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kroika's essay: Pornography and Sexual Health
August 26, 2006
2:02 am
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hello all,

I just finished writing a paper for a nursing course on women's health issues. Decided I might as well get academic credit for all the reading and thinking I have been doing about pornography .

I decided to post it here to share my thinking. It's a beginning.

I will post it in 6 sections for ease of reading.

Section 1: Introduction and definition of terms

Section 2: Influence of pornography on sexual health - benefits and harms

Section 3: Intersectional considerations. (The concept of "intersectionality" was one of the concepts used in the course, to talk about ways that belonging to various social groups have a cumulative efffect on a person's experience of marginalization. E.g. a woman of colour may experience more marginalization than a white woman. A woman living in poverty experiences additional marginalization, etc.)

Section 4: Implications for nursing practice. Since this paper was written for a nursing course, this is the 'angle' being considered.

Section 5: Conclusion. I surprised myself with the conclusion I came to.

Section 6: References. In case anyone would like to read the original sources I quote.

August 26, 2006
2:10 am
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No Harm? Considering the Effects of Pornography on Women?s Sexual Health

I thrill to any book like Fanny Hill, and I suppose I always will
If it is swill, and really fil... thy. (Lehrer, 1965)

It is doubtful that when musical satirist Tom Lehrer sang his jaunty anthem to "Smut" forty years ago, he could have envisioned the hypersexed world we live in today. When he joyfully carolled, "Who needs a hobby, like tennis or philately? I?ve got a hobby -- re-reading Lady Chatterly" he could not have imagined the present-day existence of compulsive online sexual behaviour known as cybersex addiction, nor the multi-billion dollar industry that profits from it.

In this paper I will define the terms "sexual health" and "pornography" and consider the relationship between the two. I will consider the impact of both the production and consumption of pornography, both directly and indirectly, on different populations of women, and question whether any positive benefits are outweighed by harms, both individually and collectively. Finally, I will suggest implications which this information and knowledge have for nursing practice which aims to promote maximal health, including sexual health, for female clients and for women as a social class.

Definition of Terms

Sexual Health

According to Health Canada (2003), sexual health "is multifaceted and involves the achievement of positive outcomes such as rewarding interpersonal relationships and desired parenthood as well as the avoidance of negative outcomes such as unwanted pregnancy and STI/ HIV infection" (cited in Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN), 2004, p. 129).

This harmonizes closely with the definition for adolescent sexual health put forward by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), which looks beyond avoiding unwanted pregnancy and STIs and includes "the ability to develop and maintain meaningful interpersonal relationships; appreciate one?s own body; interact with both genders in respectful and appropriate ways; and express affection, love, and intimacy in ways consistent with one?s own values" (SIECUS, 2005; cited in Hellerstedt & Radel, 2005, p. 31). SIECCAN (2004) also notes that effective sexual health education programs must teach and give students opportunities to practice, such as by role plays, "sexual limit setting, condom negotiation and other communication skills" (p. 133).

By these definitions, then, a sexually healthy woman at adolescence and beyond, would appreciate and feel good about her own body; be able to relate freely and develop respectful, meaningful relationships with both genders; be able to express love, affection and intimacy; and communicate assertively to negotiate her sexual limits and the use of condoms. Through these skills and behaviours, she would be able to protect herself from exposure to STIs, and would be in control of her own reproductive capability.

Pornography

There have been many debates, even among feminists, as to what constitutes pornography, and whether any meaningful distinction can be drawn between "erotica" and "pornography". The famous definition presented in the 1983 Dworkin-MacKinnon Antipornography Civil Rights Ordinance (Minneapolis) stated that "Pornography is the sexually explicit subordination of women, graphically depicted, whether in pictures or in words, that also includes one or more of the following..." [then a list of nine specific conditions or representations of women or women?s body parts] (Dworkin & MacKinnon, 1995, p.279).

More recently, Dines, Jensen and Russo (1998) used a shorter 'functional' definition, "Pornography is the material sold in pornography shops for the purpose of producing sexual arousal for mostly male consumers" (p. 3). Further, they added that "from a critical feminist analysis, pornography is a specific kind of sexual material that mediates and helps maintain the sexual subordination of women" (p. 3). It is to be understood that this type of sexually explicit material is not only sold in pornography shops, and in "adult" sections of mainstream book and video outlets, but is also widely available on the internet, both for money and for free.

