Ellen Goodman's Aticle, “Countering the Culture of Sex”
Ellen Goodman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, and the writer of many books, published an article entitled, “Countering the Culture of Sex,” which appeared in The Boston Globe in 1995. Goodman makes the point that the media serves as a “cultural message maker.” Goodman’s uses of the rhetorical appeals are not blatant, but rather reserved throughout the article. Logos and ethos are very well represented as the topic needs both logic and credibility and to make its point. On the other hand, because this article does not pry into the feelings and emotions that are tied to the topic, pathos is not very well represented. This article could have been much more powerful if in fact pathos was incorporated more throughout the entirety.
As mentioned earlier, Ellen Goodman is a Pulitzer Prize winner for her acclaimed columns and the many other books she has published. Being the author of this article, “Countering the Culture of Sex,” Goodman’s target audience is very diverse, but her main intention is to reach: the Congress, the parents of teens, the teachers of teens, the Entertainment Industry, and finally the teens of America. Her purpose for writing this article is to increase the awareness of teen sexuality to the general public, informing especially the Congress and the Entertainment Industry. The consequences of teen sex need to be identified more in our society, incorporating sexual truth in advertising. When “sexual truth” is not portrayed correctly through the media, parents need to “counter the culture,” and talk with their children about what is right and what consequences actually do arise from teen sex. Parents should also eliminate some confusion of teen sex by not allowing their kids to read or watch certain programs dealing with false ideals of sex.
The structure Goodman used to write this article overlaps into two categories; problem / solution, and cause and effect. Through these two structures, the article does more than just present a problem and a solution, but she also presents the causes and effects of that problem, making a more evolved and informative article. She identifies the problem as the media portraying teen sex or sex in general as being consequence free, one solution she mentions is to have the media and the society combine forces to campaign against teen sex. Teen-age pregnancies are somewhat indirectly caused by the media’s lack of reality when promoting sex. Goodman’s article is successfully written using both of these structures however, to make her point resolute, her rhetorical appeals need to be more prevalent and more defined.
Goodman’s uses of rhetorical appeals are not as strong as they could be in some areas, but very strong in others. For example, ethos is used throughout the article to credit the many advocates who spoke out on this topic, but at the same time ethos, is also used to...