Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

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Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by Orwell on Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:13 am

Gratuitous Violence of Gratuitous Sex?

What's worse? What (potentially) causes more harm in Society?

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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by Eldorion on Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:24 am

Are you talking about things people do in real life, or violence and sex in entertainment? It sounds to me like you're asking if gratuitous violence or gratuitous sex is worse in the real world, but that seems like a non-question to me. Violence actually hurts people.
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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by Orwell on Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:19 am

Eldorion wrote:Are you talking about things people do in real life, or violence and sex in entertainment? It sounds to me like you're asking if gratuitous violence or gratuitous sex is worse in the real world, but that seems like a non-question to me. Violence actually hurts people.

I almost clarified by saying "in the Arts". Yes, it's what I meant.

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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by Eldorion on Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:34 am

After reading the "Future releases" thread in Arts and Entertainment I sort of realized that, but thanks for clarifying. Laughing Wink

I'm not entirely sure what my answer would be in that case. While very small children are impressionable, my understanding of the psychological research on the matter is that the affects of violent video games (in terms of "desensitization) are drastically overstated, and probably just a convenient reactionary scapegoat. I suppose, with either sex or violence, my opinion would depend on just what exactly "gratuitous" means. In general, though, I don't think either is going to cause harm to youth who are over a certain age (around 13-15; it will depend on the individual). I'd need to think more on the matter to give a clearer answer. Wink
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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by Orwell on Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:56 am

As always, I had a motive for asking the question. It has struck me as odd for as long as I can remember, that "graffic violence" has been so seemingly "accepted" while "voluntary sexual activity" has not. I don't mean gratutious sex as meaning things like "rape" and other violence btw. I mean sex put in movies or shows to titilate (broadly speaking). I'd prefer a good sexy scene (without violence) to blood and guts, and, worse still, movies graphically showing psycho-torturer murderers at work. Hate those shows. I really have a strong reaction to them. I read Silence of the Lambs, and it did suck me in, but it left me in the end wanting no more of it, thank you very much.

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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:24 pm

The British Board of Film Classification recenly banned the Human Centipede 2. I saw about 10 minutes of part 1 and found it utterly wretched and unpleasant. And the 2nd part is supposedly even worse. The Director of it has stated he is deliberetly trying to be as horrible as possible and as offensive as possible. Nonetheless I don't agree with it being banned. I have a problem with some state appointed board regulating what is the moral standard of the people when it comes to this sort of thing.
I agree with classification as it offers a guide to likely content but after that people should be able to judge for themselves. In the case of the above film I have decided its not my sort of thing so I simply won't watch it- but if someone else does its not my place to tell them its wrong to.

As to effect on society at large I don't think there is one. My entire life every new technology that has come along has been blamed for the worst elements in society. In the 70's it was tv was bad for you and there were prominent campaigners against sexual content and violence such as Mary Whitehouse- she tried to get altered or banned two of favourite shows growing up, Doctor Who and Robin of Sherwood, deeming them inappropriate for family viewing, into the 80's and with the arrival of video (whose great success vhs only came about because it was the format porn was mostly on it should be noted) led to all sorts of stuff being banned in the UK such as Evil Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Clockwork Orange. The press dubbed them 'videonasties'. Then with computer games we entered a new round of 'this is corrputing our society' outrage with questions raised in Parliament by people with clearly no idea calling for the Grand Theft Auto games to be banned. Accusing them of encouraging violence against the police. It was a typical knee jerk reation based on few facts and lots of hysteria- one reason the 'authorities' shouldn;t be allowed to act. Ayone who has played a GTA game knows they are 1. fun. 2. a sharp intelligent satirical dig at all levels of modern society.
The whole notion exposure to film/game violence or sex makes you a violent rapist is all rubbish as far as I am concerned. People who commit serious crimes; rape, murder, assualts do not do so because they were playing a game or watching a film- its an incredibly small patch to try to paper over the cracks in society with.

As an amendment there is one good side to this sort of censorship I remember with fondness when I was still a teenager, and the Obcenity laws were still in place in the UK (And sexist they were too- naked sexually aroused women were fine- an aroused male penis was obscene in case the sight of one caused women to faint or go mad), the result of this was a bunch of us would take the ferry then train on a 2 hour trip to Glasgow to visit the Barras market and buy porn on vhs from out of a bag behind a grubby stall from some exceptionally dodgy looking fellows who looked liked either gangsters or the sort who would normally be hanging around schools with bags of sweets, with no way of knowing what, if anything, was on the tape or if they were jutst going to mug you and steal your money- but once you bought a tape the two hour journey home full of expectiation, excitment and the possibility of being arrested (however small) made for memorable times and was always far better than the tapes contents (which were nearly always low quality copies of US porn starring men with moustaches and Nina Hartley -she seemed to be in every US film made back then). So the curent generation, with porn at the click of a button and seconds away, are missing something! For my generation just getting hold of some was an adventurous day trip full of dangers all in itself.

