Posting nude photos online is normal sexual expression: SFU professor

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Reddit's gonewild just normal sexual expression: SFU professor
SFU prof Ehor Boyanowsky says that posting sexual photos online is a natural means of seeking attention. Photo: BC Book Prizes

Exposing oneself in a sexual fashion to an unknown audience online, such as on Reddit‘s gonewild section, is not entirely abnormal behaviour, says SFU criminal environmental psychologist Ehor Boyanowsky.

Reddit’s gonewild section an open forum for nude photos

Boyanowsky describes what goes on the forum, an area on the site where users are encouraged to post nude photos, as an animalistic mating parade where women clamour for attention by showing themselves off to an audience of males.

He argues that attractive people like to display themselves, saying that extravagant clothing and cosmetics that people purchase is an example of that too.

The Internet is a safe environment for sexual expression to some

“The reason people post pictures, especially if they are attractive, is because they aren’t getting the attention they want,” said Boyanowsky.

“They want more attention. This is a way of doing this without breaking any social norms.”

Boyanowsky explained that venues such as gonewild could be some of the only places that shy people who want to feel appreciated sexually feel comfortable displaying themselves.

“On the Internet anything goes, it’s a free-for-all,” said Boyanowsky.

“It’s a game, and for most people it’s a safe game.”

Others argue that posting nude photos online is harmful

Reddit’s promiscuous subculture does not entice everyone.

A number of female Langara students firmly rejected the idea of posting sexual pictures of themselves online.

“No way,” said Larissa Punzalan, an arts and science major

“It’s unsafe but people do it because they think it’s cool. Who knows what people will do with the image after?”

Reported by Sam Reynolds

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