Recently I was watching a series drama on Amazon Prime. The show had a decent plot, was interesting, and kept me engaged. Suddenly, there was a scene of a graphically sexual nature in the midst of the story. It added little, if anything, to the plot, but there it was. Whether watching a TV show or reading a novel, this experience is commonplace in today’s entertainment industry. In fact, it has become so prevalent in entertainment developed for the adult population in our culture, that if your favorite show or fictional reading material doesn’t contain sexually graphic material, then it is probably either written for children, written specifically for a faith-based audience, or is a reality TV show dealing with hunting in the Alaskan wilderness.
This is one of the reasons that I started writing fiction with a mission. I believe that, like me, there are many people who do not want their entertainment to be frothing over with naked men and women cavorting like fleas in heat. If Jane and Bob are having sex with each other and it is significant to the plot line, then there are many ways to get the point across without spending five minutes showing them in the act (or describing the same in graphic detail as is often the case with the written word). Frankly, in most cases, many of these storylines seem to strain to include such episodes, and often in a way that does little to move the narrative of the story along.
There are many reasons I oppose using descriptions and images of graphic sexuality (i.e. pornographic material) as entertainment. As this is a blog post and not a research paper (or one of my novels) I will mention just one (Covenant Eyes, Inc., 2015, pp. 22-23):
In 1982 and 1984, Dr. Dolf Zillmann and Dr. Jennings Bryant conducted an experiment with 80 male and 80 female college-age participants.100 These were divided into three subgroups, and each group was shown 4 hours and 48 minutes of media over a six-week period: (1) the “Massive Exposure Group” was shown 36 non-violent pornographic film clips; (2) the “Intermediate Exposure Group” was exposed to 18 pornographic film clips and 18 regular films; and (3) the “No Exposure” control group was shown 36 non-pornographic film clips.
….Porn seemed to condition participants to trivialize rape. Participants were asked to read about a legal case where a man raped a female hitchhiker and then recommend a length for the rapist’s prison sentence. Males in the No Exposure Group said 94 months; the Massive Exposure Group said 50 months (nearly half that of the No Exposure Group).
Our culture’s obsession with graphic sexuality as entertainment is often a contributing factor in sexual crimes, such as rape. For that reason alone, we should seriously consider reversing this trend as a society. I, for one, have had enough. I am starting a revolution in the entertainment industry, and I hope you will join me.
One reason I write novels is that I believe I can tell a darn good story and I enjoy doing it. Another reason is that I have had enough of being bombarded with sexually-saturated storylines in what passes for entertainment, and I intend to help provide an alternative source of entertainment to counter-act this trend. One of the commitments I make to my readers is that my fiction will NEVER contain graphic sexual descriptions.
So, I challenge my fellow-authors to join the revolution! And if you want to read good fiction WITHOUT graphic sexual material, then I invite you to read one of my books.
Covenant Eyes, Inc. (2015). Pornography Statistics: 250+ facts, quotes, and statistics about pornography use.
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