Sex as a Moral Discourse

Do you feel like our society is becoming more comfortable about being sexual? Why? Why is it now okay to be more explicit on television? Is entertainment, popularity, or money more important than our morals? Or are we wrong? Who is it for you to makes someone’s morals for them?

In the article “Purity and pollution” by Nancy L. Fischer, she discusses sex as a moral discourse. She explains that older generations viewed specific sexual acts as immoral such as oral sex or masturbation. Today, it’s not based on what is being done but who is doing it that makes it sexually immoral. Now, society is more focus on identities rather than acts. It is okay for certain people to do certain sexual things than others just because of their identity. For example, we are more comfortable with Olivia Pope being sexual or TV but it would be considered immoral for Oprah Winfrey to be sexual on TV. You agree?

Warner states that “sexual morality is about controlling someone else’s sex life.” This plays a big part in our society now because we are so focused on what others are doing and always thinking of ways to control them. If someone doesn’t fit in “your” group because of their sexual morals, then they are most likely called names and often excluded from “your” group of friends because they don’t me certain standards. Who is the judge of those who are claimed to be sexually corrupted? Who labels others? I think we all play a part is labeling. We are draw to a group of people in which we are most similar or think have the same morals as we do. I am a strong Christian so I prefer to hang around other string Christians just because I feel comfortable that they are doing God’s works and not just talking about it. The morals of my group help define us, who are, and what we stand for. If no one fits in this category, we don’t necessarily exclude them but it would be difficult to see how they would “fit in.” For example, Christian like to save sex for marriage, therefore it would be hard to look at someone else as one of “us” if they are sleeping around with many people. So, we would try to control their sex life or it would be difficult to accept them. That’s just being honest.

I connected this to the “sex and power” article by Kristen Barber. Sex is a way of having power in many social groups. Being able to have sex with the most popular guys in school are “cool” to some people. Sex in that way is used as power. She gets praise from being able to do that, but only to her group.

The following link shows examples of slick scenes that are in Spongebob:

I never caught onto these jokes until I was about 15. That doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to show to younger kids. There are more cartoons being showed where kids are being exposed too early to certain things. Cartoon Network used to be a cartoon channel that was censored for elementary school viewers. Have you viewed cartoon network today? Sometimes, adult swim is being showed. It is easier to find sexual acts on TV now a days.

Have you ever heard of the quote “live and let live”?

I feel like our society is busy living but not letting others live. We are quick to judge what we don’t thinks fits our own moral standards. Why is this true? When did we decide to make ourselves the ones who decide what’s right and what’s wrong? The funny thing is that there are so many rights and wrongs. This is when media needs to make the decision to stay neutral. We know it is not right to have explicit content being shown to younger kids. Our generation seems to not care so much about what is being shown on TV. I think a lot of it have to do with News channels. The reports are interviewing low educated people who get on camera and make a fool of themselves. Then social media makes some extreme edits to the interview to make it more entertaining. Why are the News channels doing this?

Why is society being more comfortable to being sexual? During the VMAs, was Miley Cyrus just trying to make a scene or make money? Why did she go from being a role model for younger kids off the Disney channel to being known as the white chick with no butt, trying to twerk on national television?


One thought on “Sex as a Moral Discourse

  1. I think there are always spectacles that society grabs hold of – like the Miley Cyrus performance – that serve as normalizing factors for all that view and participate in criticizing. Rap songs soon after her performance included lines like ‘twerk it like Miley’ or other references not necessarily meant to defame Miley Cyrus but to play on the societal phenomenon of our sudden obsession with her. I think our society is becoming more comfortable with sexuality and its display on television and other venues in an extremely paradoxical fashion. In the same way that our review of the movie-approval system showed us that a man having an orgasm could be rated PG-13 or R, a woman experiencing pleasure or a non-heterosexual couple having sex would be rated as NR or NC-17. So, society is perhaps more accepting of leaked photos of celebrities, but as soon as those (female) celebrities share scandalous photos of their own accord, the reaction is much different. So, I don’t think this display of society’s overt sexuality is necessarily a sexuality which most people would recognize as beneficial to them. Maybe Miley Cyrus’s spectacle was funny or obscene to some people, but Beyonce sings about body positivity and overtly sexual descriptions of her monogamous relationship, and is denounced as a feminist because of it. So, what is the answer? While I don’t think it is accurate to say that society as a whole is becoming more comfortable being sexual, I think society is becoming more comfortable suing sexuality as a means to criticize or draw attention to certain individuals or phenomena.


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