Sex sells, but has the internet brought us to the edge of reason?
SEX! Yes, I’m talking about self and sex. How has the internet affected our sex lives? 29% of our information about sex now comes from media, and a mere 3% comes from sex education. You don’t learn from doing; you learn from watching.
Sex in media is highly profitable, with the sex industry bringing in billions each year. However, this industry and production affect our behaviour. Studies have shown that sex in the media is becoming more and more violent, changing the way we as humans have sex.
An authentic story from The New York Times shows such sexualised content in the wrong hands can lead to a disaster of results. One issue of penthouse contained a series of photographs of Asian women bound with heavy rope hung from trees and sectioned into parts; two months later, an eight-year-old Chinese girl in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was kidnapped, raped, murdered and left hanging from a tree. They found the magazine and the crime to be linked. Sex in the media for young men can lead them to think less clearly, according to Elliot Collins (2004).
Sex is one of the most personal areas of our lives, and we treat it as such. Freud said that man differs from instinct because of sexuality instinct being the view that we are animalistic. I kind of agree with this; yes sex is probably the most primal thing we still do. Think about it, food is processed and waste is taken away in a flush. More or less the only thing we haven’t touched is sex.
When you have sex, the hormone oxytocin is released and, upon completion, dopamine gives you that relaxing feeling. More recently, however, our sex lives have been highjacked by the media and our view of ourselves. In fact, the research shows that porn is as addictive as substance addiction (Love et al., 2015). Although others say that this isn’t a problem (Bőthe et al., 2020) they say that is it is only a problem for 19–29% of individuals. Porn has influenced that nearly a third of the population. Who see porn as having a problem on themselves.
Subgroups of people who used newer identity labels (e.g., pansexual, queer) reported younger ages of milestones relative to bisexual participants but similar ages to lesbian and gay participants. As our culture grows more accepting of others and their right to be who they want to be. The media in some countries doesn’t. But westerners have been slowly accepting that people need to be themselves and letting people identify as they please. We now have a plethora of unique identities and different people. In fact, the new Census for the United Kingdom now includes a process for people to choose their own sexual identity.
The media over the years has affected us in so many ways, from murder to acceptance. Our true self is shaped by what we watch and what we do in so many ways, and it’s not just porn as a culture we’ve come a long way. Some of the most profitable companies like HBO have Game of Thrones have sexual content to them. This all affects us as we watch the world through our eyes. Compare that we TV shows like Fawlty towers where they weren’t even allowed to be seen in the same bed. Media, as we know it, has changed, and so have we. This writer believes it’s we’ve gone back to our primal sexual beginnings.
Bőthe, B., Tóth-Király, I., Potenza, M., Orosz, G. and Demetrovics, Z., 2020. High-Frequency Pornography Use May Not Always Be Problematic. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, [online] 17(4), pp.793–811. Available at: <https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32033863/> [Accessed 29 December 2021].
Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L. and Hajela, R., 2015. Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update. Behavioral Sciences, [online] 5(3), pp.388–433. Available at: <https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26393658/> [Accessed 29 December 2021].