Sunday, February 22, 2009

Really? (Or, CNN, Modesty, and Onion-Style Studies)

Mary deTurris Poust has a funny post (try saying that three times fast) about a recent study in which -- gasp! -- it was found that men who view women in bikinis see them as objects. This is only funny, of course, in that head-smacking sort of way. I completely agree with Mary that the CNN piece reads like something from The Onion. Example:

"... the research suggests that viewing certain images is not appropriate in the workplace, Fiske said."
Really? Ya think?

Both women and men have something to learn from this line of research, Raison said. Women should be aware of how they are perceived when wearing provocative clothing


I could have saved them loads of research money by simply referring them to the teachings of the Catholic Church. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (emphasis mine, for those who skim):

2521 Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity.

2522 Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires one's choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet.

2523 There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body. It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements, or against the solicitations of certain media that go too far in the exhibition of intimate things. Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies.

2524 The forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another. Everywhere, however, modesty exists as an intuition of the spiritual dignity proper to man. It is born with the awakening consciousness of being a subject. Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person.

2525 Christian purity requires a purification of the social climate. It requires of the communications media that their presentations show concern for respect and restraint. Purity of heart brings freedom from widespread eroticism and avoids entertainment inclined to voyeurism and illusion.

Here's a study result I'd like to see:

Ancient Cult of Catholicism Found to Offer Common Sense!

Sincere Attempts at Living the Catholic Faith Lead to Happiness, researchers say.


Warren said...

My answer to the study, "well DUH!".

I've been reading Theology of the Body. It's brilliant. I love it. It's a good antidote to shallow and superficial views of the gift of real authentic human sexuality.


Karen E. said...

Oh, yes, Theology of the Body is wonderful. It's all there, and it's all so real. The Church's answers are all so wonderfully sane.

Roxane B. Salonen said...

My Mothers and Children (MACH I) group at church is studying Christopher West's interpretation of Theology of the Body right now. I've heard him speak before and read one of his books and loved it all. The Pope did well in helping us better see the dignity of the body as seen through the eyes of the Church, though we don't have to look far for distortions. I'd read Mary's post, too, but thanks for further thought!

Jennifer said...

This is shocking news indeed. :)

Michelle Waters said...

Yes, you have to love all those well funded "studies" that do nothing more than relay information most sensible people have already figured out. It is pretty funny, though!