Audrelore wrote, in Uses of the Erotic. “Pornography emphasizes feeling without sensation.” (goodreads.com). Pornography is an industry worth billions of dollars built on abuse and opression. Pornography has a negative impact on a flourishing and healthy society. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary explains pornography to be “the depiction in a sensational way of acts so as to arouse a fast intense emotional reaction”. Society is “a broad grouping of individuals who have common customs, institutions, collective activities, and shared interests”. Pornography is not only harmful to the public’s perception of the world but also destroys society. It damages families and has a negative impact on children. It not only erodes moral standards and freedom of expression, but also enslaves the addicted. Scientists and psychotherapists have connected pornography with negative neuroplasticity. Pornography is a destructive and addictive form of entertainment that, despite its appearance, can empower and liberate.
Internet is a powerful tool for many things, but pornography infiltrating the web is a threat to the minds of children. Pornography has never been more accessible. It is available on all devices, including iPhones and laptops. Pornographic materials are easily available, which is bad for the well-being of a young child. A 2005 case study revealed that 42 percent of children aged between 10 and 17 had been exposed to pornography without their consent in the past year. Wolak Janis. Unwanted and wanted exposure to online pornography among youth internet users. February 2007, 247. Since 2005, the technology has improved exponentially. Pornography is now more easily accessible. A child’s mind is still developing and can absorb a lot of information quickly. It can be confusing and frightening for a child to see multiple bodies doing unintelligible acts. Children automatically connect sex to pornography when they are taught what it is. Children do not know the difference between a fantasy-world like pornography and real sex. Pornography’s aggressive nature and dramatized presentation normalizes sex as violent. According to studies, a child exposed to pornography has a ten-fold higher risk of engaging in high-risk activities such as multiple partners or sex without protection. Most parents want to raise sexually-safe children. Pornography may be the main source of sex education for children. This increases their risk of being sexually assaulted. Pornography interrupts the developing minds of children and negatively affects their social well-being.”Pro-porn” activists often argue that pornography coincides with the sex-positive movement. The sex positive movement is a philosophy and social movement which promotes sexual diversity and self-expression. The sex-positive movement aims to normalize the sexual and sex-related stigma and make it less prevalent. Pornography, say some sex positive advocates, is an artistic form that uses sexuality to express oneself. What they do not consider is the truth. Pornography does not encourage sexuality or self-expression. Pornography is a major part of American culture. It’s cast, scripted and produced. The film’s actors are not the directors. All major porn stars are directly controlled by their managers and producers. They are not allowed to “self-expression”. Pornography isn’t art. There are no complex plots or thematic themes, nor is there any character development. It is striking how this goes against the values of those who support sex positivity. The “pornstars” are not able to express themselves. In addition, most porn in the United States has a heteronormative tone, which means that minorities are not given a platform to express themselves. Pornography is not diverse or self-expressive in its vast majority. Pornography, therefore, is not inherently sex positive.
Pornography portrays sex in a false light. This is an unrealistic fantasy, which can never be achieved. For a moment, imagine that pornography were a completely achievable and realistic goal. Assume the average person can bend and contort to meet the standards set by the porn industry. Give up the idea of having a child. Assume that you can have sex with someone for several hours without it being tedious or exhausting. Let go of your partner’s needs and feelings. There is something missing even when you are living your fantasy. You do not have sex. You are just a performer without intimacy or love. Previously, these two qualities went hand in hand with sex. Pornography requires neither intimacy nor love. It separates sexuality from communication, respect and affection. All healthy sexual relations should have these qualities. Porn, a fantasy sex story that is misrepresented and leads to despair, is porn.
Pornography is a similar way that photoshopped images can give a false impression of beauty. It reduces men’s and women’s self-esteem. The mainstream porn in America does not represent people of different races or body types. The brain is hardwired to compare oneself to the environment. (CITATION) Many women compare their appearance to adult film actresses. In the same way, men struggle with their own body image. They also compare themselves against male pornstars. As Dr. Jonathan Doyle, an internationally acclaimed psychologist, said: “This low self-esteem can often lead a man to turn to pornography in order for him or her find some form of relief.” Dopamine, which is secreted by the brain in high amounts, can give a short-term feeling of happiness that will lift your self-esteem. The feelings will return, and they are usually stronger due to the fear of being found or the concern over the porn content. Porn stars’ sounds or movements can lead to great psychological anxiety. Men and women who compare their sexual experiences to pornography have a lower self-esteem.