This paper will be informed by the definition from Dines et al. and will refer primarily to pornography produced for the heterosexual market, although some of the same or similar effects may apply to female participants and consumers of lesbian pornography. It is beyond the present scope to elaborate and consider in depth the many "sub-genres" within the pornography industry, although an awareness of their existence should be borne in mind by nurses practising sexual health promotion.

August 26, 2006
2:20 am
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Section 2: Influence of Pornography on Sexual Health

Benefits

Proponents of pornography portray it as a "sex-positive" product which can free the consumer from sexual inhibitions, and possibly provide [at least feelings of] rebellion against oppressive social sexual norms. Female producers of pornography, such as Lisa Palac (1995), describe in glowing terms how "sexual images can be profoundly liberating" (p.248) in contrast to the secrecy and shame many women have grown up feeling about their sexuality.

Worker-owned Good Vibrations, the San Francisco parent company of Sexpositive Productions, proudly boast that their commitment to workers' rights and safe sex standards on the film set ("condoms will be used on all biological penises") differentiates them from mainstream pornography producers and products (Torres, n.d.).

If indeed there is or can be emancipatory woman-centered pornography, which does not exploit the workers or degrade the consumers, it is possible to see how it could allow for positive sexual health as defined above. By portraying adult female characters in non-coercive, truly consensual sexual situations in which their own needs and desires are expressed and fulfilled, limits are respected and safe sex is practised, such pornography could be empowering. However, this is not true of the vast bulk of heterosexual pornography which currently exists -- to which we now turn.

Harms

As per Dines et al. (1998), pornography exists to produce sexual arousal, primarily for males. The images used to do this have been "pushing the envelope" for decades, such that now in contemporary mass-market mainstream pornography, "[unprotected] anal sex and multiple penetration are common and ... virtually every sex scene ends with a man ejaculating onto a woman's body" (Dines et al, p.67). Direct harms to women used in making pornography thus may include physical trauma and exposure to STI's and unwanted pregnancy, as well as coercion, brutality, rape and other exploitation (Eaton, n.d.).

Direct post-production physical harms can be visited on women whose partners endeavour to replicate sex acts witnessed in pornography. Women have been asked to "put various objects in their vaginas, and to submit to a variety of sexual practices their partners discovered through pornography, including sadomasochism, bondage, and violence" (Kasl, 1989, p. 58). In one case, a woman reported hemorrhaging for three days after her husband forced her to have sex in a position he saw in a porn video (Dines et al., 1998, p. 117).

Direct psychological and emotional harm can also result when women are exposed to material in which females are objectified and subordinated in violently sexualized ways, as well as subjected to contemptuous and degrading language.

As Eaton (n.d.) explains, there is probabilistic causality here; we can say that pornography causes these harms in the same way we can say cigarettes cause lung cancer. Not that the effect occurs in a deterministic, linear way -- one doesn't contract cancer after smoking one cigarette, nor is all lung cancer the direct result of smoking. Pornography is not the only source of misogyny in a culture saturated with the objectification of women's bodies (see Kilbourne, 2000, re the role of advertising, for example). But it is reasonable to claim that "exposure to pornography raises the chances of the ? harms" (Eaton, n.d., p. 15 of 28).

Women experience harm to their relationships when their partners become addicted to pornography. Compulsive masturbation using pornography has been around for quite awhile, but the explosion of internet pornography, with its 24/7 accessibility, comparative affordability, and complete anonymity, has created a fast-growing new phenomenon known as cybersex addiction (Amsden, 2003; Carnes, Delmonico, Griffin & Moriarity, 2001; Schneider, 2000). Men may masturbate so frequently that they are unable to achieve erections in the presence of their partners, or alternatively may only be able to function sexually if their partners "act like porn stars" (Amsden, 2003).

Female partners of these men may begin to question their own desirability, and may suffer sadness and depression at the loss of physical and emotional intimacy. Having their feelings about sex minimized or ignored is a sexual boundary violation. So are being continually asked for specific sexual behaviours they are uncomfortable with, being forced to perform, or threatened with harm for not performing (Weiss & DeBusk, 1993). All the areas previously identified as constituents of sexual health, can be undermined and damaged.

