Effects of sex in advertising?

A few days ago, someone asked me whether so much sensuality and sexuality in advertising has really got effects in the trends of current times. It seems the answer is yes. Here I state some examples of violent situations women are currently facing around the world in a scale or another. Though real names have been changed to protect the privacy of the ladies we talked to, Heptagrama.com can in any moment attest these testimonials are real.

+ Carla, 24, went to the mall to buy a dress for a cocktail party. The purchase session lasted between three and four hours, but she didn't take anything at the end. Though many of the dresses suit her very well, Carla kept saying she was too fat to wear "that" and left home. Back there, she spent the whole afternoon crying her bad luck.

+ Erika, 27, took a bus home when suddenly she felt a man pushing and rubbing his erected genital on the line between her buttocks. She stood still. Fear paralysed her. She told us she let this man satisfy himself until he got tired of her, paid his ticket and got down from the bus. But she felt devastated for more than a week after that.

+ Eve, 32, got pregnant and shared the news with her boyfriend. She was 22. He, after listening, wished her good luck and left, leaving her in the middle of the park when the confession took place. Eve told us she became a strip-tease dancer and a prostitute because of her child and that she has suffered so much she has no more tears to drop. Her son will turn 10 in a few months. He is her relief. And, Eve, though prostitute, has not stopped being a kind woman who had to choose a hard job just to fulfil her obligations towards her son.

+ Fiona, 16, was being sexually harassed by her teacher at school. She talked about it with another teacher, asking for advice. He urged her to complain about this to the headmaster by herself, something she never did. She said she would be accused of provoking him if she told him on. Today, though Fiona graduated last December, this pervert teacher still works in that school.

+ Lisset, 20, was in a party, but got drunk. One of the guys at the party took advantage to 'court', outcourse and then abuse her when he noticed he was way too drunk to stop him. She did not remember anything the next day (dissociative amnesia), but her body was in pain. A week later after, she withdrew the rape case from the public prosecutor's office after a strange "conversation" she had with this "friend" and his two other "friends". She kept saying she felt she was guilty one of that situation.

+ Maria, 23, knows she has a beautiful body and that she gets the eye of men everywhere she goes. She knows it well and uses it. Do not surprise seeing her with the expensive gifts she gets from various men with money and a good position at work. She just needs to have sex with them in exchange.

+ Sam, 19, was waiting at the bus stop when a man stood beside her and lustfully greeted her while he started to firmly touch her buttocks and continued aiming for her genitals. Sam turned around and gave the 'affectionate' man her most memorable slap. He left, but she confessed us the nervous this left her the whole day and how she lost concentration the rest of that week at work.

+ Sandra, 19, went to her boyfriend's house to watch a film on TV, but, he literally took her to the bed and made her love. She told us she saw him just too aroused to be stopped and, besides, as her boyfriend he was supposed to have "some rights". His aggressiveness was decidedly not romantic, though.

The samples of sexual violence against women described took place between March and November 2006. They are all real cases. What is making men think about sex so eagerly to move them to behave these ways against women?

It is not a secret that social communicators have used sensuality and sexuality to promote their products and works (films and TV shows, for example) for decades. It is not a secret that their explicitness has gradually increased along this time. Though it cannot be proven scientifically, we cannot deny that there is a strong relationship between what is shown in advertising and the media and what people (specially youngsters) find normal in their lives.

Will this situation continue? What will be the next level?

Knowledge + Society