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Your Body Is Not A Disneyland Part 5: The Homework Assignment

Posted on 17, June 2010

in Category Media, sex, Society


I am going to take a side step before we continue on with the Media Machine. I would like to give you an assignment.

Did you ever take a moment to think about how you learned to speak a language? Did you just wake up one day and start talking? No. Over time you were exposed to the language. You initially had no idea what people were saying, but as you grew older, you understood more and more and tried to speak. Your brain continued to develop and you understood more and more and learned to speak better and better.

The next issue is where in the country you grew up. Different places in any region have different slang terms, accents, vernaculars, and depending on where you grew up, you believe that you have no accent and the terms you grew up using are “normal” to you. So, have you had any “bangers and mash” lately? Ask a Brit what that is, if you don’t know.

So, why am I talking about language, when I was talking about sex? Well, we acquire our knowledge and beliefs just like we acquire language. Now, here is what I would like you to do. Take a look around your house and your neighborhood. That includes what’s on your TV shows and commercials for ALL ages, computer emails, websites ads and pop-ups (especially your kids), magazines and newspapers, clothing styles, including words, name brands, phrases on clothing… Also do this for your kids. When you are looking at these items, I want you see if there is anything in the content that is sexual. This does not mean that they showing skin (for example, a show about a medical issue versus a commercial showing a bikini), but is there direct or indirect reference that could be seen as a sexual nature.

Do this for a week, and if you really want to be scientific about this, write down the number of things that you begin to notice and keep a tally. What you might expect is that you may first not notice as much, then may become more aware and notice more and more. I expect that what you notice will be biased by the “language” that you grew up with. Just as with language, sometimes we don’t realize our slang is “slang” until we listen to ourselves and others. Be aware of how much you were accepting of and were just accustomed to the content.

I don’t want to taint your assignment very much, so I won’t say much more. Good luck with your assignment.

Until next time…

Dr. E…