Opposition to pornography

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Anti-pornography protest on Oxford Street, London

Opposition to pornography may stem from religious objections to feminist concerns to claims of harmful effects, such as pornography addiction. Anti-pornography movements have allied disparate social activists in opposition to pornography, from social conservatives to harm reduction advocates. The definition of "pornography" varies between countries and movements, and many make distinctions between pornography, which they oppose, and erotica, which they consider acceptable. Sometimes opposition will deem certain forms of pornography more or less harmful, while others draw no such distinctions.

A 2013 Gallup survey reported that, of U.S. adults, 66% believe that pornography is "morally wrong" while 31% believe that it is "morally acceptable".[1]

Religious views[edit]

Most world religions have positions in opposition to pornography from a variety of rationales.[2][3][4]

Feminist views[edit]

Some feminists are opposed to pornography, arguing that it is an industry which exploits women and which is complicit in violence against women, both in its production (where they charge that abuse and exploitation of women performing in pornography is rampant) and in its consumption (where they charge that pornography eroticizes the domination, humiliation, and coercion of women, and reinforces sexual and cultural attitudes that are complicit in rape and sexual harassment).[5] They charge that pornography contributes to the male-centered objectification of women and thus to sexism.[6]

However, many other feminists are opposed to censorship, and have argued against the introduction of anti-porn legislation in the United States - among them Betty Friedan, Kate Millett, Karen DeCrow, Wendy Kaminer and Jamaica Kincaid.[7] Some "sex-positive" feminists actively support pornography that depicts female sexuality in a positive way, without objectifying or demeaning women.

Harm-based views[edit]

Zillmann Fig 7.png Zillmann Fig 8.png Zillmann Fig 9.png
Figures 7, 8, and 9 in Zillmann, Dolf: "Effects of Prolonged Consumption of Pornography"[8]

Dolf Zillmann asserts that extensive viewing of pornographic material produces many unfavorable sociological effects, including a decreased respect for long-term, monogamous relationships, and an attenuated desire for procreation.[9] He describes the theoretical basis of these experimental findings:

The values expressed in pornography clash so obviously with the family concept, and they potentially undermine the traditional values that favor marriage, family, and children... Pornographic scripts dwell on sexual engagements of parties who have just met, who are in no way attached or committed to each other, and who will part shortly, never to meet again... Sexual gratification in pornography is not a function of emotional attachment, of kindness, of caring, and especially not of continuance of the relationship, as such continuance would translate into responsibilities, curtailments, and costs...[10]

Zillman's research also showed that prolonged exposure to pornography desensitized both men and women toward victims of sexual violence. After being shown pornographic movies, test subjects were asked to judge an appropriate punishment for a rapist. The test subjects recommended incarceration terms that were significantly more lenient than those recommended by control subjects that did not watch pornography.[9]

Some researchers claim that pornography causes unequivocal harm to society by increasing rates of sexual assault,[9][11] a line of research which has been critiqued in "The effects of Pornography: An International Perspective".[12] In contradiction to this, other researchers claim that there is a correlation between pornography and a decrease of sex crimes.[13][14][15]

Ran Gavrieli argues against watching porn because it takes away communication in the relationship and because it creates real world demand for product.[16]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Anti-pornography advocacy[edit]

  • Susan Brownmiller (1999). In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution. The Dial Press. ISBN 0-385-31486-8.
  • Patrick Carnes.
  • Victor Cline.
  • Nikki Craft long-time political, anti-pornography activist and prolific writer on feminist subjects.
  • Andrea Dworkin (1979). Pornography: Men Possessing Women. ISBN 0-452-26793-5.
  • Susan Griffin. Pornography and Silence: Culture's Revenge Against Nature. New York: Harper, 1981.
  • Craig Gross. Founder of XXXchurch.com, a non-profit Christian organization that educates on the dangers of porn use and involvement.
  • Fight the New Drug. Non-religious, non-legislative nonprofit organization, advocate of brain science concerning harmful effects of pornography.[17]
  • Robert Jensen (2007). Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity. Cambridge, MA: South End Press. ISBN 978-0-89608-776-7.
  • Gail Dines/Robert Jensen/Ann Russo (1998). Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-91813-8.
  • Susanne Kapeller (1986). The Pornography of Representation. Polity Press, Cambridge, UK ISBN 0-7456-0122-7.
  • Michael Kimmel (1991). Men Confront Pornography. New York: Meridian — Random House. ISBN 0-452-01077-2. (A variety of essays that try to assess ways that pornography may take influence or harm men.)
  • Shelley Lubben. Former porn star and self-described "porn missionary"[18] who counsels active porn stars on how to escape the industry.[19] (2010). Truth Behind the Fantasy of Porn: The Greatest Illusion on Earth. CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-4538-6007-6.
  • Catharine MacKinnon (1985).Pornography, Civil Rights, and Speech. 20 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 1 (arguing that pornography is one of the mechanisms of power used to maintain gender inequality).
  • Donny Pauling. Former pornographic producer who currently speaks about the unseen side of porn that is damaging to the women involved. Frequently works with Craig Gross of XXXChurch.
  • Stark, Christine and Rebecca Whisnant (2004). Not for Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution And Pornography. Spinifex Press. ISBN 1-876756-49-7.

