In the late Seventies, America became shocked and outraged by the rape,mutilation, and murder of over a dozen young, beautiful girls.

The man whocommitted these murders, Ted Bundy, was later apprehended and executed. Duringhis detention in various penitentiaries, he was mentally probed and prodded bypsychologist and psychoanalysts hoping to discover the root of his violentactions and sexual frustrations. Many theories arose in attempts to explain themotivational factors behind his murderous escapades. However, the strongest andmost feasible of these theories came not from the psychologists, but from theman himself, “as a teenager, my buddies and I would all sneak around andwatch porn. As I grew older, I became more and more interested and involved init, pornography became an obsession. I got so involved in it, I wanted toincorporate porn into my life, but I couldn’t behave like that and maintainthe success I had worked so hard for. I generated an alter ego to fulfill myfantasies under-cover.

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Pornography was a means of unlocking the evil I hadburied inside myself” (Leidholdt 47). Is it possible that pornography isacting as the key to unlocking the evil in more unstable minds? According toEdward Donnerstein, a leading researcher in the pornography field, “therelationship between sexually violent images in the media and subsequentaggression and . . . callous attitudes towards women is much strongerstatistically than the relationship between smoking and cancer” (Itzin 22).After considering the increase in rape and molestation, sexual harassment, andother sex crimes over the last few decades, and also the corresponding increaseof business in the pornography industry, the link between violence andpornography needs considerable study and examination. Once the evidence you willencounter in this paper is evaluated and quantified, it will be hard not comeaway with the realization that habitual use of pornographic material promotesunrealistic and unattainable desires in men that can lead to violent behaviortoward women.

In order to properly discuss pornography, and be able to link itto violence, we must first come to a basic and agreeable understanding of whatthe word pornography means. The term pornography originates from two Greekwords, porne, which means harlot, and graphein, which means to write (Webster’s286). My belief is that the combination of the two words was originally meant todescribe, in literature, the sexual escapades of women deemed to be whores. Astime has passed, this definition of pornography has grown to include any and allobscene literature and pictures. At the present date, the term is basically ablanket which covers all types of material such as explicit literature,photography, films, and video tapes with varying degrees of sexual content. ForCatherine Itzin’s research purposes pornography has been divided into threecategories: The sexually explicit and violent; the sexually explicit andnonviolent, but subordinating and dehumanizing; and the sexually explicit,nonviolent, and no subordinating that is based upon mutuality.

The sexuallyexplicit and violent is graphic, showing penetration and ejaculation. Also, itshows the violent act toward a woman. The second example shows the graphicsexual act and climax, but not a violent act. This example shows the woman beingdressed is a costume or being ‘talked down’ to in order to reduce her tosomething not human; such as a body part or just something to have sex with, abody opening or an orifice. Not only does ‘erotica’ show the entire graphicsexual act, it also depicts an attraction between two people. Her researchconsistently shows that harmful effects are associated with the first two, butthat the third ‘erotica’, is harmless (22). These three categories basicallyexist as tools of discerning content.

Although sometimes they overlap without atrue distinction, as in when the film is graphic in the sexual act and also inviolence, but shows the act as being a mutual activity between the peopleparticipating. In my view, to further divide pornography, it is possible tobreak it down into even simpler categories: soft and hard-core pornography. Hardcore pornography is a combination of the sexually explicit and violent and thesexually explicit and nonviolent, but subordinating and dehumanizing categories,previously discussed. Soft-core pornography is thought to be harmless and fallsinto the category known as ‘erotica’; which is the category based on mutuality.In hard-core pornography, commonly rated XXX, you can see graphic depictions ofviolent sexual acts usually with a man or group of men, deriving sexualgratification from the degradation of a woman. You can also see womenparticipating in demoralizing sexual behavior among themselves for thegratification of men. In a triple-X movie all physical aspects are shown, suchas extreme close-ups of genitalia, oral, vaginal, and anal penetration, and alsoejaculation.

Much of the time emphasis is put on the painful and humiliatingexperience of the woman, for the sole satisfaction of the male. Soft-corepornography, or X-rated pornography, is less explicit in terms of what is shownand the sexual act is usually put in the light of mutual enjoyment for both themale and female parties (Cameron and Frazer 23). Triple-X pornography ismanufactured and sold legally in the United States. Deborah Cameron andElizabeth Frazer point out that other forms of hard-core pornography that haveto be kept under wraps, made and sold illegally in underground ‘black’ markets.These are ultra violent, ‘snuff’, and child pornography. Ultraviolet tapes orvideos show the actual torture, rape, and sometime mutilation of a woman.

‘Snuff’ films go even future to depict the actual death of a victim, and childpornography reveals the use of under-age or pre-pubescent children for sexualpurposes (17-18). These types of pornography cross over the boundaries ofentertainment and are definitely hard-core. Now that pornography has beendefined in a fashion mirroring its content, it is now possible to touch upon themore complex ways a community, as a society, views or defines it.

Some have saidit is impossible for a group of individuals to form a concrete opinion as towhat pornography means. A U.S. Supreme Court judge is quoted as saying, “Ican’t define pornography, but I know it when I see it” (Itzin 20). Thisstatement can be heard at community meetings in every state, city, and countyacross the nation. Community standards are hazy due to the fact that when askedwhat pornography is to them, most individuals cannot express or explain in wordswhat pornography is, therefore creating confusion among themselves.

