News

What 'The Bachelorette' has in common with porn

Posted August 22

The roses handed out on "The Bachelorette" may not smell as sweet to fans after reading a University of Minnesota professor's analysis of the show. According to him, the show shares striking similarities with pornography.

Professor Steven M. Harris wrote in a post on the Institute for Family Studies' blog about his observations of the show, finding that, like pornography, it gives its viewers an unrealistic and skewed idea of what love and relationships are supposed to be like.

Reality relationship shows are largely targeted toward women, just as porn is targeted toward men, Harris argued, but they have the same effect on the viewer of internalizing what's seen as acceptable and normal behavior within a relationship.

"What I actually see from ('Bachelorette' contestant) Jojo during the show has been so scripted, manipulated and edited that by the time I see it, the final product is nowhere close to her reality or any reality that is within my reach," Harris wrote. "The insidious nature of pornography has become the bane to marital therapists across the nation. It is something we now must routinely assess in order to get an accurate read on what is happening within the relationship."

Harris compared general characteristics of porn and "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" in an informal analysis, where he found that the content shared certain aspects like being "presented as 'reality'" and having "scripted and contrived scenarios to maximize appeal."

Harris' analysis hits on what many experts have been concerned about for years: With porn so readily available online today, children's ideas about how relationships work are being affected.

"Now that everyone has access to porn on the phone and laptop, they’re emulating what they see in porn," author and sex educator Cindy Pierce told the Deseret News last year. "And when they don’t get the results they've come to expect, that's when it starts to really eat away at someone."

But as Harris posits, perhaps parents worried about the content their children watch should consider seemingly harmless shows watched in the open and not just what they see when they think no one is watching.

Email: chjohnson@deseretnews.com

Twitter: ChandraMJohnson

Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all