Many of us associate specific songs with a particular

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Chapter 12 / Exercise 10
Introductory Psychology
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pop culture since the modern period, as described in Chapter 2. Many of us associate specific songs with a particular time in life, such as when we were falling in love, enjoying an intense sexual relationship, getting to know a special someone, or pos- sibly breaking up with someone. Music erases the boundary between what is outside and public in the culture and what is private and inside the individual. A song can evoke raw and deep emotional reactions, making us happy or sad. We often associ- ate that mood with someone we like or love or lost, and it may leave a lasting impression on our memory. Music is so entwined with sex that pop singers themselves become sex symbols. From Sinatra to Elvis to Lady Gaga, pop singers not only define some of the key trends of appearance and behaviors but also set the standards of what we consider sexy, beautiful or handsome, and attractive. Many of these celebrities make the most of their mass appeal to sell products. 71 A tour of popular music in the United States from the 1920s, when pop music became more accessible through records and radio to become a major theme of culture to the present, reveals changing trends in sexual passion along with frustrations in the search for sexual individuality. The icons of each musi- cal era projected sex appeal in their performances. For example, in the 1940s, Frank Sinatra's crooning regularly caused huge crowds of teenage girls to faint. The effect was quite different Sex symbols change with the times, and movies are a major source of shared images. A little glamour doesn't hurt, as this image of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie suggests. as the culture moved into the sexual revolution of the 1960s and beyond. From Elvis and the Beatles, to Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, and Wiz Kalifa, singers and musicians have forged new sexual attitudes and erased the line between real sexual love and fantasy for many fans. This hap- pens through the creation of "fan clubs," websites dedicated to these celebrities and their sexual and romantic lives, where the stars sell their personal products, promote books, meet fans, appear in concerts, and perform in highly suggestive sexual ways (as Madonna has done numerous times). You can read more about these issues and how you feel about them in your own life in "Know Yourself: Musical Genres and Sex Symbols." Each musical genre is associated with musicians who became sex symbols in their own right. Music may influence people's sexual well-being in a variety of ways, including how they feel about their own body, their sexual feelings, and an intimate partner. But visual imagery like movies and television have come to have greater influence on sexuality than music. From Reality TV to Homemade Video As media transformed people's sexual attitudes and their own sexual individuality, the images also changed. From generalized shared and idealized imagery in the movies, films began to encroach on private sexual behavior, with an increased tendency to challenge the sexual norms of each generation. Movies and then television have always depicted ideal-
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Introductory Psychology
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Chapter 12 / Exercise 10
Introductory Psychology
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