Sat, 02 Dec 2000

Human brains and sex

Mr. Gandhi Sukardi, in his letter One rape every five hours (The Jakarta Post, Nov. 28, 2000), both stirred and upset me in revealing that today there is one rape every five hours (based on a statement by the state minister for women's empowerment).

And Mr. Aminul Rachman regrets the Hemaviton ads which manipulates the scantily covered bodies of women and men, which means advertisers are indirectly resorting to pornography to sell a product.

With regard to these two issues, allow me to give some comments based on Rose and J. Nicholl's correlation between the human brain and sex. According to them, the human brain consists of three parts: reptilian brain, mammalian brain and thinking brain.

Reptilian brain, the smallest one, functions to control basic functions such as breathing, heart rate and instincts, such as the fight or flight response when danger threatens. I am afraid that today many Indonesians operate on this level, seeing that people love being violent and demonstrating wildly at the House of Representatives.

Mammalian brain, larger than the reptilian, controls emotions, sex, health and memory. These are all sensitive and sensual matters under its control. The thinking brain, the largest of the three, works to control scientific thought and activities such as calculating, linguistic processes and decision-making.

Since sex, love and emotion are too easily logged in human memory, or the mammalian brain, I herewith agree with moralists that sensual actions and images should not be shown on TV or in other visual mass media.