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Pleasure and Its Dangers

Type: Essay
Number of pages: 6
Subject area: Psychology
Style: APA
Number of sources: 3


The current study is aimed at investigating pleasures and its dangers. More specifically, the study will look at how two most common types of pleasures (alcohol use and popular culture) have negatively affected emerging adults’ understanding of sex, sexual relationships, and sexuality. It is essential to examine this topic because sexual relationships are the basis of family and society. For instance, when the youths and adults do not embrace appropriate sexual relations, there is a risk that they may not lead proper family lives in their adulthood. My topic affects many people. This is because it is primarily about the youth and emerging adults, which form most of the population. The two major issues of this study, alcoholism and popular culture, may lead to adverse development outcomes on the affected youths and emerging adults. For instance, alcohol use may result in unwanted sexual activities, early pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases. On the other hand, when youths and emerging adults embrace the popular culture, there is an increased risk of uncommitted relationships which impair their ability to build stable families in the future.

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Livingston, Bay-Cheng, Hequembourg, Testa, and Downs (2013) carried out a study aimed at examining adolescent females’ perceptions of the association between alcohol consumption and sexual behavior. The sample for this study comprised of 97 adolescent females whose mean age was 15.23 years and ranging from 14 to 17 years old. The research subjects were recruited into the study through newspaper advertisements. All the participants were the residence of a medium-sized city in the northeastern United States. Additionally, the mothers of each of the female adolescent participants were chosen for the study, thus resulting in a final sample of 124 mother-daughter dyads. Due to the different factors that led to withdrawals from the study, the final participation rate was 78%. The socio-demographic factors of the participants were as follows: 69% were Whites; 29% were Blacks, 5% were Hispanic/Latina; 2% were Asians; 1% were Native American, and 2% identified themselves as multiracial. Other important demographic factors were median household income ($40,000- $54, 900) and mothers’ educational level (38% had a college degree).

Livingston et al.’s (2013) study was a survey. The participants were organized into focus groups based on the age of the adolescent females and provided with age-appropriate questions for discussion on the topic of alcohol use, dating behavior, and the relationship between alcohol use and sex. Findings of the study revealed that participants were aware of the risks related to combining alcohol and sex. However, the participants associated alcohol use with sexual advantages such enhanced social and sexual conversations and chances of having unsanctioned sex. From these findings, it was recommended that there is a need for education and prevention interventions to address adolescents’ social and developmental needs. Livingstone et al.’s (2013) article discussed how the use of alcohol leads to unwanted sexual behaviors, sexual regrets, and coercion and thus related to my current topic of pleasures and its dangers. In the present study, alcoholism is the pleasure while unwanted sexual behaviors following indulge in alcohol are the dangers. I learned that alcohol use could lead to risky sexual behaviors because of impaired judgement that results from alcohol intake. What I found most intriguing about the results of this study is that the adolescent females found alcohol consumption beneficial because of the enhanced social and sexual interactions and chances of having unsanctioned sex. More specifically, the current article is related to my topic because it helps to shed more light on how the pleasure associated with alcoholism can result in unwanted sexual encounters among adolescent females.

Garcia, Reiber, Massey, and Merriwether (2012) conducted a study aimed at reviewing the current literature on sexual hookups and the many factors linked to hookup culture. The authors used examples from popular culture to contextualize hooking up. Because this was a literature review, the sample for the study and the number of participants were not described. Also, the sociodemographic characteristics of the sample were not explicitly explained. This study was neither an experiment, a therapy trial, nor a survey but a literature review. However, the authors appraised studies with different samples. For instance, most of the studies appraised involved a sample of popular media personalities and how their popular media representations of sexuality are a manifestation of the acceptance of a sexual hookup culture among young adults. Also, in some of the studies reviewed, the sample consisted of undergraduate students, gay men, and college students. Popular media personalities portray sex and alcohol as essential elements of contemporary lives in their songs, movies, and television appearances. From one of the studies reviewed, Garcia et al. (2012) reported that television and media representation of sex is linked to the emerging adults’ opinion about sex. The popular media misrepresentations of sex (such as the widespread images of erotic sex, sexual acts at first encounter, were found to lead to increased sexual permissiveness. Popular media representation of sex as the uncommitted act has also been adopted by emerging adults as their contemporary sexual lives.

