Dr. Gail Dines is a professor of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts. Dines specializes in the study of pornography. Here is the full transcript of Dr. Gail’s TEDx Talk entitled ‘Growing Up in a Pornified Culture’ at TEDxNavesink conference.
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Gail Dines – Anti-pornography activist
Thank you. Today what I’m going to talk about is: what does it mean to grow up in a pornified culture? What does it mean to live in a society where you are surrounded by images of hypersexualized, pornified women? What does it mean when you live in a society where basically pop culture is shaped by those pornographic images? And what I’m going to talk about is how those images shape gender and sexual identity because today young people grow up not in a print-based culture, like those of us over the age of 35, and I’m being nice here — but they grow up in an image-based culture, so let’s wander through the world they live in.
So when I lecture to people, often therapists or parents, they don’t really know the world their kids live in. But you know what? The media does. So here is a magazine called Details which is like Cosmopolitan for men. And they had an article called “How Internet porn is changing teen sex?” They interviewed a pornographer called Joanna Angel, and she said, “The girls these days, they just seem to come to the set porn-ready.” What does that mean?
What I’m going to say is that this culture is socializing our young girls to be ready for pornography whether they ever end up on a porn site or not. And the reason for that is that they are being taught to hypersexualize and pornify themselves. So let’s wander through the images that these young women and men live in. Let’s just think about the images that bombard them, the kind of pornified, hypersexualized images. And really, when you think of all the thousands of images, they all come down to a young, white, blonde, tall female. Now, God forbid, by the way, anything jiggles, apart from the breasts, of course. But other than that, your whole skin has to be bolted down.