Communitiesare left somewhat helpless in this matter since the federal courts passedlegislation to keep pornography available to adults. The courts assess that toban or censor the material would be infringing on the public’s First AmendmentRight (Carol 28). Maureen O’Brien quotes critics of a congressionally terminatedbill, the Pornography Victim’s Compensation Act, as saying “That if it hadpassed, it would have had severely chilling effects on the First Amendment,allowing victims of sexual crimes to file suit against producers anddistributors of any work that was proven to have had ’caused’ the attack, suchas graphic material in books, magazines, videos, films, and records” (7).People in a community debating over pornography often have different views as towhether or not it should even be made available period, and some could evenargue this point against the types of women used in pornography: “A fargreater variety of female types are shown as desirable in pornography thanmainstream films and network television have ever recognized: fat women, flatwomen, hairy women, aggressive women, older women, you name it” (Carol 25).If we could all decide on just exactly what pornography is and what isacceptable, there wouldn’t be so much debate over the issue of censoring it.

Thebounds of community standards have been stretched by mainstreaming movies,opening the way even further for the legalization of more explicit fare (Jenish53). In most contemporary communities explicit sex that is without violent ordehumanizing acts is acceptable in American society today. These communitystandards have not been around very long. When movies were first brought out,they were heavily restricted and not protected by the First Amendment, becausefilms then were looked upon only as diversionary entertainment and business.Even though sexual images were highly monitored, the movie industry was hit sohard during the Great Depression that film-makers found themselves sneaking inas much sexual content as possible, even then they saw that ‘sex sells’ (Clark1029). Films were highly restricted throughout the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s by theindustry, but once independent films of the 60’s such as: “Bonnie andClyde” and “Whose afraid of Virginia Wolfe?” (Clark 1029-30),both with explicit language, sexual innuendo, and violence startedout-performing the larger ‘wholesome’ production companies, many of the barriersholding sex and violence back were torn down in the name of profit. Adultcontent was put into movies long ago; we have become more immune and can’texpect it to get any better or to go away.

Porn is here for good. Pornography isa multi-million dollar international industry, ultimately run by organized crimeall over the world, and is produced by the respectable mainstream publishingbusiness companies (Itzin 21). Although the publishing companies are thought tobe ‘respectable’, people generally stereotype buyers and users of pornographicmaterial as ‘dirty old men in trench coats’, but most patrons of adult storesare well-educated people with disposable income (Jenish 52).

Porno moviesprovide adults of both genders with activities they normally wouldn’t get ineveryday life, such as oral pleasures or different types of fetishes. Ultimatelyadult entertainment is just a quick fix for grown-ups, as junk food would be forsmall children. Pornography’s main purpose is to serve as masturbatory stimulifor males and to provide a sexual vent. Although in the beginning, society sawit as perverted and sinful, it was still considered relatively harmless. Todaythere is one case study, standing out from the rest, which tends to shatter thisillusion. The study done my Monica D. Weisz and Christopher M.

Earls used”eighty-seven males . . . that were randomly shown one of four films”,by researchers William Tooke and Martin Lalumiere: “Deliverance, StrawDogs, Die Hard II, and Days of Thunder”, for a study on how they wouldreact to questions about sexual violence and offenders after watching. In thefour films there is sexual aggression against a male, sexual aggression againsta female, physical aggression, and neutrality-no explicit scenes of physical orsexual aggression. Out of this study the males were more acceptable ofinterpersonal violence and rape myths and also more attracted to sexualaggression. These same males were less sympathetic to rape victims and werenoted less likely to find a defendant guilty of rape (71).

These four abovementioned movies are mainstreamed R-rated films. If a mainstream movie can causethis kind of distortion of value and morality, then it should become evidentthat continuous viewing/use of pornographic films depicting violent sex andaggression could lead vulnerable persons into performing or participating insexual violence against their partners or against a stranger. Bill Marshall,psychology professor at Queen’s University and director of a sexual behaviorclinic in Kingston, interviewed one hundred and twenty men, between the years1980 and 1985, who had molested children or raped women. In his conclusion hefound that pornography appeared to be a significant factor in the chain ofevents leading up to a deviant act in 25% of these cases (Nicols 60). Theresults of this study should prove that pornography obviously has a down side toit. According to Mark Nicols, a psychology professor at the University ofMichigan, Neil Malamuth, concludes quite cautiously that some messages combinedwith other factors, including the viewer’s personality type, in pornography canlead to antisocial behavior and make individuals less sensitive to violence. Dr.

Marshall also quotes men in Nicols article as saying, “that they looked atpornography with the intent to masturbate, but then became aroused, and decidedto go out and assault a woman or child.” Men who are drawn into pornographyand use it frequently, have also been proven to suggest more lenient prisonterms for sex offenders” (60). If this previous statement is true, shouldwe reevaluate how many men serve on juries for these trials? Itzin givespossible support for these theories. It can be found in the case of anex-prostitute who had her pubic hair removed with a jackknife and was forced byher pimp to be filmed reenacting what they had seen in pornographic movies; shewas sexually assaulted and forced to have intercourse with animals, generallydogs. Another such case is one of a woman who reports having metal clipsattached to her breasts, being tied to a chair, and being raped and beatencontinuously for twelve hours (22-24). The dehumanizing, degradation, andreduction of a woman’s body isn’t just a result of viewed pornography, it isoften inseminated into the production of a pornographic project. During themaking of “Deep Throat”, a 1970’s pornographic film, Linda Marchiano(a.

k.a. Linda Lovelace), was presented to the public as a liberated woman withan ever present and unfulfilled appetite for fellatio. What isn’t known to thegeneral public is that during the making of the movie, she was hypnotized tosuppress the natural gagging reaction, was tortured when caught trying toescape, and also held at gun-point by her boss, who threatened her with death (Itzin22). Ms. Marchiano did escape and when her story was told, it was repeated by anumber of women in the pornography business. According to D’Arcy Jenish manychildren are lured into the pornography industry by choosing first to model.

