No Right Answer: America's Greatest Obsession Ever


New member
Aug 12, 2010
Congratulations on picking the sexy topic but I found the debate really weird without a discussion of the actual end state the act leads to. Violence leads to pain and killing... even in moderation it can, at best, prevent worse pain and death. It has no positive end state in modern society at all. Sex can lead to objectification and rape at worst but its kinda needed for the continuation of humanity.

Both are basic human instincts but since one is far more beneficial than the other and if were talking about which obsession is worse than I think that does come into the argument. America's greatest and most unhealthy obsession is with violence not sex. Also if one were to grab any newspaper and flip through the pages counting instances of both, violence would come out on top every time. Whether discussing it from a perspective of their relative merits or their proliferation it seems a bit of a non-argument and I will never understand why american culture continues to be so scared of the evils of sex and accepting of the entertainment inherit to other peoples suffering.

(I guess what I'm saying is that I want more porn in my video games... lets have adult street fighter sex edition)


New member
Sep 22, 2012
Obsession? From an external point of view of the U.S, it IS violence, from the many movies and television shows, to the very well known army glorification.

Sex on the other hand is seen as a "bad" thing, as much as a very good advertisement technique. Having a sex scene will most likely make whatever the movie/game/show instantly mature, while violence will not (depending on the level thou).


Watch the spinning tails...
May 2, 2010
I feel that violence is more of an obsession than sex. Because, while we do stress details about sex and go to absurd lengths to stop it while also glorifying it, we happily consume all source of awful violence to the point we don't even care. When's the last time you watched one of the 500 murder mystery shows and felt bad for the victim? I don't mean like 'oh, that's awful,' but instead were like 'holy shit, what kind of monster would do that to a human being?' Criminal Minds has a few of these that I've seen that were just so bad. And this is a public show that kids can watch without parents getting up in arms about it. However, one nipples appears on public television? WHAT THE FLIPPING JIMMINY IFHSAHDIWQJDIWNCIEWFHDWISD!?

That's the problem. Sex is an obsession. But sex, by itself, isn't a bad thing. Objectification is. Self-image issues (which aren't tied directly to sex, but instead to sexuality in my opinion, if that makes sense) are bad. Rape is one of the worst things one person can do to another (though one could make the argument that rape normally involves violence as well). But sex in general isn't bad.

Violence is normally considered bad in pretty much any case. Except sports for some reason... which makes me realize something. American's obsession with violence isn't only in television shows and in games. It's in our sports too. The number one sport in America is a bunch of guys attacking each other while trying to get the skin of a pig from one place to another. It seems fairly violent in it's nature.

I think both obsessions aren't good. But I feel the obsession with violence is stronger than that of sex. That doesn't mean that I think the obsession with sex isn't worse. I feel the pull towards violence and our general obsession with it is stronger.


New member
Sep 2, 2011
Allow me to propose a social experiment: would you sit down and watch a movie rated PG-13 with your pre-teen child? What if it involved the hero casually shooting and killing a faceless villain? Would you watch Die Hard with a ten-year-old boy?

Next, would you watch a totally non-violent realistic porno with the ten-year-old boy? Assuming there's nothing weird about it: no giant dildos in ear canals or midgets blowing donkeys. Just normal, real, sex.

Now, say it's a couple years later, would you rather your boy engage in murder or sex? We Americans have this massive taboo around sex as being inappropriate and therefore more desired and we seem to be only too happy to perpetuate this taboo. Meanwhile our national gun related death rate is about 20 times the global average and nobody bats an eye. The question is: how do we define obsession? Common practice or unspoken desire?


Lock 'n' Load
Feb 22, 2008
The problem isn't sex OR violence, it's people's attitudes. If people complain that porn isn't like real sex...WELL IT NEVER CLAIMED TO BE!

There's probably a few cops that moan about police procedure in the Die Hard movies, but no one pays them any mind because there's an intended disconnect for added drama in certain forms of entertainment. Sometimes a movie or show e.g. The Wire, will come along and go the gritty, 'real' route, but any rounded individual can see whatever the specific type of media is trying to be.

We (Western Society) are not becoming disillusioned,or misaligned, or even corrupted....we are becoming ENTITLED!

The world doesn't owe us anything, and it never did.

Parents, teach your kids what's real and what isn't, media didn't fail your kids, YOU did.

Adolescents, focus more on whats real and whats entertainment and quit being offended all the time.

Adults, try to direct your opinions, time & money towards dealing with REAL issues, help to elevate REAL people and ridding the world of REAL pain.


New member
May 28, 2008
I don't think the world is too obsessed with sex but I do think violence is far far too overexposed and glorified in media. I don't know how it can really be fixed though, I'm not a fan of censorship or creative limitations so who knows.

As for how people think and act based on the media they are exposed to. Well that's less to do with the media itself imo and more how said media is messaged. A magazine with a picture of some pretty celebrity saying "look how pretty she is" is relatively harmless but if that's then followed up by: "here's 5 tips on how you can look like her too!" is when it all goes wrong and girls in particular start getting stupid ideas in their heads.