Thus far I have been speaking of the effects on adult heterosexual women whose male partners use pornography, and making no distinctions regarding the race, class or nationality of the women. I have also been treating "mainstream" pornography, which is a multi-billion dollar a year "industry" in its own right, as though it is separated by a wall from child pornography, prostitution, or any other aspect of the global sex trade. It is not

August 26, 2006
2:26 am
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Ssection 3: Intersectional Considerations

Testifying in 1986 before the Meese Commission (Attorney General's Commission on Pornography), Andrea Dworkin stated:

Women and girls are used interchangeably so that grown women are made up to
look like five- or six-year-old children surrounded by toys, presented in
mainstream pornographic publications for anal penetration. There are magazines
in which adult women are presented with their pubic areas shaved so that they
resemble children (Dworkin, 1995, p. 27).

Nearly twenty years later, Malarek (2003) describes in stomach-turning detail the workings of the trafficking in women and girls -- as young as ten and eleven -- for sexual slavery from former Soviet bloc countries whose economies collapsed in the 1990?s. The intersection of poverty, youth and gender has met up with online advertising in a slightly different kind of intersection. Malarek quotes a wealthy brothel owner/ trafficker in Tel Aviv as saying "Business has tripled with the internet" (p. 73). Clients from all over the world, including Canada, can book "sex tours" with the click of a mouse when they visit websites like the World Sex Guide.

The link is made clear: "The sex industry has been a prime catalyst behind many ... major advances in
computer technology ... Pimps and pornographers have provided the impetus and
cash for computer techno-wizards to come up with faster ways of delivering
salacious products to an ever-expanding clientele" (Malarek, 2003, p. 85).

Please note, there is no distinction between a "salacious product" who is a teenage girl in the flesh being booked as a sex tour "destination" via her picture on a website, or an adult woman masturbating following directions over a webcam via live video streaming.

Schneider (2000) also points out that young girls (and boys) are often exposed to pornography as a way of "softening them up" to be later molested by pedophiles. And given Dworkin's (1995) testimony about the portrayal of adult women as young girls, there is no clear line of demarcation between child pornography and "regular" pornography. There is also a slippery slope between seeing and doing. All of these events, and all of these processes, and all of these "products" have effects on women's sexual health, whether directly or indirectly. Nurses must bring this awareness to our work, when we in any capacity set out to support or enhance the sexual health of women and girls.

August 26, 2006
2:33 am
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Section 4: Implications for Nursing Practice

First and foremost, we as nurses need to examine our own feelings and attitudes about pornography. What role has it played in our own lives and in shaping our own experiences of sexuality? For those of us who are female, what image has it given us of femininity and our role as sexual beings? What image has it given us of other women and how we think they should or should not express their sexuality? For those of us who are male, how has pornography shaped our experience of masculinity in this culture, and how has it shaped our image of women and what is feminine? These are starting points for nurses to understand what eyes we are seeing our clients with.

If we are in practice roles where we deal with children or young people, we need to keep the principles of sexual health in mind and consider what questions we need to be asking, what silences we need to be hearing, and what information we need to be imparting. We can be conscious about reinforcing the development of a positive body image, and being sensitive about discerning what influences may have tarnished a young girl's evolving sense of herself as "being all right". We can utilize these principles in a conscious way to think about "porn-proofing" children just as they are "street-proofed" nowadays.

It is necessary for nurses of my vintage (over 45) to be cognizant of the current guidelines around promoting assertive behaviour and communication skills for young people relating to knowing and defending their own boundaries and negotiating condom use and other sexual limits. This was not something I was ever taught. Nurses who are sexual health clinicians no doubt are well-informed on these issues, but older nurses in other clinical areas could probably benefit from some knowledge upgrading in this regard.

We should also recognize that female clients over 50 may lack some of the relationship assertiveness and boundary-setting skills that are now de rigueur for elementary and high school students. Women leaving long-term marriages through divorce or widowhood and re-entering the relationship "market" have been found to be more vulnerable to STI's because they grew up in an age where condoms were optional (Neundorfer, 2005). In addition to health teaching about condom negotiation skills, we can provide support if a woman discloses concerns or alludes to sexual concerns.

