Sexuality According to Popular Culture
Ask a friend to define the word "sexuality" or look up the word "sexuality" on the Internet and you will find a variety of complicated and confusing reactions. According to popular culture sexuality is any and all of the following:
- the capacity for sexual feelings,
- a person's sexual orientation or preference,
- a tendency to be attracted to men, women, or both,
- a concern with or interest in sexual activity,
- the quality or state of being sexual,
- a form of self-expression,
- a sense of masculinity or femininity that can change, or
- an itch to be scratched.
Current media's depiction of sex and sexuality doesn't help to clarify the matter. The TV, movie, and music industries incessantly depict sex as a powerful, almost irresistible force which draws people into intimacy with another, and which enables them to experience passion and pleasure. Pinning down a single cultural definition of sexuality is difficult, but looking at the depictions and attitudes that about in Hollywood, online, in music, and even among our peers provides a common thread:
My sexuality is all about me, and the goal of sex is for me to experience sexual release. Sexuality is such a driving and powerful force that sexual release is a necessity, and I have the right to experiencing that release however I want.
This narcissistic (it's all about me), hedonistic (it's all about pleasure) and relativistic (no one is ever wrong) cultural attitude leads to a culture full of selfish, pleasure seeking, impulse driven individuals. You may recognize this cultural attitude toward sexuality in one of it's many mantras:
- "You only live once."
- "Avoid pain. Don't sacrifice."
- "Hold on to what you've got."
- "If it feels good, do it."
- "What happens in my bedroom is my business."
The fruits of this attitude are heart-wrenching:
- sexually transmitted infections,
- wounded hearts, and
- the breakdown of families and the absence of fathers,
On a larger scale, these attitudes create economic hardships and public policy nightmares:
- birth rates falling far below replacement rates,
- economic stagnation and shrinkage, and
- bigger governments developing to provide assistance that used to be provided by family members of large families.
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