August 12, 2015

Violence: The Newly Accepted Form of Sexual Expression

Porn addiction is a widespread epidemic. As scientists study this phenomenon, their findings continue to confirm the fact that porn use plays a very definite part in attitudinal and behavioral actions in various situations.

One of the ways that pornography influences behavior and attitude is the way people respond in a situation of sexual assault.

A new study, authored by John D. Foubert, from Oklahoma State University, and Ana J. Bridges, from the University of Arkansas, explores how pornography use is changing the way that people respond to sexual violence, if they choose to respond at all.

An Addictive Drug

Pornography is a rampant addiction. Foubert and Bridges’ study, What Is The Attraction? Pornography Use Motives in Relation to Bystander Intervention published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, reports that between 76% and 87% of males in college view porn every year, with 48% of them viewing it weekly. Women in college view porn significantly less, with a rate of one third viewing it each year.

Porn and Violence

Pornography is rewiring the brain when it comes to responding to a situation of violence where sexual aggression takes place. Typically, when a person witnesses any violence against an innocent party, the instinct is to run to the defense of the victim.

However, the widespread use of pornography is training people to blame the victim and side with the perpetrator, rather than helping the victim.

The Journal of Interpersonal Violence reports its findings.

In experimental studies with women, violent pornography exposure, especially in combination with alcohol intoxication, is associated with increased ratings of blame for rape victims, decreased assignment of responsibility to male sexual assault perpetrators, and the belief that victims should accept sexual victimization.

In essence, pornography is telling our college students and the next generation that it is ok to blame rape victims, permissible to ignore a situation where sexual violence is taking place, and adopt a mentality that victims should accept abuse. (Page 2)

As the study puts it, pornography is reshaping minds to think that violence and sexual aggression should be seen as normal and an accepted form of self expression.

Taken together, results support decades-old assertions that pornographic media contribute to a culture of sexual callousness, especially toward violence against women. (Page 2)

Some might find this astounding, but, in all honesty, why are we surprised? Fifty Shades of Grey glorified the sexual abuse of women. Cosmopolitan magazine is encouraging its readers to view porn, even linking them to a torture kink site, recently. Porn has never been about sexual freedom and sexual expression. It has always been about the degradation of women.

Violence Is Becoming the Norm

Violence is the norm in today’s culture. It is romanticized on TV, movies, video games, and pornography. Foubert and Bridges’ study comes to the conclusion that because adolescents are constantly seeing violence and sex paired together as a good thing, they may very welldevelop sexual scripts that infuse the two.” (page 4/5).

Furthermore:

  • use of Internet and other types of pornography is associated with a variety of sexually violent behavior
  • men’s use of pornography is strongly associated with acceptance of sexual violence
  • men who frequently use pornography are more likely to have perpetrated rape and other forms of sexual aggression

While society is telling us that we can have our “sexual gratification” cake and eat it too. The acceptance and use of porn has lead to a hugely significant increase in sexual violence and a warped acceptance of sexual violence.

Turning a Blind Eye

Young people today are now turning a blind eye to sexual violence. Violent porn is a contributor to why there is a decrease in bystander intervention in situations of sexual violence.

The findings of Foubert and Bridges’ study show that while women are more willing to intervene in a rape situation than men, people in general report lower willingness to intervene in a bystander situation of sexual assault.

From the results of the present study, it seems that one’s motivation to use pornography can affect an individual’s disposition on whether intervening needs to occur. It is logical that viewing violent media of a sexual nature could affect whether one is favorably disposed to intervene in a sexually violent situation. (Page 15)

This simple fact is what society must accept. Pornography addiction does not come without a price.

If one is bombarded with messages that sex and violence go together, why would they believe stopping such behavior is necessary (Page 15).

With the mass infusion of sexual violence in porn, both men and women are being trained to think that violence is a good thing in sex. In fact, today’s violence saturated porn is telling us that violence must be present in sex in order for it to be satisfactory.

Today’s pornography, with its emphasis on men’s violence against women, is used by both men and women in an attempt to arouse a sexual partner. In using such violent media, men and women are encouraging each other to be sexually stimulated by images where men hit women and women seem to enjoy it. If in fact users are sexually stimulated by this material, the arousal can serve to reinforce the desirability of men’s violence against women in the minds of both men and women. (Page 17)

The evidence has been gathered and proven. Pornography has trained both men and women to turn to violence in order to fulfill their sexual fantasies. It has drugged society into thinking that violence can be passively observed, and that victims of violence are undeserving of defense. The acceptance of sexual violence by society is reprehensible. Our children, husbands, wives, siblings, and friends deserve so much more. Join the movement to end sexual exploitation.

Rachel del Guidice

Intern

Rachel del Guidice is an intern at NCSE. She is a senior at Franciscan University of Steubenville where she is Communication Arts Major with a concentration in Journalism. She is dedicated to bring about a culture where objectification of both men and women is not tolerated and where all people are appreciated for their character rather than physical appearance or social status.

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