Pornography is degrading towards women essay

pornography / women / violence / Donnerstein / Zillman

Essay Topic:

The ability of pornography to change the male attitude towards women.

Essay Questions:

How is the male population influenced by sexually violent content in magazines, video and pornography?

Does pornography change the male attitude towards women?

What is the attiture of the society towards pornography

Thesis Statement:

Pornography is a kind of cultural sadism where women become the victims of violence and rape.


Pornography is degrading towards women essay

Essay Outline:
o    Introduction
o    Sexually violent content in magazines, video and net pornography
o    Pornography and men’s attitude towards women
o    Is pornography degrading towards women?
o    Should society be a censor?
o    Conclusion
The word “pornography” has caused a lot of arguments lately. Some people think that pornography is good, some think it is bad and some simple do not know what to think for they do not completely understand what is the exact definition of pornography. Pornography, according to a famous feminist Andrea Dworkin is actually a rather sexually explicit subordination of women(Dworkin,1993). A lot of people, and especially women, believe that the very essence of pornography is the humiliation of the woman’s dignity. It is interesting to note that the attitude towards pornography with the gender of the respondent. So, once again, besides the morality issue, it is all about men arguing with women. Men tend to defend pornography from the desire of women to ban it absolutely. Pornography is a kind of cultural sadism where women become the victims of violence and rape. It goes without saying that the image of a woman is degradation “owing” to this phenomenon. It is really hard to imagine a man respecting a woman and feeling a thrill of joy just being next to her after having spent years watching how women have sexual encounters with several men, animals and other morally defective manifestations. Whether it is a perversion or not is not even the issue. The issue is that the moment these films start being exposed to large audience they start hurting the morality of the society and degrade the men’s attitude towards women. So, should it be banned?
Sexually violent content in different types of pornography
The most well known magazines illustrating nude female bodies such as “Playboy” or “Penthouse” correspond to the Miller standard of obscenity and therefore are considered to be appropriate . Indeed, they have nothing to do with sexual violence upon women, but are aimed at showing the beauty of the women’s bodies and therefore are erotically oriented. The underground nevertheless offers a wide range of pornography magazines with inappropriate pictures including violent behavior towards women and humiliating headings . Pornography videotapes are popular and available as they have never been before or may be also called “home pornography”. Such video pornography is usually sold or rented and often include extra-violent tapes where women are hurt by being penetrated by unhealthy objects, raped, and forced to do humiliating things. So, basically saying, the tapes include obviously illegal acts of a sexual character. In such tapes women are depicted as sex objects for the satisfaction of men’s primitive sexual needs and entrained into degenerate conversations. Such hard-core pornography shows women being raped by several men or even beaten.
It comes as no surprise that there are even pornography motion pictures having the NC-17 rating and TV pornography that is on special pornography channels on cable television. And the worst thing is that such channels are almost never censored and may contain any type of violence. Internet pornography is a separate case for it has everything listed above. Cyber-porn offers online sex chats, pictures, movies and even online sex acts. The severity of Internet porn is horrifying. There is something for any perverted mind and the caliber of violence increases from site to site and the content even includes sexual deviations with children .
Pornography and men’s attitude towards women
According to the psychological regularities the process of being exposed to violence causes aggressive behavior. According to the psychologist Edward Donnerstein, pornography can truly cause anti-social behavior and aggressive attitude towards women. The most terrifying thing is that exposure to pornography causes men to be indifferent to the facts of women being raped of forced to sex (Donnerstein, 1981). It also causes the trivialization of rape and therefore violence become “normal” for a male viewer. Men learn that forcing a woman to do anything sexual is appropriate . The negative shift in men’s attitude towards women is obvious. Women lose their value as personalities and become sexual objects for men, that consider forcing women to sexual encounters to be “norm of behavior”.  Women’s body has become a thing, an object, a tool to achieve sexual satisfaction in any violated forms even without her permission to do it. The men’s attitude towards women changes and embitters. The major pornography’s harm in the context of changing attitude towards females is that it destroys the “tender ties of family relations”: prevents new families from appearing and demolishes the existing ones.

Is pornography degrading towards women?
It definitely is! Being exposed to oral sex, anal sex, group sex, and sadomasochism gives its effects to the male viewer. Dolf Zillman revealed that pornography causes men stop feeling satisfied with their real-life sexual partners: their appearance and sexuality. (Anderson, 2002). The effect of adaptation occurs and the male needs a stronger and strong stimulus each time to make his sexual partner more appealing. Therefore women remain humiliated as they are ignored or forced to sexual perversions. The emotional side of any relations disappears leaving unhappiness and grief behind. The more time a man spends watching pornography, the harder pornography with different deviations he needs to experience sexual satisfaction; every women starts being a sexual object for a men and her personal characteristics become unimportant. Pornography undeniably is degrading towards women in the first place because being a sexual slave is not the predestination of women as human beings. People are not animals that simply follow their primitive instincts; they are capable of controlling their desires and understand what is appropriate and what is offensive to women. The deficiency of the real-life sexual stimulus leads to sexual crimes involving violence. Pornography dehumanizes women, as they are presented as sexual commodities that are constantly humiliated, physically hurt, get raped, become objects for sexual servility and all the part of their bodies are exposed to their very core and penetrated. It is impossible to believe that all these terrifying things would not be degrading men’s attitude towards women.
This is not about sex and everything connected with it to be morally wrong. It is about the degradation of the attitude to the role of women in the society. This is not about sexual freedom but about humiliating women and treating them aggressively, like a good in the store.
May be this is the answer why men have become so sex-obsessed in the last decades and force their wives to make surgeries just to be “just like in the movie”. Nowadays, if a woman looks like a porn-star she becomes of no interest for men belonging to pornography dependent society. And this is just one side. The other side of the issue is the male’s sexual violence cases repeated over the years. Pornography converts a woman into a deprived individuality and minimizes sexual relations to depersonalized mechanic operations.