Findings of Garcia et al.’s (2012) study revealed that hookups are part of a cultural shift that has been adopted by emerging adults throughout Western culture. Also, it was shown that uncommitted sexual encounters currently embraced by young adults are linked to popular culture. The contemporary hookup culture is explained by evolutionary and social forces (such as media representations) during the developmental period of emerging adulthood. From these findings, Garcia et al. (2012) recommended that understanding the causes of hookups (especially popular culture) during the critical stage of late adolescent development and young adulthood is helpful in protection and promotion of healthy sexual behaviors and decision making among emerging adults. In this study, I learned that misrepresentation of sex as uncommitted act or hookups in popular culture could is linked to the merging adults’ sexual behavior of hookups adoption. What I found most intriguing about the results of this study is that emerging adults’ openness and acceptance of uncommitted sex remains unchallenged by the society or the consumers of the popular culture. The current article is related to my topic because it helps to shed more light on how the pleasures associated with the consumption of popular culture helps to shape emerging adults’ view of sexual behaviors.

Snitow, Stansell, and Thompson’s (1983) book is not a primary research study. Therefore, it has no methodology section. Consequently, the sample of the study and their socio-demographic characteristics are also not described. Additionally, because it is not an empirical study, there were no experimental interventions. Snitow et al.’s (1983) book talk about how the sexuality of women is exploited and how society sees women as sex objects. It also talked about how women are being violated by men through rape, domestic violence and how the society view women based on their sexual activeness the multiplicities of pleasures and its freedom from violence and abuse. From the readings contained in this book, it can be concluded that rising feminism, which started in the 1980s, has led to women’s sexual freedom. This freedom is manifested through men’s right to love and leave pregnant economically stable women. However, despite women’s sexual freedom, hatred towards women and related violence is on the rise following the rise of feminism. In Snitow et al.’s (2012) book, I learned that women still undergo many challenges, especially violence and abuse, despite feminism. What I found most intriguing about the discussion in the book is that increased women’s autonomy and the rise of feminism has done little to improve the welfare of women. The current book is related to my topic because it helps to shed more light on how women struggle with sexual abuse in the contemporary world despite their increased freedom.


The current research was aimed at investigating how pleasures are dangerous in contemporary societies. To address the purpose of the research, three articles were summarized. Findings of these articles show that sex is widely embraced in the modern world. Also, increased sexual activities and lack of commitment towards intimate sexual relationships have been attributed to popular culture and increased consumption of alcohol among emerging adults. In one of the reviewed studies, Livingston et al. (2013) established that adolescents are aware of the risks associated with combining alcohol and sex. The main risks related to the pleasure of alcohol use are unwanted sexual behaviors, sexual regrets, and coercion. However, it was intriguing to find out that despite these dangers, alcoholism is widely embraced by adolescents because of its sexual benefits such as social and sexual conversations and chances of having unsanctioned sex.

Moreover, it was established that there are increasing cases of hookups or uncommitted sexual relationships in the modern world. Garcia et al.’s (2012) attribute hookups to a cultural shift that has been adopted by emerging adults in Western countries. Similarly, uncommitted sexual relationships currently embraced by young adults is associated with popular culture. The hookups are explained by evolutionary and social forces that shape the adolescents’ view of sex and sexuality during the developmental period of emerging adulthood. Furthermore, Snitow et al.’s (2012) book reported that women undergo violence and abuse, despite increased feminism and women’s autonomy.

The three articles reviewed in this paper provided an in-depth understanding of the topic. I was able to understand that the current world pleasures of alcohol consumption and popular culture have reshaped and redefined sex. For instance, because of alcohol use, sex is no longer regarded as a serious commitment that will lead to marriage but is viewed as a one-off activity that is part and parcel of alcohol consumption. Additionally, I learned that because of misrepresentation of sex in the popular culture the traditional view that sexual relationship should be long-lasting have been reduced to hookups or uncommitted sexual relationships.

The knowledge gained from these research articles are important in my career and educational goals. More specifically, my current understanding of the relationship between alcoholism and unwanted sexual acts and uncommitted relationships is useful in counselling the youths and teaching them ways in which they can avoid the sexual risks and regrets by preventing or reducing their engagement in alcohol use and related pleasures. Also, my understanding of the negative impact of popular culture on emerging adults’ sexuality will help me in advising the youths on how to properly consume the popular media and avoid their detrimental sexual impacts.


Garcia, J. R., Reiber, C., Massey, S. G., & Merriwether, A. M. (2012). Sexual hookup culture: a review. Review of General Psychology: Journal of Division 1, of the American Psychological Association, 16(2), 161–176.

Livingston, J. A., Bay-Cheng, L. Y., Hequembourg, A. L., Testa, M., & Downs, J. S. (2013). Mixed drinks and mixed messages: Adolescent girls’ perspectives on alcohol and sexuality. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 37(1), 38–50.

Snitow, A. B., Stansell, C., & Thompson, S. (1983). Powers of desire: the politics of sexuality. New York : Monthly Review Press. Retrieved from