March 8, 2016

STATEMENT: On International Women’s Day, We Must Address the Role of Pornography in Fostering Inequality

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE


 Washington, DC – The theme of International Women’s Day this year is gender parity. Individuals and organizations around the world are being encouraged to sign a “parity pledge” to commit to promoting gender equality in the workplace and in daily life. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) believes that pornography is fostering inequality between the sexes on a massive scale.

“Pornography is anti-woman,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “International Women’s Day is a time not only to celebrate successful advances toward equality, but it is also a time to raise awareness about institutions like the porn industry that continue to promote damaging and degrading narratives about women. Pornography regularly teaches that women enjoy physical and sexual violence. Research has shown that 88% of analyzed scenes from the most popular pornographic videos contained physical violence, and 94% of the time that violence was directed against the woman. Ninety-five percent of these victims of violence responded with either pleasure or neutrality, while men in the films were four times more likely to be upset at any attacker. These themes, witnessed over and over again, ingrain beliefs in individuals and society that women are both objects to be used for sexual pleasure and that women will smile and thank you after being abused.”

“In fact, research has shown that adult exposure to pornographic media is associated with believing a rape victim enjoys rape,” Hawkins continued. “This cannot be tolerated in any society that strives to promote equality and respect between men and women, and it must be widely recognized as harmful to the plight of women’s equality. To take the ‘parity pledge’ this year, we must denounce all pornography.”

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