Sex, Society and the Internet
by Jaci Rae
Sex, society and the Internet. These three explosive topics have elicited a lot of conversation and controversy. Society has always had a fascination with sex. However, over the centuries the fascination has gone from closed doors to open format.
What changed society's willingness to discuss and view sex in an open forum? The term Sexual Revolution was first noted in 1929, when Thurber and White used the expression in their book, Is Sex Necessary? However, some historians believe the sexual revolution actually began in the 1960s. Prior to the 1960s, society, as a whole, had a very puritanical view of sex and sex was not openly discussed.
Skip a few decades to the explosion of the Internet and an entirely new kind of sexual revolution began. No longer was sex a veiled and taboo subject that could cause a scandal. Nor was sex hidden in a stack of magazines, secret drawers or a stash of DVDs on a hush-hush closet shelf. It was a wide-open arena for anyone to participate in.
The new sexual revolution focused on sexual freedom and experimentation. The Internet "superhighway" gave easy access to sexual content in a way society had never experienced before.
Chat rooms and instant messaging became the new form of "meeting" and "communicating" with other people. Mega "super stars" were sometimes unwittingly born from taped sexual escapades in "private" trysts. (Pamela Anderson, Tommy Lee, and Paris Hilton are the most notable.)
The question is has society, as a whole, become a better place now that knowledge of any kind is so easily accessible? There are pros and cons. A few of the extraordinary assets of the Internet are:
- Research can be done on a much broader scale and performed with a lot more ease.
- Information can be disseminated more rapidly.
- The exposure to various cultures and societies is much more obtainable whether or not you can travel.
- Moreover, the chance for running your own business is available to anyone.
However, the incredible downside is that our society has become:
- More overweight.
- More disconnected.
- Face-to-face social skills are rapidly declining.
- The moral gauge of society is becoming obscured.
- Sexual predators have gained much easier access to their prey.
In addition, cheating on a partner is a click away and a lot easier to hide. Today, meeting someone on the Internet from anywhere in the world is easy, and many justify cyber-sex as mere flirtation and do not classify it as cheating.
Because of the free-for-all, cyber-sex and cyber-affairs have run rampant. The divorce rate at 38% only a few years ago, is climbing to over 50%. *(National Center for Health Statistic based on 46 reporting states. This measurement is based on per capita.)
In addition to a higher rate of divorce, young children, pre-teens and teenagers have been given carte blanche access to the Internet. They are being exposed to sexual predators and pornography at an alarming rate as Internet addiction is reaching epidemic proportion.
The backlash from the massive exposure of the Internet Sexual Revolution, coupled with the social abandonment, has come at a great cost to humanity and the relationships we value.
While the Internet does offer a vast world of possibilities and exciting exploration of the world around us, without limitations it has become an addictive hazard that people, for the most part, unintentionally use to destroy their families and relationships. Moreover, overuse is known to cause problems physically, financially and emotionally.
The Internet is a great tool to utilize. But it's just that, a tool. However, for too many people their Internet connection has become their friend, lover and world. The utopian culture Internet addicts create for themselves is becoming a large-scale dilemma.
What is the solution to the worldwide problem? The only answer is for society to begin reconnecting to the real world and curb their enthusiasm for their computers and the technology that runs them. The Internet is not the adversary; it's the uncontrolled use of the Internet that causes problems in all areas of an addict's life.
*It should be noted that the higher rate of divorce was not blamed on the use of the Internet. Some studies cited the ease of which divorce is now available as one of the contributing factors in the rise of divorce.