Criticism[edit]

  • Susie Bright. "Susie Sexpert's Lesbian Sex World and Susie Bright's Sexual Reality: A Virtual Sex World Reader", San Francisco, CA: Cleis Press, 1990 and 1992. Challenges any easy equation between feminism and anti-pornography positions.
  • Betty Dodson. "Feminism and Free speech: Pornography." Feminists for Free Expression 1993. 8 May 2002
  • Kate Ellis. Caught Looking: Feminism, Pornography, and Censorship. New York: Caught Looking Incorporated, 1986.
  • Matthew Gever. "Pornography Helps Women, Society", UCLA Bruin, 1998-12-03.
  • Michele Gregory. "Pro-Sex Feminism: Redefining Pornography (or, a study in alliteration: the pro pornography position paper) "[20]
  • Andrea Juno and V. Vale. Angry Women, Re/Search # 12. San Francisco, CA: Re/Search Publications, 1991. Performance artists and literary theorists who challenge Dworkin and MacKinnon's claim to speak on behalf of all women.
    • "A Feminist Overview of Pornography,Ending in a Defense Thereof"[21]
    • "A Feminist Defense of pornography"[22]
  • Ley, David, Prause, Nicole, & Finn, Peter. (2014). The Emperor Has No Clothes: A review of the “Pornography Addiction” model. Current Sexual Health Reports, manuscript in press.[23]
  • Annalee Newitz. "Obscene Feminists: Why Women Are Leading the Battle Against Censorship." San Francisco Bay Guardian Online 8 May 2002. 9 May 2002[24]
  • Nadine Strossen:
    • "Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex and the Fight for Women's Rights" (ISBN 0-8147-8149-7)
    • "Nadine Strossen: Pornography Must Be Tolerated"[25]
  • Scott Tucker. "Gender, Fucking, and Utopia: An Essay in Response to John Stoltenberg's Refusing to Be a Man."[26] in Social Text 27 (1991): 3-34. Critique of Stoltenberg and Dworkin's positions on pornography and power.
  • Carole Vance, Editor. "Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality". Boston: Routledge, 1984. Collection of papers from 1982 conference; visible and divisive split between anti-pornography activists and lesbian S&M theorists.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Newport, Frank; Igor Himelfarb (May 20, 2013). "In U.S., Record-High Say Gay, Lesbian Relations Morally OK". Gallup. 
  2. ^ Slick, Matt. "What does the Bible say about pornography? Is it wrong?". Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Freeman, Tzvi. "What's Wrong With Pornography?". Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Mujahid, Abdul Malik. "Islam on Pornography: A Definite No-No". Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Morgan, Robin (1974). "Theory and Practice: Pornography and Rape". In: Going Too Far: The Personal Chronicle of a Feminist. Random House. ISBN 0-394-48227-1.
  6. ^ MacKinnon, Catharine (1987). Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. pp. 146–150.
  7. ^ http://www.fiawol.demon.co.uk/FAC/harm.htm
  8. ^ Report of the Surgeon General's Workshop on Pornography and Public Health: Background Papers: 'Effects of Prolonged Consumption of Pornography' (August 4, 1986)
  9. ^ a b c Zillmann, Dolf: "Effects of Prolonged Consumption of Pornography"
  10. ^ Zillmann, pages 16-17
  11. ^ Malamuth, Neil M.: "Do Sexually Violent Media Indirectly Contribute to Antisocial Behavior?", [1], page 10
  12. ^ The effects of Pornography: An International Perspective
  13. ^ "Pornography, rape and the internet". Archived from the original on 2 November 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-25. 
  14. ^ D'Amato, Anthony (2006-06-23). "Porn Up, Rape Down". Archived from the original on 13 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-19. 
  15. ^ The Effects of Pornography: An International Perspective University of Hawaii Porn 101: Eroticism, Pornography, and the First Amendment: Milton Diamond Ph.D.
  16. ^ http://blog.tedx.com/post/68988316936/watch-the-whole-talk-here-this-guy-stopped
  17. ^ http://www.fightthenewdrug.org/get-the-facts
  18. ^ About Shelley Former Porn Actress Shelley Lubben
  19. ^ "Out of Pornography and Into the Light". CBN. Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  20. ^ http://witsendzine.com/musings/michele/ppp.htm
  21. ^ WendyMcElroy.com: Content / Individualist Feminism - Theory / A Feminist Overview of Pornography
  22. ^ A Feminist Defense of Pornography
  23. ^ http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11930-014-0016-8
  24. ^ sfbg.com
  25. ^ Nadine Strossen (November 1995). "Pornography Must Be Tolerated". The Ethical Spectacle. 
  26. ^ The Columbia reader on lesbians and ... - Google Books

External links[edit]