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Porn Normalises Sexual Violence, Says Study. This Is Alarming

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Do you remember that episode of Koffee with Karan which has Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh on the couch? The former said he doesn’t watch porn because it shows sexual violence and the latter laughed it off saying Kapoor has been watching the wrong kind. Both are right in their own place. Mostly, porn sites are filled with content that doesn’t deal with consent, boundaries and bodily agency. Women are largely objectified and I am not even getting into the outright disgusting kind involving child abuse, rape, and violence. But even the kind of porn that is seemingly normal shows sexual coercion and incest. Of course, there is the ethical kind too – a romantic couple, mutually making out and sexing it up, in a respectful, non-violent manner. If Ranveer Singh knows a site where there is only ethical porn, please let the world know.

Because according to a study that was conducted across popular adult websites such as Pornhub, XVideos and XHamster, sexual violence in pornography is more mainstream than one would have thought. The study found that one in eight titles shown on the home pages of UK’s most popular porn sites contained sexual violation term.

“The study draws on the largest research sample of online pornographic content to date and is unique in its focus on the content immediately advertised to a new user. We found that one in eight titles shown to first-time users on the first page of mainstream porn sites describe sexual activity that constitutes sexual violence,” the study report says.

The researchers analysed “the titles appearing on the landing pages of the three most popular online pornography websites in the United Kingdom across a 6-month period during 2017–18.” They collected a total data set of over 150,000 titles making this an expansive study of pornographic content. “We have found that far from being represented as aberrant, sexual practices involving coercion, deception, non-consent and criminal activity are described in mainstream online pornography in ways that position them as permissible,” the report says.

 

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The study found that these titles consisted of keywords that are found in World Health Organization’s definition of sexual violence. These include words like “forced,” “molest,” “grope” and “ambush.” Words pertaining to “image-based sexual abuse” was common too. This includes keywords such as “hidden cams”, “upskirting”, “downblouse” etc.

What’s more the researchers found a huge chunk of titles promoting sexual abuse of underage girls with keywords such as “schoolgirl” and “teen”. Sexual activity with family members is commonly shown in pornography.

These porn sites normalise sexual abuse, sexual violence and inappropriate activity with underage women and family members. It includes such misconduct and potential criminal activity in our social structure. “Taken together, we argue that our study provides clear evidence that sexual violence is a normative sexual script in mainstream online pornography, with significant implications at a social level for understandings of the difference between sexual pleasure and sexual harm,” the study says. “Our findings raise serious questions about the extent of criminal material easily and freely available on mainstream pornography websites and the efficacy of current regulatory mechanisms,” it further adds.

While we are concerned what kind of narratives such porn is encouraging in society and how that can put women at more risk, PornHub has justified it all. They said that “consenting adults are entitled to their own sexual preferences, as long as they are legal and consensual, and all kinks that meet these criteria are welcome on Pornhub.”

 

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After Pornhub was criticised for housing child pornography and non-consensual content, it has been trying to reclaim its image. Just recently, they released a transparency report on their content revealing they have removed 653,465 pieces of content which violated their guidelines by exhibiting “minors, non-consensual acts, hate speech, animal harm, incest and certain bodily fluids including blood and feces,” as reported by InsideHook.

ALSO READ: Tara Kaushal, Author Of Why Men Rape Gives Us Bone-Chilling Insights Into The Minds Of Sexual Offenders

“Remember, a kink that LOOKS degrading or humiliating is NOT the same thing as an illegal, abusive, or non-consensual act,” the report states. “What goes on between consenting adults is exactly that: consensual. Non-consent must be distinguished from consent to relinquish control.”

I mean people watch and learn. They watch and develop taste for a certain kind of porn. A young guy who has grown up watching content that shows the woman being objectified and the couple doing some freaky shit will believe it’s normal. And when in the real world, he doesn’t obtain consent for those fetishes, when he realises that women aren’t just up for it, it may lead to sexual violence.

Tara Kaushal, author of Why Men Rape – An Indian Undercover investigation told Hauterfly that porn and child abuse has “a symbiotic relationship”. She said, “There is something known as contagion, a theme I have explored a lot in my book. Let’s take child pornography, for instance. When you start encountering child pornography, it can change your palate for arousal. And if you were attracted to kids but you were constantly reminded that it was wrong, you’d perhaps get your impulses under control. But when you see child pornography and that so many people are doing it, you feel you are not as much of a freak as you previously thought you were. In that sense, it allows you and enables you. Child pornography furthers child abuse.”

When the world is dealing with people who don’t understand consent, why are pornsites not taking any responsibility of the content they publish?

ALSO READ: Most Youngsters Turn To Porn To Learn About Sex, Says Study. This Is Worrisome

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