UNAIR Expert: Sexual Content Affects Interest in Buying Products on Social Media

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS –  Rapid flow of information through social media has brought positive and negative responses from its users. There are numerous interests of the media elites scattered in the cyberspace to promote products and gain huge profits. Online media often used are Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Line.

The phenomenon of messaging in social media brought a response from a study of Prof. Dra. Myrtati D. Artaria, MA., Ph.D and Dwi Prasetyo. She said that advertisements with sexy looking men on online media can attract women. Men are illustrated ideally with bulky body and pale complexion. This sensuality is offered to netizens on online media.

She believes such phenomenon exists because the image is a game of construction and commodification used by advertisers to gain attraction. With capitalism, consumers will be influenced to produce imbalanced thinking in choosing a product. Keep in mind, that commodification is a process of changing goods, services, ideas which are valued by their use and then converted into an exchange rate.

“Commodification highlights the elements of sexuality as it has an economic price value,” she said.

Prof. Myrta continued, the ad segmentation with sexuality content is divided into two, a hysterical crowd (women) and obsessed individuals. In this case, the media has become part of the economic system and is related to the political system itself. Capital owners and media power have negative effects on society. So the content of the message delivered will be governed by what will be sold in the market and media content is the main commodity being sold.

“This political economy can expose social crimes committed by the media in influencing society. The position of the media is placed more on the market than the needs of people who access it, ” she said.

The phenomenon of sexual content is used to attract the market in increasing media economic growth. So it can be concluded that men’s body in this case becomes an object that can be enjoyed as well as being an exchange value in making a profit.

“The content of advertising products, in the form of images and script, is used to turn sexuality into a valuables exchange rate,” she concluded.

Author: Khefti Al Mawalia

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

Reference: Dwi Praseyo, Myrtati D. Artaria. 2018. Sexual Commodification of Men’s Bodies in Online Media. In Proceeding of The International Post-Graduate Conference on Media and Communication – Media and Communication in The Politics, Industrialization, and Empowerment p. 380-382, Scitepress. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329518551_Sexual_Commodification_of_Men’s_Bodies_in_Online_Media

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Media komunikasi dan informasi seputar kampus Universitas Airlangga (Unair).