The Instigator
UseAname
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
RoyLatham
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points

Violence VS Sex

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/21/2009 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,876 times Debate No: 9288
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (3)

 

UseAname

Pro

I am not trying to argue that movies should be saturated with sex, I am merely trying to get the point across that whoever is responsible for what should and should not be censored has their values misplaced. In North American media, violence is much more widely accepted than sex. I believe that this is wrong for a number of reasons. Firstly, sex is generally less harmful than violence. We are all the product of a sexual act, yet I doubt many of us are the result of a violent one. Simply put, if films like Hostel and Saw are considered mainstream entertainment, then I think that their sexual equivalent [pornography] should be given the same acceptance, if not now, then at some point hopefully in the near future.
RoyLatham

Con

Welcome to the site. I think you have picked a good topic, which is why I accepted your challenge. I hope we can both shed some light on the subject.

1. Pro has not explicitly provided a resolution for the debate, so the first task is to try to pin down what is being affirmed. Pro says, "whoever is responsible for what should and should not be censored has their values misplaced." However there is very little government censorship in the U.S., which dominates North American media. The most censorship is the FCC censorship of broadcast television, so maybe the resolution is "The FCC should allow more sex and less violence." However, Pro also says, "if films like Hostel and Saw are considered mainstream entertainment, then I think that their sexual equivalent [pornography] should be given the same acceptance." The film industry does have self-imposed age restrictions, but anything can be produced. The question is then "acceptance" by the public. So maybe the resolution is, "The public should want media that expresses more sex and less violence."

I'll let Pro pick what resolution he wants to debate. He can pick either of what I have suggested or something different, but it should be a declarative statement that he affirms. For this round I'll just make some points relative to the topic.

2. There is an unspoken assumption lurking behind debates like ours that whatever is depicted results in desensitization with respect to what is depicted. The idea is that if the public sees a lot of violence in media they will be less opposed to using violence in real life, or if the public sees a lot of sex in media they will become more casual about sex in real life. There are some studies that seem to support these ideas. Social scientists expose subjects to a heavy dose of violent or sexual material, then ask questions that reveal that the subjects were desensitized. The error in these studies is that the effects are short term. There are no studies that show that exposure to media has a lasting effect.

Moreover, Japan provides a strong counter-example. Japanese media is known for it's extremes of sex and violence, yet the Japanese people are also known as characteristically both shy and non-violent. Rates of sex crimes and violence are among the lowest in the world.

2. Sex and violence both have strong appeals to human emotions. Sex appeals to the instinct to propagate the species, and violence relates to survival instincts. As a story element, sex doesn't lend itself to dramatic interest. Say what you will about sex, there isn't much pornography that leaves the outcome in doubt. Such is not the case with situations that feature violence as a potential outcome. The themes are: Will justice prevail? If so, how? Will the current plot turn lead to a violent confrontation or not? Can the innocent be defended? Will all the heroes survive?

3. There are movies that offer little except pure gore, as Pro has cited. However, they are not by any stretch "mainstream media." They may be momentarily thrilling, but there is rarely enough substance to sustain more than passing interest.

Consider by contrast the popular Star Wars movies. There is immensely more violence than sex in the series. The story, however, is not about glorifying violence. It's about justice prevailing despite dangerous obstacles. Arguing that Star Wars should not have been so violent is arguing that obstacles to justice ought to be downplayed. That's boring and unrealistic.

In this aspect, the debate is not "Sex vs. Violence." It is "The struggle to procreate vs. the struggle for justice." there is a lot more to be said about the latter than the former.

4. "We are all the product of a sexual act, yet I doubt many of us are the result of a violent one." So what? We are products of chemistry rather than electronics, yet many more of us have computers than chemistry sets. Every one of us needs to breathe, but there are not a lot of films about oxygen. Natural acts may or may not develop into interesting media themes.

If you think about it, virtually all of us are products of violence. Our societies were shaped by violent wars and revolutions. It's an interesting question as to when violence is necessary, and what are the problems with it. There is no possibility that civilization is going to survive without sex, so that limits the dramatic possibilities.

5. It's impossible to determine objectively just how much sex or violence ought to be in media. Therefore we ought to just stay out of it and let the public decide what they want. Saying that argues against high levels of of government censorship, but in American society there is very little effective censorship. Is there really anyone over about age 14 who cannot get their hands on as much porn or gore as they want? If Americans want more sex or less violence, they can have it if they choose.

Back in the 1970's there was a "topless craze." All over America, there were bars and restaurants with topless waitresses and topless dancers. It extended down to many small towns. Somehow it mostly disappeared of its own accord. Not entirely, there were laws passed in some places and there are still lots of towns with domains of naughtiness on the outskirts. But still, most of the fad passed of its own accord. Society determined it was too much.

==================

We should not worry about or attempt to control the ratio of sex to violence. We should worry about excessive censorship, but that doesn't pose a problem now. We should let society sort it out. Each of us gets to vote in the decision by what we watch and don't watch. That suffices.
Debate Round No. 1
UseAname

Pro

UseAname forfeited this round.
RoyLatham

Con

Golly, I thought Pro wanted to debate the topic. Guess not.

Arguments are continued.
Debate Round No. 2
UseAname

Pro

UseAname forfeited this round.
RoyLatham

Con

Pro offered an opinion, but made no logical arguments. He forfeited twice in response to my rebuttal, leaving my arguments unanswered.

So long as government censorship is not a major factor, which it is not in North America, society seeks its own level with regard to the levels of sex and violence in media. It's impossible to say that we have too much or too little based upon one's personal taste. A person can get whatever he or she wants, so there are no grounds for complaint.

The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
Major disappointments. I read through Roy's R1 too.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Sir. Let's see, the hypocrites in power are totally motivated and driven by money. Except that they choose to hold back material that would sell well. It would sell well because it is what people really want. That's an obvious contradiction.
Posted by SirAntonyP 8 years ago
SirAntonyP
It's the hypocrites in power, the easily offended people, and the tv stations, filmmakers who wish to make money, if they are boycotted by the millions of easily offended (let's be honest the religious people) they wouldn't make money.

All censorship is futile though, deny a person something and they will want to know what they are being denied of.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Hey Pro, I suggest you make a resolution that opposes "self-censorship" of sex by media creators and publishers. Write a resolution that is relatively easy to defend.
Posted by Xer 8 years ago
Xer
Rezz- He lives in Canada.
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
Drop the "North American media", we all know it's just the USA.
Posted by ToastOfDestiny 8 years ago
ToastOfDestiny
Shoot. I agree with you totally. I was hoping you'd argue that sex should be accepted more in movies and violence less. Anyway, good luck with this one, and welcome to debate.org!
Posted by ToastOfDestiny 8 years ago
ToastOfDestiny
"We are all the product of a sexual act, yet I doubt many of us are the result of a violent one."
Well...
Posted by kukupser 8 years ago
kukupser
Hmm I would like to debate this but I'm leaving on holidays on Monday.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 3 years ago
9spaceking
UseAnameRoyLathamTied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
UseAnameRoyLathamTied
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
UseAnameRoyLathamTied
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Total points awarded:06