Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sexual Health in the Media

Durex XXL Condom ad

Talk Sex with Sue Johansen

Trojan Condom commercial

Men's Health magazine
online quiz.

Test Your Condom I.Q.
What you don't know--could hurt you

1. Latex condoms should be stored?
*In the refrigerator
*In your wallet
*In a dry, cool place
*In a bedside drawer
2. Packaged condoms that are coated with a spermicide are good for approximately?
*12 months
*3 years
*5 years
*6 sex partners
3. Packaged condoms are good for approximately?
*12 months
*3 years
*5 years
*2 weeks at Club Med
4. The condoms that provide the most protection are made from?
*Natural animal membranes
*Latex rubber
*Silicone-coated linen
5. The best way to put on a condom is?
*Place it on the head of the penis and unroll it all the way to the base
*Remove it from the package, unroll it and pull it over the penis
*Remove it from package, inflate it and pull over the penis like a sock
*Without even removing it from the packaging
6. The proper way to remove a latex condom from its package is?
*By tearing the packaging in half down the middle
*By opening it before you need it and placing it on a bedside table just in case
*By tearing off just the top of the foil package, being careful not to rip the condom
*By using your teeth
7. Next to abstinence, the most effective protection against sexually transmitted diseases is *proper condom use. Yet, some people still won't use condoms because?
*They're too embarrassed to buy them
*They trust their partner's health and assurances
*They do not take the risks seriously
*It's too much effort
8. Carrying condoms in your wallet may?
*Keep you prepared
*Damage the condoms and the packaging
*Wear off the expiration date
*Make you feel really cool
9. The following should never be used as a lubricant with latex condoms?
*K-Y Jelly
*Silicone gel

The Onion News: America's Finest News Source

Antipsychotics Reduce Sex Drive
A study of people taking antipsychotic drugs for treatment of schizophrenia shows reveals that diminished sexual function is an unwanted side effect. What do you think?
Old Man

Lyndon Fitzpatrick,
Scuba Instructor
"Where can I get some of those drugs? I'm sick of sex."

Old Woman

Molly Prescott,
"My God. That means virtually everyone on Craigslist is off their meds."

Young Man

Ty Jackson,
Systems Analyst
"That's it, no more medication for me. I sure hope I get laid a lot in the lucid moments from my nightmarish paranoid delusions and horrifying hallucinations."

The ways in which sexual health is portrayed in the media is mostly in a humorous form. Even when the message is serious it seems to take on a lighter or humorous tone. I wonder if this lighthearted way of looking at sexual health is because it is a difficult subject for our culture to talk about or if the humor just makes it easier for us to pay attention to it.

Artifact #1 is an ad for Durex brand XXL condoms. This simple image shows a woman’s mouth with bandages on each side which implies that her sexual partner was so well endowed that he ripped her mouth through oral sex, hence the need for the Durex XXL size condoms. Although the ad could be portrayed as cruel towards the woman and egotistically saying that the man’s penis was so huge that it ripped the woman’s mouth, it is also promoting safe oral (and possibly other) sex through the use of condoms. The ad may be seen as cruel but it could also be viewed as a humorous way to get the message out to use condoms, more importantly for this company, to use Durex condoms.

Artifact #2 is a video clip about the show “Talk Sex with Sue Johansen”. Sue Johansen is a sex educator and nurse who in her own humorous and quirky way encourages her audience to ask questions, get informed, and experiment with sex. Johansen has a television show, website, and gives lectures on the subject of sex and sexual health. She isn’t afraid to talk about typically taboo or ignored sexual topics and she uses her humorous, matter of fact attitude to get her message across to her audience. Her approach isn’t the typical stuffy sex ed type but rather the laid back and open to anything approach.

Artifact #3 is a video clip of a Trojan condom commercial. The humorous commercial follows an elderly couple on their first date and ends with them getting ready to get sexual as the women pulls out a bunch of Trojan condoms. The commercial ends with the text “You’re never too old to be safe” which is again a humorous way to inform the viewers to use condoms no matter what. By using humor the company can get their audience to pay more attention and not shy away from the subject.

Artifact #4 is a quiz from Men’s Health magazine testing the reader’s condom knowledge. This quiz is not in the humorous form but it still has a lighter tone attached to it. The quiz gives answers to some important and many times not known facts about condom use and care. It doesn’t talk to in depth about sexual health other than the implied message that condoms should be a part of the reader’s sexual health routine and it gives good information about how to make the use of condoms even more effective.

Artifact #5 is a news article from the fake news source The Onion and it is very much a joke revolving around sexual health. The article talks about how the use of antipsychotic drugs used for schizophrenia can decrease sex drive. It doesn’t teach the reader about sexual health issues but rather it brings attention in a humorous way to the fact that our society is so obsessed with the fear of decreased sex drive. It is saying that our society has gotten to the point when we would rather give up needed medicine (such as anti depressants and antipsychotics) in order to had an active sex life, and if that still doesn’t help then we can always take another medicine to increase sex drive or sexual performance (Viagra, etc.). This spoof article is a humorous way to bring to light the sexual health issues that our society does talk about rather than the real sexual health issues that we seem to ignore.


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