One of my ex girlfriends back in highschool was utterly obsessed with her perceived imperfections and I thought she was absolutely beautiful, but no matter how many times I told her this she would continue to think she was ugly, and worthless because of it. Her obsession wasn't a result of sexual media but that said media seems to always come hand in hand with the BE LIKE THIS OR ELSE message.

Just, better management all around is required. Porn sites need better systems for keeping kids out of them, magazines need to stop telling women how to look and adverts need to stop using sex so blatantly to sell things so often. Internet ads in particular are just getting depressing with how desperate they seem to be for clicks now.


New member
Dec 27, 2009
I would say violence is the bigger obsession. Violence has gone beyond just being in within American (hell, this applies pretty much everywhere)media, it has become media itself. Violence, when you think about it, is a terrible thing, humans harming other humans being is detrimental to our species, yet it is so heavily ingrained within our media and it is just accepted as the norm, that there is nothing wrong with it being this way.

Violence barely budges the ratings on any form of media, hell, there actually pressure on content creators to include it because it will actually boost ratings/interest. Violence has surpassed being desired, it has become a necessity, despite how regressive the obsession is we refuse to change.

Sex on the other hand, is actually a requirement for the success of our species. Yet just the idea of including it in our media causes an explosion of fear within society. Sex is natural and necessary yet the vast majority of people will fight tooth and nail against its presence in any form of media. There is an obsession with sex, though it is primarily because of the way it has been presented to us, people will react very strongly to something rare or considered to have not have been supposed to happen. The reaction is stronger but the actual obsession pales in comparison.

The obsession with self image is connected to the obsession with sex, but they are not the same, they over lap and are a part of each other but they each have other elements outside of the other, there is just a brief over lap really.

The obsession with sex is further diluted by the various issues associated with it, such as:
* The trivialization of sex (it IS important/serious)
* The over dramatization of sex (not THAT important/series)
* The fear of sex (STD's and teen pregnancy, oh my!)
* Issues regarding sexuality (straight, gay, bi, tran)
* Objectification (leaving this one at that)
* Etc (the rest!)

There are that many individual aspects of the sex obsession and the varying views and opinions on each of them that is just a big weird mess, we barely know what we think we might possible consider potentially fear any more.

Says something about human nature really, or perhaps just western culture (that eventually spread out to other directional hemispheres), that we actively seek and immerse our selves with the destructive violence obsession, yet we shun and revile the beneficial sex obsession.

What is to blame? religion is a corner stone of many cultures and many of them promote these same values (violence = good, Sex = bad UNLESS YOU DO FIRST), could be some sort of conspiracy that someone/s has been conditioning humans to follow a path of self destruction but that seems unrealistic due to the scope and the fact that the people/s pulling the strings gain nothing from it. Maybe it's a reaction built into our DNA to help us control our population, some other animals do similar things so this could be it. Maybe were all just terrible people who enjoy other's suffering. Maybe its some other thing, but definitely probably one of the things that I already mentioned because I am out of idea.


New member
Jul 12, 2010
clearly, violence is more damaging for society then sex because

violence leads to death
sex leads to (life?) well children...


violence typically feels bad (painful) for atleast someone involved
sex generally feels good (or so im told, *virgin*) for most people involved


New member
Dec 15, 2007
Just to throw in my own 2c, and this is far from a bottom line, the worst case scenarios of sex involve sexual violence. The worst cases of violence do not involve violent sex.

Make of that what you will.

J Tyran

New member
Dec 15, 2011
Gizmo1990 said:
We in the UK don't like to talk about why americans suck. It's just that some of you make it so easy.

OT: As I am English I can only base my opinion of what I have seen in US tv/movies and read in books form US authors. So form my limited point of view I would say that violence is Americas Greatest Obsession.
On some levels the UK is more hung up on it than America, sure we can show sideboob in TV ads for moisturisers before the watershed and noone bats an eye lid but if a film maker tries to make and sell a film that shows a vagina or erect penis and they could be jailed. All we can make and show largely is two people grinding their hips together with bare bum and boobs, In certain states its legal to make, sell and view pornography as long as its restricted.

Judges even added websex between two consenting adults to the "obscene publications act" very recently.


New member
Dec 5, 2010
I have to say I'm kind of torn between the two and really don't know which is the greater obsession here. Although...there is a quote that seems relevant...

"I'd rather see a scene with two people making love than two people killing one another."
George Carlin quoting someone else during his "Seven Words You Can't Say On Television" routine

He definitely seemed to agree with this from the point of view of an act of sex is better than an act of violence. Whether this clear up the obsession angle...I'm not so sure.


Sarcastic overlord
Jun 3, 2009
Not being American I couldn't say what the greatest obsession is, but out of sex and violence I would say sex is the most harmful one.

