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IMU shows film addressing technology’s impact in sexualization

BY GRETA MEYLE | OCTOBER 22, 2013 5:00 AM

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In an age in which technology continually seizes a greater hold on everyday tasks, a recent documentary explores whether sexuality is becoming more prevalent among new generations.

Local organizations presented Sexy Baby — a documentary that addresses the effect of sexuality on the development of three females as individuals — on Monday night in hopes of making people more aware of sexualization in the media.

Shannon Wood, the president of the Sexual Health Alliance of Linn & Johnson Counties, said the ultimate objective of the showing was to give those attending a greater perspective on how sex is portrayed online.

“Our goal is to have comprehensive sexual-health education,” Wood said. “So to us this was just an informational thing about looking at what the Internet is doing to people, to families, to girls, to guys — just to show the maybe not so great side of the Internet when it comes to sex, girls, and women and how we are portrayed, because we have a lot of pressures out there.”

One local organization official said the rise in media has led to younger generations gaining earlier exposure to sexual content — particularly pornography.

“It’s different when you’re an adult, and you experience reality versus these younger ages seeing these extremities,” said Katie Jones, a coalition coordinator of the Sexual Health Alliance of Linn & Johnson Counties. “Adults can enjoy it, but the extreme of it is different from before.”

In a study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 76 percent of teens said one reason young people have sex is because TV shows and movies make it seem normal for teens.

“Our society is creating a culture where this is what is desirable,” said Ally Hanten, 29, a woman who attended the screening. “It’s a false reality.”

Hanten said she views the technology increase as relative to the current generation and noted that every generation has encountered its own issues.

“I think that anybody from my parents’ age might say that rock and roll was corruptive — it’s all relative to the time,” Hanten said. “I mean, what happens to those kids who only have maybe one active parent in their lives or maybe none? What happens to those kids who have to navigate through that alone?”

Wood said she was happy with the turn out of the event, which drew around 40 to 50 people. The Sexual Health Alliance presented the event at the IMU to reach young people.

“Honestly, I think the biggest people that are affected right now are young people,” Wood said. “I mean, what are some of the girls in college going out and doing Friday nights? They’re trying to get guys to pay attention to them, so they’re dressing sexy, and I mean, we all do it.”


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