wrong idea can make people think that it can be a victim’s fault for being raped because they were wearing clothing that led rapists to commit a crime. If what she said is true, then all women who are wearing a bikini at the beach should be allowed to get raped by men since they are wearing no clothes but a bikini. I personally think that she meant to say “don’t put oneself in that situation where bad things can happen. ” Probably, she wanted to tell women to dress appropriately and act appropriately.
However, she should have said that in a different way because I felt like she was defending rape. To me, what she said was like a murderer saying, “I killed her because she was alive” or a thief saying, “I stole the money because I saw the money in her pocket. ” Hynde then explained “If I’m walking around and I’m very modestly dressed and I’m keeping to myself and someone attacks me, then I’d say that’s his fault. ” Her statement is misleading because whether the woman was wearing appropriate clothing or not, victims should never be blamed for the sexual violence.
And there is an ambiguity in the word “modestly” because everyone has a different point of view. Someone can say that the skirt is too short when others can say it looks all right. Even if the skirt was too short in fact, that does not mean someone can come up to woman and touch her without the permission. Sexual violence is such a horrible crime and should not be justified no matter what. This article can impact any age groups, especially people who were the victims of rape.
First, what Hynde said during the interview can enrage or upset those victims since her comments were basically blaming them for being raped. Second, her comment can make the rapists feel less guilty. This may or may not impact college students because many of them already know the difference between right and wrong behaviors. Even if Hynde said that it is women’s fault for being raped, many college students would not agree with her because they learned enough from the school that the sexual violence is wrong all the time.
However, Hynde’s comment can impact on young children, who are less judgmental. In conclusion, the media contains many sexual contents that can bring harmful consequences. Young people, especially, are at risk since their brains are not fully grown yet. Because they don’t have the skills yet to decide the right behaviors, they can easily accept or follow the inappropriate behaviors that are shown by the media. Therefore, parents and schools should focus on teaching them the appropriate behaviors as well as preventing them from sexual contents.