The Effects of Pornography
More and more Internet sites are portraying pornography. Playboy.com gets about 5 million hits , or visitors daily. More than 266 new pornography sites are created every day. With the help of technology pornography has become more and more accessible regardless of the age of the viewers. Since pornography never actually makes physical with viewers, some might think it is innocuous. Yet, there are many people who view pornography as a scourge on society that needs to be strictly censored. Thus the questions arises: what harm if any does pornography do to viewers and to what extent? Pornography affects viewers mentally and has been known to be a factor in sexual violence.
Pornography is the theory, and rape the practice. (Morgan, Prgph. 4) This is not entirely without evidence. In the U.S. 87% of convicted molesters of girls, and 77% of convicted molesters of boys, admit to the use of pornography, most often in the commission of their crimes. ( Pornography is Harmful, Prgph. 2)
One researcher reported individuals who view pornography are more likely to think of women as eager to accommodate any and every sexual request.(Morgan, Prgph. 2) These statistics are proof that pornography does play a part in rape. Susan Gubar, author of Depictions of Female Violation , was most accurate when stating: through the transformation from image to act and act to image, we become lost in a world of mirrors that teaches us to see women as the willing, desirous, and deserving slaves of punitive masters.
When advertisers create commercials, they put in vivid pictures and snapshots to catch your eye. This is because advertisers and pornographers know how compelling images are. Psychologists believe that images affect attitudes, thinking, behavior, and choices.( Harms of Pornography , Prgph. 2) Excessive use of pornography can lead to abnormal behavior and thinking patterns.
Pornography has a compulsive or addictive nature. Four stages of viewing pornography following the initial exposure are: Addiction, Escalation, Desensitization, and Acting out.( Fact: Pornography is Harmful , Prgph. 5) Addiction is the desire and need for pornographic images. Escalation is the need for more explicit, rougher, and more deviant images for the same sexual effect. Desensitization is the stage where material once viewed as shocking is seen as acceptable or commonplace. The final is the Acting out stage. This is the tendency to perform the behaviors viewed, including exhibitionism, sadistic/masochistic sex, group sex, rape or sex with minor children. ( Fact: Pornography is Harmful, Prgph. 7)
Internet pornography is both prevalent and easily accessible by children. Teenagers use the Internet an average of 8.5 hours per week for chatting and e-mailing, compared to 1.8 hours spent using it for school work. An estimated 18.8 million children under 18 have access to home computers and internet usage. In August, 1997, there were 72,000 sexually explicit sites on the Internet, and an estimated 266 new porn sites every day.( Harms of Pornography , Prgph. 4) The vast majority of Americans believe a ban on Internet pornography should be legal.( Pornography in Our Lives , Prgph. 5) However, we now have no legal means to protect children from sexually explicit material on the Internet. The door has been flung open wide for pornographers and sexual predators
According to Catherine A. MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin, pornography can be defined as the graphic, sexually explicit subordination of women in pictures or in words. Pornography should be banned as a threat to women because it dehumanizes women into becoming sexual objects. Women in pornographic movies are often raped and forced to act in degrading ways. But viewers of these films come to believe that these women enjoy these acts, leading men into believing that this is the way that all women like to be treated.
Many anti-censorship groups argue that pornography is wrong. They claim that most forms of pornography are not violent and as a result have no effect on people. However, studies by two psychologists, Dolf Zillman and Jennings Bryant, discovered that people exposed to non-violent pornography made people more violent towards women. They also found that massive exposure to pornography desensitized them to rape as a criminal charge.
Many people who are affected by pornography were exposed to it while they were in their adolescent stage. Many steps can be taken to stop this. For one parents should teach their children about the harms of pornography. They should also evaluate the access to media (cable tv, magazines, Internet). There are also many programs available for parents to block pornography on PC s. These steps can cut back the amount of pornography
In this society, pornography is becoming more and more prevalent in society. It has become a plague that is affecting people mentally. When there is a high circulation of pornography there are more and more cases of rape. Pornography also degrades women and tends to make men view women as inferior. It is becoming more and more urgent that people must put a stop to pornography before it becomes to widespread to stop.