Sex sells. Simply put, when you hear, see or imply the word, people are more likely to ‘perk up’ and pay attention.
We seem to be a culture saturated with sex, especially in a college campus. For example, despite the multitude of opinion articles published in print and online each week, the topic that has provoked the largest response from the student body as of late was centered on condoms.
Don’t get me wrong, as the opinion editor nothing makes me happier than juicy rebuttals to edgy pieces printed in The Merciad. Yet, it is interesting that the topic to provoke the most response from the student body would be centered on sex, while other provocative and thought provoking pieces are often overlooked.
When examined in a broad cultural context, “Mercyworld’s” response to the Catholicism vs. condoms debate may not be that surprising; American culture has developed an insatiable sex drive.
For example, consider the last time politics in Washington were “attention grabbing,” “scandalous” or “interesting” to the general public – the last time the dirty business of D.C. was discussed with avid interest around the dinner table, on the talk shows and around the proverbial water cooler.
I am guessing it was not these new rounds of congressional pandering over the budget that had us all whipped into a frenzy. Most likely, it was a sex scandal. Consider the amount of attention paid to Anthony Weiner, who was not a household name until his Twitter misstep landed him in the headlines.
After sending lewd images of himself to women he met on Twitter, the ousted congressman became the butt of many jokes, including national headlines proclaiming “Weiner’s Rise and Fall,” “He Couldn’t Keep it Up,” and “Weiner Pulls Out.”
As admittedly humorous as those headlines are, it speaks to a broader issue in our society. Our focus on things of a sexual nature has left us with a skewed perception of importance; in this case, Congressman Weiner will most likely not be remembered by mainstream America for his progressive votes in congress, but rather by his sexting scandal.
As a society we need to be a little less focused on coitus and start paying a little more attention to content.