These young teen’s egos are boosted when they are told “they have goodbodies”,0 and are asked, “if they work out?” More often thannot, they are told “toake off their shirts”, and then asked “Doyou feel nervous?” (36). These youngsters honestly don’t know when too muchis too much, and what they don’t know could put them in serious danger. CalvinKlein, once known for being a reputable clothing designer, is now known for hisracy ads using teens. Some feel he crossed the line when he chose this type ofadvertising.

Jenish observes that these advertisements “featured an arrayof . . . teen-aged models dressed in loose jeans or hiked-up skirts, one showingbare breasts, others offering androgynous models kissing” (36). If adultsin positions of power act this way, these youngsters cannot expect other adultsto act any differently. Therefore they accept this type of behavior as normal.Diana Russell claims that tactics like these are being used more often inadvertising and television, which has led media watchdogs and anti-pornactivists to believe that this sort of masked imitation of pornography tricksmainstream television viewers into having an “everybody’s doing it”attitude about pornography.

She also feels that this attitude subconsciouslyleads them into seeking pornography out (39). We need to show the youngergeneration that everyone is not doing ‘it’, and that it is all right not to havesex if they feel pressured. Another problem anti-pornography activists believearises from regular viewing of pornography, is the acceptance of “rapemyths”. Rape myth is a term pertaining to people’s views on rape, rapists,and sexual assaults, wherein it is assumed that the victim of a sexual crime iseither partially or completely to blame (Allen 6). To help understand the rapemyth a “Rape Myth Acceptance Scale” was established, which lists someof the most prominent beliefs that a person accepting the rape myth has.

Theyare as follows: 1. A woman who goes to the home or apartment of a man on theirfirst date implies that she is willing to have sex. 2. One reason that womenfalsely report a rape is that they frequently have a need to call attention tothemselves. 3.

Any healthy woman can successfully resist a rapist if she reallywants to. 4. When women go around braless or wearing short skirts and tighttops, they are just asking for trouble. 5. In the majority or rapes, the victimis promiscuous or has a bad reputation. 6. If a girl engages in necking orpetting and she lets things get out of hand, it is her own fault if her partnerforces sex on her.

7. Women who get raped while hitchhiking get what theydeserve. 8.

Many women have an unconscious wish to be raped, and may thensubconsciously set up a situation in which they are likely to be attacked. 9.If a woman gets drunk at a party and has intercourse with a man she’s just metthere, she should be considered “fair game” to other males at theparty who want to have sex with her too, whether she wants to or not (Burt 217).Pauline Bart reports that studies held simultaneously at UCLA and St. XavierCollege on students, demonstrate that pornography does positively reinforce therape myth.

Men and women were exposed to over four hours of exotic video (ofvarying types; i.e. soft, hard core, etc.) and then asked to answer a set ofquestions meant to gage their attitudes of sex crimes. All the men were provento be more accepting to rape myths, and surprisingly, over half of the womenwere also (123). Once again, the women in these films were portrayed asinsatiable and in need of constant fulfillment. After so much exposure to womenin this light from films and books, it is generally taken for granted that womenshould emulate this type of behavior in real life (125).

Of all the studies andexamples from real life situations connecting pornography with violent behaviorand sexual aggressiveness, none are more concrete than the activities theSerbian military are part of every day now in the Bosnian war. Part of the”ethnic cleansing” process the Serbs are practicing in Bosnia involvesthe gang raping of all Muslim and Croatian women. Andrea Dworkin states that itis mandatory for the Serbian soldiers to rape the wives and female children ofMuslim men. Concentration camps are set up as brothels where women are orderedto satisfy the soldiers in the most painful and dehumanizing ways imaginable.

The women in these camps are taped with camcorders and the videos are displayedeverywhere throughout the camps to lower the woman’s will and need to resist.Were do the soldiers get the inspiration to commit these crimes, from commercialpornography. Serbian troops are basically force-fed porn; it is present allthrough training and is made readily available to (even pushed upon) thesoldiers.

They are basically asked to “watch and learn”. After theseed is planted not much is needed to be done, because they are naturallyinstilled with the desire to repeat what they have seen, and are not concernedwith the feelings of the women. They have seen that some women have no feelingsand are meant to be used merely for sexual gratification (M2-M6). To add insultto injury, some of the tapes of these women being victimized have entered theblack market, being sold internationally, possible infecting the minds ofmillions. Pornography has enamored itself as a large part of our modern society.It is seldom discussed and often hidden as a dirty secret, but porn still seemsto play a major part in the shaping of our morals and behaviors.

