Sex and Intimacy

Can You Be Naked and Not Ashamed (in the Sexual and Non-Married Context)?

OK…

It’s a play on words…just a bit…but it does hold some credence. I mean, other than Adam and the Woman in the Garden (Genesis 2:24-25), if you read about nakedness and it’s references in the Bible, it’s usually speaking of sin or the consequences of sin or some level of humiliation (Genesis 3:7-10; Ezekiel 16; Hosea 2:3, just to name a few). And, when there is a loving reference used in relation to it, it was about *covering people back up *: “I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’”(Matthew 25:36-NKJV)

And so, when I read an article today entitled, “The Sexualization of Women and Girls: What’s the Big Deal?“, while nakedness is a term that obviously we at least dance around on this site, I thought about it all in a different way. Here is an excerpt of the article’s findings. After you review it, I’ll explain:

Here are some important results of their research (for more, and for details of the Task Force’s work and particular studies reviewed, please log on to link above for Taylor & Francis Online 2/21/2012 article):

• Women and girls are more likely than men and boys to be objectified and sexualized in a variety of media outlets;
• Portrayals of adult women provide girls with models that they can use to fashion their own behaviors, self-concepts, and identities;
• Given the highly sexualized cultural milieu in which girls are immersed, their sexualizing choices about clothing, hair, and makeup and the sexually precocious acting out that some teens get into may be the result of modeling;
• In magazine advertisements there is evidence that sexual objectification occurs more frequently for women than for men and that women are 3x more likely than men to be dressed in a sexually provocative manner.

How does all of this compute into serious concern? Here’s a list of several consequences of objectification which were found through research, much of which was done using adolescents, college students, or adults as subjects:

• Chronic attention to physical appearance leaves fewer cognitive resources available for other mental and physical activities;
• It limits the form and effectiveness of girls’ physical movements;
• It leads to increased feelings of shame about one’s body;
• It creates appearance anxiety;
• It leads to greater body dissatisfaction among girls and young women;
• It is associated with negative mental health outcomes in adolescent girls.
• The incidence of anorexia nervosa among 10-to 19-year-old girls during a 50-year period found that it paralleled changes in fashion and idealized body image;
• Young women who have greater body dissatisfaction have earlier onset of smoking cigarettes;
• Self-objectification has been correlated with decreased sexual health among adolescent girls (measured by decreased condom use and diminished sexual assertiveness);
• Idealized narrow ideals of female sexual attractiveness make it difficult for some men to find an acceptable partner or to fully enjoy intimacy with their female partners.

The author of this piece ended it by saying this: “My final advice? Protect the emotional life of your children and the sensitivities of their sexual development. If you wouldn’t invite a person into your home to have dinner with your family, then her picture doesn’t belong in your child’s hands or on your family’s TV or computer screen.”

You know, there is a lot of time spent on here talking about if porn is really detrimental or not. Although *Scripturally*, I think there is no question (or debate) that it is. However, in thinking about the term “naked and not ashamed”, in thinking about the times that nakedness is used in the Bible, in reviewing the research in the article above…if nakedness sexualizes women, if nakedness (or really close to nakedness) causes young women to develop body image issues, if nakedness is something that you don’t mind using someone else’s mother, sister or daughter to get your kicks off of with, but you certainly wouldn’t want anyone you love doing it, in these context doesn’t shame surrounding nakedness still exist? And what good can come out of shame…for anyone?

I can put this another way: We spend a lot of time on here talking about how nakedness may or may not (yeah…whatever) *infect* the viewer, but does anyone out in cyberspace comment world *really believe* that being naked for someone else’s viewing pleasure (someone who is not your covenant partner, that is) doesn’t harm you? That somewhere therein does lie some level of guilt or embarrassment or humiliation knowing that people are *using you* to get a release but that when it comes to you, that’s all that they “care” about? That oftentimes, after “dealing with you”, they too oftentimes feel badly? That at the same time that you arouse someone, you also disgust them?

Can a porn star *really* be naked and not ashamed?

This article was originally published here and is used with permission.

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