Sunday, October 01, 2006

Communication: Boon or Bane?

I'm open to the possibility that not very many people think about the subject of communication and the incredible impact it has on our lives.

I'd even go so far as to consider that some people would consider this topic immaterial to any discussion either of sexual offenders or city planning. But I feel that in many ways communication plays a core role in both. Those that are familiar with city planning, I think, are familiar with the importance of communication to the plans of a city. I don't know if too many people who think about the topic of sexual offense, however, consider the role of communication in it. I'd like to address here the role of communication plays in the realm of sexual offense.

I found the definition of communication that I like most here (Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary. Retrieved October 01, 2006, from the Dictionary.com website):
  1. the act or process of transmitting information

There is a tremendous amount of provocative sexual information transmitted throughout the world today, on all levels. At the very core, and in fact in the most harmful way, Satan communicates sexual information into the very essence of our beings, our thoughts. He has the power to place sexual thoughts into our stream of consciousness. While we can reject those thoughts, no-one can prevent them. They are a source of negative influence for every living, cognizant human being on this planet.

If we begin to look at physical sources of provocative sexual information, our list begins to grow rapidly.

Without words, an incredible amount of sexually provocative information is communicated to a man when he sees a woman dressed in an alluring outfit.

With words and sounds and still and moving images and representations, we can find sexually provocative communication among family members, among friends and coworkers, in books, in magazine articles and advertisements, on radio broadcast music and programs and advertisements, on television programs and advertisements, on billboards and signs, and on the internet with web pages, advertisements, chat rooms, instant messages, and e-mail. Some of it we receive only if we seek it out. Much of it we are barraged with regardless of our intentions, in many ways due to the age old adage, "Sex sells." Sexually provocative communication motivates people to spend money to obtain products, services, memberships, even people. Even that great work, "How to Win Friends and Influence People," encourages people to use their sexual nature to influence others, even if it is in a subtle way.

If one participates in the normal everyday activities that are accepted by today's society (e.g. watching TV or movies, shopping at the store, listening to music, or even walking or driving down the street) they are overwhelmingly barraged with sexually provocative communication. In fact, such communication has become so common that many of us have come to accept it as natural, mainstream, even wholesome, as we have been influenced over time by the flood of information. Unfortunately, human nature is such that if almost every source of information we encounter says something is true, we tend to believe it.

What does sexually provocative communication provoke? Many things: sexual thoughts, sexual feelings/arousal, sexual action. When the communication we receive is saturated with sexuality, is it any wonder that our thoughts, our desires, our choices, our actions become saturated with sexuality? It all culminates, sooner or later, in sexual actions.

Here's the conundrum. Acceptable sex requires the accommodation of two consenting adults. What happens when one accommodating adult cannot find another accommodating adult, or has desires for someone that is not an accommodating adult? They have two choices: Abstain, or engage someone that is not an accommodating adult. The question is, what does the communication that shapes our perceptions encourage? Abstention or gratification?

With a personae shaped over years and years of invited and uninvited sexually provocative communication focused on gratification, the tendency for gratification for many people overwhelms their scruples, and they engage someone who is not an accommodating adult. They pursue unacceptable sex as a sexual predator, in success they engage in unacceptable sex as a sexual offender.

Is it possible to overcome sexual addiction while remaining subject to sexually provocative communication and its influences?

Because I feel it is not, my vision of Open Arms, Utah incorporates opportunities for citizens to cut themselves off from communication. Almost all communication. Because with each additional source of information the risk of encountering sexually provocative information increases dramatically. And with that risk comes the risk of the domino effect leading to sexual action and the associated sexual offense.

Purple Saffron

Note: Everything written here about sexually provocative communication is also true of violently provocative information.

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