News from Body in Mind with Kelly Hall!

Should porn be in a daily newspaper? This is the question asked by detractors of the photos of topless models on Page 3 of The Sun newspaper in the U.K. Regardless of their differences, Page 3 glamour photos serve the same function for men as romance novels do for women. The most obvious difference is that topless men appear on the covers of romance novels, while topless women are hidden on Page 3 of the paper. Society has taught us that the only purpose of the female body is sex and that sex is something to be ashamed of, so topless models on the front page wouldn’t fly. Another difference is that Page 3 contains nudity to titillate men while romance novels often contain very explicit sex scenes to titillate women. Women’s sexuality has to be hidden, again this time in the pages of a book. But the main difference is that romance novels are words and Page 3 is photos. Both serve the function of beauty, art, and romance but Page 3 is a man’s type and romance novels are a woman’s. Modern science has shown us that men’s and women’s brains develop differently. Men’s brains are spatially/real world oriented and women’s language/emotion oriented. So men prefer images of happy, sexy women in romantic locations and women prefer stories about strong, sexy men in romantic relationships with women. According to the book What Do Women Want women may actually be more sexual than men, which explains why romance novels are the best selling type of book, by far. So perhaps women can be forgiven for thinking men are as easily excited by Page 3. But men know better. We know it’s just an image, albeit a very pretty one, just as women know the hero in a romance is just a story. Perhaps in an ideal world all men would be heroes and women would be more sexual and we wouldn’t need romance novels or Page 3. But until that world arrives, let’s be glad we have both. And let’s change the question from should “porn” be in a newspaper, to should men’s idea of romance be allowed in public like women’s is?