Is porn degrading? Does it dehumanize the people on screen? Do viewers care, if they do recognize that it’s degrading?

There’s a curious contradiction in Australians’ attitudes to porn the majority of people watch it, but many of them also agree it’s degrading to women, reports Australia’s Huffington Post blog.

A University of Sydney study of 20,000 Australians found 84% of men and 54% of women had watched porn, and more than half of men and women agreed that pornography could improve sexual relations among adultsa total lie sold by the porn industry.

The study, published in the Journal of Sex Research also showed 42% of men and 49% of women agreed pornography degraded women shown in it.

The study also found 4% of men and 1% of women said they had a problem with pornography addiction.

“This is a topic that whips people into a frenzy all over the world, but this representative sample of Australians shows it’s not something that concerns many people,” said University of Sydney professor Chris Rissel.

That’s a problem.

The survey only discussed females on screen, but we know porn humiliates and degrades the performers on screen—men and women. The fact is, porn and violence (particularly against women) go hand in hand, and this survey proves that viewers are aware of that, yet they are complacent and desensitized to it. How is that healthy? Should we, as a society, be okay with becoming desensitized to the blatant and degrading violence that porn glorifies?

Countless studies show that exposure to porn desensitizes men to violence against women and influences them to believe it’s acceptable to repeat what they’ve seen on screen. But it may surprise you that violent porn isn’t the only issue. Researchers have found that even non-violent porn can influence the viewer to use forms of verbal manipulation and alcohol to push women into sex.

This is all easily overlooked considering the popular belief that women in porn do it for the enjoyment. On the contrary, in a lot of cases, many women turn to porn as a last resort or as a result of drug abuse or in part because they are victims of sexual abuse.

Don’t think porn is really about violence? Think of it this way: some of the most common categories of adult films are situations where women are being taken advantage of against their will. That’s not okay.

Anyone who reads or listens to the latest media reports about porn and the porn industry will undoubtedly come across countless stories of the industry’s violent nature. We have too many ex-porn stars’ stories about abuse they endured during filming. Here’s just one of them:

“[One particular film] was the most brutal, depressing, scary scene that I have ever done. I have tried to block it out from my memory due to the severe abuse that I received during the filming. The [male performer] has a natural hatred towards women, in the sense that he has always been known to be more brutal than ever needed. I agreed to do the scene, thinking it was less beating except a punch in the head. If you noticed, [he] had worn his solid gold ring the entire time and continued to punch me with it. I actually stopped the scene while it was being filmed because I was in too much pain.” –Alex

This is just one of the countless situations we hear about, exposing the harmful reality of porn both on and off camera. So with many young boys becoming obsessed with porn as young as age 12, are their developing brains being taught to make love to women, or to make hate? Same goes for young girls. Are they being taught to have respect for themselves, or that real love means respect? Or are they being taught that it’s okay to be degraded as long as people keep coming back for more?

Why this matters

This Australian study demonstrates the fact that both men and women all over the world are becoming complacent to the violence shown in porn, and we’re not okay with it.

THIS is why we’re fighting for love and shining a spotlight on the lies and unhealthy ideas porn sells. Finding complacent enjoyment and gratification in another human’s exploitation and abuse is one of many negative effects of porn’s acceptance and normalization in society. We’re here to raise awareness and say that isn’t healthy.

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What YOU Can Do

Violence and degradation go hand in hand with porn. SHARE this article to spread the word that porn is harmful!

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