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< Back to question How do feminists view pornography Show more Show less

Feminist views on pornography range from condemnation of all of it as a form of violence against women, to an embracing of some forms as a medium of feminist expression. This debate reflects larger concerns surrounding feminist views on sexuality, and is closely related to those on prostitution, on BDSM, and other issues. Pornography has been one of the most divisive issues in feminism, particularly in anglophone (English-speaking) countries. This deep division was exemplified in the feminist sex wars of the 1980s, which pitted anti-pornography activists against sex-positive ones.

Pornography harms women Show more Show less

Feminist opponents of pornography argue that pornography is harmful to women, and constitutes strong causality or facilitation of violence against women. Anti-pornography feminists have tried to have pornography banned in many countries.
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Pornography encourages body dysmorphia.

Pornography gives a distorted view of men and women's bodies, as well as the actual sexual act, often showing the performers with synthetic implants or exaggerated expressions of pleasure. Pornography has a detrimental effect on self-esteem, particularly amongst women.
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The Argument

Pornography puts forth unrealistic body images that can cause body dysmorphia. Pornographic performers often have implants and use exaggerated sounds and facial expressions that create false expectations in viewers. [1] People, especially teenagers, can be convinced by the bodies shown in pornography that their own bodies are inadequate. When individuals who are already insecure with their bodies view the artificially created bodies that populate pornographic videos, it can cause them to move from insecurity to full-blown body dysmorphia.[2] Pornography is widely available and can be easily accessed, so it is likely that pornography will be the first intimate introduction that many people have to another person’s body. If that first introduction includes bodies that are altered from reality by implants, beauty enhancement, and acting, then people may immediately have a skewed perspective of how they ought to look. This is especially harmful to women, who already face societal pressures of appearance.

Counter arguments

Pornography is viewed much less frequently by women than other things, like magazines and television shows, that contribute much more heavily to body dysmorphia. As such, pornography is not a major concern. While the link between body dysmorphia and pornography has been shown to be clear for men, it is not clear that pornography is a genuine cause of body dysmorphia.


Rejecting the premises



This page was last edited on Tuesday, 8 Sep 2020 at 21:59 UTC

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