Creating a Culture of Awareness and Equality

written by Louise Stanger ED.D, LCSW and Roger Porter

Hanging speech bubble sign with adult content warning

“Do you wanna know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.” If you were in college in the 1980s, you’d remember this famous tagline from the fashion brand Calvin Klein. The aim of the slogan for jeans was to be playful and suggestive, however, in the decade marked by leggings and Cindi Lauper workout videos, it came under fire for being too racy. Since then, if you thought it felt like American mainstream culture has accelerated faster and faster with its representations of sex and sexuality, researchers, educators and parents agree.

How has it moved at such a rapid pace? The obvious culprit is technology – mobile devices and tablets spewing out a constant stream of social media, apps and web pages. College students, in particular, have come of age with a mentality to constantly engage with cellphones. The rise of the internet has also coincided with an explosive growth in the pornography industry. And now that there is a cellphone on the hip of every student, pornography is easier than ever to access in almost any setting. In fact, a quick search online reveals that more than 28,000 people are viewing pornography every second, 80 percent of which are men.

It may be the content of this pornography that is creating a profound impact on the way college students and young adults view sex.

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