The XXX summer Olympics sure have given sexuality educators a lot to talk about! While athletes have been worried about performing their best, keeping up with the competition, representing their country, and winning a medal, WE have been preoccupied with boners and boobs.
On Monday, US rower Henrik Rummel stood happy as a clam with his team as they received a bronze medal in the coxless four rowing competition. The photo went viral, as many pointed to Rummel’s apparent erection. On Tuesday he did post a statement that his penis was not erect, but it was simply the position and angle that made it appear that way. Huffington post did a great summary of the ordeal. Either way, a lot more people found out about this bronze medal than would have without Rummel’s help!
A day earlier, a US v Spain water polo match was aired on NBC without editing out an underwater shot of an exposed breast. The headlines about the exposure indicate that viewers were shocked!!! OMG! Check out this story about the big reveal. (the match ended up as a tie, 9-9)
Both these stories about standard body parts hit the headlines running. What impact do these freak outs have? They teach us that parts of our bodies are different enough to freak out about, which could simply exacerbate existing body image issues and bodily discomfort. Sexuality educators can use these opportunities to explain that while our society might freak out about boobs and boners, they are really just natural parts of the female and male bodies, and are nothing to be ashamed of.