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In the past hundred years, the media have helped to break down taboos and have created new shared visual imagery. Whether it pertains to 20th-century thrillers and spy icons such as James Bond, new future worlds like those in Star �rs, cud-dly aliens (E.T.), or young wizards (Harry Potter), the visual media have combined adventure with love and sex. Some of the visual images from Gibson Girls (left) were the standard of feminine beauty from about 1895 to 1915. Pinup girls early media have also been trans-(right) were the female sex symbols during World War II. Images like these promoted new public formed from something very negative talk about sex. to something positive, as in certain movies about vampires. Based on ancient superstitions about death, vampires were considered to be horrific figures, and have been a subject of popular fiction since the late 19th century. Now, however, vampires have come to symbolize shared sexual and romantic fantasies. The new sexier version of an age-old sex symbol, Edward, the vampire from the Twilight films has more positive attributes than the old Dracula character .. Bram Stoker's novel Dracula was published in 1897. Since then, the story has been made into at least 70 films and plays, some of them sexual, some funny, or monstrous. Today in the United States, vampires are often portrayed as beautiful, intelligent, protec-tive, loyal, wealthy, wise, and extremely erotic-generally positive traits. Edward, the vampire of the Twilight series, has these charac-teristics, and many fans, especially teenage females, perceive him to be a nearly "perfect" man because of his imagined masculinity. In a twist on the original theme of vampires being corpses, Edward can have sex, orgasms, and children. In some ways, Edward and other modern vampires are perfect sexual creatures with immortal sexual well-being. These shared vampire images possess what many people wish for in a partner: ageless, sexy, strong bodies; manly and wom-anly perfection; wealth, beauty, intelligence, wisdom, and virgin-ity-and possibly immortality. But they are not real, and this raises the question of how sexual culture can influence people's attitudes. Popular Music and Sexual Attitudes Of all the media in pop culture that may truly transform sexual attitudes, none is more potentially powerful, holistic, and per-sonal than popular music. Music has the impact, as does touch and smell, to arouse deep feelings and desires-even years later. Music can bring about these feelings in ceremonies and rituals that mark birth, death, and other great transformative events from Africa and Asia to the United States and Europe (Geertz, 1973; Levi-Strauss, 1971). It can tap into our deepest expres-sions of shared experience-the attitudes, emotions, identities,
Sexuality, Media, and the Internet and passions for the people we are attracted to and/ or love. It is the auditory way in which a culture fashions what is beautiful or ugly and significant of sexual love. In the United States, sex and love have been the most enduring themes of popular music and pop culture since the modern period, as described in Chapter 2.