Although somesay pornography is relatively harmless, a considerable larger group seems touphold the assumption the porn works in negative and disruptive ways on thosewho view it and participate. Nearly all the research supports this assumption,so it is evident the topic is in need of much more examination and debate. Eventhough the majority of modern society views pornography as objectionable andsometimes obscene, there are some that do not agree with the assumption thatpornography is guilty of the defamation of women and their sexual roles.

Socialobservationalists, such as Mary White, at the University of Michigan often agreewith her statement on the part women play in pornography which explains that”since most pornographic material plays up to male fantasy, women areusually the aggressors, hence women are given a semblance of empowerment. Also,the majority of these women in the material are very attractive, therefore seenas the forms of beauty and desire, something to be respected and workedfor” (72). Although White may not realize it, this statement reinforcedmost of the arguments made in support of the notion that pornography issubordinating and degrading to women. By saying that being sexually aggressivegives a woman empowerment, she limits a woman’s ability to reach empowerment tosexual activity alone, and by claiming that the use of attractive women inpornographic material lends to a view of women being desirable, sheinadvertently excludes women that don’t fit society’s mold of the model physicalfemale, (i.e. overweight, small breasted, short, etc.).

Most of the argumentssimilar to White’s follow the same line of reasoning, and are easily broken downin the same manner as hers. In regards to pornography perpetuating violent actstoward women, pornography defenders claim that the use of pornographic materialcan act as a cathartic release, actual lessening the likelihood of malescommitting violent acts. The reasoning is that the pornography can substitutefor sex and that the ‘want’ to commit sexual crimes is acted out vicariouslythrough the pornographic material (Whicclair 327). This argument, however, doesnot explain the crimes committed by serial killers like Ted Bundy and John WayneGacey, who regularly viewed pornography during the lengths of their timesbetween murders and rapes (Scully 70).

By saying that pornography would reduceharm to women through cathartic effects, pornography defenders display a largelack in reasoning because through their argument the rise in the production ofpornography would have led to a decrease in sexual crimes, but as has been shownpreviously, that simply is not true. Pornographers and pornography defendersproclaim that the link between pornography and violence is exaggerated and thatthe research linking pornography to sexual crimes is inconclusive. They statethat the fundamentals of sex crimes are found inherently in the individuals andthat the sexual permissiveness of American society cannot be blamed on theincrease of pornography’s availability (Jacobson 79). David Adams, a co-founderand executive director of Emerge, a Boston counseling center for male batterers,states, “that only a minority of his clients (perhaps 10 to 20 percent) usehard-core pornography. He estimates that half may have substance abuse problems,and adds that alcohol seems more directly involved in abuse thanpornography” (Kaminer 115). The statement made by Adams and the view thatpornography does not contribute to the act of sex crimes is heavily outweighed,however, by the various studies connecting violence and pornography.

BillMarshall’s observations on his patients and the examples of individual crimesoriginating from pornography show this acclimation to be invalidated. Some alsosay that attacks on pornography merely reflect the majority of feminist’sdisdain for men, cynically stating that people who fear pornography think of allmen as potential abusers, whose violent impulses are bound to be sparked bypornography (114). Researcher Catherin MacKinnon says “pornography works asa behavioral conditioner, reinforcer, and stimulus, not as idea oradvocacy” (114). However, this idea is proven to be false by the use ofpornography in and by the Serbian military. This example shows that pornographydoes advocate sex crimes and that ideas of sexual violence can be stemmed fromthe viewing of pornography. Pornography has become to most just another one ofthose cold, nasty facts of life that cannot be stopped, so some choose to ignoreit.

This attitude has to change. After reviewing the abuse and subordinationdelegated to women as an almost indisputable result of the mass infiltration ofpornography into modern society, it should be impossible for someone not to wantto do something about it. What can be done is for those concerned to try tospread the word and educate others as much as possible to the dangers of thissort of material. If people knew the roots of some of their more violentbehavior, it could be diminished, thus protecting the future and health of ourcommunities. From its inception, in most cases, pornography is a media thatlinks sexual gratification and violence together. This fact can only lead arational mind to the conclusion that a chain of events will begin, combining sexand violence further in the minds of those who watch pornography and will ensurean unhealthy attitude towards women and their sexual identities. Only throughdiscussion and individual action can the perpetuation of the negative impacts ofpornography be swept from the closets and dark corners of the Americanhousehold.

Bibliography Pornography Will Wolff-Myren p.6 Pornography — Sex orSubordination? In the late Seventies, America became shocked and outraged by therape, mutilation, and murder of over a dozen young, beautiful girls. The man whocommitted these murders, Ted Bundy, was later apprehended and executed. Duringhis detention in various penitentiaries, he was mentally probed and prodded bypsychologist and psychoanalysts hoping to discover the root of his violentactions and sexual frustrations.

Many theories arose in attempts to explain themotivational factors behind his murderous escapades. However, the strongest andmost feasible of these theories came not from the psychologists, but from theman himself, “as a teenager, my buddies and I would all sneak around andwatch porn. As I grew older, I became more and more interested and involved init, pornography became an obsession. I got so involved in it, I wanted toincorporate porn into my life, but I couldn’t behave like that and maintainthe success I had worked so hard for.

I generated an alter ego to fulfill myfantasies under-cover. Pornography was a means of unlocking the evil I hadburied inside myself” (Leidholdt 47). Is it possible that pornography isacting as the key to unlocking the evil in more unstable minds? According toEdward Donnerstein, a leading researcher in the pornography field, “therelationship between sexually violent images in the media and subsequentaggression and . .

