Twerk Hard, Play Hard: the pornification of the public realm

Sunday 20 October, 1.30pm until 3.00pm, Hammerson Room Hot off the Press 2013

While the debate on banning topless Page 3 models from newspapers rages on, it seems there is a more subtle debate on the place of sex in the public realm. The Twitterati were quick to pour scorn on Miley Cyrus’ twerking hard at the MTV music awards, there was confusion as to the level of acceptability of Sex Box, a live Channel 4 show featuring couples having sex. With music videos apparently becoming increasingly debauched and pornography becoming more accessible, is the public realm becoming more pornographic, or is the public simply more voyeuristic? And where do we draw the line between having an open public discussion about sex and encouraging exhibitionism? Is porn always degrading to women? At what point should the authorities intervene to protect the young – or indeed the rest of us – from this kind of material?

Speakers
Nelson Jones
journalist; blogger, Heresy Corner, New Statesman

Dr Jan Macvarish
associate lecturer and researcher, Centre for Parenting Culture Studies, University of Kent; author, Neuroparenting: The Expert Invasion of Family Life

Jason Walsh
journalist; foreign correspondent, CS Monitor

Chair:
Ed Noel
teacher; former schools and alumni coordinator, Debating Matters Competition

Produced by
Ed Noel teacher; former schools and alumni coordinator, Debating Matters Competition
Recommended readings
Are our kids oversexualised?

Those who are worrying about the moral development of little girls are actually worried about the moral degeneracy of adult society, but dare not direct their criticism at adults, retreating instead to what they sense is the more consensual terrain of concern for the welfare of the next generation.

Jan Macvarish, Independent, 18 October 2011

The Giants of Asia

"To contribute to Battle of Ideas is to add a few words to a giant, communal speech-bubble out of the gap-toothed mouth of British opinion. It is a strong reminder that the joys of free, uncalculated speech and the right to attack orthodoxies can in no way be assumed in 2012 – that we use them or lose them."
Piers Hellawell, composer; professor of composition, Queen’s University Belfast

follow the Academy of Ideas