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Sexing the Media

How and Why We Do It

Debra L. Merskin

Sex in the media is one of the hottest topics of the day. We know that advertising, television, cinema, and other forms of communication use sex to sell us products and pump up story lines. The question is: why are sex and sexuality such effective tools for getting our attention?
Sexing the Media: How and Why We Do It is a textbook that explores answers to this question through historical, sociological, psychological, and ideological perspectives. It explores how media and other social institutions use sex and sexuality (the capacity to have erotic experiences and responses) to advance economic and ideological interests.Cinema, music, music videos, television programs, advertising, and the Internet are discussed as carriers of deliberately constructed messages that contribute to and support a master narrative that privileges heterosexuality and monogamy.
This interdisciplinary text includes contemporary case studies as examples that would be useful in courses in media, cultural studies, sociology, and psychology.
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Chapter 8. A Boyfriend to Die for: Edward Cullen as Compensated Psychopath in Twilight

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A BOYFRIEND TO DIE FOR

Edward Cullen as Compensated Psychopath in Twilight

The vampire is the new James Dean.

—PLEC, AS QTD. IN LA FERLA (2009)

To be loved by a vampire is to be hugely vulnerable, perilously close to the things that go bump in the night. It is also to have great power, but kind of a problematic power, as you get a lot of it through your vampire boyfriend.

—BRENNAN (2012)

Women like the excitement, thrills, and sense of danger bad boys bring. This is especially true for those who have been “good girls” all their lives. Perhaps they grew up in a family that demanded conformity and compliance with rules. So they’re intrigued with men who scoff at rules and shrug off responsibility.

—E-HARMONY (n.d.)

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