How Pornography Promotes Violence Towards Women

Controversial, I know. At least maybe to the 40 million Americans that regularly visit porn websites. If my titles confuses you, makes you feel offence or even defence, it’s time to listen up. “How could me watching porn ever affect women in real life?” Let’s think about it this way. It’s estimated that 91.5% of men and 60.2% of women consume porn. And 1 in every three porn videos depict sexual violence, almost always towards women. So in other words; a lot of people are regularly consuming videos of women being abused and degraded and not only that but become sexually aroused by it. It’s being normalized. And according to neuroscientific studies people who regularly watch porn start to become desensitized to the videos they are consuming and begin to consume content that becomes increasingly more extreme. So more violence, more aggression, and more abuse.

It is disturbing that people view women being hit, slapped, choked, and physically abused as sexually arousing. Not only disturbing but terrifying. Consumers of porn are becoming so used to seeing this type of content that it’s normal to them. Women being abused is no longer shocking and no longer offensive to these consumers. In fact, research has indicated that porn consumers are more likely to objectify others

I’m not here to kink shame anyone. Do what you please as long as it is consensual and mutually beneficial. But it is so important to understand the normalization of violence towards women in porn has a real effect on the world. It affects the way people see women. It affects the way people feel towards violence against women. It affects how many people objectify women and the ways in which they do it. I don’t think everyone and anyone needs to completely stop watching porn and have it completely erased from the internet. I think that it’s important to ACKNOWLEDGE the type of porn you are consuming, how it might be affecting you, and how it might be harmful to women and/or others. Find and explore new kinks if you find yourself being aroused by women being in pain and/or women being degraded. 

This depiction of violence in porn also presents itself in the real world involving hook up culture. Please please please discuss with your partner what your likes and dislikes are, what is okay and what is not okay. I’ve seen a countless amount of posts and comments of women speaking up about how men will assume that they want to be choked or have their hair pulled during a sexual intimacy. Even people I’ve talked to in real life have told me about the same kind of experiences. You can not assume that everyone you hook up with is going to be into that kind of stuff. It can be traumatizing for someone to experience these types of things during sexual intimacy especially if they are trying to please or impress their partner. It can be difficult or awkward to speak up about not liking a certain thing during a sexual act. Again, please just discuss it beforehand! 

I strongly believe that this is a topic that needs to be discussed more frequently and be acknowledged by others. I know it’s a taboo subject, but being that so many people consume porn, especially violent porn it needs to be addressed. It’s important that people understand the facts and evidence surrounding its real world effects. I strongly encourage you all to educate yourselves more thoroughly on this subject.

2 thoughts on “How Pornography Promotes Violence Towards Women

  1. Hey aquariusgal18, I just wanted to reach out and post a comment in support — as a sociologist who studies media effects with a focus on sexualized media and its connections to gender and sexual inequality and interpersonal violence, as a faculty member at JMU, and as a member of the JMU Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Advisory Board, I could not agree with you more that we need more critical discourse and engagement of these issues and realities are on our campus and beyond. I just wanted to thank you for taking this on and creating this space … Thank you! Please feel free to reach out if I can be a support or resource for you in any way!

    ~Matt Ezzell
    Sociology, JMU


  2. Great post! This discussion is often dismissed as I think it can make many people uncomfy, but it is such an important conversation to have. The oversexualized portrayal of women in the sex industry and/or media has real-life effects on women. I think this topic needs to be explored more heavily and to do that maybe we need to start with removing the stigma of sex work.


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