Once many years ago I was in a psychology class talking about a variety of diseases and who gets commercial research funding with the professor and he made a very interesting statement, which was, “When it comes down to it Americans are really interested in two things: sex and weight loss” which leads me to my topic, Erectile Dysfunction. I think that being a great member of the bedroom as well as achieving sexual prowess is highly valued in American society. I though the cartoon shown during lecture about a culture of asterisks highlights that especially well with our sexual skills and experiences shown as a part of our being that can be medicated. In the BBC film I thought it was very interesting how the drug to treat Erectile Dysfunction was actually a totally different drug but when it became a drug for sexual prowess it was highly successful further reinforcing the our cultural values when it comes to medicine. Obviously this speaks highly to the concept that wellbeing and success are highly linked to improved sexual prowess. It also seems interesting how figures are fabricated in our society that will lead individuals to believe that higher prowess can be achieved. The drug companies seem to find ways to prey upon our emotions to create brand new markets.
I’ve included a link to a Viagra commercial which is very interesting in its advertising strategies. It puts a major emphasis on the role of the man as a powerful independent figure who can get out of trouble very easily. This Viagra user is also the very good looking and tough. The individual is also well off, wealthy enough to have great stuff but not so wealthy that he intimidates average Americans. His social role is displayed clearly as the alpha male who gets things done even if it involves the use of some medication which is clearly accepted as no big deal. The medical information is presented over a montage of him being in complete control and it mentions talking to his doctor as the go to in being the source and authority on this “helpful and manly” drug.