Thesis Statement On Sexuality

If one had to compose a list of the most popular subjects presented in media, sex would be in the top 10 for sure. The majority of debated moral problems are related to sex; media products, such as song lyrics, video clips on MTV, and many Hollywood movies, are dedicated to sex and/or intimate relationships. Not to mention that such a condition is limited in terms of cognition and personal development, but it is also rather harmful, as real sex and its commercialized version have stark differences. The danger starts from confusing these two paradigms.

Real sex is necessarily consensual—otherwise, it becomes a crime resulting in legal consequences. Be it passionate or dull, it still remains an act on which both individuals agree. For couples with healthy relationships, sex does not serve as a means to influence a significant other—otherwise, it becomes exploitative. In its turn, sex in media is almost necessarily exploitative, one way or another. The entertainment industry uses sensual images of both genders to promote products; celebrities use sexual images to gain more popularity; filmmakers and writers may overuse sexual scenes to maintain audiences’ interest, and so on. This leads to a binary idea that sex can be either used to achieve goals, or can be purchased in exchange for money or other stimuli (MSRStudies). Adults are believed to be able to distinguish between truth and lies; younger generations, however, often take media images at face value.

Children and teenagers are the most vulnerable age groups in terms of developing misconceptions about sex under the media’s influence; affected by a constant bombardment of sexual themes, boys and girls tend to get a wrong understanding of gender roles, appropriate behavior and relationships, and of sex itself. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to completely protect youth from an undesired exposure to commercialized sex themes. Hence, the best way for parents to deal with the possible negative consequences of such exposure would be to build closer relationships with their children, to let them understand that discussing sexual topics with parents is more adequate than learning all that elsewhere (The Oregonian). This could enable parents to fix misconceptions their children might develop under the influence of media.

The way sex is usually depicted in the media industry has led to its perception from the consumerist point of view. Among the most widespread requirements indirectly imposed by media, one could mention physical attractiveness, sexual appeal and endurance, a certain type of behavior and lifestyle, and an idealistic body image. In pursuit of these rather illusionary ideals, an individual may develop serious psychological or physical issues: stress, depression, anorexia, STDs, and so on (MSFStudies). Stated succinctly, every individual has their own capabilities, and thus should be guided only by their personal experiences, instead of following standardized pre-made models offered by media.

Sex has remained a topic of interest. However, the media industry has brought it to a new level, turning it into an idealism that many people try to match. Sex in the media is mostly used for products or for the promotion of celebrities; this is a consumerist approach that implies that sex may be either a mean of achieving goals, or a service that can be easily purchased. Teenagers and children are especially vulnerable to media influences, as they have a lack of personal experience to base their perception on. Affected by distorted images in media, they develop incorrect conceptions about sexuality, gender roles, and sex itself. Moreover, even adults fall into this trap, trying to match idealistic (and often unrealistic) criteria, imposed by media. Inability to meet such requirements can have serious psychological and physical consequences.

References

Wang, Amy. “Kids, Pop Culture and Sex: What’s a Parent to Do?” The Oregonian. N.p., 26 Aug. 2010. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. <http://blog.oregonlive.com/themombeat/2010/08/kids_pop_culture_and_sex_whats.html>.

Lewis, John. “Sex is Not What TV Shows You” MSFStudies. N.p., 14 Aug. 2012. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. <http://msfakestudies.org/articles/53330,html>.

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The personification of sexuality in American media helps to form the perception that Americans are obsessed with sex (Baumeister & Tice, 2007). Sex is an important act from a physiological and psychological perspective. For some, talking about sex and sexual conquests can be an awkward conversation. Others readily seek to boast about their experiences, and even overestimate the number of sexual partners they had. Overall, I believe that society appears to have a double-standard. Men can easily have sex with multiple women and these practices are glorified. Yet women are not subject to similar norms. I believe the lack of definition of what constitutes sex further contributes to male and female differentiation. For some, there are three types of sex, while others only count two types of sex as relevant in tallying their conquests.

Bisexuality is another explanation as to why men often report having a higher number of sexual conquests than women (Baumeister & Tice, 2007). From one perspective, this explanation makes sense. However, I personally find it difficult to believe that this many men would engage in sexual contact with other men. American culture breeds openness towards sexuality. However, bisexuality and homosexuality are often less promoted. As a society, I believe that we have yet to fully accept bisexuality and homosexuality enough in order to account for these high numbers of sexual conquests claimed by men.

Infidelity is another important element of relationships that is characterized by sex (Human Sexuality Reader, n.d.). Relationships can be a difficult process as people constantly grow and transition into new stages in their lives. Many people begin dating as teenagers. Arguably, this may be the easiest time to have a relationship as societal expectations are less. As people grow older, they are expected to manage multiple responsibilities. From this perspective, monogamy often works best with the adult lifestyle. Yet, managing a relationship is a difficult process and sometimes people overlook their partners. I believe these situations often lead to infidelity, as individuals feel as though they are not receiving adequate attention from their partner. Yet many people change as they grow, and in some cases individuals may find that they are not in a relationship with the same person they previously knew. Although I do not believe that infidelity is a solution to a problem, it happens. However, I believe that there usually are warning signs that the relationship is failing before the infidelity occurs. Although it may be fair to say that some people are chronic cheaters, but these situations are few.

I believe when a relationship fails, it is easier to blame the other person than to admit our own faults. I believe that on some level, we all know what we committed mistakes that contributed to the demise of the relationship. However, admitting these happenings would be similar to admitting we were wrong. Although admitting one’s own fault is a difficult concept to enact, it seems it is that much more difficult in a relationship as people become emotionally vested and secure.

References

Baumeister, Brain and Tice, Melanie. Scales of Bisexuality. Regal Press. New York, 2007.

Adams, Curtis. Human Sexuality Reader. Chap House Books. Chicago, 2009.

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