The Pros And Cons Of Pornography

945 words - 4 pages

For centuries, humans have been creating explicit images to depict their sexual fantasies and desires. Times have drastically changed, however, since the first known sex guide, Kama Sutra, was illustrated in 5th-century India (King 412). The selling of sexually explicit material is a multibillion dollar industry (King 411). Today, with just the click of a mouse, millions world-wide are able to access pornography and see their sexual fantasies come to life (King 418). According to King, “One third of all use of the internet is connected to porn sites,” (419). With explicit sexual material nearly impossible to avoid, it may be difficult to decipher between what is normal sexual behavior and what is merely fantasy. There is belief that the sexual activities of women presented in pornography effect both genders’ perceptions of what is normal female sexual behavior. Many argue that pornography objectifies and degrades women, while others believe that it is actually empowering (Evan-Cicco, 2001). This research paper will explore the negative and positive influence that pornography has on society’s view of female sexuality.
The belief that pornography promotes sexism and “perpetuates men’s control over women’s lives” has been expressed for decades, most notably by women such as Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin during the anti-pornography feminism movement (Shaw 2010). It has been argued that porn is disempowering to women and depicts them as simply sex objects for men. Some pornographic material focuses on the male actor’s satisfaction and very little on the female’s stimulation (Arakawa, 2012). The women in these porn scenes are viewed as “little more than a receptacle for the penis” (Arakawa, 2012). The evidence of female disempowerment by pornography is strengthened by acts such as the “money-shot,” in which the male ejaculates over the female partner’s body (Arakawa, 2012). It is no wonder that many women think negatively about most pornographic material. After viewing pornography, women tend to feel less confident and insecure about their bodies (King, 2012).
If pornography is degrading and uncomfortable for women to watch, why have 41% of women intentionally viewed porn (King, 2012)? Contrary to the anti-pornography feminism movement, proponents of pornography believe that porn “liberates women” and allows them to take part in “less traditional” sexual behavior (Evans-Cicco, 2012). Some women agree with this claim and use porn to explore their own sexuality (Paul 2012). Pornography for these women is a resource. It is a method for them to discover new sex positions and “ways to act sexy” (Paul 2012). According to Paul, a “[change] in women’s expectations and attitudes toward their sexuality are driving women to pornography.” This statement indicates that some women want to replicate acts that are presented in pornographic material. It may also suggest that women believe sexual behaviors used in pornography are not only the norm, but...

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