. callous attitudes towards women is much strongerstatistically than the relationship between smoking and cancer” (Itzin 22).After considering the increase in rape and molestation, sexual harassment, andother sex crimes over the last few decades, and also the corresponding increaseof business in the pornography industry, the link between violence andpornography needs considerable study and examination. Once the evidence you willencounter in this paper is evaluated and quantified, it will be hard not comeaway with the realization that habitual use of pornographic material promotesunrealistic and unattainable desires in men that can lead to violent behaviortoward women. In order to properly discuss pornography, and be able to link itto violence, we must first come to a basic and agreeable understanding of whatthe word pornography means. The term pornography originates from two Greekwords, porne, which means harlot, and graphein, which means to write (Webster’s286).

My belief is that the combination of the two words was originally meant todescribe, in literature, the sexual escapades of women deemed to be whores. Astime has passed, this definition of pornography has grown to include any and allobscene literature and pictures. At the present date, the term is basically ablanket which covers all types of material such as explicit literature,photography, films, and video tapes with varying degrees of sexual content.

ForCatherine Itzin’s research purposes pornography has been divided into threecategories: The sexually explicit and violent; the sexually explicit andnonviolent, but subordinating and dehumanizing; and the sexually explicit,nonviolent, and no subordinating that is based upon mutuality. The sexuallyexplicit and violent is graphic, showing penetration and ejaculation. Also, itshows the violent act toward a woman.

The second example shows the graphicsexual act and climax, but not a violent act. This example shows the woman beingdressed is a costume or being ‘talked down’ to in order to reduce her tosomething not human; such as a body part or just something to have sex with, abody opening or an orifice. Not only does ‘erotica’ show the entire graphicsexual act, it also depicts an attraction between two people. Her researchconsistently shows that harmful effects are associated with the first two, butthat the third ‘erotica’, is harmless (22). These three categories basicallyexist as tools of discerning content.

Although sometimes they overlap without atrue distinction, as in when the film is graphic in the sexual act and also inviolence, but shows the act as being a mutual activity between the peopleparticipating. In my view, to further divide pornography, it is possible tobreak it down into even simpler categories: soft and hard-core pornography. Hardcore pornography is a combination of the sexually explicit and violent and thesexually explicit and nonviolent, but subordinating and dehumanizing categories,previously discussed. Soft-core pornography is thought to be harmless and fallsinto the category known as ‘erotica’; which is the category based on mutuality.In hard-core pornography, commonly rated XXX, you can see graphic depictions ofviolent sexual acts usually with a man or group of men, deriving sexualgratification from the degradation of a woman. You can also see womenparticipating in demoralizing sexual behavior among themselves for thegratification of men.

In a triple-X movie all physical aspects are shown, suchas extreme close-ups of genitalia, oral, vaginal, and anal penetration, and alsoejaculation. Much of the time emphasis is put on the painful and humiliatingexperience of the woman, for the sole satisfaction of the male. Soft-corepornography, or X-rated pornography, is less explicit in terms of what is shownand the sexual act is usually put in the light of mutual enjoyment for both themale and female parties (Cameron and Frazer 23). Triple-X pornography ismanufactured and sold legally in the United States. Deborah Cameron andElizabeth Frazer point out that other forms of hard-core pornography that haveto be kept under wraps, made and sold illegally in underground ‘black’ markets.

These are ultra violent, ‘snuff’, and child pornography. Ultraviolet tapes orvideos show the actual torture, rape, and sometime mutilation of a woman.’Snuff’ films go even future to depict the actual death of a victim, and childpornography reveals the use of under-age or pre-pubescent children for sexualpurposes (17-18). These types of pornography cross over the boundaries ofentertainment and are definitely hard-core. Now that pornography has beendefined in a fashion mirroring its content, it is now possible to touch upon themore complex ways a community, as a society, views or defines it. Some have saidit is impossible for a group of individuals to form a concrete opinion as towhat pornography means. A U.

S. Supreme Court judge is quoted as saying, “Ican’t define pornography, but I know it when I see it” (Itzin 20). Thisstatement can be heard at community meetings in every state, city, and countyacross the nation. Community standards are hazy due to the fact that when askedwhat pornography is to them, most individuals cannot express or explain in wordswhat pornography is, therefore creating confusion among themselves. Communitiesare left somewhat helpless in this matter since the federal courts passedlegislation to keep pornography available to adults. The courts assess that toban or censor the material would be infringing on the public’s First AmendmentRight (Carol 28). Maureen O’Brien quotes critics of a congressionally terminatedbill, the Pornography Victim’s Compensation Act, as saying “That if it hadpassed, it would have had severely chilling effects on the First Amendment,allowing victims of sexual crimes to file suit against producers anddistributors of any work that was proven to have had ’caused’ the attack, suchas graphic material in books, magazines, videos, films, and records” (7).

People in a community debating over pornography often have different views as towhether or not it should even be made available period, and some could evenargue this point against the types of women used in pornography: “A fargreater variety of female types are shown as desirable in pornography thanmainstream films and network television have ever recognized: fat women, flatwomen, hairy women, aggressive women, older women, you name it” (Carol 25).If we could all decide on just exactly what pornography is and what isacceptable, there wouldn’t be so much debate over the issue of censoring it. Thebounds of community standards have been stretched by mainstreaming movies,opening the way even further for the legalization of more explicit fare (Jenish53). In most contemporary communities explicit sex that is without violent ordehumanizing acts is acceptable in American society today. These communitystandards have not been around very long. When movies were first brought out,they were heavily restricted and not protected by the First Amendment, becausefilms then were looked upon only as diversionary entertainment and business.

