Rape Abuse and Incest National Network

Here is the short story to analyze. I believe that the widespread use of pornography (and the cultural acceptance of it) is actively detrimental to our nations treatment of women. While according to RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network) incidents of sexual violence have fallen by almost half since 1993 (from 630000 in 1993 to 330000 in 2016) (RAINN par.

1) conflicting statistics based on surveys instead of helpline calls show that sexual assault is on the rise including an estimation of 738630 threatened attempted or completed rapes in 2018 (NSVRC par.

4). This conflicting information suggests that while sexual assaults themselves are increasing police reports and calls to helplines are decreasing. This information is corroborated by NSVRCs (National Sexual Violence Resource Center) findings that while self-reports of sexual violence are increasing police reports are decreasing (par. 6). Even the statistic groups that agree that sexual assault is far lower than it was in 1990 still agree that is has been steadily on the rise since 2013 (Statistia par.

1). Of course this increase correlates with the increase of Porn access and use in America (Pornhub par. 3) and while correlation does not equal causation it should cause us to wonder why the correlation exists. Is there a logical reason that the increase in Pornography would be at least one of the factors contributing to that rise? Yes. Countless studies have been performed by reputable sources tying male viewing of mainstream porn with problematic views of women:Content analyses have revealed pornography to be high in both sexually objectifying images of women (McKee 2005) and verbal and physical aggression toward women (Sun Bridges Wosnitzer Scharrer & Liberman 2008). Adolescent boys who consume higher levels of pornographic media tend to hold beliefs that women are sex objects (Peter & Valkenburg 2009) and be more adherent to traditional masculine ideals in pursuing relationships with women (i.e. they tend to be more likely to objectify women and focus on appearance over personality traits. In addition mainstream pornography typically presents women as props for male sexual pleasure. Vega and Malamuth (2007) found that pornography use interacted with hostile masculinity and antisocial behaviors in predicting men’s sexual aggression toward women (qtd. in Mikorski and Szymanski 259). Even articles positing a strong sense of female empowerment through pornographic use focus almost entirely on queered female-only pornographic examples for their points (Fritz and Paul par. 1). All of this information (and trust me this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amount of studies done) while certainly concerning still only suggests a correlation between viewing pornography and a propensity toward seeing women as objects and sexually assaulting them. After all it could be that men who are prone to objectifying and/or assaulting women are simply also more likely to watch pornography. Well “Millburn Mather and Conrad (2000) found that exposing men to sexually objectifying media clips made them less likely to express empathy toward a hypothetical rape victim” and “Rudman and Mescher (2012) found that men who viewed images of women as less than human (and therefore objectified them) were more likely to endorse sexual violence against women” (qtd. in Mikorski and Szymanski 257). These findings suggest that there is causation between Pornography viewing and the objectification of women. If men who view pornography become more likely to objectify women and endorse violence against afterword it is logical that those same men would be more likely to sexually assault a woman. What we see here is no longer correlation but causation. Therefore it seems clear that viewing of mainstream pornography is one of the causes if not a leading cause of the rise of sexual assault against women in the US.Listen Im not saying we should stop all Porn sites immediately or that we need to make Porn illegal but this is a subject that needs careful consideration and more studies should be done to determine just how much causation there is between porn viewership and the objectification and/or assault of women. If it is determined that there is heavy causation between them or that pornography is one of the leading causes of objectification and/or assault of women then we need to ask ourselves exactly one question: Is it worth it?

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