Kipps (2005) proposes a set of assessment questions to help nurses identify women at risk for domestic violence, including the question "Has your partner ever forced sex on you, or made you have sex in a way you did not want?" (p. 28) In conceptualizing our practice with women at risk for domestic violence, we can begin to think about forced exposure to pornography as an integral element of the kind of "coercive control" that Kipps writes about.

If a woman of any age discloses concerns related to an unexplained decrease in sexual interest and/ or ability in her male partner (i.e. erectile dysfunction), in addition to thinking immediately in terms of causes like diabetes, smoking, alcohol consumption, or antihypertensive med interactions, nurses can also be aware that pornography addiction may be implicated. Sensitive inquiry will be required, as the woman may be unaware of her partner's habit, or may feel shame and stigma about revealing it.

For nurses, especially nurse scholars, to begin to look beyond practice with individual clients and to promote the sexual health of women as an entire population -- or as a social class, there is a great opening for research into how pornography affects women's sexual health. Such research could from the start be informed by an analysis, like that of Wildman and Davis (1995) of the system of privilege inherent in men's belief in their entitlement to buy and to own and to use women and children through the medium of pornography, for their own sexual gratification. Following Wildman and Davis' investigation in "language and silence" we could consider the effect of construing the sexual torture and enslavement of women and children as "entertainment".

August 26, 2006
2:37 am
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Section 5: Conclusion

In this brief paper I have barely begun to scratch the tip of this vast iceberg whose bulk lies hidden so deep beneath the surface of our society. It's strange to think that with sexual images "in our faces" everywhere all the time through advertising and mass media entertainment, the underlying hegemonic values could still be so obscure. That they could be so ambiguous that even feminists starting with a similar political analysis of patriarchy could be locked in combat for years over whether pornography is liberating or oppressive.

I find it interesting that even in Lesley Doyal's (1995) excellent book, What Makes Women Sick, in which she sets out to "investigate the ways in which women?s lives can make them sick" (p. 1) and even asks "whether sex with men is good for women's health" (p. 59), the index skips from "Population Information Programme" to "post-communist countries" (p. 276) without stopping at "pornography". (Although she does list Andrea Dworkin's (1981) book Pornography: men possessing women in the bibliography (p. 242).) This seems to me a curious omission.

And all the while, the "industry" has grown and multiplied and diversified and reached into unsuspected corners of our consciousness. Boundaries have shifted, and some have disappeared. To commit to promoting the sexual health of women in this climate is to take on a challenging and daunting task.

It seems clear that overt sexuality in our culture is a genie which isn't going back into the bottle anytime soon. Our only choice is whether to deal with it and try to steer it in a positive direction, or not deal with it and allow those who don't mind profiting off of human misery, to be the ones to determine the course our society veers off on. Therefore as a matter of harm reduction, I believe it would be better to support "erotica" which depicts nonviolent, safe sex between equal [adult] partners, and to educate young people to be critical consumers of pornography/ erotica.

August 26, 2006
2:42 am
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Section 6: References

Amsden, D. (2003, October 20). Not tonight, honey. I'm logging on. New York magazine.
Retrieved August 12, 2006 from
http://newyorkmetro.com/nymetr.....index.html

Carnes, P., Delmonico, D., & Griffin, E. (with Moriarity, J.) (2001). In the shadows of the
net: Breaking free of compulsive online sexual behavior. Center City, Minnesota:
Hazelden.

Dines, G., Jensen, R., & Russo, A. (1998). Pornography: The production and
consumption of inequality. New York: Routledge.

Doyal, L. (1995).What makes women sick: Gender and the political economy of health.
New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

Dworkin, A. (1995). Pornography is a civil rights issue. In A. M. Stan (Ed.), Debating
Sexual Correctness (pp. 26-40). New York: Delta/ Dell.

Dworkin, A., & MacKinnon, C. (1995). The Dworkin-MacKinnon antipornography civil
rights ordinance (Minneapolis). In A. M. Stan (Ed.), Debating Sexual
Correctness (pp. 277-284). New York: Delta/ Dell.

Eaton, A. (n.d.). Might pornography cause harm? University of Chicago. Retrieved
August 20, 2006 from http://ptw.uchicago.edu//Eaton01.htm

Hellerstedt, W., & Radel, E. (2005). Sexual activity and the sexual health of adolescents
in the United States. International Journal of Childbirth Education, 20(2), 29-32.