Even though sexual images were highly monitored, the movie industry was hit sohard during the Great Depression that film-makers found themselves sneaking inas much sexual content as possible, even then they saw that ‘sex sells’ (Clark1029). Films were highly restricted throughout the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s by theindustry, but once independent films of the 60’s such as: “Bonnie andClyde” and “Whose afraid of Virginia Wolfe?” (Clark 1029-30),both with explicit language, sexual innuendo, and violence startedout-performing the larger ‘wholesome’ production companies, many of the barriersholding sex and violence back were torn down in the name of profit. Adultcontent was put into movies long ago; we have become more immune and can’texpect it to get any better or to go away. Porn is here for good.

Pornography isa multi-million dollar international industry, ultimately run by organized crimeall over the world, and is produced by the respectable mainstream publishingbusiness companies (Itzin 21). Although the publishing companies are thought tobe ‘respectable’, people generally stereotype buyers and users of pornographicmaterial as ‘dirty old men in trench coats’, but most patrons of adult storesare well-educated people with disposable income (Jenish 52). Porno moviesprovide adults of both genders with activities they normally wouldn’t get ineveryday life, such as oral pleasures or different types of fetishes. Ultimatelyadult entertainment is just a quick fix for grown-ups, as junk food would be forsmall children. Pornography’s main purpose is to serve as masturbatory stimulifor males and to provide a sexual vent.

Although in the beginning, society sawit as perverted and sinful, it was still considered relatively harmless. Todaythere is one case study, standing out from the rest, which tends to shatter thisillusion. The study done my Monica D. Weisz and Christopher M.

