Cultural images are all the more powerful because they are not arbitrary inventions of the media. They reflect the changing times they emerge out of. Fashion designers and ad agencies and program developers invest a great deal of money in sniffing out cultural currents, in figuring out what will appeal to people of various groups. The images that they come up with don't just imprint themselves on us as though we were blank slates ready to be manipulated. No, these images are created to feed into powerful feelings that already exist. Insecurities. Fears. And Fantasies.

When I was growing up, explicit depictions of the sex act were only available to adults who went out of their way to go to a porno store or an X-rated movie. We are now living in a culture that puts these things in the homes of every family. Television is a 24 hour a day operation, churning out highly sexualized images of women's bodies (and increasingly, men's bodies too), images of sexual ecstasy, plots involving sexual pursuit, danger, and violence.

Sex is so pervasive and it's presented as such an essential part of being an attractive human being with an exciting and fulfilling life that if you reject sex, you become the ultimate outsider.

Sex is no longer seen as something that the wild kids or the cool kids do. It has become a rite of passage whereby a teenager not only becomes a sexual person but becomes a full-fledged member of our culture.

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To inquire about this project
in video, and printed formats,
send an email to project creator Dan Habib.

All photos ©2010, Dan Habib