Academic journal article Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

An Exploration of the X-Rated World and Its Related Consequences

Academic journal article Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

An Exploration of the X-Rated World and Its Related Consequences

Article excerpt

During the last semester I have had many big decisions to make--one could say life-changing decisions. I was married, and my husband and I found ourselves at the first fork in the road of our married life; where should we live, France (he is French) or the United States? We had to weigh the pros and cons of staying and leaving; staying here would mean living with my mother, paying $1,685 in immigration fees, $2,000 for an immigration lawyer, $2,214 for my semester, along with other living expenses, and on the other hand we had the option of going back to France, which we both preferred, and which would also mean using the money we saved instead to buy our flights back, rent an apartment, and start our new life. We ended up staying here and unfortunately we feel that it was a mistake. We feel that we took advice of those around us and in the end feel that we made our decision based on how other people felt about it. We did not make the choice that we felt was right for us.

Consequently, my social roles have increased dramatically in just a few months: from being a student, living in Rennes, France, carefree with a steady boyfriend to revisiting my role as a daughter, becoming a wife, returning as a student, and acquiring a 25-30 hours a week job, among other roles.

Now, perhaps you, the reader, are thinking why am I talking about all these details about my life in an essay named "An Exploration of the X-Rated World and Its Related Consequences"? The key phrase is "related consequences."

In the course "Insiders/Outsiders" for which I wrote this paper, we learned the term, coined by C. Wright Mills, sociological imagination which seeks to foster the ability to recognize the relationship between large-scale social forces and the actions of individuals. Although my situation does not seem to pertain to pornography I will show in this paper how my opinion on pornography came to be and eventually explain why I married my husband, bearing its related consequences, including the new social roles I find myself performing.

Why does pornography continue to exist? Online pornography has proliferated so much in recent decades due to the advent of the Internet that lawmakers have been unable to keep up with the regulation of this entity. Now, proponents and opponents alike are trying to rewrite our views on pornography. Proponents claim that the First Amendment protects Internet pornography. In other words, the claim is that pornography is a protected form of free speech. However, the First Amendment does not cover obscenity and the issue of determining whether pornography is obscene and offensive or not continues to be debated. The ambiguity that arises makes it difficult to assign labels, which is how we categorize concrete and abstract subjects. For example, if pornography very broadly encompasses sex, oral sex, group sex, homosexuality, sexual torture, mock rape scenes, child pornography, and bestiality among others, how are we supposed to categorize these types into good and bad categories? And if the categorization is done for us, which is what usually happens, we sacrifice our right to do it for ourselves and thereby lose our identity.

Reflecting on the question "Why does pornography continue to exist?" but in a sociological context gives us another point of view on the whole situation. UMass Boston student Jacquelyn Knoblock, in her essay "Gender and Violence: A Reflective Sociology of How Gender Ideologies and Practices Contribute to Gender Based Violence," points to how much of our behaviors are results of our primary and secondary socializations.

Primary socialization occurs when we are young and, for the most part, take what we are taught as a given and accept it as the way of life without much questioning. It occurs during childhood when we might hear commentaries on our gender and what it means to a girl or a boy. For example, most children have heard, "boy will be boys" in answer to boys' aggressive behavior or tendency to fight, challenge, and question authority. …

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