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Monthly Archives: January 2013

We’re Not Alone

centerfold-syndrome-gary-r-brooks-hardcover-cover-artWe launched the MCAG website knowing that our articles would be unique and controversial. We ourselves had been converted from skepticism to realism, and we could not be silent about the truth. Imagine our surprise at discovering that our website was validated by the teachings of a published psychologist.

Not long after our website was up and running, a lady wrote to congratulate us. Our message, she said, was similar to that of psychologist Gary R. Brooks. She attached an excerpt from his book, The Centerfold Syndrome, photocopied from a college anthology. What an encouragement to find ourselves “on the same page” with this counselor!

Insightful Observations

Here are the five principal components of “the Centerfold Syndrome,” with quotes from Dr. Brooks:

  • Voyeurism: “The culture at large seems to be generally indifferent to this trend [of female body glorification], seeing it as harmless titillation, pretty much a natural product of men’s biological makeup. I strongly disagree with this position. It is my contention that this mania, this explosion of glorification and objectification of women’s bodies, promotes unreal images of women, distorts physical reality, creates obsessions with visual stimulation, and trivializes all other features of a healthy psychosexual relationship.”
  • Objectification: “. . .when a man in a relationship is continually distracted by a fantasy life dominated by visual images of idealized bodies of strangers, that man will frequently be emotionally absent from his partner; he will be unable to have intense, here-and-now experiences with her. Tragically, if he spends most of his emotional energy on sexual fantasies about inaccessible people, he frequently will not be available for even the most intimate emotional and sexual moments with the most important person in his life.”
  • Need for Validation: “[Men] are programmed to crave validation of their masculinity, and they frequently view women’s bodies as a medium for that validation. This need for validation disempowers them and creates an odd yet vitally important inversion of the traditional power relationship between women and men. . . . When women are envisioned as sexual objects and made the centerpiece of men’s visual world, they become imbued with enormous psychosocial power.”
  • Trophyism: “While collecting new and different sexual trophies may be celebrated among adolescents, it is a sign of emotional immaturity in the world of adults. . . . Women’s bodies age, losing their trophy-like characteristics, especially in comparison to newer varieties. Hence, the trophy-hunting man, initially satisfied with his trophy-wife, must eventually face the maddening reality that his prize will eventually lose her luster, while other potential prizes will emit near-irresistible allure.”
  • Fear of True Intimacy: “. . .men are taught to suppress their needs for intimacy and sensuality, and come to invest too much emotional and psychological power in some women’s bodies. Fearing their potential overdependence on women, men develop a preoccupation with sexuality, which powerfully handicaps their capacity for emotionally intimate relationships with men and for nonsexual relationships with women.”

Worth Reading…

Dr. Brooks sees the Centerfold Syndrome as epidemic in America. His personal experience in counseling men suffering from it has made him an expert in describing the problem of a pornographic view of women’s bodies. In fact, even if you have no trouble grasping the concepts we share on MCAG, studying his perspective will reinforce your understanding. For that reason, we obtained his permission to use two large excerpts from his book as a resource for our readers. We encourage you to purchase and read the whole book.

— Pastor David

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For more on this topic:

Excerpts from The Centerfold Syndrome
The Pornographic View of the Body
The Centerfold Syndrome
on Amazon.

Feel free to Leave a Comment on this post.

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bunny specs

Some people can say a lot in a very few words. This post is the first in a new blog series where we’ll present a rich quote, and make a few comments.

This quote for the New Year is from Kenich Ohmae, a Japanese business and corporate strategist. He was probably speaking here of business, but his words are equally applicable to our effort to understand human embodiment.

We Need New Lenses…

It is hard to let old beliefs go. They are familiar. We are comfortable with them and have spent years building systems and developing habits that depend on them.

Like a man who has worn eyeglasses so long that he forgets he has them on, we forget that the world looks to us the way it does because we have become used to seeing it that way through a particular set of lenses.

Today, however, we need new lenses. And we need to throw the old ones away.

Comments…

In our world today, the pornographic view of the human body is a pair of glasses that—it would seem—almost everyone wears. So many wear them that we find both the church and the porn industry affirming the same false perspective… so we’ve all just assumed that it must be right… as if we’re really not seeing through any lenses at all!

But we are… and we are in desperate need of new lenses. It’s time to view the human body through the biblical lens of the Imago Dei.

— Pastor David Martin

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For more on this topic:

The Pornographic View of the Body
The Imago Dei

Feel free to Leave a Comment on this post.

Please share this blog with others…