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Porn Perpetuates Racist Stereotypes of Asian Women, Study Finds

This study found that porn tends to use harmful racial stereotypes when portraying Asian women, displaying them as submissive and without agency.

By February 28, 2022No Comments

Decades of studies from respected academic institutions, have demonstrated significant impacts of porn consumption for individuals, relationships, and society. "What’s the Research" aims to shed light on the expanding field of academic resources that showcase porn’s harms in a variety of ways. Below are selected excerpts from published studies on this issue.

The full study can be accessed here.

Lotus Blossom or Dragon Lady: A Content Analysis of “Asian Women” Online Pornography

Authors: Yanyan Zhou & Bryant Paul
Published: July 2016

Peer-Reviewed Journal: Sexuality & Culture

Abstract

A content analysis was undertaken to consider the depiction of sexual behaviors in a random sample of videos from the “Asian Women” category of content on XVideos, which is the largest and most popularly visited free online pornography tube site in US.

The study has shown that women in the Asian women category were depicted very differently from women in other categories of pornography. Women in Asian women category of pornography were treated less aggressively. In addition, women in the Asian women category were less objectified but also had lower agency in sexual activities.

Thus, the Asian women stereotype in current pornography is closer to “Lotus Blossom” and far away from “Dragon Lady.” The results are considered in terms of their potential to influence the perceptions of content consumers.

Background

‘‘Asian women’’ is a relatively prevalent category in many US free pornography websites. According to the category name, pornography in this category may combine the stereotype of gender (women) and race (Asian).

Therefore, it is necessary for us to review existing studies that have analyzed sexual script of women and non-white people, in sexually explicit materials.

Methods

In the current study, sexual behaviors were divided into six categories: from male to female, from female to male, from male to male, from female to female, self-male and self-female. Under each category, coders were asked to code what sexual behaviors have happened in the scene.

Results

The results clearly indicated that women in the Asian women category were depicted very differently from women depicted in other categories of pornography…

Combining all findings in the current study, it seems that women in Asian women category on XVideos were closer to the ‘‘Lotus Blossom’’ stereotype while far away from the ‘‘Dragon Lady’’ stereotype. They were good girls that were less likely to actively seduce men. Thus, men were also less aggressive to them.

They were innocent so they rarely participate in non-normative and lesbian sexual behaviors. They were submissive and docile so rather than initiate sex and pursue sexual pleasure by touching their own bodies, they were just waiting men to initiate sex and offer them sexual pleasure…

Asian women were still depicted as sexually submissive and inactive. If that is the sexual script about Asian women people will learn from online pornography, it might lead to men’s special sexual fantasy towards Asian women, suppress Asian women’s motivation to actively explore their sexualities and lead to discrimination towards Asian women who are actively pursuing their own sexual desire and pleasure.

The full study can be accessed here.

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