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Unformatted text preview: Commercial Sex/Sex and Media
Initial questions to consider?
Have you ever bought a product because the advertising sold you?
Was sex used to sell it?
What made you want to buy the product?
Sex and Mass Media
The naked body is still the primary means of selling a product
Portrayal of sex is blatant
Men are used to sell women’s products
Women are not used to sell male products
Initially print, magazines, newspapers
Mores of the time dictated how individuals could be presented
Increasingly over the years sexuality has been introduced
Sex sells both products and television
Increased sexuality in mainstream television programs to bring viewers back from
HBO and satellite programs
50 years ago a movie or television program would not be released unless the couple
slept in separate beds
Now: can view varying degree of sexual explicitness in the home
Erotic Presentation in History
Dawn of ancient civilization, people were drawing erotic images on walls
Greece is famous for the erotic art that adorned bowls and urns
Pornography did not emerge as a distinct category until the middle 18th century
Obscenity was illegal among the Puritans because it was an offence against God
Trace modern pornographic novel back to Renaissance writer, Pietro Aretino (1492Trace
Story of Pornography
• About those who attempt to identify or quantify what it is
Struggle for those that oppose it
Erotica is n ot pornography but within the acceptable bounds of decency
French philosopher, Michel Foucault, referred to the constant sexuality in the media
as a modern compulsion to speak of sex incessantly
Portrayal of sexuality is old as art itself; pornography and censorship are more
modern concepts The church in an effort to avoid individuals turning away from religious teachings (17th
century) pressed the government to allow them to inspect books
Forbidden books began to be removed
Illicit market in sexual art and literature and the forces of censorship still thrives
Television and Film
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (2003)
64% of all shows included some sexual content
33% found to include sexual behaviours
14% incl uded sexual intercourse
15% have references to safer sex
Television, film and gender
Popular sitcom’s may address issues addressing same sex relationships
Traditional role of woman as sex object predominates
Sexual stereotyping most researched area of media studies
Sexuality and Television
(Folb, 2000): an 18 year old watched 20,000 hours of television: some degree of
impact on perceptions of sexuality
Ads: erotic dating lines, thin women, men and women dressed in provocative
clothing, medication for erectile dysfunction,
Chat rooms, porn, cyber strippers
Interactive sex talks
Pictures and live video conferencing
Pictures Are relationships built and harmed by cyberspace sites?
Who is the most vulnerable?
Sexual encounters on television may be presented as spontaneous, romantic and
Viewers can observe depictions of intimacy and affection, marriage and family life,
and gender roles, as well as suggestive and erotic behaviour
• What are your impressions of the current toys children play with?
Do you think they encourage sexualized playing or behaviour?
Are there any toys, television programs, internet games and sites you would not
want your children to visit? ...
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- Winter '11