Sample Women and Gender Studies Essay Paper on Sex in the Film

Sex in the Film


There are several instances in growth and development where people learn information about sexuality in relation to society. Throughout the progression and change of human beings from childhood, adolescence to adulthood, people learn about sex from a variety of sources, for instance, parents, friends, schools, books, and media magazines among others. Information about sexuality is important and should be taught at appropriate ages, as some information is not suitable for young children. For example, a person can learn about kissing from a famous love story movie or a romantic book description. An individual can also learn about orgasms from different pornographic movies that are readily available online or through a television movie. Sexual themes have been available for a long period of time in the entertainment industry, for example, classics that entail high sexual context. This paper provides a research on sex in film analysis and the effects it has on individuals and the society.


Sex in film refers to the motion pictures and presentation of images of sexuality and other love related scenes in a movie or film that has the ability to create sexual feelings. In the course of growth and development among human beings, from childhood to adulthood, they continually learn about sex from films as a source of the information (Chia 585). These images impact differently on several people in society.

Nature of Sex in Film

One of the most common sexes in film today entails aspects like erotic images, pornographic, X-rated, and explicit. According to report by IT facts (n.p), pornographic business has become one of the highest income generating enterprise today, producing approximately $ 13 billion in the United States alone annually. Initially, this information was rampant in magazines but it has been compensated through film and other electronic sources because of the advancement of technology. There are different forms in which sex in the film is represented. For instance, there are acts of violent sex incorporating rape, bondage, torture, sadomasochism, hitting, spanking, genital mutilations, and pulling of hair especially among women.

The non-violent forms of sex in films entail mutual consents and affections that depict vaginal or oral intercourse in a loving and caring manner. However, there are films, which show non-violent sex acts that are degrading, dehumanizing, and subordinating, especially on women. This form of sex in films stereotypically depicts women as lesser human beings and bodies with sexual appetite. In as much women in sex films are abused and undermined, they seem to extraordinarily get sympathetic and quick to respond to sexual demands from men. The men are portrayed to have a sexually dominant capacity where their exposure or nudeness is lesser as compared to women. Furthermore, sex in the film does not only entail total nudity or intercourse but also involves representations that portray a sexual behavior or interest.

Effects of Sex in Film

It is important to note that sex in film is something that gets a massive market in the world today in as much as many people may want it to be opposite. These forms of entertainments are profitable commercially, an aspect that ensures their continued presence as a result of the massive following. There are several effects associated with sex in films apart from economic gains. These are mainly classified into three categories: arousal, attitudinal changes, and behavioral effects (Gunter n.p).

Arousal Effects

Arousal refers to the sensitive psychological state that stimulates sexual behavior. There are different ways whereby arousal is measured, for instance, through self-ratings or more directly through physiological measures like temperature alterations, vaginal lubrication, and erection. Men have been proven to be easily aroused than women, especially in response to sexually scenes like sexing films. It is also normal that even sexual violence in films arouses sex offenders and normal men in cases where the victim is portrayed as being aroused by the act. Sexual arousing is a biological process through a stimuli that operates through conditional conditioning among different people. Sexual scenes determine the degree of arousals. Sexual arousals resulting from film scenes, therefore, increase a person’s motivation to engage in a sexual behavior. This implies that consuming images of sex in film to reduce sexual arousal is likely to have opposite implications. These desires end up having detrimental effects like early sexual behaviors, rape, incest, adultery, and engaging in commercial sex among many others that are driven by power motives.

Attitudinal Effects

There are many attitudinal effects caused by sex in films. Sex and film have conveyed different sexual values that have raised many concerns. An extensive exposure to these kinds of films can result in acceptance of the values by the viewers. For example, an adolescent who continually watch films entailing sexual acts involving minors can practice the same in his or her life, thereby affecting his or her morals and family values. Sex in films as indicated earlier contains stereotyping acts against women as a lesser gender, having sexual lust, and as sex objects. Continuous exposure to such films can make viewers to be insensitive towards sexual abuses directed to women, and make them be part of the abusers, thereby eroding the society’s values and morals. In addition, other sex in films acts like prostitution has the ability to erode morals of film viewers who uphold and value sexual morals.

Sex in films scenes also affects the sexual attitudes among men and women. Most of the films involving sex are at times exaggerated and show women as sexually explicit objects. After watching these scenes, many men and women are influenced to underrate their couples because of the general mind about sex attained from the films. There are several cases that after watching sex in films, men and women start to rate their couples as weak or less physical endowed and having unending sexual satisfactions. This extends to dissatisfaction in the affection of men and their female counterparts, physical appearance, and sexual curiosity. 

The attitudinal effects of sex in film have had negative impacts of sexual relationships between men and women. Many families have been broken because of the portrayal in the films and developing sexual desires that are not real. The acts in film are fictitious, and meant for entertainment. However, men and women wanting to put them in practice have found themselves on the losing end due to conflicts and disagreements. This has affected the values about sex and sexual issues.

Behavioral Effects

Sex in films has had impacts on behaviors of viewers. One of the affected groups is the adolescents. Teenagers who view sex films often have a high capability of engaging in sexual intercourse compared to those who do not watch these scenes (Collins 280). This viewing is also associated with others related sexual behaviors among teenagers like kissing and petting. Sexual scenes, on the contrary, can also be a rich source of information on sexuality. Information about using contraceptives and protection against sexual violence, such as rape is very important. Information on early pregnancies as a result of sex in films can teach minors about consequences of early sex. Sexual acts like violent sex have also been regarded as chief causes of sexual abuse against women apart from dug and abuse. Many sexual offenders are known to learn the behavior before they practice it, which is as result of sexing films that give detailed information.


It is apparent that sex in films has more detrimental effects on the society than positive impacts. The worst effects of sex in films involve attitude change towards sexuality and women, thus eroding positive societal values. Sexual arouse among individuals is caused, to a larger extend, by watching sex in films scenarios, and it can lead to sexual offences. A continuous exposure to sex in films can as well lead to desensitization of the sexual violence against women and making people accept the menace. Sex in films influence people’s perspectives, attitudes, and minds. What people see or learn about in the films largely form part of their understanding of sexuality. In as much as the films are largely spread in society, we need to develop the culture of upholding to the societal and human dignity in terms of gender and sexuality sensitivity. Sexual films should be assessed before they are made available for public viewing.

Works Cited

Chia, Stella C. “How peers mediate media influence on adolescents’ sexual attitudes and sexual behavior.” Journal of Communication 56.3 (2006): 585-606.

Collins, Rebecca L., et al. “Watching sex on television predicts adolescent initiation of sexual behavior.” Pediatrics 114.3 (2004): e280-e289.

Gunter, B. “Media Sex: WhatAre the Issues.”.Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.(2002).

IT Facts ( Retrieved March 12, 2016.