The Moral Panics of Sexuality

Feminism & ‘Moral Panics’
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Vampire stories, of course, are not new, but their recent spike in popularity begs the question: what is so intriguing about this toothy monster, and why has it grabbed our collective attention at this particular cultural moment? Moral panics draw a line in the sand: between threatening and non- threatening, normal and abnormal, acceptable and unacceptable.

Moving away from a passive definition of panic to an active one, what can be understood about the psychological and cultural mechanisms that shape individuals and the moral panics that surround them? Male students have left the class on the first day when I merely mention that we will study menstruation in the second week; women often gaze uncomfort- ably down at the syllabus and have later characterized menstruation as a topic they do not discuss.

Certainly, the panics that surround men- struation have long rendered the menstruating body shameful, taboo, silent, and even pathological. Moral panics about youth sexuality have heavily influenced the construction and curriculum of sexual health education, as the long and complicated history of sex ed in United States schools continues to plague political campaigns, school boards, parents, and health advo- cates Irvine ; Moran ; Di Mauro and Joffe Since the early responses to the moral panics about venereal diseases that began in the early twentieth century, there has been a significant narrowing of the opportunities for young people to receive any type of compre- hensive sexual education.

  • Table of contents.
  • The Moral Panics of Sexuality?
  • Limits of Natural Selection;
  • Table of Contents.

Truly, sex education has been shrouded in debate that is characterized by panic, fueled by misinformation, and cloaked in the language of morality. This chapter explores a brief his- tory of sex education in the United States, focusing specifically on the rise of Abstinence-Only Sexual Education AOSE as a moral panic about youth sexuality, followed by an analysis of media representations about adolescent sexual experiences presented in the popular television show Glee.

This chapter examines the discontinuity between the formal curriculum young people receive through AOSE programs and the informal education they receive from popular culture references, linking those sites as relevant to the politics of how moral panics are both created and sustained. Using Glee, this chapter shows how moral panics about youth sexuality are still heavily problematic in American culture and demonstrates how popular television has the ability to both challenge and duplicate dangerous stereotypes about young people and sex.

Sikk on Herdt, 'Moral Panics, Sex Panics: Fear and the Fight over Sexual Rights'

In this chapter I will discuss this charac- teristic in the context of the English empire in the nineteenth century. Colonial travel writing of this period typically presents Western European prac- titioners usually the authors themselves drawing moral assessments of native colonial cultures from journeys that become part vacation, part civic duty.

These texts additionally provide context for contem- porary modes of moral panicking, especially as their global concerns are compounded in current internet culture. I will lastly show how contemporary internet deviant culture reflects these nineteenth century narratives. What happens when a moral panic of sexuality morphs into a colonial panic?

The emotional cost of conforming to hypersexualisation is enormous for girls and young women who are in the process of forming their gender and sexual identities. We construct our identities through complex processes of interaction with the culture around us, but today images of hypersexualisation dominate. An American Psychological Association study on girls' sexualisation found that it "has negative effects in a variety of domains, including cognitive functioning, physical and mental health, sexuality, and attitudes and beliefs".

Some of these effects include risky sexual behaviour, higher rates of eating disorders, depression and low self-esteem, and reduced academic performance.

Evolution of Feminist Theory, Moral Panic & the Law - Part 1

This weekend feminist campaigners are hosting a conference on the pornification of culture. In the buildup, mass protests were held outside the London Playboy Club and Miss World beauty contest to highlight the relationship between corporate interests and the objectification of women. The fight against the increasingly narrow and limiting image of femininity is inextricably connected to the progressive fight for democratic ownership and control of the media.

This is a political struggle. Feminists are rightly concerned, but we're not panicking. We're organising. Topics Feminism Opinion. Gender Philosophy comment. Reuse this content. McClelland and L. Part Three looks at and beyond national borders in relation to consumption, particularly the conflation of homosexuality and cannibalism, in the chapter by Ayaan Agane.

Rachael Bryne discusses how nations can become sexualized. I was particularly impressed with Raising Bloody Hell: Inciting Menstrual Panics by Breanne Fahs because although it demonstrated the enactment of power, it also interestingly highlighted some means by which social processes might be resisted. Menstrual safety concerns with possible interventions highlighted under the heading REDSCAM with the distribution of posters and fliers and student interviews.

The way we teach sex has long been about our feelings. What’ll it take to focus on the facts?

General awareness was raised and attitudes collected with the development of a specific Facebook page. The final group of students staged a theatrical event in which a student with bloodied white trousers walked through a department store. Responses were filmed and a flier handed out.

Fear and the Fight over Sexual Rights

All the groups of students reported being shocked at the amount of negative response to their activisms, particularly from men and university officials. Many men refused to touch anything related to menstruation. First, most of the chapters center on women and gay men in some form or other. In my opinion, the omission of a greater breadth of topics is a missed opportunity and risks presenting a narrow perspective to students and newcomers.

Bibliographic Information

Editors: Fahs, B., Dudy, M., Stage, S. (Eds.) A provocative feminist analysis of the moral panics of sexuality, this interdisciplinary edited collection showcases the range of historical and contemporary crises we too often suppress, including vagina dentata, vampires, cannibalism. Introduction Villains and Victims: Excavating the Moral Panics of Sexuality. Breanne Fahs, Mary L. Dudy, Sarah Stage. What “Good Girls” Do: Katharine Bement Davis and the Moral Panic of the First U.S. Sexual Survey.

In my opinion, this is a missed opportunity to identify potential points of resistance. A final point, given the increasing amount of time we spend accessing online applications according to one source, almost half our waking day :OFCOM, via televisions, smart phones, laptops and other communication devices, it would have been good to see a thorough engagement with social and digital media and how they facilitate moral panics of sexuality.

But despite these reservations, I am well aware that mapping, contextualizing and illustrating the origins and contemporary manifestations of a range of moral panics of sexuality is a difficult undertaking, and even more so, if the intended audience is interdisciplinary and both specialist and undergraduate.

The various scholarly contributions in this collection are written in a succinct, clear and accessible style which is suitable for newcomers to the subject. The outcome is a major accomplishment, making this book indispensable as both a learning and a teaching resource.

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References BBC