The more pornography women use, the more likely they are to be victims of non-consensual sex,” said Mary Anne Layden, professor of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College in Boston. “The earlier the male starts using pornography, the more likely they are to be the perpetrators of non-consensual sex.
Uh?! How are women who watch porn going to be the victims of rape? The amount of bad sociology here is staggering.
There is a pretty good rebuttal of this rubbish at Psychology Today.
The article cites a sociologist, Mary Ann Layden, who makes some wildly unsubstantiated claims: “The more pornography women use, the more likely they are to be victims of non-consensual sex.” Wow, this is a staggering statement, and a frightening insight into the rebirth of the “blame the victim” argument against rape. How, exactly, could this work? A woman gets too into pornography, and stops being very selective in her social and sexual activities, and ends up getting raped? Excuse me? This is an awful statement. So a female victim testifying her assailant is going to be asked about that time she downloaded a dirty movie to watch? And that has what to do with the immoral, narcissistic, selfish and angry acts of the man who violated her rights? The only way this has any kernel of truth is that highly sexual women are more likely to report use of pornography. Highly sexual women are also likely to report greater numbers of partners, and somewhat higher risk of an incident of sexual abuse or rape, possibly as a result of situations of date rape. But it’s not the pornography, and it’s not even the women’s sexuality. It’s the act of person who violates the rights of another.
This is just more of the anti-sex version of feminism, suggesting that the only way women can be safe from men is to keep their sexuality locked up tight as a drum in that neat little box society gives women. Sorry, it didn’t work for Pandora. It won’t work today.
The article goes on with its wild allegations and mishmash of untestable theories and bad research. It suggests that pornography addiction is created through an object-relations process, whereby a person ejaculating to pornography (so you’re okay so long as you don’t actually come?) creates an unshakeable link between sexual desire and explicit images. It also suggests that exposure to pornography at an early age somehow alters one’s brain development, creating a porn-addicted brain. (At least the commercials could be recycled – “This is your brain, this is your brain on porn – crack of the egg, sizzle, sizzle…”)
The Meese Commission’s report, and their struggle to separate the morality of sexuality, from the science of sexual research serves as a warning sign for the decades since. The dialogue about sexual research and pornography’s effects has become as convoluted and polarized as the Supreme Court’s view of obscenity – “I may not be able to define it, but I know when I see it.” Just because science and research doesn’t show that pornography is dangerous, doesn’t mean it isn’t. The arguments against pornography are moralistic and value-driven arguments. That doesn’t mean they’re wrong, or even that I necessarily disagree with them. But, moral arguments “should” remain in the realms of “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts.” When moral arguments attempt to step into the world of scientific and medical predictions, they inevitably weaken themselves, and confuse the issues. When moral arguments attempt to drive scientific research to support the morality, they result in junk science, research which is invalid and unreliable.
More arguments in the article, which I won’t paste in its entirety but is certainly worth checking out.
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