When we watch a violent movie or play a violent game we might have great fun doing this, but most of us will still have that voice of reason that separates fiction and reality. We know violence is illegal and wrong for the most part, most of us will never do anything violent enough to cause a death or serious injury. We are raised to be functional members of the society which holds a stronger hold on our personality than the entertainment industry ever will. As long as we have had good parents who have raised us to be functional human beings then we're fine.

Sex on the other hand is more enigmatic. We don't have lengthy discussion about the details of it, we know what it is, but without the experience we can't really figure out the details of it completely. So unrealistic porn shows us how the reality is. We get a skewed image of the reality and while that might lead to some body issue problems it can also lead to actual injuries. There are quite a few injuries caused by sex attempting to duplicate pornography over here.

Now I might have riled up a few of you with my comment so let me add my conclusion here. I don't think either is really dangerous to us. As I said in my bit about violence, decent human beings wont go nuts over watching a few movies, sexual or violent. We are more complex than that. Our behaviour is more than what movies we watch, we aren't even sure if genes take part in this or not and if they do how big a part they play.

I think we should stop finding one thing to blame and if anyone honestly disagree with that then I am going to laugh in disrespect at the person in question.


New member
Dec 3, 2008
I think violence is the most obvious answer. They censor violence way less in every way in America, just looking at the rating system for movies makes that apparent. Sex makes a movie/show rise to the highest adult rating possible whereas violence is allowed in pretty much every lower rating.


Mugwamp Supreme
Nov 26, 2008
Again, we have demonstrated a correlation between an increase of violence in media and an increase in actual violence. In reality, violence has continued to trend downward while violence in gaming and movies has only gone up. In order to show that the obsession is bad, you have to show legitimate ramifications. Every year about 10 sociologists present papers going either way about whether or not violent games lead to actual violence.

On the flip side, a fascination with sex combined with a tabboo about talking about it in our society is kind of a perfect storm for misguided sexual expectations that actually objectify women in real lives and puts sexual fantasy demands on partners that would not have even been considered previously. Men expect women to behave a certain way and to do certain things that may be downright horrendous to them and are certainly objectifying in a very real way. Even here, I'd say the obsession with sex itself is not the problem, rather the tremendous amount of misinformation (porn) combined with a significant lack of real and meaningful advice on what real sex is and what's really expected versus what should be.


New member
Apr 6, 2013
synobal said:
I'm just gonna come out and say it, I'm disappointed this wasn't about Jessica Rabbit VS Itchy and Scratchy.
Yeah, sadly I was -really- expecting an off the wall take on this.

I love what they did and I agree with a number of their points... but I was hoping for a really absurd one.


New member
Nov 19, 2009
I'd say we're more obsessed with sex purely by looking at how many celebrities are celebrities just cause they're hot, or have a sex tape or whatever. But on the whole violence by itself is more destructive physically if not in the way that our obsessions with sex is mentally.

If we're talking specifically from a media perspective, sex is far more dangerous as they mentioned from all the stuff it causes like body image issues. From a societal perspective, sex again is the most dangerous because it makes us put people like Kim Kardashian on a peda-stool and even though we do glorify violence in games it has much less of a profound effect on our daily lives and action.

The only way I could see about fixing this is by somehow making sure children/teenagers don't have accept to stuff like porn or glamour magazines so they don't build up these expectations in their head. Maybe increasing the age you can watch porn as well, I know I'd suck but it might be beneficial to society in the long hall if very frustrating to all newly 18 year olds.

Without any doubt these are both big problems but I don't think it can really be fixed until porn, glamour mags, famous models with ribs sticking out stop becoming the norm. Violence always seems to be far too glorified in games and movies to be taken even slightly seriously so it has a much less damaging effect on society. Both of these are problems though that are getting to be quite big and I don't really see a solution for either merely things that could lower the effect.


New member
Jul 12, 2010
Violence is omnipresent in all aspects of entertainment, from Three Stooges to the Saw movies; you can be as violent as you want and can still be available to the general public.

Sex and sexualization on the other hand, while still present, is limited. There is a line that, once crossed, is no longer suitable to be released to the public.

Basically, you can have brains splattered on a wall from a maniac with a sawn-off shotgun and still be rated R or M, but as soon as a cock and balls and/or vagina are involved, it can't be shown to the public.

What's worse is that this post will probably be removed solely from the words "cock" and "vagina," but no one would bat an eye at interior decorating with internal organs.


New member
Jan 19, 2011
Violence is definitely worse. Sex, by itself, is harmless, even if it involves an act or practice or timing or people you disagree with. Yeah, people can ruin their lives trying to make themselves attractive, but thats kind of their problem. Violence however is everyone's problem. Case in point: a misogynistic ass whole thinks he deserves sex OR the most tragic, depressing life of a supermodel who killed herself from anorexia are both bad things, yeah. HOWEVER, neither aren't even close to the same tier as a school shooting... sorry. And when sex does get pretty horrible (like rape) that isn't even classified as sex anymore, it's violence.

Again, Sex, by itself, is harmless, but violence never is.