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Chapter Eighteen

Sexual Images and Selling Sex. Chapter Eighteen. Erotic Representations in History Sexuality in the Media and the Arts Graphic Images: Pornography and the Public’s Response Selling Sex. Agenda. Discussion. There is the belief that “sex sells” so advertisers use it to market products.

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Chapter Eighteen

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  1. Sexual Images and Selling Sex Chapter Eighteen

  2. Erotic Representations in History Sexuality in the Media and the Arts Graphic Images: Pornography and the Public’s Response Selling Sex Agenda

  3. Discussion • There is the belief that “sex sells” so advertisers use it to market products. • Discuss examples of advertisements that rely on sexuality for marketing. • Does “sex sell”?

  4. Erotic Representations in History

  5. Overview • Early cave drawings contain naked or scantily clad people • Great ancient civilizations have drawings of erotic images • Erotic images were in most cultures through history, with varying degrees of tolerance • Some had numerous, public erotic images • Pompeii • Others worked to cover indecency

  6. The Invention of Pornography • Most sexual representations throughout history had a specific purpose • Pornography portrays sexuality for its own sake; some create it, others try to stop it • Began in the mid-18th century when it began to become a separate sphere of life & the printing press was invented • Erotica is sexual representations that are not pornographic; depends on the observer

  7. Erotic Literature: The Power of the Press Television and Film: Stereotypes, Sex, and the Decency Issue Advertising: Sex Sells and Sells Other Media: Music Videos, Virtual Reality, and More Sexuality in the Media and the Arts

  8. Sexuality in the Media and the Arts • Sexuality exists in almost all of our media • Explicit or subtle sexuality has been increasing in the mass media within the last 25 years

  9. Erotic Literature: The Power of the Press • Societal forces, usually the clergy, censored nudity in public art • In the 16th century, many began to censor sexual art & literature, which seems to have started the pornographic subculture that exists today • The erotic novel started pornography as a business & provoked responses from religion & government

  10. Television and Film: Stereotypes, Sex, and the Decency Issue • TV greatly influences the modern American outlook toward life • TV sanitizes & edits the world it displays • In sexual situations, real life issues such as contraception, STIs, morality, sexual dysfunctions, & regret are rarely discussed • Most major networks have been increasing sexual content throughout their programming • It is believed sex sells Continued …

  11. Television and Film: Stereotypes, Sex, and the Decency Issue • 70% of shows contain some sexual content • Shows average 5 sexual episodes per hour • During primetime, 77% of shows contain sexual content and average 6 sexual episodes per hour • 11% of primetime network shows refer to sexual risks & responsibilities • Some shows can help educate the public about sex

  12. Television, Film, and Minority Sexuality • Television lacks much exposure of same-sex behavior and portrayals of the elderly, the disabled, and racial & ethnic minorities • African American roles have been increasing lately, however, roles for Asian Americans, Latinos, & Native Americans are less common

  13. Television, Film, and Gender • Sexual information on TV is both explicit and implicit • Men are often in positions of leadership • Women, even if in high positions, are sexual temptations • Gender stereotyping is especially extreme in TV commercials Continued …

  14. Television, Film, and Gender • Soap operas are the least stereotypical TV programming • They target women & portray them as competent • News programs rely primarily on male experts • Female roles are most absent in children’s television

  15. Television and Children • 2-5 year olds watch 28 hours per week • Teenagers watch 22 hours per week • When children see nonstereotyped behaviors, their stereotypes are reduced • Many children’s shows lack female roles and have stereotyped roles for men & women • TV executives believe if a show features a female lead, boys will not watch it; however, girls will watch shows with male leads

  16. Television and Children • Research shows that sexual stereotyping is greater with more TV viewing in children • The more hours teens watch, the more likely they believe their peers are sexually active

  17. Class Discussion • Research about prime television suggests that 77% of shows contain sexual content and average 6 sexual episodes per hour. • On average, children watch more than 20 hours of television per week. • How might this content influence children?

