April 22, 2017

SEXUALIZATION OF THE BUTTOCKS: A CASE FOR G-STRINGS

BY David F. EFFIONG

The female buttocks have been a symbol of fertility and beauty since early human history. Statues created as early as 24,000 BC, such as the Venus of Willendorf  have exaggerated buttocks, hips, and thighs.The buttocks have been considered an erogenous zone in Western thought for centuries, and the eroticization of the female buttocks was heteronormative and due to their association and closeness to the female reproductive organs.In humans, females generally have more round and voluptuous buttocks, caused by estrogen that encourages the body to store fat in the buttocks, hips and thighs (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_history_of_the_buttocks).

 

After the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 70s, especially with the growth in adult entertainment, men and women of all ages began to be more innovative with regards choice of clothings. The groin is one part of human anatomy that bore the burden of the new fantasy. There was an increasing need to blur completely the panty lines  that seemed visible in most female and male outfits.Robert Hendrickson believes that the ‘G’ in G-String stands for groin. The Oxford English Dictionary reports that the G-String was originally a narrow strip of fabric worn by Indian women. 

“The word was first used during 1930’s when the underwear was mainly worn by the strippers as an exclusive and erotic attire (www.stumblerz.com/why-do-we-call-a-type-of-womans-undwear-a-g-string/).” According to en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-String, a G-String is a type of thonga narrow piece of fabric, leather, or satin that covers or holds the genitals, passes between the buttocks, and is attached to a band around the hips. Because of the erogenousness of the buttocks, there are many who either go for liposuction of the buttocks to boast sexual appeal or remain in the closets of shame.

 The American Psychological Association (APA) in its 2007 Report looked at the cognitive and emotional consequences of sexualization and the consequences for mental and physical health, and impact on development of a healthy sexual self-image.

The report considers that a person is sexualized in the following situations:
a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or sexual behavior , to the exclusion of other characteristics;

a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) with being sexy;

a person is sexually objectified —that is, made into a thing for others’ sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making; and/or

sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person.



​This process, which Brian McNair has described as a “pornographication of the mainstream” has developed alongside an expansion of the cultural realm of pornography or “pornosphere” which itself has become more accessible to a much wider variety of audiences. According to McNair, both developments can be set in the context of a wider shift towards a “striptease culture” which has disrupted the boundaries between public and private discourse in late modern Western culture, and which is evident more generally in cultural trends which privilege lifestyle, reality, interactivity, self-revelation and public intimacy. In a book review of Girls Gone Skank by Patrice Oppliger, Amanda Mills states that “consequently, girls are socialized to participate in their own abuse by becoming avid consumers of and altering their behavior to reflect sexually exploitative images and goods.

“Sexualization is problematic for young children who are developing their sexual identity as they may think that turning themselves into sex objects is empowering and related to having sexual agency.Studies have found that thinking about the body and comparing it to sexualized cultural ideals may disrupt a girl’s mental concentration, and a girl’s sexualization or objectification may undermine her confidence in and comfort with her own body, leading to emotional and self-image problems, such as shame and anxiety (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexualization).The person who is the ‘writer’ of his or her own sexual arousal script, builds it up from childhood memories and fantasies obtained from parents and peers.

 The scenario is added to, modified, expanded and rewritten again and again as the person grows up, until he or she creates a unique, individual pattern of sexual arousal. In the scenario, the ‘writer’ has created and identified the type of person by whom he or she is sexually excited. When he or she meets such a person, sexual arousal occurs (Derek Llewllyn-Jones. “Every Woman: A Gynaecological Guide For Life. Safer Books Limited, Nigeria, 1971, page 49). 


I feel it appropriate to say here that, if a child, any child at all, is brought up in a society where sexualization of the buttocks is ‘deified’ or is the status quo for qualifying beauty in toto, such a child then would have the buttocks has an object of satisfaction or sexual excitement. Sight appears to be a potent stimulus for men, and advertisers and publishers of erotica play on this by using women’s bodies as sexual symbols. In Western nations, a woman’s breasts, suggested through clothing, or naked, and her buttocks are considered to be sexually arousing to men (49).

In as much as our species keep growing to make pleasure or sex more interesting and worthwhile, it ought to be the case that the sexualization of the buttocks through the use of certain attires be devoid or alien to our kids who are yet struggling to understand their body and who are  ipso  facto, living even among paedophiles and sexual abusers. 

The G-String on the other hand is a force for exposing how beautiful the human skin could be. The picture of the femoral triangle, is a clear representation of the simple yet complex make up that lies under our groins.

Featured Photo credit:Gettyimage

My name is David Francis and the nature of my engagements include:

Philosophy (University of Jos, Nigeria); Researcher (St. Albert’s Institute, Fayit-Fadan, Kaduna, Nigeria); Editor (Sapientia African Leadership Formation Programme, e. V Address: Badenstedter Street, 99 30453, Hannover, Germany); Literature (S. E. M. S. Nassarawa State, Nigeria); Former Associate Editor, “Periscope Magazine,” Abuja and Columnist, “Seekers Delight Magazine,” Kaduna.

I simply try to question the ‘happy darkness’ by encouraging more hands to minimize ignorance. Just a dose of knowledge, is enough in training the mind, to conform to nothing except truth. Let’s ride this train together!

Send a message, or for inquiries to  francisaquaticus2@gmail.com

Submit your work (researches, stories, articles, etc)  here.

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