I have long heard people of all political persuasions decry the increase of sex and violence in the entertainment media, openly wondering if it was changing us for the worse. It seems to be one of the few bipartisan issues.
That being said, I have noticed that some focus more on sex, while others focus more on violence. I can’t speak for everyone, but I thought I would try to explain why I believe sex to be the bigger problem.
First of all, violence in entertainment is fake. It only occurs to characters on screen, not to the viewer. Sex in entertainment, however, in reality creates a sexual situation with anybody watching. Physical contact need not occur for a situation to be considered sexual. There is no such thing as “fake sex.”
Second, fake violence can be a release from stress that may lead to actual violence if not dealt with. Indeed, if not allowed to fantasize and express anger in some way, some people become angrier. On the other hand, erotic entertainment only increases the sexual desire beyond what it would be by biology alone. It cannot be used as release. This is the way I used to think everybody was, but now I am observing hints that people are all different.
Third, violence can be honorable, such as when it is used to prevent further violence. Such is the common depiction of violence in movies as perpetrated by the heroes of the story. By setting them up as examples, it makes us all better people. On the other hand, the only form of honorable sex is that which is private, kept between two people in love, and not broadcast to the world in movies.
Fourth, violence cannot make anyone “grow up too fast”. Six-year-old boys, left to their own devices, are violence imagination engines. They need no input from the media. Sex, on the other hand, they know nothing of and really should be kept away from until puberty. Of course, six-year-old girls may be different. I have no way of knowing.
It always seemed to me that violence was less of a problem. Discuss.
Hi, I'm Dan. I like chocolate, hiking, and politics.