Porn: Addiction and the War on Women

By Vicky Diloné

FTND_TriggerWarning

When looking into the sex industry, abuses can be found. There is mention of sexual assault and rape in this post but nothing explicit. Several of the links do contain graphic content used to illustrate the realities of the industry. Proceed with caution.

Every day, we are bombarded by sex. In advertisements for fast food or perfume, in TV show plots and music, sex follows us everywhere. At a time where it seems we are talking about sex more than ever, there is still a taboo that many are reluctant to bring up. Porn. Often confined to locker room talk with the guys, no one really talks about it in a critical sense. When was the last time you had nice dinner conversation about the good old topic of porn? How many would admit to family members or employers the amount of time watching people engage in sexual activity on screen? I think there needs to be a critical talk about pornography. I don’t mean from a religious moral standpoint nor do I want to talk about censorship. I want to talk about the science of the brain and the psychological and societal impact on men and women.

Defining Pornography

“I shall not today attempt further to define [obscenity]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it”

–former U.S. Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart

It’s important to define the problem before coming up with solutions. The definition of pornography or obscenity in general has been debated in courts for decades. For this post, I am using the definition Matt Fradd uses in his book The Porn Myth: “visual material containing explicit displays of sexual organs or sexual activities, whether real or simulated, in order to arouse erotic rather than aesthetic sensations.”

1_uWXnKgxUhCmvQQDQaVf-zgThe Addicted Brain

There have been many studies on pornography and Internet addiction with lengthy talk about how the brain reacts to certain stimuli and the chemicals released. Fradd provides a concise explanation on how pornography triggers addiction:

“When researchers compared brain scans of porn users with scans of nonusers, they found that the more porn the person had used, the less his reward center activated when porn images were flashed on screen. ‘This is in line with the hypothesis that intense exposure of pornographic stimuli results in a down regulation of the natural neural response to sexual stimuli.’

With a dulled reward center, a person can’t feel the effects of dopamine as well as they used to. As a result, the porn a person is using can stop producing the same excitement it did before. This leads many users to go in search of more hardcore material to get a bigger dopamine burst.” Continue reading “Porn: Addiction and the War on Women”

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Being Mexican-American

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A movie still from Selena

By Beatrice Santiago

 

                                                       “You’re from Mexico, right?”

(A question I get asked all too often.)

Yes and no. I mean my parents are Mexican, yes. But I have never been to Mexico.

So, yes, I am from Mexican descent. I speak the language and love my culture, the music (I jam to it every time), and oh gosh! our food is the best. The tacos, enchiladas, tamales, and mmmm posole. So good. However, I am also American. I was born in the United States. I have lived here my whole life. I grew up in a small town in Southern Idaho–Homedale. Out in the country, I was surrounded by endless fields of corn and many farm animals. Horses were in the backyard.

I also love hamburgers and pizza and enjoy watching American football. Don’t get me wrong, I love both cultures very much, because they are a part of who I am. My Identity. However, it is not easy in the United States. Somehow, I always find myself explaining to people why I am just as American as they are. And, just as Mexican. There is a scene in the movie Selena that explains just what I am saying. Here is the link to that scene.  Continue reading “Being Mexican-American”

Gender and Role Play in Kids

Colorful graphic of androgynous figures illustrating different genders
Graphic illustrating different genders

By Beatrice Santiago 

Do you remember when you were 9 years old?

I vaguely remember what I was doing at that age. And I remember experiences in which I felt inferior to men, thinking as a young girl that I was not capable of certain tasks just because I was a girl. Society’s ideals can be cruel. Especially when you are told that if you do something a man does, you are not “acting like a lady.”

I recently read an article, “I AM 9 YEARS OLD: Children Across the World Tell Us How Gender Affects Their Lives.”  As the title implies, children were asked questions like:

“What is the best thing about being a girl?”

“What is the worst thing about being a girl?”

“How might your life be different if you were a boy (or a boy instead of a girl)?”

Their responses were shocking. However, they were answers I was expecting. Although many were positive, some were really sad to read. These children were interviewed from all different parts of the world by National Geographic.

