Why The Media's Portrayal of Sexuality is Dangerous

In a world where we are constantly consuming digital media on a daily basis, it’s easy to become impressionable and take information at face value. The concept of sexuality often is shown on TV and movies, which wouldn’t be a bad thing if an effort was made to portray it accurately. It is already difficult enough for young adults to learn how to navigate intimate relationships and our society’s false pretenses about it on the big screen only adds to misinformation. 

Many films and television shows are causing harm through the way they portray sexual relationships. I can’t remember the last time I sat through a sex scene that showed active and constant consent or the use of contraceptives. This is dangerous for those without proper sex education and for people consuming the media that are easily influenced. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing what’s shown on TV to be realistic; however, the truth is that some of the most important conversations are left out. Ongoing communication with your partner is hugely important when it comes to sex, but unfortunately, this is something that is rarely shown. It is extremely important to emphasize consent and appropriate safety precautions, and it’s disheartening that these conversations aren’t being shown onscreen to increase awareness.

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With the hyper-sexualized culture we live in today, it is more important than ever to talk about the honesty of sexual interactions. Nowadays, a lot of people feel pressured to be sexually active, which can take a huge toll on one’s mental health if it isn’t done healthily. Women are often objectified and portrayed shallowly in the media, and LGBTQ+ relationships are rarely even shown in the first place. 

A lot of people struggle to feel comfortable in their own skin, and it can be hard to fight comparison, especially with social media. False depictions of sexual encounters only add stress when one’s experiences don’t measure up because, obviously, real life is far from what you see on TV. It doesn’t benefit anyone by forcing viewers to evaluate the genuity of what’s being shown when the creators could easily include aspects to make it more authentic. There’s a lot that isn’t displayed in the movies. You don’t get to see the awkward moments that occur or the uncomfortable questions and communication. These things must be talked about because if not, viewers are given the wrong idea and will move forward with false expectations. 

The lack of honesty when it comes to presenting sexual encounters on screen is a disservice to everybody. Although these conversations can be difficult and a lot of people aren’t ready to have them, they are becoming increasingly necessary. Modern times naturally come with increases in technology and digital media consumption, making it hard not to compare yourself with what’s shown online. It’s important to remember that these kinds of experiences are never going to be perfect, and real-life rarely resembles what we see on TV. At the end of the day, we are individually responsible for our own understanding of what is realistic, because right now, all we can do is encourage and hope for more accurate representation.