Porn also harms marriage. Patrick Fagan Ph.D., a researcher, found that 56% divorces involved a partner who was interested in porn. Porn is watched by 40% of Americans. Porn does not show any love or passion and lacks reality. This causes frustration in marriages. It may temporarily provide a sexual high to married couples but is harmful to their marriage. According to the American Sociological Association’s August 2016 study, couples who watched pornography had a twice higher divorce rate. (Samuel Perry’s ‘Till Porn Do Us Separate? (Samuel Perry, “Till Porn Do Us Part?
Pornograhy may be argued to be exercising the right of freedom of speech and opinion in America. First Amendment states that Congress cannot make laws prohibiting free speech, or press freedom, or abridging people’s right to peaceably assemble or petition for a remedy of grievances. The constitution also protects other hateful acts like slavery and discrimination. It does not mean that something is good or healthy just because it’s legal. Pornography, for example, is not covered by the constitution. In Chaplinksy (315.568.571, 571.572), the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution does not protect certain types of speech. This includes the lewd, obscene and other offensive speech.
Pornography can be correlated with the increase of crimes and a decline in morality. According to the Stanford study of 2016, “despite lack of formalized research, FBI’s stats show pornography in 80% of violent sex-crimes scenes or at the homes the perpetrators” The brain learns from repetition. This is logical. Someone who watches porn that contains violence will likely model sexual experiences after it. Pornography may be argued to reduce violence towards women by releasing tension. This argument is not logical. Porn encourages viewers to view women like objects, dehumanize the partners they are with, and stop communicating between them. Pornography may increase the likelihood that people will become sexually violent if they are inclined towards this. Rape has been a popular porn genre. It is still toxic, even though these actors aren’t being raped. Pornography which appeals to fantasies of rape leads to sexual violence. Pornography is strongly linked to immorality and sex crime.
One of many arguments that are used in support of pornography is the fact that it is empowering for women. They claim that porn pages run by females for females are an artistic expression of sexuality and body autonomy. Porn sites such as these exist but are not easily accessible. Some sites, such “Frolic.me”, as well as “Crashpad”, require hefty fees for subscriptions and pay-per views to ensure that actors are compensated fairly. Most people who regularly watch pornography cannot access these feminist sites. Many sites like “pornhub”, which has thousands of free videos, continue to fetishize minorities and women with genres that include “tranny”,”barelylegal”, “asian”, and “fat black girls”. These crude, objectifying names of genres should raise ethical questions. Gail Dines in her book Pornland describes how porn has hijacked our sexuality as saying, “Anyone that is willing to feed of women’s flesh and use their raw materials for profit cannot call themselves a feminist.” As renowned feminist Gail Dines says in her book Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality, “Anyone willing to feed off women’s bodies and use them as raw materials to make a profit has no right” (Dines, 38).
One of the ways that porn is harmful is its negative impact on the brain. Pornography is an epidemic. In 2015, Cambrige University performed an experiment where MRI scans were conducted on the brains men who had watched pornography. The study concluded that in order to achieve the same result after watching pornography, you need to watch more and more extreme forms of pornography. (Neural correlates of sexual cue reactivity in individuals with and without compulsive sexual behaviours, 2015). The brain craves more pornography to reach a high, similar to drug addiction. It can lead to compulsive behavior in order to find it. Pornography is a neuroplastic substance. The brain uses neuroplasticity to repair and rewire itself. This brain feature is responsible for learning in certain parts. Pornography releases dopamine in a similar way to drugs. Dopamine is the body’s “feel-good” chemical. Dopamine increases neural connections, which makes the body want to repeat the activity. The brain cells become rewired, causing the human body’s urge to perform certain activities to increase. It creates a vicious cycle. The more pornography viewed, the greater amount of dopamine produced, which leads to a strong desire to watch more. As Dr. Norman Doidge stated in his book “How The Brain Alters Itself”, porn viewers form new brain maps based off the videos and photos they watch. We want to maintain the map area we have developed because it’s a “use-it-or lose-it” brain. Pornogrpahy is similar to drugs in that it stimulates the brain. It can rewire your brain. It can negatively affect how people live their lives. Pornography damages the brain.
Pornography plays a significant role in the 21st Century. As a $97 billion industry worldwide, pornography is a popular form of media entertainment. It’s an industry worth billions of dollars that thrives on neglect and abuse. Not only is it a form of abuse, sexual assault, and oppression that glorifies, but also it dehumanises, and it feeds the patriarchy. Pornography may appear to be a way of expressing yourself, but it is the exact opposite. Pornography enslaves both the pornographers and those who watch it. Pornography not only uses the neuroplasticity of our brains to promote addiction, but it also promotes unhealthy behaviors. It damages society’s foundation by affecting married couples. Pornography can have a detrimental effect on the wellbeing and development of adolescents and children. Pornography plays a vital role in a flourishing and healthy society.