Continue reading “Gender and Role Play in Kids”

Planned Parenthood

Birth Control Pills
Birth Control Pills

By Beatrice Santiago 

What is Planned Parenthood?

Before we can talk about the resources of Planned Parenthood, I think it is important to understand the history of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood started at a time when sex education and birth control was not permitted in the USA. A woman by the name of Margaret Sanger would soon change all that. She was raised in Corning, New York in 1916. After seeing her mother suffer from seven miscarriages, Margaret Sanger decided to study birth control. She later traveled to Europe where she would learn about not only birth control but sex education. As a huge advocate for Women’s rights, she would soon see restrictions from opponents.

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Margaret Sanger

Her first birth control clinic was shut down by police. (However, the clinic was still able to offer information about birth control.) Margaret Sanger spent 30 days in jail for refusing to pay the fine. This experience led her to travel the country and talk about birth control. Eventually, two organizations named Birth Control Clinical Bureau and American Birth Control League, joined to become Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A 1936 court ruling established that birth control and the information given about it would not be seen as immoral. This was one of many barriers birth control and its education has broken through to reach the public prominence it has today.

What are the resources of Planned Parenthood?

When looking at the website of Planned Parenthood, I found it to have easy to find tabs and info for women or anyone wanting resources. Topics cover: Pregnancy Prevention, to Health and Wellness, Sex and Relationships, and Sexually Transmitted

Infections (STDs). Additionally, there are guides for high school students and information about sex education. All this I believe is vital to not only women but men as well. In Idaho, there are three centers of Planned Parenthood: Boise Health Center, Meridian Health Center, and Twin Falls Health Center. Therefore, if you wanted to go to one in Idaho from Moscow, it would be about a six-hour drive. That is a long distance. Luckily, there is one across the border in Pullman, Washington.

Continue reading “Planned Parenthood”

Latinas are not food!

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By  Beatrice Santiago 

When you first meet a Latina, what do you think? Do you immediately think of her as hot and spicy? If you don’t that is good because not all of us identify as such. And if you do it’s probably from what you have heard from all different types of media but that does not justify you to call her that.

There is a stereotype that classifies us Latina women in a category that most of us don’t fit into and does not conform to what many Latina women are doing today. This stereotype started a long time ago, as far as the Mexican-American War when the American won the land from Mexico.  They portrayed the women as the sexy Latina. From there it grew to Hollywood. It also grouped all Latin American women.

This stereotype says that Latina women are all hot and spicy like a pepper. First of all, don’t compare me to something we eat! I am not food! This stereotype also says that all we want is attention and if we get what we want, we know how to reward that person. That we are all sexy and can make any man’s dreams come true. I only strives to make my dreams come true not anybody else’s!

Continue reading “Latinas are not food!”

A Picture of the American Sex Worker

A diverse group of protests advocating for sex workers rights. Front group holding a sign that says “sex workers rights = human rights.” By Rosemary Anderson

As I write this article, I want to make it known that the sex industry is not always positive for women and girls. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, sex workers around the world have a 45 to 75 percent chance of experiencing violence during their careers.

When sex workers do experience violence, they are not protected by rape shield laws and are not eligible for compensation funds.

Many see sex workers as objects, non-human, and second-rate members of society. This makes sex workers even more prone to being victims of violence.

Women are forced into sex work without their consent, others are forced into sex work because of financial situations, and some choose sex work as their profession.

Continue reading “A Picture of the American Sex Worker”

The Art of Passing

By Olivia Comstock

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A comic about the notion of passing
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Another comic about passing

Passing is about performance. Passing is about presentation. Passing is about appearance and external markers of identity. Because most of the world only knows each of us through how we look, and we never get to explain our inner nuances to them, then they only see us for what we are the outside. They make assumptions for what our outward selves signify for our inner selves. Our identity and beliefs are assumed from a quick glance. Usually people think of gender or race with the topic of passing, but passing can involve a huge range of personal characteristics, including race, ethnicity, gender, sex, sexuality, religion, disability or ability, job occupation, level of education, intelligence, economic class, and social status. Passing can signify any personal characteristic of identity.

Continue reading “The Art of Passing”