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October 26, 2020

Washington Examiner: Study shows porn profits from and promotes racism

Originally Published at The Washington Examiner

By Sommer Porter


It may be tempting to think that watching online pornography is an innocent activity. But the reality is that today’s online pornography is much darker and more exploitative than ever. It’s also rife with racist stereotypes.

Despite the blatant evidence of racism in pornography and the commercial sex industry in general, online pornography continues to fly under the radar of the public’s usually critical eye, and research tends to ignore the issue altogether.

However, a new study published by researchers at Indiana University Bloomington looked into how black men and women are portrayed in online pornography. The study, which examined 1,741 pornographic scenes from two of the largest global online porn streaming sites, found that black women were consistently more likely to be the target of aggression when compared to white women, while black men were significantly more likely to be shown perpetrating acts of aggression compared to white men. The researchers also pointed out that “depictions of aggression towards women are highest in scenes featuring Black couples compared to all other racial pairings including interracial pairings.”

It is abundantly clear that pornography profits from (and even revels in) disgusting and harmful racist stereotypes wherein black women are treated as sexual objects to be beaten, while black men are depicted as aggressive and dangerous. If white women are portrayed as mere objects, black women are portrayed as animals or aggressive sexual sirens.

If we are to embrace the mission of fully combating racism in our modern societies, the pornography industry must be held to account. Through the #Traffickinghub campaign, more than 2 million people have united in a call to shut down Pornhub for hosting videos of sex-trafficked individuals, child sexual abuse victims, non-consensually shared images, and extremely racist content.

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