Kasl, C. (1989). Women, sex, and addiction: A search for love and power. New York:
Harper Perennial/ HarperCollins.

Kilbourne, J. (Author). (2000). Killing Us Softly 3: Advertising?s Image of Women
[Motion picture]. United States: Media Education Foundation.

Kipps, S. (2005). Sexual health needs of women in violent relationships. Primary Health
Care, 15(8), 27-32.

Lehrer, T. (1965). Smut. On That was the year that was [record]. New York: Reprise/
WEA.

Malarek, V. (2003). The Natashas: The new global sex trade. Toronto: Viking Canada.

Neundorfer, M. (2005). HIV-risk factors for midlife and older women. Gerontologist,
45(5), 617-25.

Palac, L. (1995). How dirty pictures changed my life. In A. M. Stan (Ed.), Debating
Sexual Correctness (pp. 236-252). New York: Delta/ Dell.

Schneider, J. (Producer/ Director). (2000). A drug called pornography [Motion picture].
United States: United Broadcast Group.

The Sex Information and Education Council of Canada [SIECCAN] (2004). Sexual
health education in the schools: Questions and answers. The Canadian Journal of
Human Sexuality, 13(3-4), 129-141.

Torres, E. (n.d.) Sexpositive productions: Women-centered porn that still takes risks.
Good Vibrations e-magazine. Retrieved August 20, 2006 from
http://www.goodvibes.com/Content.aspx?id=1214&leftMenu=35&lr=y

Weiss, D., & DeBusk, D. (1993). Women who love sex addicts. Fort Worth, Texas:
Discovery Press.

Wildman, S., & Davis, A. (1995). Language and silence: Making systems of privilege
visible. In R. Delgado (Ed.), Critical race theory: The cutting edge (pp. 573-579).
Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

August 26, 2006
3:20 am
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Well written.

I s'pose if ya can't beat 'em, join 'em. Then again, joining isn't always necessary. Conceding works just fine.

At this point, trying to put a stop to the porn industry would be like throwing sand at the tide.

Heading for high ground is always an option.

If enough people go it may be possible to reconstruct once the tide recedes. Aids seems to insure that it will.

Then again, those who head for high ground may choose not to.

free

August 26, 2006
4:23 am
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kroika,

I've visited your thread here as you requested. I cut and paste it into a Word document so I could read it later. I hope you don't mind, and I will of course not share it with anybody without your permission.

I just now read it. I like it, although there are some things I question. You speak of younger girls and women as being better able to negotiate sexual boundaries and condom usage than older women; I am not sure about this. Traditionally it's the guy who tends to pressure the girl into having sex, and this is still true, IMO. There's also no guarantee that condoms won't break or that the guy won't lie about having one on, or won't get it on in time.

You mention that erotica should be promoted over pornography. True, it would seem like a better alternative. Is erotica as freely available on the net as porn is? If not, then somebody would have to see that it's made more available.

Given the fact that the market has apparently (IMO) favored porn over erotica, I'd say that most guys would freely choose porn instead. I'd suggest you'd have to actively discourage the use of porn, and educate people on the benefits of erotica over porn, before you'd see any sizeable amount of guys turning to erotica instead.

Also, I'd like to suggest that we educate people on the benefits of abstaining from sex until marriage. If successful, this would go a long way toward curtailing the production of porn.

Good paper. It really made me think. I think it deserves an A.

Seeker

August 26, 2006
1:33 pm
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Hi free,

Thanks for your response. You wrote, "trying to put a stop to the porn industry would be like throwing sand at the tide" and that's basically what I concluded too. It's on that basis that I see a "harm reduction" approach as having merit.

I definitely think there needs to be more informed discussion and more willingness on the part of people who are currently trying to pretend it will all go away, to stand up and engage in a debate about what direction we want our society to go in.

take care, kroika

August 26, 2006
1:45 pm
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Hi seeker,

Thanks for your comments. Please feel free to share my paper with anyone you wish.

My point about younger women having better assertiveness skills is based on reading about what is being taught in sex education programs. (Check out the SIECCAN and SIECUS articles in my reference list.) I can tell you that I never did any role plays in high school under supervised conditions, where I had the opportunity to try out how I would respond to sexual pressure from a guy. And the guys weren't getting that opportunity either, to talk about sexuality in a co-ed group with adult supervision.