Earls used”eighty-seven males . . . that were randomly shown one of four films”,by researchers William Tooke and Martin Lalumiere: “Deliverance, StrawDogs, Die Hard II, and Days of Thunder”, for a study on how they wouldreact to questions about sexual violence and offenders after watching. In thefour films there is sexual aggression against a male, sexual aggression againsta female, physical aggression, and neutrality-no explicit scenes of physical orsexual aggression. Out of this study the males were more acceptable ofinterpersonal violence and rape myths and also more attracted to sexualaggression. These same males were less sympathetic to rape victims and werenoted less likely to find a defendant guilty of rape (71). These four abovementioned movies are mainstreamed R-rated films. If a mainstream movie can causethis kind of distortion of value and morality, then it should become evidentthat continuous viewing/use of pornographic films depicting violent sex andaggression could lead vulnerable persons into performing or participating insexual violence against their partners or against a stranger. Bill Marshall,psychology professor at Queen’s University and director of a sexual behaviorclinic in Kingston, interviewed one hundred and twenty men, between the years1980 and 1985, who had molested children or raped women. In his conclusion hefound that pornography appeared to be a significant factor in the chain ofevents leading up to a deviant act in 25% of these cases (Nicols 60). Theresults of this study should prove that pornography obviously has a down side toit. According to Mark Nicols, a psychology professor at the University ofMichigan, Neil Malamuth, concludes quite cautiously that some messages combinedwith other factors, including the viewer’s personality type, in pornography canlead to antisocial behavior and make individuals less sensitive to violence. Dr.Marshall also quotes men in Nicols article as saying, “that they looked atpornography with the intent to masturbate, but then became aroused, and decidedto go out and assault a woman or child.” Men who are drawn into pornographyand use it frequently, have also been proven to suggest more lenient prisonterms for sex offenders” (60). If this previous statement is true, shouldwe reevaluate how many men serve on juries for these trials? Itzin givespossible support for these theories. It can be found in the case of anex-prostitute who had her pubic hair removed with a jackknife and was forced byher pimp to be filmed reenacting what they had seen in pornographic movies; shewas sexually assaulted and forced to have intercourse with animals, generallydogs. Another such case is one of a woman who reports having metal clipsattached to her breasts, being tied to a chair, and being raped and beatencontinuously for twelve hours (22-24). The dehumanizing, degradation, andreduction of a woman’s body isn’t just a result of viewed pornography, it isoften inseminated into the production of a pornographic project. During themaking of “Deep Throat”, a 1970’s pornographic film, Linda Marchiano(a.k.a. Linda Lovelace), was presented to the public as a liberated woman withan ever present and unfulfilled appetite for fellatio. What isn’t known to thegeneral public is that during the making of the movie, she was hypnotized tosuppress the natural gagging reaction, was tortured when caught trying toescape, and also held at gun-point by her boss, who threatened her with death (Itzin22). Ms. Marchiano did escape and when her story was told, it was repeated by anumber of women in the pornography business. According to D’Arcy Jenish manychildren are lured into the pornography industry by choosing first to model.These young teen’s egos are boosted when they are told “they have goodbodies”, and are asked, “if they work out?” More often than not,they are told “to take off their shirts”, and then asked “Doyou feel nervous?” (36). These youngsters honestly don’t know when too muchis too much, and what they don’t know could put them in serious danger. CalvinKlein, once known for being a reputable clothing designer, is now known for hisracy ads using teens. Some feel he crossed the line when he chose this type ofadvertising. Jenish observes that these advertisements “featured an arrayof . . . teen-aged models dressed in loose jeans or hiked-up skirts, one showingbare breasts, others offering androgynous models kissing” (36). If adultsin positions of power act this way, these youngsters cannot expect other adultsto act any differently. Therefore they accept this type of behavior as normal.Diana Russell claims that tactics like these are being used more often inadvertising and television, which has led media watchdogs and anti-pornactivists to believe that this sort of masked imitation of pornography tricksmainstream television viewers into having an “everybody’s doing it”attitude about pornography. She also feels that this attitude subconsciouslyleads them into seeking pornography out (39). We need to show the youngergeneration that everyone is not doing ‘it’, and that it is all right not to havesex if they feel pressured. Another problem anti-pornography activists believearises from regular viewing of pornography, is the acceptance of “rapemyths”. Rape myth is a term pertaining to people’s views on rape, rapists,and sexual assaults, wherein it is assumed that the victim of a sexual crime iseither partially or completely to blame (Allen 6). To help understand the rapemyth a “Rape Myth Acceptance Scale” was established, which lists someof the most prominent beliefs that a person accepting the rape myth has. Theyare as follows: 1. A woman who goes to the home or apartment of a man on theirfirst date implies that she is willing to have sex. 2. One reason that womenfalsely report a rape is that they frequently have a need to call attention tothemselves. 3. Any healthy woman can successfully resist a rapist if she reallywants to. 4. When women go around braless or wearing short skirts and tighttops, they are just asking for trouble. 5. In the majority or rapes, the victimis promiscuous or has a bad reputation. 6. If a girl engages in necking orpetting and she lets things get out of hand, it is her own fault if her partnerforces sex on her. 7. Women who get raped while hitchhiking get what theydeserve. 8. Many women have an unconscious wish to be raped, and may thensubconsciously set up a situation in which they are likely to be attacked. 9.If a woman gets drunk at a party and has intercourse with a man she’s just metthere, she should be considered “fair game” to other males at theparty who want to have sex with her too, whether she wants to or not (Burt 217).Pauline Bart reports that studies held simultaneously at UCLA and St. XavierCollege on students, demonstrate that pornography does positively reinforce therape myth. Men and women were exposed to over four hours of exotic video (ofvarying types; i.e. soft, hard core, etc.) and then asked to answer a set ofquestions meant to gage their attitudes of sex crimes. All the men were provento be more accepting to rape myths, and surprisingly, over half of the womenwere also (123). Once again, the women in these films were portrayed asinsatiable and in need of constant fulfillment. After so much exposure to womenin this light from films and books, it is generally taken for granted that womenshould emulate this type of behavior in real life (125). Of all the studies andexamples from real life situations connecting pornography with violent behaviorand sexual aggressiveness, none are more concrete than the activities theSerbian military are part of every day now in the Bosnian war. Part of the”ethnic cleansing” process the Serbs are practicing in Bosnia involvesthe gang raping of all Muslim and Croatian women. Andrea Dworkin states that itis mandatory for the Serbian soldiers to rape the wives and female children ofMuslim men. Concentration camps are set up as brothels where women are orderedto satisfy the soldiers in the most painful and dehumanizing ways imaginable.The women in these camps are taped with camcorders and the videos are displayedeverywhere throughout the camps to lower the woman’s will and need to resist.Were do the soldiers get the inspiration to commit these crimes, from commercialpornography. Serbian troops are basically force-fed porn; it is present allthrough training and is made