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Mediated Eros

Sexual Scripts Within and Across Cultures

Miglena M. Sternadori

This book makes a unique contribution to the field of media studies by analyzing the perpetuation of sexual scripts through news articles, films, TV shows, lifestyle magazines, advertisements, and other forms of popular mediated culture. Focusing on cultural differences between North America and Europe, the book catalogues and contextualizes common sexual scripts by looking at the ways in which people have or do not have sex, eroticize each other’s bodies, penetrate each other’s bodies, and give meaning to all these activities.
Other such analyses have explored whether, when, and why people decide to have sex, and so on. This book instead focuses on how the sexual interaction itself is culturally scripted to occur – what sequence of events takes place after a couple have decided to have sex. While the first half of the book catalogues sexual scripts in a general way, based on geography and sexual orientation, the second half is framed around sexual discourses associated with some degree of shame and social stigmatization. The book ends by addressing the hegemonic perpetuation of mediated sexual scripts across cultures and the role of sexuality in fourth-wave feminism.
Mediated Eros is suitable as the primary or secondary text in seminars on media, culture, and sexuality, and would also be of interest to journalists and freelance writers whose work explores the sociocultural construction of sex and the sexual self.
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Conclusion: The Implicit Perpetuation of Sexual Scripts


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The Implicit Perpetuation of Sexual Scripts

A mountainous town, houses clustered closely together, with red roofs and magic sunset colors. It could be in Italy, or Spain, or Southern France. Laundry flaps in the breeze, strewn between windows overlooking narrow streets. Dogs bark. A gray-haired man in a leopard-patterned robe rubs his eyes, while intense violin music plays in the background. Then, trouble comes. His wife, dressed in a wine-colored negligee and revealing her glowing legs, wags her finger inviting him to bed. “Amore,” she whispers in a hoarse voice, with the tone of a tigress stalking her prey. Nervously excited, the man runs to the bathroom, and opens a tiny box containing a blue hexagon pill. Throwing it into his mouth in an expansive gesture, the old man miscalculates, launching the pill out the window and onto the curvy, sunbaked European shingles. The pill pops into the gutter and continues its ricocheting journey, while a spotted cat sensuously walks across the roof and the old guy, hair disheveled, screams “Noooo!” in a most non-John-Wayne fashion.

Symbols of European sexuality—both forbidden and sensual—flash across the screen as the little blue pill hits a church bell, attracting a stern monk’s attention; breaks a delicate pink flower; flops into a sun-kissed fountain; and clinks a glass on its ascent to a young woman’s full lips. Finally, the pill falls into the open gas tank of a shiny red Fiat. Suddenly,...

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