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The Pornification of a Culture

 
 
Tue 7 Oct, 2008 05:41 pm
The idea for a book about porn culture came to Kevin Scott the day his daughter decided she absolutely had to have a Bratz-doll pony. For months, the 5-year-old had begged him for a Bratz doll"clad in spike heels, fishnets and miniskirt, enormous puppy-dog eyes protruding from her oversized head. Her sexy look seemed a little too sexy for a preschooler, so he and his wife bought her a different doll, which she was happy with. Except that a few months later, Bratz came out with Bratz Babyz. "If Bratz had looked like Barbie hookers, these looked like baby hookers," Scott says. Again, he convinced his daughter that My Little Pony was just as cool"and for a moment, the conversation ended. Until, of course, the Bratz came out with Bratz Ponyz. And then, says Scott, an English professor at a small college in Georgia, "I realized porn culture and I were in a death match for my daughter's soul."

In a market that sells high heels for babies and thongs for tweens, it doesn't take a genius to see that sex, if not porn, has invaded our lives. Whether we welcome it or not, television brings it into our living rooms and the Web brings it into our bedrooms. According to a 2007 study from the University of Alberta, as many as 90 percent of boys and 70 percent of girls aged 13 to 14 have accessed sexually explicit content at least once.

But it isn't just sex that Scott is worried about. He's more interested in how we, as a culture, often mimic the most raunchy, degrading parts of it"many of which, he says, come directly from pornography. In "The Porning of America" (Beacon), which he has written with colleague Carmine Sarracino, a professor of American literature, the duo argue that, through Bratz dolls and beyond, the influence of porn on mainstream culture is affecting our self perceptions and behavior"in everything from fashion to body image to how we conceptualize our sexuality.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/162792
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JTT
 
  1  
Tue 7 Oct, 2008 05:57 pm
@edgarblythe,
Edgar,
I just read recently, in a thread here maybe, about how some major supplier of books to schools had dumped Bratz books [like I know anything about this company or its products] from their lineup.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Tue 7 Oct, 2008 06:33 pm
@edgarblythe,
[quote]But it isn't just sex that Scott is worried about. He's more interested in how we, as a culture, often mimic the most raunchy, degrading parts of it"many of which, he says, come directly from pornography. In "The Porning of America" (Beacon), which he has written with colleague Carmine Sarracino, a professor of American literature, the duo argue that, through Bratz dolls and beyond, the influence of porn on mainstream culture is affecting our self perceptions and behavior"in everything from fashion to body image to how we conceptualize our sexuality.[/quote]

Interesting subject, edgar.
I once (ages ago) started a similar thread on the sexualization of quite young people via media influence. The effects on the behavior of young girls (in particular) really concerned me then. (It still does.) But I think my concern was seen as rather a "wowser" (prudish) position at the time. Akin to the US "moral majority" position. It'll be interesting to read the responses you receive to this thread.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Tue 7 Oct, 2008 06:42 pm
@msolga,
Yes; we don't want to seem overly prudish, but we do want what is best for the children. As a parent, I took certain positions on these and other things that I never held before and in some ways, not since, now they are grown.
msolga
 
  1  
Tue 7 Oct, 2008 06:48 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
Yes; we don't want to seem overly prudish, but we do want what is best for the children.


Yep, that's the dilemma.

Me (as a teacher) I see very young girls (like around year 7 in high school) under incredible pressure to be seen as "sexy" & secure a boyfriend as fast as possible! I can be pretty distressing to watch, sometimes. They are very vulnerable to all sorts of pressures at that age. Sigh.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Tue 7 Oct, 2008 07:03 pm
Wow.

I was just thinking along these lines tonight when I saw something that broke a little piece of my heart.....

When Mo was little he loved this show called Dora the Explorer. Dora was this cool Hispanic tomboy who went on adventures. Today I saw a commercial for a Dora beauty bar (or something) toy where you could do Dora's hair and makeup.

While not pornification, just about everything marketed to girls is beauty related. It makes me so sad.

Don't even get me started on Bratz.... Those things are an abomination.

Good article, edgar. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
0 Replies
 
mason738
 
  -1  
Tue 7 Oct, 2008 07:17 pm
@edgarblythe,
I would be interested to read your ideas on why this is occuring in our society, edgarblythe. Have you kept up with modern playwriting? I am sure that you have. Are you familiar with a play named "Who is Sylvia"? It was a play about a man who fell in love with his goat and had sexual relations with the goat. At the end of the play,his distressed wife, butchered the goat and brought into the house. The man was so pained about the death of his sweetie--the Goat. He howled aloud.

What ever happened to the plays of Geroge Bernard Shaw?
mason738
 
  -1  
Tue 7 Oct, 2008 07:23 pm
@msolga,
One factor, I am convinced,is that in the absence of any basic morality or religious teaching, the advent of the pill and easy abortion makes it almost impossible for young people not to become highly involved in sexual activities.
Since most researchers in neurology have come to the conclusion that the brain development of juveniles is not adequate to assure sufficient impulse control until sometime in the early twenties.

Sex is fun the kids say--there is nothing wrong with having plenty of it before marriage and there are no real consequences to being as sexual as one wishes.

I am glad my daughter is happily married!!
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Tue 7 Oct, 2008 07:41 pm
@mason738,
No wonder GW wanted to stay until the end of the reading of My Pet Goat. He was just all confused. Heh heh heh.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Fri 10 Oct, 2008 12:55 pm
Sexy children's costumes causing concern

Some Houstonians believe the costumes are too risque

01:32 PM CDT on Friday, October 10, 2008

By Rosa Flores / 11 News
HOUSTON"Halloween is two weeks away, but some parents are outraged over children’s costumes they say are too risque.