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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by halfwise on Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:55 pm

Loved your description of the quest for elicit porn. Nowadays you feel guilty for watching it just because you are wasting time - the thrill of furtiveness is all gone, alas.

When I went to college in southern california they had long ago integrated the dormitories, though they still had men and women on different hallways for the sake of single sex bathrooms. But a professor who had gone there years ago told us about the days when north campus was all male and south campus was all female. Checkpoints and curfews. When they finally integrated the dorms, the pregnancy rate dropped. It seems that once you clambered over the wall and crawled through the window SOMETHING had to happen to justify all that effort. Once it was integrated, the opposite sex became pretty ho-hum.

But back to the topic. A pre-pubescent can be totally confused and perhaps traumatized by sex if not introduced just right. But that's all over by age 13. There should be one rating for sex (pg-13 suffices in the states) and another for violence (maybe 75 with a doctor's note).
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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by Orwell on Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:49 pm

halfwise wrote:But back to the topic. A pre-pubescent can be totally confused and perhaps traumatized by sex if not introduced just right. But that's all over by age 13. There should be one rating for sex (pg-13 suffices in the states) and another for violence (maybe 75 with a doctor's note).

I blame life-rejecting Christian types for sexual hangups generally. But children who aren't already beginning to transition into sexual beings should not be introduced to it 'physically'. There are Laws against that, which I actually police, and rightly so. If kids have eyes they notice sex happens - even bunny rabbits do it with gay abandon, though I would never accuse them of being Gay. Very Happy But kids natuaraly begin to ask questions, and even experiment, when they're ready, and that's when parents should perhaps be alert and maybe explain a few things. Putting negative connotations about sex to kids (or sexual abuse) is what causes 99% of trauma, I reckon.

I'd prefer sex to violence any time. One tends to enrich and/or further life, the other harms and is only there for self-protection from dangerous animals including crazed humans such as religious fanatics and ideologues, or for hunting/farming, or because of the territorial instinct (the latter a dying instinct, one hopes - eventually!)

NB I believe the more sex is demonized the more depraved people become. High Level Christians (Brittish Tories and Catholic Priests being a couple of examples) are often the worst kinds of perverts. Worse, and far more insidiously dangerous, because they disguise it with a Mask of Propriety. Sex is more tantalizing the more it's tabooed.


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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:13 pm

I lent a friend Robin of Sherwood to watch. He has just finished watching them all and of course loved them, casue they are brilliant, but he commented that it was odd there was no chance it would be broadcast today in the same Saturday night tv slot.
There a lot of death in it- people get shot by arrows a lot and stuck with swords. But its more than that- in the first episode we learn that Will Scarlett's wife was brutality raped and murdered by mercenary soldiers and when Robin asks what he is in jail for Will replies "I killed three of the bastards."
At the end of the episode, when Robin reunites with his Merry Men, whom he had told to stay in Sherwood and who he chastises for coming after him Little John responds "you ungrateful bastard."
Sex also whilst never explicit is often in the mix- the Sherrif comments on the prospects for a woman living among a bunch of men in a wood, when the Sherriff is due to be married he winds up his weeping young 16 year old wife to be on the eve of the marriage by reminding her that tomoorow he will consumate the bonds. When Prince John comes to Nottingham he brings with him his 'entertainment' which turns out to be women, and he adds to his personnal harem whilst in Nottingham by picking new women out of the crowd.
This was a show shown in the 1980's, which is weird as there was no internet back then- now with people having access to a much broader range of programs and aimed at all age levels it seems pecular that UK tv has become less tolerant, leess liberal in the last 20 years- I wonder why?

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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by halfwise on Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:58 am

reviving the original intent of this thread, I had an anthropological thought (was planning to call it an insight before realizing it likely didn't bear up under scrutiny). Sex ends up creating more mouths to feed, violence less. Any correlation between prosperity and openness to sex/violence? If this thesis is correct, a prosperous society would be more open to sex and frown more on violence, a less prosperous society would be the reverse. it's a pretty theory, but I don't think history bears it out. The romans did plenty of both at their height; it may be claimed that well-off Minnesotan Lutherans do little of either.
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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by Orwell on Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:04 am

Sex and contraception is a better way than violence and death. That's my opinion. As to the original idea of this thread - which is to do with media rather than general lifestyles and I apologize for the ambiguity inherent in my first post - I find gratuitous violence far more disturbing than gratuitous sex. Irrespective of my penchant for naughtiness on this forum, give me sex with intimacy every time in the real world, and in the media. Actually, gratuitous sex in the media pales very quickly. Give me a good story (with a bit of love and adventure) every time. Very Happy

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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by The Wobbit A Parody on Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:51 am

Orwell wrote:Sex and contraception is a better way than violence and death. That's my opinion. As to the original idea of this thread - which is to do with media rather than general lifestyles and I apologize for the ambiguity inherent in my first post - I find gratuitous violence far more disturbing than gratuitous sex. Irrespective of my penchant for naughtiness on this forum, give me sex with intimacy every time in the real world, and in the media. Actually, gratuitous sex in the media pales very quickly. Give me a good story (with a bit of love and adventure) every time. Very Happy

I agree, Orwell. Gratuitous sex with intimacy is a great thing. Without intimacy, women are often reduced to objects and bad things can happen.

