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Sex Objects and Sexual Objectification: Erotic Versus Pornographic Depiction

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image of Journal of Phenomenological Psychology

If desire is conceived as investment in a sex object, why is sexual objectification regarded as intrinsically degrading? The distinction between the "objectification " of pornographic depiction and the "beauty " of erotic depiction can be understood as a difference in degree between the uni-dimensional enframing of one treatment and the multidimensional enframing of the other. The phenomenon of context includes the anticipations of the participating witnesses: the object of pornographic or erotic depiction cannot be isolated from the posture, situation, and desire of the persons participating in the revelation. Erotic depiction which strives to represent the full range of structures, connections, and relationships constitutive of sexlove-that is, forms of mimesis that elaborate the horizons of erotic encounter, that seek to contextualize the intertwining of flesh rather than focus on the slappings of meat-might well meet the most discerning standards of artistic production.

Affiliations: 1: Binghamton University


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