One point I didn't get to in my paper was that porn provides extreme misinformation about female sexuality, and that information gets locked into guys' brains by what is called "masturbatory conditioning". (Check out the Schneider video, "A Drug Called Pornography". I was able to get it from the public library.) That is why it is so important for sex education programs to be in place to counter that misinformation.

The part about promoting erotica over porn is based on learning about "Sexpositive Productions" (see weblink in ref list). I haven't seen any of their videos to actually make an evaluation, but I figure if they're worker-owned and committed to portraying woman-centered safe sex practices, they're on a healthier track. If such producers exist, they probably currently take up only a tiny market share; by getting the word out about them hopefully they could start to make a bigger dent in the mass market and get some better stuff more widely seen. Maybe start a trend??!!

Abstinence should be included in sex education programs, but abstinence-only programs have been shown not to decrease unwanted pregnancies or to significantly lower age of first intercourse (see the SIECCAN and SIECUS articles).

Well, more on this later. I'll let you know if my prof agrees that the paper is worth an A 🙂

kroika

August 26, 2006
2:00 pm
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Oops, sorry, I meant that abstinence-only programs have not *raised* the age of first intercourse.

August 26, 2006
3:07 pm
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Hi Kroika,

What year/level nursing course is this one for?

Have you turned this paper in yet?

August 26, 2006
4:55 pm
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WD,

this is a 4th year elective for a BScN degree.

Yes, the deadline was earlier this week. Unfortunately due to the short timeline for writing it while working .7FTE, I didn't have the luxury of reading and digesting as much as I would have liked. Had to narrow the focus a lot, but as I said, it's a start. I want to continue reading on the subject and perhaps submit something to a journal.

The book I mentioned "What Makes Women Sick" by Lesley Doyal, was one of our course texts. Had a lot of excellent info about international ("cultural") women's health issues, including health issues in the workplace. The Kilbourne video "Killing Us Softly 3: Advertising's image of Women" was also shown in class.

August 27, 2006
1:11 pm
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Hi Kroika,

I just wanted to pop and let you know I haven't forgotten about you. I read your paper briefly last night and it seems really great. I have printed it so when I have time I can read it thoroughly.

So far....great job.

Love,
Lolli

August 27, 2006
1:31 pm
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Lolli,

Thanks. I will look forward to hearing your further thoughts. I have had a few more myself...

hugs, kroika

August 27, 2006
4:13 pm
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Hi Kroika,

"By these definitions, then, a sexually healthy woman at adolescence and beyond, would appreciate and feel good about her own body; be able to relate freely and develop respectful, meaningful relationships with both genders; be able to express love, affection and intimacy; and communicate assertively to negotiate her sexual limits and the use of condoms."

What I'm fixin to say does not deal specifically with the topic of porn, rather body image. But I believe it all contributes to sexual health, and it is all related.

Several years ago, a male co-worker (and he was in training for the ministry!!) presented his theory to me.

Here it is - The woman's body image projected through advertising? High fashion models are reed thin because the fashion industry is mostly homosexual. Most of the designers are gay, and they are projecting their sexual fantasy onto the fashions. So - the women's clothing is designed to fit a 14 year old boy's body. Hollywood also proscribes to this body image.

His theory gives food for thought.

We never think we are thin enough. Women diet themselves sick to wear what is considered "fashion", to fit this body image. In severe cases of aneroxia, these women's bodies stop menstruating.

Because of this loss of fat, there is no breast tissue. Breast tissue is comprised primarily of fat. Many women have begun to literally build their bodies by slapping parts on them, breast implants, lip implants, resculpturing their faces, all to fit an image projected by the fashion and movie industry.

Most of the women I know with lush, full, curvy bodies and wide, child-bearing hips hate their bodies.

In falling victim to this boyish figure projection, what part of our feminine self and sexuality are we denying?

Talk to you later-

Bevdee

August 27, 2006
5:03 pm
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Hi bevdee,

Thanks for writing. Yes, the whole body-image issue is huge. I totally agree with you, all these things are related. I just went last night to see the movie "Little Miss Sunshine". Extremely funny, but disturbing too.

