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Should pornography be banned for people under 18? Show more Show less
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Yes, porn is harmful and misleading and should be banned for minors Show more Show less

Pornography is desensitizing and potentially addictive. People under the age of 18 are not capable of making adult decisions regarding the content they consume and should be protected from harmful images.
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Porn is linked to sexual violence perpetration/victimization

Exposure to pornography makes male children more likely to engage in sexual aggression and rape-supportive behavior later on. It also increases girls’ vulnerability to violence and makes them more likely to become victims of sexual violence.

The Argument

Consumption of pornography is closely associated with sexual aggression and violence; therefore, children under 18 should not be exposed to pornography. There are a lot of scientific studies that support this argument. For example, Wright and Tokunaga’s meta-analysis revealed that those who consume pornography display more sexually aggressive acts than those who do not consume pornography.[1] Similarly, in another study, the researchers concluded that frequent male pornography users have the highest predisposed risk level for sexual aggression. This means that male children’s exposure to pornography likely increases their tendency to become sexually aggressive in the future.[2] Regarding the influence of pornography on women, a study found that female pornography users tend to practice or desire submissive sexual practices (such as being called names, slapped, and gagged). The association between women’s pornography consumption and submissive sexual behavior was strongest for women whose first exposure to pornography was at a young age. This implies that pornography increases girls’ vulnerability to sexual violence.[3] Therefore, pornography should be banned for those under 18 to keep boys from becoming sexually aggressive/violent and girls from becoming submissive/vulnerable.

Counter arguments

There is a distinction between the depiction of violence and the depiction of sex. Sexual aggression, violence, and rape are promoted by the depiction of violence in “violent” pornography. Donnerstein, Linz, and Penrod conducted a study to test this hypothesis. They designed experiments using imagery that is not sexually explicit but involves violence against women. The results showed that the violence, and not the sexual explicitness, is mainly responsible for any increase in aggressiveness in men following exposure to violent pornography.[4] Similarly, defenders of pornography argue that the sadomasochistic genre of pornography is problematic in terms of encouraging sexual aggression, but not the other types.[5] Another counter-argument is raised in a study by Antevska and Gavey (2015). The researchers conducted interviews with young men. According to the findings, men confirmed the presence of violence and domination in the pornography they consumed. Yet, they claimed that it was not the domination or violence that appealed to them. Rather, they enjoyed the sexual, but non-violent, aspects of the material. Therefore, violence is not essential in pornography. The men who find this material appealing do so despite its violence and problematic gender dynamic.[6] Anti-censorship feminists also argue that pornography might act as a release for men and result in a reduction of misogyny and the rates of sexual violence against women.[7] Altogether, these arguments hint at the fact that pornography does not increase children’s tendency to become sexually aggressive or violent if the content is non-violent.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jcom.12201
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/11985517_Pornography_and_sexual_aggression_Are_there_reliable_effects_and_can_we_understand_them
  3. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2374623817698113
  4. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/602022
  5. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0020174X.2018.1487882?src=recsys
  6. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275231617_Out_of_Sight_and_Out_of_Mind
  7. https://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1171&context=tma
This page was last edited on Monday, 16 Nov 2020 at 02:04 UTC

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