  18. The Movement against the Sexualization of the Visual Media • Most Americans want stronger regulation of sexual content & profanity • Some movies have multiple versions that vary in the amount of sexual content • The movie industry has been reducing the amount of sexual explicitness in their general releases • Some argue that G- and PG-rated releases make more than R-rated movies

  19. Advertising and Gender Role Portrayals Advertising and Portrayals of Sexuality Advertising: Sex Sells and Sells

  20. Advertising: Sex Sells and Sells • Advertising is a modern invention that permeates our life • Children see 40,000 advertisements on TV each year

  21. Advertising and Gender Role Portrayals • Ads do not show realistic representations of men & women, but how they think we behave • Men: taller, standing, confident, authoritative • Women: shorter, sitting, childlike, deferential • Men are presented in 3 times the job categories as women, women are often in the home • Male spokespersons are used for female products, but rarely the other way around

  22. Advertising and Portrayals of Sexuality • Advertising has 3 purposes: • Gain attention • Get you physiologically excited • Associate the excitement with the product • Sexuality has been used to sell products since the early 1900s • Some sexual portrayals are blatant, others are suggestive or subliminal • Debate surrounds the efficacy of subliminal

  23. Other Media: Music Videos, Virtual Reality, and More • Internet allows sexually explicit conversations, art works, & computer games • Virtual reality has provided sexually explicit movies with vibrators attached to the groin to make the technological experience more realistic

  24. Defining Obscenity The Pornography Debates: Free Speech and Censorship Studies on Pornography and Harm Online Pornography What the Public Thinks about Pornography Graphic Images: Pornography and the Public’s Response

  25. Class Discussion • The internet is unregulated so children may be exposed to sexually explicit material. • Should families try to shield children from sexuality on the internet?

  26. Graphic Images: Pornography and the Public’s Response • There is almost limitless access to pornography • Many disagreements exist from: • free-speech advocates • antiporn & anti-antiporn feminists • religious groups • presidential commissions • American Civil Liberties Union • pornography industry

  27. Court Decisions • The First Amendment allows for the “freedom of speech”, though the meaning has been debated • U.S. court has a 3-part definition of obscenity: • Appeal to prurient interest • Offend contemporary community standards • Lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value

  28. 1970 Commission on Obscenity and Pornography • Based on empirical research • Studied four areas: • Pornography’s effects • Traffic & distribution of pornography • Legal issues • Positive approaches to cope with pornography

  29. 1970 Commission on Obscenity and Pornography • No reliable evidence was found that supported exposure to explicit sexual materials is related to criminal behavior among adults or youth • Adults should be able to choose what they will read • Did not distinguish types of erotica • The U.S. Senate was not happy with the findings Continued …

  30. 1986 Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography • Official goal: find “more effective ways in which the spread of pornography could be contained”; assumed it was dangerous • Listened to experts, laypeople, & selectively chose research studies • Researchers that were cited in support of the commission condemned the report • Came to the opposite conclusion of the 1970 commission & made some recommendations

  31. Antipornography Arguments • Pornography undermines family, authority, & society’s morals and should be contained • Antipornography feminists see it as a way to silence & assault women, reinforce male dominance, & encourage abuse against women • Some believe pornography is more about power than sex

  32. Anticensorship Arguments • Restriction of pornography will lead to a society ruled by censorship and the ability to try to challenge sexual stereotypes • Anticensorship feminists believe censoring will lead to censorship of feminist writing & gay erotica • It is not clearly shown that pornography actually harms women

  33. Class Discussion • Compare the antipornography arguments to the anticensorship arguments. • Respond to the concern that pornography undermines family, authority, & society’s morals • Respond to the concern that restriction of pornography will lead to a society ruled by censorship and the ability to try to challenge sexual stereotypes

  34. Society-wide Studies • No study has reliably determined how much pornography the “average” sex offender or non-offender has in their home • Rape rates in the U.S. are highest in places with the highest circulation of sex magazines • Low rates of rape in Denmark (no laws) & Japan (pornography is sold freely) • Gender equality is higher in states with higher circulation rates of sexually explicit material

  35. Individual Studies • Little evidence that non-violent, sexually explicit films provoke antifemale reactions in men • Many studies show violent or degrading pornography does influence attitudes • It is unsure how long these attitudes last and if they influence behavior • Male aggression tends to increase after seeing any violent movie

  36. Online Pornography • 69% of U.S. internet spending is for sex related products • Internet allows anonymity & accessibility • 1/3 of internet users visit sexual websites, typically men • 83% are recreational users • 11% are at-risk users (increasingly drawn) • 6% are compulsive users • 68% lost interest in sex with their partner

  37. What the Public Thinks about Pornography • Many are ambivalent, though most want to ban violent pornography because they believe it can lead to a loss of respect for women • The pornography industry continues to do well in the U.S.