The other textbook we used in the course was "Women's Bodies Women's Lives: Health, Well-being and Body Image" (2000) edited by Baukje Miedema, Janet M. Stoppard and Vivienne Anderson. It has 16 articles divided into two sections -- "altered bodies" and "objectified bodies".

OK, just for the hell of it I'm going to list the chapter titles. Maybe someone will see something they'd like to read...

take care, kroika

PART I - ALTERED BODIES

1. A will of its own: Experiencing the body in sever chronic illness. (Vivienne Anderson)

2. Altered bodies/ altered selves: Exploring women's accounts of illness experiences. (Roanne Thomas-MacLean)

3. Breath and body wisdom: Experiencing the personal power of self. (Barbara Lynn Cull-Willby)

4. Understanding depression from the standpoint of women who have been depressed. (Janet M. Stoppard, Yvette Scattolon and Deanna J. Gammell)

5. Asylum or cure? Women's experiences of psychiatric hospitalization. (Baukje [Bo] Miedema and Janet M. Stoppard)

6. "Old bags" under the knife: Facial cosmetic surgery among women. (Diane Cepanec and Barbara Payne)

7. Polluted bodies: Inuit identity and the arctic food chain. (Chris Egan)

8. Witness: Testament of a journey. (Addena Sumter-Freitag)

PART II -- OBJECTIFIED BODIES

9. Revisioning the body/mind from an eastern perspective: Comments on experience, embodiment and pedagogy. (Roxana Ng)

10. Shattering the mirror: A young woman's story of weight preoccupation. (Kate Rossiter)

11. One mother and daughter approach to resisting weight preoccupation. (Gail Marchessault)

12. Women, weight and appearance satisfaction: An ageless pursuit of thinness. (Michelle N. Lafrance, Marilyn T. Zivian and Anita M. Myers)

13. Contours of everyday life: Women's reflections on embodiment and health over time. (Pamela Wakewich)

14. Negotiating sexuality: Lesbians in the Canadian military. (Lynne Gouliquer)

15. From airbrushing to liposuction: The technological reconstruction of the female body. (Fabienne Darling-Wolf)

16. From razor girls to bionic women: Extraordinary cyborg women in popular culture. (Mia Consalvo)

August 27, 2006
5:35 pm
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Hey, don't forget "Real Women Have Curves."

August 27, 2006
6:17 pm
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Is that a book or a bumpersticker? Yeah, it's a great slogan... but I try to avoid categorizing some women as real and others as not. Some women who don't have much in the way of curves feel like they need plastic surgery to be accepted as "real". I know you know what I mean. And I do agree with the sentiment... with the above mentioned caveat.

August 27, 2006
6:39 pm
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lollipop3
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Kroika,

I really liked your paper. I also really liked your definition of sexual health.

The only thing that concerns me....not necessarily with this paper but with the whole "porn" debate in general, is that people who are "against" porn...often imply that men (as perpetrators) and women (as victims) are so helpless against porn that we have no choice as to whether or not we allow it into our lives.

Obviously children are a different story...but we, as adults , DO have choices...and ultimately...we are responsible for what goes on in our own lives.

Perhaps that's another topic for a different paper.

Overall I think it was great and I agree with Seeker....I'd give it an A.

Love,
Lolli

August 27, 2006
10:27 pm
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Hi lolli,

Thanks for your comments. I'm sure I have something intelligent to say in response, but I'm a bit rattled right now.

Well, what can I at least say... I think you're right, the question of responsibility for what we allow into our lives is an important one, and worth developing as a related topic. Maybe worth its own chapter when I write my book, eh....

Will let you know the prof's opinion re gradeworthiness!

hugs, kroika

August 28, 2006
3:22 am
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Worried_Dad
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Real women have curves is a great film from Mexico, I think.

August 28, 2006
6:24 am
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Ah, yet another gap in my cultural awareness. (that may not be the right word. I should have been in bed hours ago and am having word-finding difficulties.)

carry on....

August 29, 2006
2:06 am
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Book recommendation: "Pornified: How Porn is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families" by Pamela Paul. Published by Times Books, August 2005.

Somehow I missed this one while collecting resources for my paper, but it sounds like a must-read. Very up-to-date research and analysis.

Google "Pornified" for more info.

I'll read it first and comment later. Anyone else in on the "book club"?

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