Pornography Consumption Fuels Sexual Harassment

Below is my recent letter to the editor in the Los Angeles Times regarding Judge Alex Kozinski’s pornography usage, alleged sexual harassment and subsequent resignation. 

To the editor: In discussing Judge Alex Kozinski’s recent departure from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals after allegations by several women of sexual misconduct, The Times Editorial Board states that private pornography consumption and alleged sexual harassment cannot be compared, because the former action is legal. (“Alex Kozinski’s retirement doesn’t end the discussion about sexual harassment in the judiciary,” editorial Dec. 19)

Pornography consumption is indeed legal, but that does not make it incomparable to sexual harassment. They are intimately connected. Pornography consumption fuels sexual harassment.

In fact, a meta-analysis of 46 studies reported that the effects of exposure to pornographic material are “clear and consistent,” and that pornography use puts people at increased risk for accepting rape myths, which fuel sexual harassment, and even for committing sexual offenses.

The editorial board rightly suggests the federal judiciary should rededicate itself to preventing “sexual harassment or other forms of abuse and exploitation.” In so doing, the judiciary should consider the real connections between all forms of sexual exploitation.

Private pornography viewing may be legal for a judge just as it is for other Americans. But as Kozinski’s case illustrates, judges are no more immune from pornography’s harmful effects than others.

The Numbers

300+

NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.

100+

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.

93

NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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