This thread is the place to discuss all things related to the issue of pornography and its effect upon people and wider society.
There is growing evidence to suggest that pornography is very damaging to society.
The issues are complex and often confusing but some of the main issues:
- Modern popular pornography is not benign titilation
- The most popular porn is often cruel and violent porn which given what we know about how images affect people, this is going to have a profound influence on sexuality, behaviour and attitudes towards women
- There is a risk of users be desensitised to porn over time, and therefore some users are seeking out ever harsher, more violent and degrading imagery.
- Worryingly, the audience is getting younger. US Market research conducted by internet providers found that the average age a boy first sees porn today is 11; a study from the University of Alberta found that one third of 13-year-old boys admitted viewing porn; and a survey published by Psychologies magazine in the UK last month found that a third of 14- to 16-year-olds had first seen sexual images online when they were 10 or younger – 81% of those polled looked at porn online at home, while 63% could easily access it on their mobile phones.
- Early indications are that the earlier men use porn the more likely they are to have trouble developing close, intimate relationships with real women, often preferring porn to sex with an actual human being, casuing bewilderment when real women don't want or enjoy porn sex.
- Porn culture also changes the way women and girls think about their bodies, their sexuality and their relationships. The more porn images filter into mainstream culture, the more girls and women are stripped of full human status and reduced to sex objects. This can effect girls' sexual identity and even rob them of their own sexual desire.
- Sexual assault centres in US colleges have said that more women are reporting **** rape, which could be attributed directly to the normalisation of **** practices in pornography. The more porn sexualises violence against women, the more it normalises and legitimises sexually abusive behaviour. Men often learn about sex from porn, and in porn nothing is too painful or degrading for women.
- "childified porn" has significantly increased in popularity in recent years, with almost 14m internet searches for "teen sex" in 2006, an increase of more than 60% since 2004. There are legal sites that feature hardcore images of extremely young-looking women being penetrated by older men, with disclaimers stating all the models are 18 and over. It could be argued that regular exposure to such material has an effect of breaking down the taboo about having sex with children.
Information taken from an interview with Gail Dines taken from the Guardian newspaper online. Link to interview and other references here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/02/gail-dines-pornography