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What Olympic Athletes’ Homogeneous Changes to Avoid Sexualization Says About Our “Pornified” Culture


Image retrieved from CBS News. 3-minute read through.

Within viral statements against being sexualized, some athletes have been opting for changes in their uniforms.

CNN reports that the German born women’s gymnastics team has forgone bikini-cut unitards in favor of full-body versions at the Tokyo Olympics, in what the particular German Gymnastics Federation has branded a statement against “sexualization. ”

The suits, which the team wore within their qualifications at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, cover the particular legs to the ankle and are in contrast to the high-cut leotards put on by many other women gymnasts at the Olympics.

 

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But Germany’ ersus Olympic gymnasts are not the only team making a statement against sexualization. Last week, the Norwegian women’s beach handball team was fined for refusing to play in bikini bottoms during a game in the sport’s Euro 2021 tournament.

The team used thigh-length elastic shorts during their bronze medal match against The country of spain in Bulgaria in order to protest against the rules bikini-bottom design. The team was fined 1, 500 pounds total ($1, 700) for “improper clothing, ” according to a statement from the Western european Handball Association’ h Disciplinary Commission.

While man players are allowed to play in tank tops and shorts no longer than four inches above the particular knee, women have to wear midriff-baring clothes and bikini bottoms “with a close fit and cut with an upward angle toward the top of the leg” and a maximum side width of 4 inches, according to International Handball Federation rules.

But let’ s talk about this. The core of the problem isn’ t the uniforms—it’ s our culture’ s proclivity intended for sexualization and objectification.

To be clear, no matter if somebody is wearing a leotard or unitard, bikini bottoms or shorts, they do not deserve to become sexualized or objectified. But the fact that athletes feel these uniform statements are necessary says something less about athletic uniforms and more about our culture in general.

The unfortunate reality is that lots of individuals in our “ pornified” society objectify other individuals, including professional athletes. But is dehumanizing plus objectifying someone for just about any reason acceptable?

Athletes are certainly not bodies for consumption

All of us respect people’s individual values, our mission is to educate around the impacts of pornography . Many people involved in this particular movement would like to discover Fight the New Drug extend its messages to include things such as disuse and modesty.

Although we respect people’s private values, our mission statement does not consist of pre-marital sex or even girls wearing short shorts and yoga pants—not even gymnastic leotards or volleyball bikini bottoms.

The science-based resources we provide specifically shed light on the impact of hardcore, violent, demeaning, degrading internet porn. Our fight is against the selfish, unequal, harmful a few ideas that porn teaches, and how it destroys intimacy in relationships. Our fight is against a business that objectifies people, and teaches consumers to objectify others in turn. Our fight is against the inseparable links of pornography to exploitation and to sex trafficking. Our fight is for love, healthy intimacy, and real relationships and connection.

Consider the harms of an objectifying culture.

Sexual objectification occurs when people perceive others as sex objects, rather than complex human beings deserving of dignity and respect. Actually , in a review of research on sexual violence, two leading experts called sexual objectification the “common thread” that connects different forms of sexual violence. Gervais, S. J., & Eagan, S. (2017). Sexual objectification: The common thread connecting myriad kinds of sexual violence against women. The American journal of orthopsychiatry, 87(3), 226–232. https://doi.org/10.1037/ort0000257 COPY  

Research consistently shows that porn can play a huge role in teaching viewers to consume people as products for his or her own personal sexual satisfaction, which can ultimately have unhealthy consequences for people, relationships, and for the cultures by which we live. Skorska, M. N., Hodson, M. N., & Hoffarth, M. N. (2018). Experimental effects of degrading versus erotic pornography exposure in men on reactions toward women (objectification, sexism, discrimination). The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 27, 261 – 276. COPY   Seabrook, R. C., Ward, L. M., & Giaccardi, S. (2019). Less than human? Media use, objectification of women, and men’s acceptance of sexual aggression. Psychology of Violence, 9(5), 536-545. doi: 10. 1037/vio0000198 COPY  

While some might applaud this move for athletes to cover-up, consider why these statements are needed in our world today. Consider that young girls and women who’re professional athletes have already been primarily judged as bodies for consumption, and not as people with exceptional skill, talent, and value. Consider that men’ s team uniforms are not scrutinized in the same way. Exactly why is this?

Object to objectification

The unfortunate facts are that pornography contributes to a sexually objectifying culture that dehumanizes people—especially women—and reduces them down to a collection of body parts to be looked at, and discarded. In response to the worldwide culture of objectification, many women like the Norwegian volleyball team in addition to Germany’ s Olympic women’ s gymnastics team opt to make statements against sexualization. In an ideal world, they wouldn’ t have to.

Ultimately, people are maybe not products for consumption, no matter if they’ re a professional athlete or perhaps a performer in a porn video.

According to Pornhub Insights, sports-related searches are popular on Pornhub year-round, however the Olympics dramatically advances the volume of searches for various games. Last summer Olympics in 2016, from August 5th to August 18th, they found that probably the most searched for sport was “Volleyball, ” followed by “Soccer/Football, ” “Swimming” and “Gymnastics/Gymnast. ” It remains to be seen, but it’ s a safe bet that searches for porn videos fantasizing gymnasts and women volleyball players haven’t decreased.

A quick online search for “ gymnast” -related porn yields countless results that sexualize young girls, romanticizes sexually abusive scenarios between coaches and underage athletes, and broadly speaking objectifies and degrades women of all ages who compete in every manner of sports.

The bottom line is that when we’re really going to tackle the issue of sexualization and objectification, especially of young girls and women, we must be aware of all the places where this harmful culture is normalized, and even promoted.

The same issue that these athletes are speaking out against is hugely normalized for anyone with internet and access to free porn sites. How is this acceptable? This is why we’re speaking out and shining a light on the connection between porn and sexual objectification.

The collective private actions of millions affect the larger culture—objectifying the others privately on our screens doesn’t inspire respect and dignity in public. Objectifying Olympic athletes, for example , doesn’ t feed in to a culture that is respectful and equitable. The private impacts the public—that’s how culture works. If we wish a culture of true respect and equality, then we have to make sure we think about, talk about, and treat others as whole people—not as objects.

Sexual objectification is not sexy, and people aren’ t products, period.

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