Why Women Hate Porn: Research Redux

Out of all my ~80 posts, nothing gets traffic like Browser Beaten: 10 Reasons Why Women Hate Porn. In fact, readership for all other posts combined barely equals that single one, and that presents an obvious question:

Why??

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From the referral stats, it seems that some traffic is just pervs googling “beaten women porn” and other naughty phrases.  Even more traffic, though, comes from questions like, “Why does my girlfriend/wife/etc hate porn?” or even “Why do I hate porn??”

The numbers indicate that a LOT of men want to understand why their partner isn’t okay with online simulated sexcapades. Honestly, I’m glad they’re doing some leg work and reading up on the issue. I wrote that post as a “Hey fellas, not trying to antagonize you, but just FYI, this is what this looks like from a female perspective.” So, that’s awesome guys are finding, reading, and occasionally finding the it useful enough to share on Reddit FB etc.

At the same time, I kinda feel bad that the post was so…jovial? I stayed away from harder issues, like the de-humanizing exploits of the industry, sex trafficking, glorification of rape, and sites where women are humiliated as “exes” or “drunk college sluts.” I thought staying light might better serve the overall message, but now… It’s time to stop playing nice. There’s some pretty f’ed up research accumulating, and all of it points to a sad reality regarding porn. If the Browser Beaten article is any indication, I’ll probably get some angry emails from people who didn’t even bother to read or consider the articles below, but I can’t NOT share this.

CWT - Prepare Yourself

Here’s some tip-of-the-iceberg reading on the unseen implications of pornography:

- Pornography’s Effects on Interpersonal Relationships

I suggest this article right off the bat. It’s thoughtful, comprehensive, and a better literature review than most anything I’ve seen.

Bottom line: The social ramifications of pornography are here, and they are worthy of concern. For example, Men who watch porn show higher anxiety, less empathy, and a reduced ability to carry on social relationships, both romantic and platonic.

Research that claims there are “no consequences” to porn usually base that on a standard of hardcore brain damage or bust. Obviously this (like any other detrimental habit that doesn’t involve drugs) won’t present as a hardcore toxin eating away at our meninges, e.g. Meth or ecstasy. If “no effect” means “no effect” compared to popping tainted ecstasy 2x a week, well, yeah, the average RedTube visitor probably looks solid by comparison. But is that really the point??

While we might not find visible alterations being made to the brain, the goal isn’t to quantify the effects (or affects) of porn in that regard. For one, 30 years from now our tech is probably going to get the same scoffing disregard that we give phrenology. We really don’t know what means what or why things happen in the brain.

In relationships, what we can quantify indicates that issues are 1) often subtle, 2) often evolving over weeks, months, or years, 3) often pervasive and involve systems from pair-bonding to basic reward/motivation. The question is not, “Does porn creating mass-murdering rapist psychopaths?” but, “What is this doing to our relationships and personal mental health?”

Read the article, fellas. I dare you.

I have no idea what this meme is really about.

Of course, if you’re prone to doubt the woman-as-an-anthropologist view, chew on this one, an MD neurosurgeon who discusses what we DO know about physiological changes involved in porn addiction:

- Pornography addiction – a supranormal stimulus considered in the context of neuroplasticity
There’s a lot of science talk, so apologies if you’re not into that kind of thing.  The author also makes some basic analogies that should hit home:

“Consider hypothetically two individuals, frantically fixated to their computers, both trying to win an intermittently reinforced reward. Both spend hours a night at their task, and have for some period, to the point of exhaustion. Work and personal relationships are affected negatively, yet they cannot stop. One is looking at pornography, searching for just the right clip for sexual consummation; the other is engrossed in an online poker game. One reward is masturbatory, and the monetary, yet the DSM-5 classifies only the poker as an addiction.”

Basically, jerking off to online stimulation is not harmless and immune to pathologies. What we classify as “addicted,” eg to gambling, applies here as well.

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More of the ridiculously disconcerting research:

Aggression and Sexual Behavior in Best-Selling Pornography Videos: A Content Analysis Update

2010 article on analysis of *popular* pornographic video content. “88.2% contained physical aggression, principally spanking, gagging, and slapping, while 48.7% of scenes contained verbal aggression, primarily name-calling.”

sexism-poster

Um, wait. 88% is not just a lot, it’s damn near definitive. The article also points out that this is aggression is (surprise) almost always towards women, and “name calling” is a nice way of referencing that some woman was called a cum-slurping slut bitch who better take it up the ass before she gets pissed on.  Terr-iffic.

