It All Adds Up: The Relationship Between Pornography and Sexual Assault

The culture we live in today is one where people are encouraged to express themselves freely — in their art, their work, and their thoughts. This translates pretty quickly into the individual sexuality of us all. However, a dilemma exists — though personal freedom becomes more available, we see what seems like every day, a new allegation coming out about sexual assaults. According to Dr. John D. Joubert, a long-time expert and professor of sexual violence, pornography is the “secret ingredient” we are all looking over:

I have studied how to end sexual violence for 25 years. It wasn’t until 10 years ago when I came to the realization that the secret ingredient in the recipe for rape was not secret at all, though at the time it was rarely identified. That ingredient, responsible for giving young men the permission-giving beliefs that make rape so much more likely and telling young women they should like it, is today’s high speed Internet pornography. Pornography itself is a recipe for rape that has rewritten the sexual script for the sexual behavior of the millennial generation and is currently rewiring the brains of the generation to follow.”

Pornography is a private, but highly popular, outlet in which people choose to express their sexuality. As harmless as we can tend to think it is, it has effects on us as people and on our global climate in regard to abuse, too.

As easy it would be to regard pornography as fantasy, the evidence just does not exist to back that up. In fact, there have been extensive studies that suggest that pornography can create a disposition to become abusive or to increase abusive tendencies. Watching pornography can teach us as viewers that people aren’t real; the people we see on screen are not real, and the things they do to each other are acceptable to enact in our own sexual lives.

Pornography acts like a drug to our brains; it fires neurons that tell us that whatever is being given to us, that we need more. And just like any other drug, if a certain level stops working, we naturally step it up. Scientifically, there are countless studies that back this theory up, but those are easy to google.

“For porn users, even those who manage to avoid violent material, it’s difficult not to be influenced. Study after study has found that watching even non-violent porn is correlated with the consumer being more likely to use verbal coercion, drugs, and alcohol to coerce individuals into sex. And those who consistently consume non-violent porn are more likely to support statements that promote abuse and sexual aggression of both women and girls. Much of even non-violent porn portrays a power difference between partners where men are dominant and in charge and women are submissive and obedient. Porn also often teaches that intimacy is about men’s pleasure and women are there to be objects to satisfy that pleasure for men,” (Fightthenewdrug.org).

To get deeply personal,I have had my issues in with pornography. I wasn’t assaulted, nor did I assault others. However, it taught me to dissociate in physical and emotional dynamics of relationships. Even if I wanted to stay present mentally, my brain had conditioned itself to disconnect. Because I had watched pornography on and off during my formative years, I subconsciously began to associate sex with distraction. What was once made to be a way for us as humans to connect and be close, has been distorted to distract us, to give us a selfish, one-sided, unrealistic sense of pleasure.

All that to say, if I can easily dissociate, so can others — but that can look much more violent. It can look like asking your partner (or in some very unfortunate cases, forcing your partner) to let you reenact pornographic scenes that include abusing them. 75% of women who left abusive partners reported this exact situation (E. Carmer, L. McFarlane, B. Parker, K. Soeken, C. Silva, and S. Reel. “Violent pornography and the abuse of women: Theory to practice,” Violence and Victims, Volume 13, Number 4 (1998): pp. 319-332.)

We cannot live in a world that is continually progressing toward equality for women, and advocate for an industry that completely undermines that. We have to face the facts that pornography is just a part of the disease that perpetuates human trafficking. We have to be willing to admit that though our intentions may be positive, we are wrong. Despite what our religious affiliations are, we have to come together to realize that we are harming our world by letting pornography off scott-free.

For your further examination into this subject here are some amazing resources that I have found helpful in my learning process:

  • fightthenewdrug.org : a well-renowned organization that provides endless, well-sourced research and information on the effects of pornography on us as individuals and as a society.
  • Hot Girls Wanted on Netflix :a fairly unbiased look at the amateur pornography industry through the telling of the women themselves. It is fairly candid, though, so adults only.
  • xxxchurch.tv :a particularly good resource for anyone looking to overcome a pornography or sex addiction.

 

Brittney Lampkin


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ItAllAddsUp

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