Jen Robinson

Subliminal Sex


I saw this picture on Monday and it has continued to make an impression on me.  How have we let the objectification of women get so far out of hand?  Do we value others? Do we even value ourselves?  We live in a society that has normalized the buying and selling of sex; we are inundated with it on TV commercials, the internet and on our streets everyday.  Specifically, in Nevada, we have made sex 100% available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week purchased legally or illegally.

Picture yourself driving downtown on Virginia Street, radio on, windows rolled down.  What do you hear? What do you see?  More than likely, you will pass an interactive billboard picturing women taking their clothes off or see a taxi cab drive by advertising one of the brothels or strip clubs on its taxi-topper.  Maybe you recognize for the first time the lyrics of your favorite song and actually come to realize how degrading the lyrics are to women or how glorifying they are to pimps.

Susan Fiske, a psychology professor at Princeton University, conducted a study of how men and women perceive each other in a bathing suit.  When men see a woman in a sexy swimsuit, the part of their brain that is triggered is the part that is associated with an object of action, viewing the woman as a tool or something of use. Women, however, show no difference in their thinking when viewing a man either fully clothed or in a bathing suit.

“A guy sees life while a woman feels and talks about life.” Shaunti Feldhahn

It is no surprise that men and women’s brains are inherently different.  Men are very visual and at the first sight of a scantily clad woman, an involuntary spike of pleasure occurs.  This initial reaction is unconscious and automatic, what happens next, will be a choice.  Men can either choose to look away or choose to engage.

This is the exact marketing strategy that the billboards and media advertisements are playing off of.  If they can elicit a spike of pleasure in a man’s body, they are banking on the fact that he will want to further explore or repeat those feelings. Thus walking right into their trap.

This week, pause and think about everything you hear and see around you, and the influence it plays into making you desensitized, while normalizing the buying and selling of sex.

PC: Ads of the World

About Jen Robinson

I am committed to seeing commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking eradicated in northern Nevada and around the world. I believe I have an important role to play in transforming my community and desire to see Reno become a safe city for our women and children. If you would like to give toward the fight against sex trafficking visit

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