January 30, 2018

Roku’s Promotion of Sexual Violence and Exploitation Through Facilitating Pornography

Trigger warning: one image in this blog displays the titles of pornographic films. No nude or hypersexualized images.


Roku is a streaming player company that allows its customers to stream TV and movies from the comfort of their own home. Unfortunately, Roku is also promoting sexual violence and exploitation by allowing private pornography channels on their system.

Much of the pornography available through the Roku system depicts teen, incest, slavery, and incredibly violent themes.

Surely Roku would not allow hundreds of white supremacist private channels to use and advertise Roku’s systems. Roku would act to protect its brand from being used to support such hate-filled and degrading messages regarding race—we are merely asking that Roku would do the same for women, who are the primary objects of hate-filled and degrading actions in pornography, as discussed in the research below.

Titles of pornography films available to view on Roku through private channels include:

 

By supporting these channels, Roku’s brand is linked in tacit agreement with the content pornography websites create and the messages they send.

 

  • Pornography Teaches Users that Women Enjoy Sexual Violence and Degradation: Analysis of the 50 most popular pornographic videos (those bought and rented most often) found that 88% of scenes contained physical violence, and 49% contained verbal aggression.12 Eighty-seven percent of aggressive acts were perpetrated against women, and 95% of their responses were either neutral or expressions of pleasure.[1] In a separate content analysis of free, Internet pornography, researchers found that nearly half of all videos in which two or more persons were present ended with the act of ejaculation on the face or mouth of a female by one or more males.[2]

 

  • Pornography Sends a Message that Women Are Less Deserving of Moral Treatment: A 2010 study from the European Journal of Social Psychology came to the conclusion that objectified persons are associated with less personhood, and so the person viewing the objectified person views them as less of a person and as less deserving of moral treatment.[3] Pornographic images clearly objectify and should, according to the Twitter’s own standards, be removed.

 

  • Pornography is Linked to Increased Sexual Harassment and Violence: A study of 804 Italian males and females aged 14 to 19, found that males who viewed pornography were significantly more likely to report having sexually harassed a peer or forcing someone to have sex.[4]

Building on the link between pornography use and sexual violence, a recent meta-analysis of 22 studies from seven countries provides clear evidence confirming that pornography exposure is significantly associated with sexual aggression.[5] As the authors state, “the accumulated data leave little doubt that, on the average, individuals who consume pornography more frequently are more likely to hold attitudes conducive to sexual aggression and engage in actual acts of sexual aggression.”[6]

Fraternity men who consumed mainstream pornography expressed a greater intent to commit rape if they knew they would not be caught than those who did not consume pornography. Those who consumed sadomasochistic pornography and rape-themed pornography also clearly display less bystander willingness to intervene, greater belief in rape myth, and greater intent to commit rape.[7] In other words, there was no type of pornography that did not result in a greater intent to commit rape by a user if they knew they would not be caught.

Major corporations such as Omni Hotels, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Walmart, Facebook, and others have eliminated or are eliminating pornography from their business models.

Take action and ask Roku to stop streaming sexual exploitation:


[1] Ana J. Bridges, Robert Wosnitzer, Erica Scharrer, Chyng Sun, and Rachael Liberman, “Aggression and Sexual Behavior in Best-Selling Pornography Videos: A Content Analysis Update,” Violence against Women 16, no. 10 (2010): 1065–1085.

[2] Stacy Gorman, Elizabeth Monk-Turner, and Jennifer N. Fish, “Free Adult Internet Web Sites: How Prevalent Are Degrading Acts?” Gender Issues 27, no. 3–4 (2010): 131–45, doi:10.1007/s12147-010-9095-7.

[3] Loughnan, Steve, et al. “Objectification Leads to Depersonalization: The Denial of Mind and Moral Concern to Objectified Others.” European Journal of Social Psychology, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 8 May 2010, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejsp.755/full.

[4] Silvia Bonino, Silvia Ciairano, Emanuela Rabagliette, and Elena Cattelino, “Use of Pornography and Self-Reported Engagement in Sexual Violence among Adolescents,” European Journal of Developmental Psychology 3, no. 3 (2006):265-288.

[5] Paul J. Wright, Robert S. Tokunaga, and Ashley Kraus. “A Meta-Analysis of Pornography Consumption and Actual Acts of Sexual Aggression in General Population Studies.” Journal of Communication, (December 29, 2015): 1-23.

[6] Ibid.

[7] John Foubert, Matt Brosi, and R. Bannon, “Pornography Viewing among Fraternity Men: Effects on Bystander Intervention, Rape Myth Acceptance & Behavioral Intent to Commit Sexual Assault, Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 18, no. 4 (2011): 212-231.

 

 

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