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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Is Pornography Changing How Teens View Sex? (And fueling rape and other sexual abuse?)


PLEASE READ this informative article on how pornography is affecting the sexual behavior of teens and fueling rape and other sex crimes. And then please share your thoughts! Thanks! :-)

[Toronto Star] — The crimes are shockingly similar: an inebriated victim, a group of teenage boys committing sexual assault and then, to the horror of all, photos and videos of the crime recorded and distributed for everyone to see.

For Rehtaeh Parsons , 17, who committed suicide earlier this month, the photo of her assault was almost as damaging as the crime itself. Months after the Cole Harbour, N.S., teen was allegedly raped by four boys as she lay unconscious at a party, one horrific image from that night remained on the cellphones of her classmates. The picture, described by her mother, was of one of the perpetrators smiling and giving a thumbs-up as he assaulted the teenager. It was almost as if he was performing for an audience.

California teen Audrie Pott, 15, committed suicide days after pictures of her assault by three boys were posted online. Steubenville, Ohio’s Jane Doe would only learn the intricate details of her assault after a video and photos surfaced on the Internet indicting two members of the local football team in her rape.

“It’s not about healthy relationships, and I think if a teen is seeing those messages over and over again, it does have an impact.”

In these cases, rape is just one horrific part of the equation. Equally disturbing is trying to determine what lurks in the minds of these young perpetrators.

“You have to ask yourself, what 15-year-old boy thinks there is a girl who wants to have sex with four boys and to what extent he thinks this is expected or normal? And you have to ask, where do they get these ideas from?” said Peter Jaffe, a professor at the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children at Western University. “It’s not from sex education they are getting in school.”

One hypothesis: exposure to pornography. At no other time has pornography — including violent pornography — been so easily accessible for children of all ages. In one U.S. survey, 70 per cent of 15- to 17-year-olds said they had watched porn, while a Canadian study found boys as young as 10 have experienced pornography. By the time they reached 20, the same study found it was almost impossible to find men who hadn’t viewed X-rated material.

Pornography can’t be solely blamed for what appears to be an increase in rape or sexual violence. However, academics, researchers and scientists say there is little doubt that the use of porn among teenagers is having a profound impact on their notions of normal sexual behaviour, their views on women and their ability to even identify what constitutes sexual violence.

“There was rape before porn, and if you could somehow magically remove porn, there would still be rape,” said Robert Jensen, a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity . “It’s kind of silly to assume that mass media and porn is responsible for violence, but it’s not ridiculous to assume that these mediums reinforce values that lead to violence.”

Fans of pornography cite years of Playboy and Hustler magazines as proof that pornography has long been a part of mainstream culture and that it can help broaden our horizons and improve our sexual lives.

But almost all academics admit the current “golden age” of pornography is unprecedented. The 24-7 access to multiple images and videos in a few clicks, including violent pornography, has never been experienced and its repercussions are unknown.

And they argue the “benefits” of pornography are debatable. In a 2010 analysis of 50 randomly selected adult films, researchers found high levels of verbal and physical aggression. Of the 304 scenes analyzed, 88 per cent contained physical aggression, including spanking, gagging and slapping, while nearly 50 per cent contained verbal abuse, particularly name-calling. In most cases, the men were dominant and the women almost always responded neutrally or with pleasure. Only 10 per cent of scenes contained positive sexual behaviour.

“This is not your father’s pornography,” said Jaffe. “Most pornography now looks to degrade and humiliate women. It’s not about healthy relationships, and I think if a teen is seeing those messages over and over again, it does have an impact.”

It’s perhaps not surprising, then, that a number of studies looking at the effect of pornography have found it to have negative overall effects in adults, and in particularly men: increased sexually aggressive behaviour, adverse effects on intimate relationships, and acceptance of rape myths, which trivialize rape or blame the victim.

A U.S.-based 2011 study of 10- to 15-year-olds over three years yielded similar results. The 1,200 kids were asked if they had seen X-rated material, included sexually violent material, and if they were involved in sexually aggressive behaviour within the same year.

“Our data supported this hypothesis that when you look at kids who report viewing violent X-rated material, they are significantly more likely to report sexually violent behaviour,” said Michele L. Ybarra, a lead researcher with the Center for Innovative Public Health Research. “Kids who reported non-violent material had almost the same behaviour as those who reported no exposure to porn at all.”

The study found that those who watched violent X-rated material were six times more likely to self-report sexually aggressive behaviour.

Jaffe says he is not surprised at such findings. “There are websites dedicated to forced non-consensual sex with drunken inebriated women. There are training manuals on how to do it, and how to get it away with it,” he said. “I am convinced that the more violent porn out there, you are going to see an increase in non-consensual sexual activity.”

READ THE REST OF THIS EXCELLENT STORY AT THE LINK BELOW: (And please don’t forget to like, comment and share to spread the word and support the cause. Thanks!)

P.S. We found this link on the Facebook page of our allies in Norway, Stopp Pornokulturen. Please check out, like and support their Page. Thanks! :-) (Note: Much of their content is in Norwegian, but there are also some good articles in English.)


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