Should society be a censor?
Society should fight for a safer life without pornography. According to the psychotherapist David Scott: ”half the rapists studied used pornography to arouse themselves immediately prior to seeking out a victim”(Scott, 1997). It goes without saying that every single men watching pornography is not necessarily a rapist, but he actually CAN become a potential one (Malamuth, 1981). Statistics says that exposure to pornography increases the use of coercion and fantasies about rape or may even lead to a real rape (Donnerstein, 1984).  Society should try to ban pornography form the medias or at the minimum sensor its contents because it destroys the morality of the society and this lead to anarchy and violence. Pornography ruins the moral dignity of the nation, destroys the notion of “family”. Pornography is a real drug, because each person that starts using it passes four main stages: dependence, intensification, and atrophy of sensations, perversion. The person breaks a moral taboo, experiences an inner shock and eventually accepts perversion as a way out of the situation. There is a possibility that a person will want to repeat not only humiliating sexual encounters but also brutally violent sex with perversions.
The society must not to be the creator of its own disaster. If we know today that the popularization of sexually aggressive materials increases the growth of violence directed to women, that the society’s obligation to do something with it. If the society is notified about these horrors beforehand than it is armed. So the society verdict should be the next: the consumption of pornography materials can strengthen the customer’s feeling that rape and other types of sexual violence are not as significant crimes as they were believed to be; pornography leads to the situation, where the guilt for rape and other types of violence is put on the victim and not the aggressor; men, with a greater approval, start perceiving the supposition that women like to be sexually exploited.
The behavior of people in pornography products implies the fact that sex exists without any connection to love, devotion and even sympathy for a partner. All of the listed consequences are the warning signs for the modern society. Pornography is dangerous, especially for the young generation, whose mentality is feeble and consciousness takes in everything it perceives.

The vested evidence and scientific data shows that the production and consumption of pornography tremendously harms the society in general and the people’s personalities in particular. Pornography destroys the beauty of souls, destroys personal and social morality, destroys the family and causes aggression, violence and change of attitude towards women. Pornography prompts people inclined to violence to commit real crimes with real victims.
According to the research of Donnerstein, Scott, Check, Zillman and many others, pornography is depredating towards women and changes the men’s attitude towards women for a sexually violent one(Anderson,2002).
Pornography constructs male expectations towards the acts of violence over weak and unperfected beings. In the extent that woman is considered to be a delicate and weak being, it is she who becomes the object of the sexually violent acts. Unfortunately, the violence in pornography is defined through one thing: man experience the greatest pleasure being cruel and brutal to women during sex and women in their turn like to be forced. This is cultivated is what is cultivated in the society by the means of pornography.
Pornography converts women into sexual objects and creates a standards according to which women have to be similar to pornography “actors” in their appearance and sex desires to obey men in order to be sexually appealing to their male partner.
Pornography should be 100% banned, for people indeed do not know what they are doing. Spirituality and morality are still alive!

o    Anderson K. (2002). The Pornography Plague. Retrieved March 9, 2006, from Leadership University web site:
2.    Donnerstein E. (1980). Annals of the New York Academy of Science. Pornography and Violence Against Women,347, 277-88.
3.    Journal of sex research (1994). What things in pornography lead to perception of the degradation of women/ 31-1, 11-21.
4.     Malamuth N. (1981). Archives of Sexual Behavior. Rape Fantasies as a Function of Repeated Exposure to Sexual Violence, 10 ,33-47.
5.    Scott D. A.,ed. Minnery T. (1997).How Pornography Changes Attitudes in Pornography: The Human Tragedy. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.
6.     Donnerstein E.(1984).Pornography: Its Effects on Violence Against Women. New York: Academic Press.
7.    Journal of Sex research (1989) Pornography, erotica and attitudes towards women:The effects of repeated exposure,26-4, 479-491.
8.    Dworkin A. (1993). Pornography happens to women. Speech retrieved March 9, 2006 from the Nostatusquo web site:
Another of pornography is audio pornography but such sex-calls are believed to function within the Miller standard of obscenity.
“According to Henry Boatwright (Chairman of the U.S. Advisory Board for Social Concerns), approximately 70 percent of the pornographic magazines sold end up in the hands of minors”[1].
Women Against Pornography estimate that about 1.2 million children are annually exploited in commercial sex (child pornography and prostitution)(Anderson,2002).
James Check conducted an experiment where men were exposed to different degrees of pornography, some violent, some not. All groups exhibited the same shift in attitude, namely a higher inclination to use force as part of sex (Anderson,2002).


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