Halfwise- Do you know why Minnesota Lutherans never have sex standing up? Because people might think they were dancing. At least, that's what I've heard. I'm from Chicago, myself.

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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by Eldorion on Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:15 am

The Wobbit A Parody wrote:I agree, Orwell. Gratuitous sex with intimacy is a great thing. Without intimacy, women are often reduced to objects and bad things can happen.

That's an interesting way of looking at it. I have to ask, though: what if a woman author/director wanted to have gratuitous sex without intimacy in her book/movie? Or what if it was gratuitous gay sex with no women involved? Would either of those scenarios perturb you? study
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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by The Wobbit A Parody on Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:46 am

Eldo-

Good question! Historically, women performers have often been exploited by the pornography industry. This probably is not the case in mainstream commercial filmmaking. So I guess my concern with gratuitous sex is primarily academic. The same would go for gratuitous gay sex scenes, um, I guess. Just as long as the performers aren't getting exploited.

I do believe that gratuitous depictions of violence/cruelty have a numbing effect on the viewers. (I don't mind violence, but I struggle with cruelty: Clockwork Orange is a great book and a great movie, but I don't like watching the home invasion/rape scene.) Violence that was shocking years ago no longer has the same impact: the ante always goes up. Hence Human Centipede II, although I don't think these depictions turn the viewers into murderers. They may make people less empathetic, maybe?

I doubt that gratuitous depictions of sex have much impact on human relationships, other than creating unrealistic expectations. But everything looks better in the movies.
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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by Eldorion on Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:54 am

Thanks for the thoughtful response, Paul! Seeing it, I think I essentially agree with your point about exploitation. That's certainly a risk that society as a whole should be cognizant of. I tend to consider legalization and regulation as the best way of keeping things transparent and safe, but that's probably a topic for another thread.
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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by The Wobbit A Parody on Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:01 am

Agreed! Also, I'm pretty sure all the performers in Human Centipede were exploited, even if they were happy to be working. How desperate do you have to be to get into show business to perform in that movie?
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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:53 pm

"women performers have often been exploited by the pornography industry."- Wobbit

This might be true at the very seedy end of the market but a quick check to compare the wages of top female performers in the adult industry to male shows it is one of the few industries where the women are payed considerably more than their male counterparts.
There are also now several major adult entertainment franchises run by women, far more than in most othe branches of the media.
One thing I have discovered over the years in working in a female dominated environment is women really like sex, talking about it, watching it, comparing notes, they just have a different way of going about expressing it than men but it can be too easy in these politically corect times to always see females as being exploited where sex is concerend, when in fact through necessity of social circumstances women have down through the centruies manipulated sex as a social tool to a far greater extent than men ever have.

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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by halfwise on Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:20 pm

Yes, women have indeed moved into being owners and directors in parts of the sex industry. Something wonderful I got from an old Ally McBeal episode (I watched it mainly for the unisex bathroom dance numbers): if women own a strip club, it's actually a place for sexual exploitation of men. The bouncers keep men on their best behavior, then watch the way the money flows and ask who's really in control and who is really being taken advantage of. I'm all for female owned strip clubs. In this case I don't much mind being exploited. drunken
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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by The Wobbit A Parody on Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:16 pm

The sexuality of other people is absolutely none of my business. (Except, as Orwell said, in the case of children, who can easily become victims in many ways.) What people choose as entertainment is none of my business either.

But given the last four thousand years of male dominated Western culture (politically, religiously, economically) I'm not going to worry too much about the sexual exploitation of men by women. I think men still tend to do most of the exploiting, although perhaps women can achieve more parity in individual relationships than elsewhere. At least in the West.

I hope that doesn't make me sound paternalistic...

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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by Orwell on Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:33 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:One thing I have discovered over the years in working in a female dominated environment is women really like sex, talking about it, watching it, comparing notes, they just have a different way of going about expressing it than men...

That's a damn lie, Petty! Mad


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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:37 pm

Which bit? Question

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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by Orwell on Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:04 pm

All of it! How dare you talk of women like that! Have you no sense of decency? Rolling Eyes

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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by Orwell on Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:20 pm

Too afraid to answer, Petty? Hmmmm?  Suspect 

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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:31 pm

Well if 'Have you no sense of decency?' is the question I had assumed it was rhetorical.  Shrugging 

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Re: Gratuitous Violence or Gratuitous Sex?

Post by halfwise on Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:41 pm

Yep, that particular question in this particular case has been more than adequately answered.

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