Dr. Chyng Sun

Chyng Sun, Ph.D., is a Clinical Professor of Media Studies at NYU School of Professional Studies. As a scholar and filmmaker, she has taught and researched on race/ethnicity, gender, and sexuality issues. Using a holistic approach to investigate sexual media, Dr. Sun conducted large-scale content analyses of popular pornography and interviewed male and female pornography users internationally. She is currently leading a multinational research team in analyzing data collected from 8,000 people in 9 countries (in North America, Asia, and Europe), to examine how pornography affects sexual desires, behaviors, and relationships. Dr. Sun’s highly acclaimed films Mickey Mouse Monopoly: Disney, Childhood and Corporate Power (2001) and Latinos Beyond Reel: Challenging a Media Stereotype (2012) are widely used by educators and trainers working in diversity and inclusion issues.

LECTURE TOPIC: “Playing ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’”

With its “triple A” engine—affordability, accessibility, and anonymity—Internet pornography is ubiquitous and immensely popular. Further enhanced by the rapid development of mobile devices such as smartphones and various forms of social networking, pornography has become the real sex educator for children and adults. Although the majority of pornography consumers are men, female consumers are becoming more numerous. What does pornography teach us, and what are we learning? 

According to Dr. Chyng Sun’s large-scale content analysis of popular pornographic videos, male physical and verbal aggression against women is the most prevalent theme. Dr. Sun’s global survey has also shown that pornography helps develop dependency and hurts intimate relationships. Further, as both men and women learn the same pornographic scripts of male dominance and female submission, there is a tendency for male pornography users to engage in aggressive and degrading sexual behaviors, while female pornography users tend to be the targets of such behaviors. It is as if both genders learn from the pornographic scripts about how to behave sexually and play their parts in real life.

This phenomenon is particularly alarming, given the fact that over 90% of male and 50% of female college students in the U.S. are frequent users of pornography, and playing the “pornographic script” certainly complicates the issue about “consent.” At the same time, it is estimated that among women in higher educational institutions in the U.S., between 20% and 25% may be the victims of rape or attempted rape. What role does pornography play in such male aggression?

The impact of pornography on sexuality, sexual desire, and sexual behavior is little understood and rarely discussed among college students and the health professionals whose responsibility is to help them.  Dr. Sun’s eye-opening and nuanced presentation will help create open dialogue.   


LECTURE TOPIC: “From The Lion King to Inclusion in the Workplace’”

In today's globally competitive business environment, the practice of diversity and inclusion brings advantages to corporations by leveraging employees’ unique perspectives, experiences, talents, and creativity. However, stereotypes about race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, and disability limit the competitive advantages a business can create, and presumptions about certain groups of people harm communication and morale. Research has shown that stereotypes contribute to pay and benefit gaps among different racial and gender/sexuality groups, while also undermining employees’ capacities to lead, regardless of how qualified they are. These harmful effects are compounded when the stereotyped people have consciously or unconsciously internalized what is said about them.

Stereotypes, which often have historical and social roots, are reflected, perpetuated, and circulated through popular media, and they help to form our worldview from a very early age. In her teaching and diversity training, Dr. Chyng Sun has successfully used her research findings and highly acclaimed films Mickey Mouse Monopoly: Disney, Childhood, and Corporate Power and Latinos Beyond Reel: Challenging a Media Stereotype to unearth stereotypes in Disney’s popular animations, children’s toys, video games, blockbuster movies, and TV shows. With humor and honesty, Dr. Sun’s interactive presentation invites the audience to examine common cultural assumptions about certain people, the consequences of these assumptions, and what we can do to reverse the harmful effects of stereotypes. Together we can maximize the competitive advantages that diversity and inclusion bring to the workplace and society at large.