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“Learning Sex from Porn is a Terrible Idea”: Jameela Jamil is Sounding the Alarm on Porn, and We’re Here for It

By May 10, 2019 No Comments
Cover photo from Rachel Murray/Getty Images for MAKERS, retrieved from CheatSheet.com.

You may know her as Tahani from NBC’s smash hit show, “The Good Place,” but Jameela Jamil is becoming known for her body positivity advocacy, and now, for dropping the facts on how porn is anything but casual entertainment.

At a recent conference put on by MAKERS, a female-empowerment media brand, Jameela put the porn industry on blast in her impassioned speech about how raisers of young men can equip them to partner with and deeply respect women in our world.

Here’s just one of her fire quotes from the speech, you can click here to watch the whole thing:

“Tell him about sex. Not just reproduction, but sex. The fun, pleasurable part of it. The joy of equal pleasure and enthusiastic consent. Do not shy away from this. Do not make it an awkward topic in your house. Because if you push him into the shadows, he will find Pornhub in there and that will become his teacher. And nobody needs that b—s—. I believe that learning sex from porn is like learning how to drive from watching ‘The Fast and Furious,’ a f— terrible idea.”

Because of the decades of research and personal stories showcasing how porn does exactly this, we agree and applaud Jameela for speaking out.

(Warning: the clip below has some strong language.)

And with recent reports about the “Great American Sex Drought,” especially in young males aged 18-30, she hasn’t been afraid to offer a hot take:

Any guesses as to what part of the internet she might be referencing? Considering what the research says about lowered sexual satisfaction and sex drive, it’s probably porn.

People Are Not Products - White

Porn is not quality education about sex

Whether you like it or not, a lot of people look to the causes that celebrities speak up on for inspiration on what they themselves should contribute to. And when stars use their public platforms to give visibility to this important issue, it makes that much more of a difference.

In many of the public statements Jameela has given on the topic of porn, she’s often talked about how porn is teaching consumers—specifically male ones—toxic themes that ultimately belittle women’s worth and value and emphasize incorrect or harmful information about sex.

Related: Male Porn Habits Could Fuel Female Partners’ Eating Disorders, New Study Says

She’s right on target with what the research is saying, too. A recent study of adolescent porn use concluded that the major messages presented by porn are male domination, hypermasculinity, and making male sexual pleasure the top priority.

But wait, there’s more.

In another recent study, researchers viewed and coded the 50 most-viewed videos of all time on Pornhub, watching for pleasure-inducing acts and clear indicators of enjoyment from performers. Their findings? In these top videos, 78% of men were shown having an orgasm, compared to just 18.3% of women. What does that tell us?

The main researcher’s conclusion was that “representations of male and female orgasm in mainstream pornography may serve to perpetuate unrealistic beliefs and expectations in relation to female orgasm and male sexual performance,” and that “the male orgasm is paramount.” Surprised?

And think about this, too—what messages does this kind of content send to young women and girls? It says that their enjoyment of sex with a committed and consenting partner isn’t important, and that they should accept being controlled and dominated. This is one of the many, many reasons why porn is toxic for both men and women.

Related: “No Harm In Looking, Right?” A Study Of Porn’s Impact On Self-Esteem

Clearly, porn is not a quality tool to learn about mutually satisfying sex, even though 60% of students say they watch it for that exact reason. So if it’s not teaching consumers how to be good, respectful partners who are mutually interested in pleasing the other, what is it really teaching?

Well, there are quite a few research studies about that, too. And, spoiler alert, porn is basically the most toxic teacher around, including the lessons it has about body image and self-esteem—both issues that Jameela is known for speaking out about.

Normalizing Abuse Isnt Normal

And what about body image and self-esteem?

In a very recent study, it was revealed that women whose male partners watch pornography on a regular basis are more likely to report symptoms of an eating disorder. Published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, the research also identified strong links between women whose partners watch porn and feelings of guilt about eating and preoccupations with body fat.

Related: How My Porn Obsession Fueled My Self-Harming And Made Me Hate My Body

In another recent study done on both straight and gay men, viewing pornography was correlated with higher levels of body dissatisfaction. Pornography exposure was correlated with social physique anxiety for gay men and a higher tendency of developing an eating disorder.

And in yet another study, researchers found that men’s frequent porn habits were linked with body dysmorphic ideas, internal body shame and negative self-view, and toxic ideas about romantic relationships.

These studies and so many more are why we get so excited when we see celebrities speaking out about porn’s harms. Keep speaking out, Jameela—we’re with you.

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