Repairing Relationships

Building intimacy and joy into your relationships

Have Women Embraced The Porn Culture?

Are the values of women becoming corroded?

A provocative new article  by Dr. Patrick Wanis charges that women may be harming themselves by embracing the culture of pornography. As journalist Charlotte Raven observed, the sex industry has successfully rebranded itself as a "chic lifestyle choice."  Professor of Communications Angela McRobbie concurs that pornography is "no longer divorced from the heartland of advertising, branding and consumer culture, it sits quite comfortably within the mainstream of popular culture thanks also to the fashion for sleaze style and the love of irony on the part of "cool" tastemakers." Unfortunately, as  Gail Dines, professor of sociology and women's studies and chairwoman of the American Studies Department at Wheelock College writes in her recent book "Pornland: How Porn Hijacked Our Sexuality", the goal of pornography often seems to be to depict the maximum amount of humiliation on the women they feature. It certainly is a testament to the incredible persuasive power of the media of movies, television, the internet, and music that women would ever consider  endorsing such an industry.

Dr. Wanis says that as this pole dancing, full frontal fashion becomes a socially acceptable part of our mainstream culture, it can have tremendous effects on girls and young women who are exposed to and may embrace the values of pornography: "women and the media have linked consuming porn or behaving like a porn actress with instant money, fame, power, glamour, prestige, respectability, and social acceptability."  For instance, Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian used sex  to become international phenomenons. They both became instant celebrities by making sex tapes and then parlayed the notoriety to create successful fashion and perfume lines and television shows or movie roles without having any discernable talent. The examples of these two dominating personalites,  as well as other porn-embracing female celebrities such as Madonna, Kate Moss, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Kylie Minogue, aren't lost on our youth.

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Professor  Dines believes that pornography distorts "the way women and girls think about their bodies, their sexuality and their relationships." This "distortion" can only lead to more emphasis on the specious values of physical attraction and charm, which are highly valued in porn culture, instead of seeking romance based on shared interests, values and compatible personalities. This overemphasis on the physical results in unfulfilling unions and weak, unsatisfying marriages that don't survive the test of time. We urge American women and men to reject the mindless, empty values promoted by the media and make healthy choices.

 

J.R. Bruns, M.D., is co-author of The Tiger Woods Syndrome, a book about repairing relationships.

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