Opposition to pornography  

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"Pornography is the theory, and rape is the practice" (1974) --Robin Morgan


"Now, you might ask yourself, why this sudden concern? Pornography and sex deviation have always been with mankind. This is true. But now, consider another fact. Never in the history of the world have the merchants of obscenity, the teachers of unnatural sex acts, had available to them the modern facilities for disseminating this filth. High-speed presses, rapid transportation, mass distribution. All have combined to put the vilest obscenity within reach of every man, woman and child in the country." --Perversion for Profit (1965)


"Erotica is as different from pornography as love is from rape, as dignity is from humiliation, as partnership is from slavery, as pleasure is from pain." --"Erotica vs. Pornography ", 1983, Gloria Steinem


"Pornography is the undiluted essence of anti-female propaganda. Yet the very same liberals who were so quick to understand the method and purpose behind the mighty propaganda machine of Hitler’s Third Reich, the consciously spewed-out anti-Semitic caricatures and obscenities that gave an ideological base to the Holocaust and the Final Solution, the very same liberals who, enlightened by blacks, searched their own conscience and came to understand that their tolerance of “nigger” jokes and portrayals of shuffling, rolling-eyed servants in movies perpetuated the degrading myths of black inferiority and gave an ideological base to the continuation of black oppression—these very same liberals now fervidly maintain the hatred and contempt for women that find expression in four-letter words used as expletives and in what are quaintly called “adult” or “erotic” books and movies are a valid extension of freedom of speech that must be preserved as a Constitutional right." --Against Our Will (1975) by Susan Brownmiller

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Reasons for opposition to pornography include religious objections, feminist concerns, and 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". The gender gap in pornography opposition has widened in the recent decades; women remain more opposed to pornography than men, while men's opposition has declined faster.

Contents

Religious views

Most world religions have positions in opposition to pornography from a variety of rationales, including concerns about modesty, human dignity, chastity and other virtues.

Feminist views

feminism and pornography

Some feminists are opposed to pornography, arguing that it is an industry which exploits women and 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). They charge that pornography contributes to the male-centered objectification of women and thus to sexism.

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. Some sex-positive feminists actively support pornography that depicts female sexuality in a positive way, without objectifying or demeaning women.

Conservative views

Religious conservatives commonly oppose pornography, along with a subset of feminists, though their reasoning may differ. Many religious conservatives view pornography as a threat to children. Some conservative Protestants argue that because it encourages non-procreative sex, encourages abortion, and can be connected to the rise of sexually transmitted diseases.

Concerned Women For America (CWA) is a movement that fights for the sanctity of marriage and life, among other issues. When discussing violence against women, the CWA often uses pornography to illustrate their points. The CWA asserts that pornography is a major reason why men inflict harm on women. The CWA argues that pornography convinces men to disrespect their wives and neglect their marriages, thereby threatening the sanctity of traditional marriage. Unlike other issues CWA has tackled, they are less forcefully anti-feminist when it comes to the topic of pornography, as many of their points surrounding why pornography is distasteful parallels those of anti-pornography feminists.

Harm-based views

Dolf Zillmann argued in the 1986 publication "Effects of Prolonged Consumption of Pornography" 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. 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...

A study by Zillman in 1982 also indicated 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 who had not watched pornography.

Some researchers like Zillman believe that pornography causes unequivocal harm to society by increasing rates of sexual assault, a line of research which was critiqued in "The Effects of Pornography: An International Perspective". Other researchers believe that there is a correlation between pornography and a decrease of sex crimes.

Pornography is often criticized for presenting an inaccurate picture of human sexuality.

The appropriation of the sexually explicit in American culture is part of what has been called "the pornification of America".

Rape culture is often discussed when it comes to pornography, and is defined by society victim-blaming women because of their rape. It is known as society making rape less substantial. Some of the most searched titles on pornography websites is rape scenes. This can be seen as an issue because when society uses rape scenes as a way to masturbate, it reduces the severity of the issue. In Susan Griffin's book, Pornography and Silence, she discusses the provocative mind of a male and why he views the porn that he does.

Further reading

Anti-pornography advocacy

Criticism

  • 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) "
  • Gayle Rubin, "Dangerous, Misguided, and Wrong: An Analysis of Anti-Pornograph Politics." In "Bad Girl and Dirty Pictures," ed. Carol Assuster (1993).
  • 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"
    • "A Feminist Defense of pornography"
  • 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.
  • Annalee Newitz. "Obscene Feminists: Why Women Are Leading the Battle Against Censorship." San Francisco Bay Guardian Online 8 May 2002. 9 May 2002
  • Nadine Strossen:
  • Scott Tucker. "Gender, Fucking, and Utopia: An Essay in Response to John Stoltenberg's Refusing to Be a Man." 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.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Opposition to pornography" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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