readily available to (even pushed upon) thesoldiers. They are basically asked to “watch and learn”. After theseed is planted not much is needed to be done, because they are naturallyinstilled with the desire to repeat what they have seen, and are not concernedwith the feelings of the women. They have seen that some women have no feelingsand are meant to be used merely for sexual gratification (M2-M6). To add insultto injury, some of the tapes of these women being victimized have entered theblack market, being sold internationally, possible infecting the minds ofmillions. Pornography has enamored itself as a large part of our modern society.It is seldom discussed and often hidden as a dirty secret, but porn still seemsto play a major part in the shaping of our morals and behaviors. Although somesay pornography is relatively harmless, a considerable larger group seems touphold the assumption the porn works in negative and disruptive ways on thosewho view it and participate. Nearly all the research supports this assumption,so it is evident the topic is in need of much more examination and debate. Eventhough the majority of modern society views pornography as objectionable andsometimes obscene, there are some that do not agree with the assumption thatpornography is guilty of the defamation of women and their sexual roles. Socialobservationalists, such as Mary White, at the University of Michigan often agreewith her statement on the part women play in pornography which explains that”since most pornographic material plays up to male fantasy, women areusually the aggressors, hence women are given a semblance of empowerment. Also,the majority of these women in the material are very attractive, therefore seenas the forms of beauty and desire, something to be respected and workedfor” (72). Although White may not realize it, this statement reinforcedmost of the arguments made in support of the notion that pornography issubordinating and degrading to women. By saying that being sexually aggressivegives a woman empowerment, she limits a woman’s ability to reach empowerment tosexual activity alone, and by claiming that the use of attractive women inpornographic material lends to a view of women being desirable, sheinadvertently excludes women that don’t fit society’s mold of the model physicalfemale, (i.e. overweight, small breasted, short, etc.). Most of the argumentssimilar to White’s follow the same line of reasoning, and are easily broken downin the same manner as hers. In regards to pornography perpetuating violent actstoward women, pornography defenders claim that the use of pornographic materialcan act as a cathartic release, actual lessening the likelihood of malescommitting violent acts. The reasoning is that the pornography can substitutefor sex and that the ‘want’ to commit sexual crimes is acted out vicariouslythrough the pornographic material (Whicclair 327). This argument, however, doesnot explain the crimes committed by serial killers like Ted Bundy and John WayneGacey, who regularly viewed pornography during the lengths of their timesbetween murders and rapes (Scully 70). By saying that pornography would reduceharm to women through cathartic effects, pornography defenders display a largelack in reasoning because through their argument the rise in the production ofpornography would have led to a decrease in sexual crimes, but as has been shownpreviously, that simply is not true. Pornographers and pornography defendersproclaim that the link between pornography and violence is exaggerated and thatthe research linking pornography to sexual crimes is inconclusive. They statethat the fundamentals of sex crimes are found inherently in the individuals andthat the sexual permissiveness of American society cannot be blamed on theincrease of pornography’s availability (Jacobson 79). David Adams, a co-founderand executive director of Emerge, a Boston counseling center for male batterers,states, “that only a minority of his clients (perhaps 10 to 20 percent) usehard-core pornography. He estimates that half may have substance abuse problems,and adds that alcohol seems more directly involved in abuse thanpornography” (Kaminer 115). The statement made by Adams and the view thatpornography does not contribute to the act of sex crimes is heavily outweighed,however, by the various studies connecting violence and pornography. BillMarshall’s observations on his patients and the examples of individual crimesoriginating from pornography show this acclimation to be invalidated. Some alsosay that attacks on pornography merely reflect the majority of feminist’sdisdain for men, cynically stating that people who fear pornography think of allmen as potential abusers, whose violent impulses are bound to be sparked bypornography (114). Researcher Catherin MacKinnon says “pornography works asa behavioral conditioner, reinforcer, and stimulus, not as idea oradvocacy” (114). However, this idea is proven to be false by the use ofpornography in and by the Serbian military. This example shows that pornographydoes advocate sex crimes and that ideas of sexual violence can be stemmed fromthe viewing of pornography. Pornography has become to most just another one ofthose cold, nasty facts of life that cannot be stopped, so some choose to ignoreit. This attitude has to change. After reviewing the abuse and subordinationdelegated to women as an almost indisputable result of the mass infiltration ofpornography into modern society, it should be impossible for someone not to wantto do something about it. What can be done is for those concerned to try tospread the word and educate others as much as possible to the dangers of thissort of material. If people knew the roots of some of their more violentbehavior, it could be diminished, thus protecting the future and health of ourcommunities. From its inception, in most cases, pornography is a media thatlinks sexual gratification and violence together. This fact can only lead arational mind to the conclusion that a chain of events will begin, combining sexand violence further in the minds of those who watch pornography and will ensurean unhealthy attitude towards women and their sexual identities. Only throughdiscussion and individual action can the perpetuation of the negative impacts ofpornography be swept from the closets and dark corners of the Americanhousehold. BibliographyAllen, Mike. “Exposure to Pornography and Acceptance of RapeMyths.” Journal of Communication. Winter, 1995: 5-21. Bart, Pauline B., andPatricia H. O’Brien. Stopping Rape: Successful Survival Strategies. New York:Pergamon Press, 1985. Burt, M. “Cultural Myths and Supports for Rape.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 38 (1980): 217-230. Cameron,Deborah, and Elizabeth Frazer. The Lust to Kill. New York: New York UP, 1987.Carol, Avedon. “Free Speech and the Porn Wars.” National Forum. 75.2(1985): 25-28. Clark, Charles S. “Sex, Violence, and the Media.” CQResearcher. 17 Nov. 1995: 1019-1033. Dworkin, Andrea. “The Real Pornographyof A Brutal War Against Women.” Los Angeles Times. 5 Sept. 1993, M2+. Itzin,Catherine. “Pornography and Civil Liberties.” National Review. 75.2(1985): 20- 24. Jacobson, Daniel. “Freedom of Speech Acts? A Response toLangston.” Philosophy ; Public Affairs. Summer 1992: 65-79. Jenish,D’Arcy. “The King of Porn.” Macleans. 11 Oct. 1993: 52-56. – – – -“Did Sexy Calvin Klein Ads Go Too Far?” Maclean’s. 2 Oct. 1995: 36.Kaminer, Wendy. “Feminists Against the First Amendment.” The AtlanticMonthly. Nov. 1992: 111-118. Leidholdt, Margaret. Take Back The Night: Women onPornography. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1980. Nicols, Mark.”Viewers and Victims.” Newsweek. 10 Aug. 1983: 60. Russell, Diana E.H.,ed. Making Violence Sexy: Feminist View on Pornography. New York: TeachersCollege Press, 1994. Webster’s Dictionary. Miami Florida. P.S.I. &Associates. 1987: 286. Weisz, Monica G., and Christopher M. Earls. “TheEffects of Exposure to Filmed Sexual Violence on Attitudes Toward Rape.”Journal of Interpersonal Violence. March 1995: 71-84. Whicclair, Mark. R.”Feminism, Pornography, and Censorship.” Contemporary Moral Problems.ed. James White. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN: 1994. White, Mary. “Women AsVictim: The New Stereotype.” Spin. Apr. 1992: 60-65.Human Sexuality Issues

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