“I think it’s really sad that they’re doing that. I think kids grow up way to fast already, so I’m trying to keep mine little and stay away from all the big girl things, that are not even big girl, they’re more adult,” said Rae McIlrath.

She says some costumes for girls show way too much skin and are in appropriate for youngsters.

McIlrath and other parents are asking for more traditional costume like skeletons, pumpkins, and princesses.

In the end, retailers say, it is the parents who decide what costume to buy their children.
dlowan
 
  2  
Fri 10 Oct, 2008 05:58 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

[quote]But it isn't just sex that Scott is worried about. He's more interested in how we, as a culture, often mimic the most raunchy, degrading parts of it"many of which, he says, come directly from pornography. In "The Porning of America" (Beacon), which he has written with colleague Carmine Sarracino, a professor of American literature, the duo argue that, through Bratz dolls and beyond, the influence of porn on mainstream culture is affecting our self perceptions and behavior"in everything from fashion to body image to how we conceptualize our sexuality.
[/i]

Interesting subject, edgar.
I once (ages ago) started a similar thread on the sexualization of quite young people via media influence. The effects on the behavior of young girls (in particular) really concerned me then. (It still does.) But I think my concern was seen as rather a "wowser" (prudish) position at the time. Akin to the US "moral majority" position. It'll be interesting to read the responses you receive to this thread.
[/quote]


Very interesting Msolga.

I think that is because so many people confuse suggesting that it is not ok for kids to be aping mass market money-making advertising's image du jour of female sexuality (currently some kind of street-walker chic, I think) as it is marketed for kids, with saying that kids are asexual.

Of course kids have their own sexuality, which they explore and express, ideally, at their own pace as they develop.

Cynically making money by pushing developmentally in appropriate images on them...yecccchhh.
msolga
 
  1  
Sat 11 Oct, 2008 02:24 am
@dlowan,
Quote:
I think that is because so many people confuse suggesting that it is not ok for kids to be aping mass market money-making advertising's image du jour of female sexuality (currently some kind of street-walker chic, I think) as it is marketed for kids, with saying that kids are asexual.

Of course kids have their own sexuality, which they explore and express, ideally, at their own pace as they develop.

Cynically making money by pushing developmentally in appropriate images on them...yecccchhh.


That's interesting, Deb.

I was rather confused by the reactions at the time, believing that some felt that restrictions on the media/advertisers were in effect advocating censorship & repression across the board. The sort of things the moral majority was advocating for all sorts of "ills" in US society at the time. But (of course) the vulnerability of developing young girls (especially) to these sorts of relentless media pressures is quite a different thing to a need to protect adults.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Sat 11 Oct, 2008 02:43 am
@dlowan,
Quote:
Cynically making money by pushing developmentally in appropriate images on them...yecccchhh.


Absolutely. Can't agree more.

But it's more than pushing inappropriate images at them. It's also pushing inappropriate behaviour and attitudes on barely pubescent girls (especially). Have you checked out any of the most post popular magazines specifically aimed at them? It's not just the advertising, but the articles, too. Ughhhh! Shocked
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  0  
Sat 11 Oct, 2008 04:09 am
I can't see why Darwinian evolutionists are concerned about the matter. It is the whole object of replacing Christian teaching with that materialist biological determinism.
sozobe
 
  1  
Sat 11 Oct, 2008 06:13 am
@edgarblythe,
Yes, I've noticed this. (Sexy halloween costumes sold in kid's sizes.) Really yuck.

I think there have been a few anti-Bratz rants here.

I know just what you mean about Dora, Boomer.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Sat 11 Oct, 2008 08:18 am
@spendius,
To put it as politely as possible, spendi: horse ****. Get a clue.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Sat 11 Oct, 2008 10:19 am
I've been aware of it since this:

http://www.indielondon.co.uk/img/spiderman_kiss2.gif
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Sat 11 Oct, 2008 10:59 am
I am all for sexual expression among adults, far more so than the prevailing attitude, however different rules should apply to tweens and younger. The primary dress style for girls at my daughter's high school is slut. I have a problem with that.

Re adults: porn is sexual titillation, and I like the pornification of culture, but hope that it grows into a more refined freedom of sexual expression.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Sat 11 Oct, 2008 12:12 pm
Are Bratz dolls more apt to be seen as sexualized objects than Barbies?

http://z.about.com/d/toys/1/5/L/9/Babyz.jpg

http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/1997/11/src/26intro.gif

(The newer Barbies have more realistic proportions making them even more likely for young girls to attempt to emulate.)

Talking about school girls dressing like hookers though, Mattel actually put out a Barbie in fishnet stockings, mini skirt, and leather jacket that was immediately dubbed 'Prostitute Barbie'.

But anything goes any more. I have seen teachers wearing short shorts and tank tops on the job here in Albuquerque, though I think the dress code may have been tightened here since then.
mismi
 
  1  
Sat 11 Oct, 2008 12:28 pm
@Foxfyre,
Oh my the sweet young things at the boys elementary school...cleavage and heels..unbelievable. How do they stand in those shoes all day? Fortunately the teachers the boys have gotten have been pretty modest. I don't mind cleavage but there is a time and a place for everything...teaching 3rd grade kids? eh...no.

I won't buy Bratz dolls for my nieces. I did buy Barbies - but the princess ones. I like the American Girls dolls personally - a little more to them - though I can't afford them. Ridiculous pricing on them.
0 Replies
 
 

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