What does sexual assault have to do with pornography? Well, turns out they’re more closely linked than people think.

It’s no secret that sexual assault on college campuses has become a very serious issue as of late. In September of 2015, the New York Times reported that a survey commissioned by the Association of American Universities showed more than 1/4 of female college undergrads at leading universities reported being sexually assaulted by force or when they were incapacitated.

This included everything from unwanted touching to rape. In 2014, a study showed that the number of reported rapes at four-year universities increased 49% between 2008 and 2012. It’s very clear that something very malicious is happening on our college campuses. At the very place where students are supposed to be free to learn, discover themselves, and make lifelong friends, they’re instead being faced with life-changing violence and degradation.

Sigma Nu Fraternity at Old Dominion University in Virginia welcomes new freshman with these disturbing banners.

Sigma Nu Fraternity at Old Dominion University in Virginia welcomes new freshman with these disturbing banners.

With more and more victims coming into the spotlight, universities are being forced to acknowledge the problem and work to combat it. In order to do so, many universities have made attempts to better educate their students on consent, yet they seem to be ignoring a poisonous every day activity which is undoubtedly playing a huge role in sexual assault: pornography.

The Compelling Research

A few years ago, researchers did a study of the most popular porn videos at the time. Their findings? Of the 304 scenes examined, 88% contained physical violence and 49% contained verbal aggression. 95% of the victims responded neutrally or with pleasure, and 94% of the victims were women. The message that comes from porn is that women enjoy getting beat up and forced into sexual acts.

Related: Two Points For Nudes: University Club Promoted Sick Rape/Porn Culture Event

Many studies have shown that both non-violent and violent porn make users more likely to support violence against women and to believe that women enjoy being raped,[1] and those beliefs have been found across several research studies to be predictive of a person being sexually aggressive in real life.[2]

When it comes to violent and rape porn, the correlations become particularly strong.[3] One study even found that individuals who reported higher previous exposure to violent porn were six times more likely to report having raped someone than those who reported lower previous exposure.[4] Multiple studies have shown that even watching non-violent porn is correlated with the user being more likely to use verbal coercion, drugs, and alcohol to push women into sex.[5]

The Inception Of An Idea

How does watching something on a screen influence our beliefs and what we do? While a person watches porn, their brain is rewiring to learn what is arousing and also how to treat others in a sexual situation. Porn easily changes the brain because of the flood of dopamine that is released during viewing.

With our generation being raised on porn and with at least 64% of college-age men watching pornography weekly,[6] is it any surprise that sexual assaults are increasing? A person who rewires their brain’s arousal template with the message that violence is sexy and women enjoy being raped will obviously act the same when it comes to real-life sexual encounters.

Related: How Porn Likely Influenced Stanford Rape Case

We will never solve the problem of sexual assault as a society until we start educating ourselves on a major catalyst of this violence: porn. Violence and abuse are not sexy. Love between two real people is sexy. Let’s fight for love.

What YOU Can Do

Take a stand and speak out against the porn culture that is being promoted in society. SHARE this article to raise awareness on the harmful effects of porn. In college? Proudly rep the movement on campus by wearing one of our “Porn Kills Love” tees.

Citations

[1] Layden, M. A. (2010). Pornography and Violence: A New look at the Research. In J. Stoner and D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers (pp. 57–68). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute; Milburn, M., Mather, R., and Conrad, S. (2000). The Effects of Viewing R-Rated Movie Scenes that Objectify Women on Perceptions of Date Rape. Sex Roles 43, 9 and 10: 645–64; Weisz, M. G. and Earls, C. (1995). The Effects of Exposure to Filmed Sexual Violence on Attitudes Toward Rape. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 10, 1: 71–84; Ohbuchi, K. I., et al. (1994). Effects of Violent Pornography Upon Viewers’ Rape Myth Beliefs: A Study of Japanese Males. Psychology, Crime, and Law 7, 1: 71–81; Corne, S., et al. (1992). Women’s Attitudes and Fantasies About Rape as a Function of Early Exposure to Pornography. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 7, 4: 454–61; Check, J. and Guloien, T. (1989). The Effects of Repeated Exposure to Sexually Violent Pornography, Nonviolent Dehumanizing Pornography, and Erotica. In D. Zillmann and J. Bryant (Eds.) Pornography: Research Advances and Policy Considerations (pp. 159–84). Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; Check, J. and Malamuth, N. M. (1985). An Empirical Assessment of Some Feminist Hypotheses About Rape. International Journal of Women’s Studies 8, 4: 414–23.

[2] Hald, G. M., Malamuth, N. M., and Yuen, C. (2010). Pornography and Attitudes Supporting Violence Against Women: Revisiting the Relationship in Nonexperimental Studies. Aggression and Behavior 36, 1: 14–20; Layden, M. A. (2010). Pornography and Violence: A New look at the Research. In J. Stoner and D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers (pp. 57–68). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute; Boeringer, S. B. (1994). Pornography and Sexual Aggression: Associations of Violent and Nonviolent Depictions with Rape and Rape Proclivity. Deviant Behavior 15, 3: 289–304; Check, J. and Guloien, T. (1989). The Effects of Repeated Exposure to Sexually Violent Pornography, Nonviolent Dehumanizing Pornography, and Erotica. In D. Zillmann and J. Bryant (Eds.) Pornography: Research Advances and Policy Considerations (pp. 159–84). Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; Marshall, W. L. (1988). The Use of Sexually Explicit Stimuli by Rapists, Child Molesters, and Non-Offenders. Journal of Sex Research 25, 2: 267–88.

[3] Hald, G. M., Malamuth, N. M., and Yuen, C. (2010). Pornography and Attitudes Supporting Violence Against Women: Revisiting the Relationship in Nonexperimental Studies. Aggression and Behavior 36, 1: 14–20.

[4] Boeringer, S. B. (1994). Pornography and Sexual Aggression: Associations of Violent and Nonviolent Depictions with Rape and Rape Proclivity. Deviant Behavior 15, 3: 289–304.

[5] Boeringer, S. B. (1994). Pornography and Sexual Aggression: Associations of Violent and Nonviolent Depictions with Rape and Rape Proclivity. Deviant Behavior 15, 3: 289–304; Check, J. and Guloien, T. (1989). The Effects of Repeated Exposure to Sexually Violent Pornography, Nonviolent Dehumanizing Pornography, and Erotica. In D. Zillmann and J. Bryant (Eds.) Pornography: Research Advances and Policy Considerations (pp. 159–84). Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; Marshall, W. L. (1988). The Use of Sexually Explicit Stimuli by Rapists, Child Molesters, and Non-Offenders. Journal of Sex Research 25, 2: 267–88.

[6] Michael Lahey, Porn University: What College Students Are Really Saying About Sex on Campus (Chicago: Northfield Publishing, 2009).

 

 

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