  38. Defining Prostitution Sociological Aspects of Prostitution Who Becomes a Prostitute? Female Prostitutes Male Prostitutes Adolescent Prostitutes Other Players in the Business Prostitution: Effects and Cultural Differences Selling Sex

  39. Class Discussion • The internet provides virtual access to a variety of sexual interests. Sexually explicit sites seem to be the most popular and most purchases on the internet are made at sexually explicit sites. • Is there a difference between “virtual” sexual encounters and face-to-face sexual encounters? • Why should prostitution should be legalized? • Why should prostitution remain illegal?

  40. Defining Prostitution • A representative sample is difficult to obtain, as the size of the population is unknown • U.S. legal code is ambiguous about what prostitution is, & each state has its own codes • Prostitution, according to your text, is the act of a male or female engaging in sexual activity in exchange for money or other material goods

  41. Sociological Aspects of Prostitution • It is suggested prostitution developed from the patriarchal nature of most societies • Women exploit the only asset that cannot be taken away – their sexuality • From an economic standpoint – they are giving something that is free to them

  42. Who Becomes a Prostitute? • Estimated 2 million prostitutes in the U.S. • Most do it for the money • Major drawback is having sex with clients • Most do not enjoy their work, but like the freedom it offers • If they enjoyed sex with their clients, it would get in their way to focus on the client’s pleasure • Most work full-time and 49% of their clients are repeat customers • A “regular” visits at least once a week

  43. Female Prostitutes • Average age of entry into prostitution is 14 • 75% are less than 25 • Most are single • Often they live with other prostitutes and a pimp in a pseudofamily with assigned household responsibilities • 95% use drugs • Entry into prostitution usually is a gradual process & they become accustomed to it

  44. Predisposing Factors • Economically deprived upbringing, though studies may concentrate on poorer women • Early sexual contact with many partners in superficial relationships • Victim of sexual and/or physical abuse and/or rape • Intrafamilial violence • Lack of early sex education

  45. Types of Female Prostitution • Streetwalkers (20%) • Bar Prostitutes (15%) • Hotel Prostitutes (10%) • Brothel Prostitutes (15%) • Massage Parlor Prostitutes (25%) • Escorts • Call Girls and Courtesans (15%) • Other Types of Prostitutes

  46. Streetwalkers • Setting: street corners or transportation stops; then go to an alley, car, or cheap hotel room • Prices: $10-$50 • Safety: most dangerous • May try to hustle for more money by suggesting more expensive activities • They usually have a pimp

  47. Bar Prostitutes • Setting: bars • Prices: $20-$100 • Safety: more protection from violence & police • They work for the bar owner • try to build up the bar tab • give the bar manager 40-50%

  48. Hotel Prostitutes • Setting: hotel • Hotel patrons are referred by a bellboy or hotel manager, who takes 50-60% of the earnings

  49. Brothel Prostitutes • Setting: home or apartment shared with other prostitutes • Prices: $20-$100 and more; $2 per minute • Safety: more protection than the street • The brothel is run by a madam or pimp • Nevada is the only state with some counties that have legal brothels • Prostitutes have ID cards, regular STI checks • The client can order from a “menu” and pick girls from a lineup, then enter a private room • Typically $2 per minute • Intercourse is $30-$40 • Oral sex is $50+ • Brothel owner takes 40-50% of the earnings

  50. Massage Parlor Prostitutes • Setting: massage parlor • Prices: $20-$50 • Safety: more protection with security guards • The massage parlor acts as if they are unaware of the sexual activity, though they take some of the earnings • Most commonly fellatio and/or intercourse is performed

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