June 14, 2016

STATEMENT: Porn Website Attempts to Block Rape Videos after Brock Turner Scandal

Washington, DC – In the aftermath of the Stanford rape case, in which convicted rapist Brock Turner received a sentence of only six months in jail and three years of probation, the pornographic website xHamster is instituting what it calls the “Brock Turner Rule,” blocking any videos depicting rape or non-consensual sex. However, as the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) reveals, the latest research indicates that all genres of porn, not only those simulating rape, perpetuate rape culture.

“Porn culture is feeding rape culture on college campuses,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “Any pornography website that denies it, or that tries to portray itself as a responsible social actor, has no credibility in light of the research. For instance, a 2011 study published in Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity analyzed the effects of pornography use on sexual attitudes and behaviors of fraternity college men. It found that 83% of those who used “mainstream” pornography expressed greater intent to commit rape, should they be assured they wouldn’t get caught. This change in attitude towards rape among college-aged men remained consistent across all genres of pornography. Men who used sadomasochistic- and rape-themed pornography were significantly more likely to report belief in rape myths.”

“Further, even in mainstream pornography, many performers experience coercion,” Hawkins continued. “Pornography performers have reported that if they protested against doing something in a scene, they were often threatened with physical abuse or other forms intimidation and manipulation. During filming it is common for performers to be given drugs and alcohol in order to keep the scenes going regardless of the physical trauma to the women’s bodies. Despite signing contracts restricting which acts they were or were not willing to perform, many performers report the contracts were ignored, or they were pressured into performing the exact acts they didn’t want to do. Even when a pornographic scene is not intended to simulate non-consensual acts, it may depict an individual who is being coerced in real life.”

Hawkins concluded, “Pornography makes women ‘rape ready’ in the mind of its users, because it portrays conquering and using female bodies as the ideal display of masculinity. Thus, the only suitable course of action for xHamster, and the myriad of pornography sites like it, is to shut-down immediately.“

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