Is Porn Violent?

  1. Both pornography and alcohol consumption are unique predictors of sexual assault victimization for college females; the combined effect of pornography and alcohol dramatically increases the odds of victimization. One reason for this is that pornography minimizes sexually aggressive acts (de Heer, et al., 2020).

  2. Men are more likely than women to become aroused by pornographic images featuring rape.  Men who equate sexuality with expression of aggression and power were more likely to prefer rape porn than other men (Carvalho & Rosa, 2020).

  3. With increasingly high use of porn, it becomes more likely that men will be likely to rape, likely to commit sexual assault, be sexually entitled, and have hostility toward women (Goodson, et al., 2020).

  4. Men who consume more pornography, particularly male-dominant pornography, are more likely to use sexual force in their own relationships (De Heer et al., 2020). 

  5. Violence against women in pornography is commonly seen.  For example, 72% of men and 46% of women have seen pornography where a man ejaculated on a woman’s face (Herbenick et al., 2020). 

  6. Rape porn has been seen by 21% of men and 11% of women (Herbenick et al., 2020).  

  7. BDSM porn has been seen by 45% of men and 33% of women (Herbenick et al., 2020). 

  8. People often imitate what they have seen in pornography.  For example, 20% of men and 12% of women have chocked someone during sex, 11% of men and 21% of women have been chocked during sex, and 48% of men have ejaculated on a woman’s face (Herbenick et al., 2020). 

  9. Men’s consumption of pornography, particularly violent pornography, is associated with more aggressive behavior toward female partners.  This relationship is even stronger when the man is sexist, feels justified in committing violence, and views women as sexual objects (Rodriguez & Fernandez-Gonzales, 2019).

  10. Women who use pornography are more likely to commit non-consensual sexual activity, particularly using emotional manipulation and deception of their male partners (Hughes et al., 2020).

  11. Pornography, especially violent pornography, shows association with increases in sexual assault related attitudes and past history of assaultive behavior (Bridges, 2019).

  12. The more pornography men use, the more they see women as objects, not as people (Seabrook et al., 2019). 

  13. 45% of scenes in online pornography include at least one act of physical aggression.  Spanking, gagging, slapping, hair pulling, and choking are the five most common forms of physical aggression (Fritz et al, 2020).

  14. In pornography with aggression, women are the target in 97% of the scenes, and their response to aggression was either neutral or positive and rarely negative.  Men were the perpetrators of aggression against women in 76% of scenes (Fritz et al., 2020).

  15. 29% of male 10th graders have seen violent pornography (Rostad et al., 2019).

  16. 16% of female 10th graders have seen violent pornography (Rostad et al., 2019).

  17. Boys who have seen violent pornography are over twice as likely to report committing sexual violence and physical violence against a dating partner (Rostad et al., 2019).

  18. Girls who have seen violent pornography are more likely to experience sexual violence from a dating partner (Rostad et al., 2019).  

  19. Among those who have seen “rough sex” in pornography (behaviors including hair pulling, spanking, scratching, biting, bondage, fisting, and double penetration) 91% wanted to take part in such behaviors and 82% had taken part in at least one of the behaviors.  This lends credence to the assertion that watching pornography can lead to behavior, including behavior involving violence (Vogels & O’Sullivan, 2019).

  20. Rigorous laboratory studies find significant associations between watching pornography and inducing aggression supportive attitudes and behaviors (Bridges, 2019).

  21. Among women imprisoned for making child pornography, 60% had a history of sexual abuse while 46% reported physical abuse (Bickart et al., 2019). 

  22. Pornography routinely depicts objectification of and violence against women.  These images create abnormal sexual expectations, leading to making sexual advances that are unwanted, that can lead to violence (Sun, Ezzell, & Kendall, 2017).

  23. Men’s consumption of pornography impacts their views of women in measurable ways—including, but not limited to, objectification, acceptance of sexual mistreatment of women, and making unwanted sexual advances toward women (Mikorski & Syzmanski, 2017; Wright & Bae, 2015).

  24. Pornography use is most likely to lead to sexual violence when the pornography is especially violent, when the individual has peer support for sexual violence, and when the individual is hypermasculine and emphasizes impersonal sex (Hald & Malamuth, 2015). 

  25. When compared to non-users, those exposed to softer forms of pornography have greater rape myth acceptance and a higher likelihood of committing rape (Romero-Sanchez, Toro-Garcia, Horvath, & Megias, 2017).

  26. When a man is already predisposed to aggression in other realms, violent pornography is particularly influential in producing increased sexual aggression (Baer, Kohut, & Fisher, 2015).

  27. Watching pornography often leads to acts of sexual violence or risky sexual behaviors such as multiple partners and unprotected sex (Van Oosten, Jochen, & Vandenbosch, 2017).

  28. Child abusers under age 21 report difficulty controlling their pornography use and often cite such use as a factor leading to their abuse of other children (McKibbin et al., 2017). 

  29. Characteristics of men that are associated with a higher likelihood of viewing child pornography include ever having sex with a male, holding the perception of children as seductive, having friends who have watched child pornography, frequent pornography use, greater than average aggressive tendencies, ever viewing violent pornography, and engaging in sexually coercive behavior (Seto, Hermann, Kjellgren, Priebe, Svedin, & Langstrom, 2015). 

  30. One reason why pornography use is connected to sexually coercive behavior is that viewers begin to develop sexual scripts that involve coercion and then seek to act them out in real life (Marshall, Miller, & Bouffard, 2018).

  31. Among men at high risk for committing acts of sexual aggression, watching violent pornography or child pornography adds to the risk for committing sexual assault, essentially adding fuel to the fire they have for committing sexual violence.  In some cases, viewing pornography serves as a tipping point that leads an at risk person who might not act out to actually do so (Malamuth, 2018). 

  32. The more men and women watch pornography, the less likely they are to intervene to help prevent a sexual assault from happening (Foubert & Bridges, 2017). 

  33. 88% of the scenes in today’s mainstream pornography include violence, usually by a man toward a woman (Bridges et al., 2010).

  34. 95% of the time when a man hits a woman in pornography, she responds with pleasure or has no response at all (Bridges et al., 2010).

  35. 45% of the pornography clips on the Internet include at least one man ejaculating on a woman’s face (Gorman et al., 2010).

  36. Brain scans of men watching pornography react to women as if they are objects, not people. This leads to more violence against women (Eberstadt & Layden, 2010; Haslam & Loughnan, 2014).

  37. Porn use increases the likelihood a man will commit sexual violence, especially if he is impulsive and uses pornography frequently (Kingston et al, 2009).

  38. Over 100 studies show that pornography use is correlated with and is the cause of violence (Malamuth et al., 2000).

  39. 22 recent studies from 7 countries found that whether you use correlational, cross-sectional, or longitudinal research designs, pornography and sexual violence are directly connected (Wright et al., 2015).

  40. 500 studies of the connection between pornography and the broad category of “gender based violence” found that pornography use leads to gender-based violence (Waltman, 2014).

  41. Thousands of revenge porn websites allow men to upload naked or pornographic pictures of a former girlfriend or wife for everyone in the world to see (Hart, 2014).

  42. Children are particularly susceptible to what they see in pornography.  The more they view it, the more they perform the violent acts they see in porn (Wright, 2014).

  43. Women in the pornography industry are three times as likely to have been sexually abused as children, 50% more likely to be living in poverty, and twice as likely as the average woman to have grown up in poverty (DeKeseredy & Corsianos, 2016; Waltman, 2014).

(c) 2020 John Foubert

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