The unspoken truth is that Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue is not a triumph of female athleticism, agency, or empowerment. Instead, it is a descent into sexual objectification.
Research sows that when someone is being objectified the objectifier is viewing them as if they do not possess a real, individual mind and as if they are less deserving of moral treatment. Some claim that these experiences are “likely to contribute to mental health problems that disproportionately affect women (i.e., eating disorders, depression, and sexual dysfunction.)" 
Objectification also impacts men, as shown by the fact that sexual objectification occurs in 37% of advertisements featuring men's body parts to showcase a product.
But why is it that so many people actively participate in objectification culture? This podcast will discuss the phenomenon of self-objectification, and why it is ultimately not empowering.
CALL TO ACTION:
Email Barnes & Noble executives to ask them to remove Playboy magazine from their shelves.
The London Abused Women’s Centre, Canada; Collective Shout, Australia; Culture Reframed, USA; and The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), USA have partnered to raise awareness that Fifty Shades of Grey - and it's latest film installment Fifty Shades Darker - normalizes domestic violence.
The Fifty Shades trilogy follows wealthy and powerful businessman Christian Grey as he meets Anastasia Steele, a virginal college student lacking confidence, and woos her into his BDSM (sexual sadism or torture sex) world and “red room of pain.”
The relationship maps onto what would be considered an abusive relationship rife domestic violence in the real world. Christian puts Ana under contract to serve as a sexual “submissive” and uses intimidation, coercion, humiliation, violence, stalking, manipulation, jealousy and other controlling behaviors to groom Ana and keep her under his domination. Ana is consistently isolated, threatened, and manipulated, yet she comes back to Christian time and time again because she thinks her love can change him. As the story progresses, Ana, who was first fearful and disturbed by Christian’s controlling behaviors and dark sexual practices, gradually becomes desensitized to his harsh treatment. These are hallmarks of abusive relationships.
You can read examples of domestic abuse in the Fifty Shades book here.
The mainstreaming of this book also sends the message to women that they can “fix” violent, controlling men by being obedient and loving.
Call to Action:
1) Sign this pledge to boycott the film.
2) Donate to a women's shelter instead of visiting the film through DomesticShelters.org.
3) Share graphics and learn more at FiftyShadesIsAbuse.com.
An Alabama child advocacy group called Palmer Place recently reported an increase in child-on-child sex abuse cases, and they believe it was brought on by a growing addiction to pornography among children.
How can we better understand the phenomenon of children who sexually abuse other children, and how can we intervene?
One 2015 study by Dr. Cathy Humphreys, and others, explored this question by sampling a broad range of research and literature on the issue.
In this study—published in the Health & Social Care in the Community Journal—they identified a few key areas that are vital to understand on this topic, and today we’ll cover the Characteristics, the Causes, and the preventative Communications.
A 2009 national survey analyzed data from 13,471 cases of sexually abusive behavior. They found that there was an escalation in sexual abuse offending at the age of 12 years.
When it comes to pornography use, a 2011 longitudinal study of 1,588 US households found that minors who intentionally watched violent pornography over time predicted a six-fold increase in the odds of self-reported sexually abusive behavior for both boys and girls.
A (2000) life history analysis of two boys who sexually abused children showed trends of hegemonic masculinity.
Unfortunately, another reason some people may abuse others is because they themselves experienced sexual abuse.
A 2012 longitudinal study examined 2,759 records of children who had been sexually abused between 1964 and 1995. They found that 5% of male victims were later convicted of a sexual offense compared to 0.6% of males in the general population.
Sexual abuse prevention education is found in intentional teaching sessions to raise children’s awareness about sexual abuse, and to provide them with tools for how to respond if abused.
There are two major sites for this kind of education: school–child communication and parent–child communication.
First, can talk to your local school and inquire what prevention strategies they have for both on school grounds and if they use any curriculum to try and prevention child abuse.
Second, talk with the children in your life about. 6 year olds, and those younger, can benefit from simple conversations about how “no mean no” and to come speak to a trusted adult if anyone ever hurts them or makes them feel uncomfortable. Also, it’s important to speak to all children about the harms of pornography, and to create a trusting environment where they can express their questions about sexuality or what they might have seen in pornography.