The worst part is that this is the analysis indicates such behavior is the SELLING point to men. Yikes.

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Get ready, folks. This is our future.

I’ve had hesitations about the medium for a while, but now it’s time to say it: Porn is not doing our society any favors. In fact, it’s probably poisoning our relationships, perpetuating misogyny, and ruining your motivation (maybe even getting you fired, if you’re one of the dumb friggin 20% of men who watch it at work).

Anyway. Think on it. Try to take a week off, and see what happens.

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Creepiest. Meme. Ever.

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2 responses to “Why Women Hate Porn: Research Redux

  1. Pingback: big burlesque bust & faux fun feminsim | PMS:PostModernSingle·

  2. Alright this is a little silly.

    I have to address the porn and poker analogy. When people in my life have gotten addicted to poker, they have stayed up all night, throwing away their life savings, like you mentioned. They lose all their money and ruin their lives with their obsession. Now for the porn addicts of my life. I myself watch porn, usually once a day. Has my life been ruined? No. Do I have friends of over three years? Absolutely. Do I have platonic female friends? Yes. Do all of my porn view friends, female and male, have all these things in common with me? Yes. I watch porn when I need to masturbate. Its just something that helps me get off. Those women and the actions of those men have no hold on how I look at or treat women. In fact, on the rare occasion that I have a girlfriend, I stop watching porn completely. It isn’t even a conscious decision, I just lose interest. And then when we break up I start again. An addiction doesn’t behave that way. I do not gamble because I know what it would do to me. I know I would get sucked in and likely never get out. So I don’t gamble.

    Furthermore, it has no effect on how I treat my women. When I am interested in a girl, all I care about is her happiness. I aim to see her smile because it makes me smile. When I think about sex, I don’t think about ways I get to abuse her. I think of ways I get to make her moan. My focus is entirely on her. What’s more, my favorite part of sex comes after sex, when we get to cuddle and laugh and talk. I’m not the most cultured or proactive guy, so can you explain to me how my behavior is misogynist? If porn so definitively changes the way I look at women, how is it that I do this after watching porn since I was no younger than 8?

    I am getting tired of this trend of blaming substances and entities over person responsible for using them. When someone suffers from a gambling addiction, I say it’s the gamblers fault for allowing himself to get addicted to the game. I will be first in line to help him with his problem but I am not going to blame gambling or the people who facilitate it.

    We hear so often of porn ruining relationships. The thing is, we don’t know how that relationship would have gone without porn. It is just as likely that the relationship would have taken the same tumble without porn. In my experience, people turn to porn when they aren’t feeling fulfilled by their partner. When that is the case, the relationship is already in pretty deep trouble. Some might say this is where the couple needs to compromise and change to meet each others needs. Turns out, though, that people are pretty awful at changing and don’t often like the results when they do. So now the couple is doing things that neither of them really want to do and are slowly become miserable with each other. I’ve seen this happen and I’ve heard about it more times than I can count. How is this option better than watching porn to satisfy the occasional lust?

    People shouldn’t be so obsessed about making a relationship work. I understand that relationships are work and can be hard, but I also understand that sometimes relationships are impossible. Sometimes they just run their course and need to end. Constantly battling to keep it together is no way to live. It isn’t porn that ruins the relationship, it’s the people. If someone starts watching porn in a relationship, it isn’t because they are addicted to it, it’s because they want something that isn’t their partner. Let’s say that a couple refuses to watch porn. When one of them loses sexual interest in the other and would rather be watching porn or sleeping with someone else, are they going to sleep with their partner? I know I wouldn’t. And if they do, what good is a relationship held together by sex? What happens when the other person becomes something to find a moments sexual pleasure while you think of someone else? That sounds a bit objectifying. That seems to be one of the biggest arguments against porn, but it can happen in any situation.

    To sum up, porn doesn’t affect everyone the way you seem to think it does. It doesn’t compel you to do anything. It doesn’t have some diabolical plot. It’s just there for everyones consumption. Using it is a choice made by the people watching it, not the porn. Let’s stop with the pushing of blame on to websites that host certain types of videos and take some responsibility for ourselves. So many things can be classified as addictive that we should just call life an addiction. Let’s stop blaming things for our short comings and just live.

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