The Impact of Media on Sexuality

Over the last two decades the role of mass media in the United States (and all over the world) has dramatically changed. For a very long period of time, we have believed that they only make us more knowledgeable. Yet, it has recently become apparent that they strongly shape our behavior and people do not even notice it; one of the most striking examples is the impact of mass media on sexuality. Naturally, one cannot state that this impact is always harmful because very often television, radio, and Internet provide many useful tips concerning sexual education, relationships between men and women, the use of contraceptives and so forth. Nevertheless, certain things do not appeal to me.

First, I would like to focus on such issue as the promotion of sexual promiscuity on television. Naturally, it is not done openly and deliberately but many films, talk shows, videos produce such an effect. In this case, it is necessary to speak about teenagers and adolescents who tend to watch and reproduce what they see on the screen. They cannot discriminate; consequently they think that the behavior of many popular icons is appropriate. Educators try to prove that this conduct is immoral and dangerous but their efforts frequently fail because teenagers do not pay attention to them. Subsequently, this results in early pregnancies and great number of abortions. The abundance of sex in mass media turns it into a trivial daily activity. Apart from that, love and sex are occasionally considered as the same notions, and this eventually causes moral degradation. Thus, it can be observed that the situation leaves much to be desired.

Still, there are much more stressful problems. I would like to discuss the effects of Internet. It is no secret that every person (irrespective of his age or gender) can easily access porno sites, which present very implicit content sometimes even with the scenes of cruelty and violence. This may be shocking for a person with unmolded mind and he or she may have serious difficulties while communicating with the opposite sex. These activities are not prohibited by law and it is hardly possible to put an end to them because the World Wide Web offers anonymity and impunity to its participants. American society has already realized that in the long term mass media can bring up very cruel and perverted people, but we have found virtually no means of struggling with this phenomenon.

Another thing, which I immensely dislike, is that television and the internet transformed sexuality and eroticism into a cult. They associate it with success, fame, popularity, good career etc. Therefore, many boys and girls are concerned only with their appearance instead of their intelligence. One cannot deny that an individual, who has been brought up only by media, is very likely to be very ignorant and selfish. It demonstrates that media influences not only sexuality but other qualities. Off course, at present, the situation is not catastrophic but in ten or twenty years the aftermath can manifest themselves.

To conclude, in this essay, I have outlined some tendencies, which seem to me very detrimental. From my standpoint, the owners of media companies do not fully understand the perils of their policies. The concepts of sex and sexuality are constantly distorted, and we run a great risk that future generation will blame us for the lack of responsibility.

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