Is Exposure to Pornography Related to Increased Rates of Rape?
Pornography is the definite portrayal of sexual a subject matter in which the purpose is to increase a person’s sexual arousal. Nowadays, pornography is typically accessible through different types of media such as magazines, books, photos, postcards, animation, painting, video, or film. However, since the development of new media such as the Internet, people can easily access pornography using their social media account, email, and even live pornography videos. With all of these varieties of media, many people will have an easy access and exposure to pornography, thus increasing the rape cases caused by pornography.
Pornography Exposure is related to Increased Rape Case
Once a person is exposed or even just plainly watched or view a pornographic material, his sexual desire may increase rapidly. A male does not need to be a rapist just to increase his sexual arousal as it is considered physically normal once he gets exposed to pornography. Rape is somehow an act of aggression, so if an aggressive male viewed an explicit pornography, his rapid intension to have a sexual intercourse relatively increases. Diana Russell (1988) suggests that pornography predisposes other males to commit rape or even intensifies their desire in some males that are already predisposed. This only shows that pornography has a relation with a predisposed male to commit rape so he can fulfill his desires. Moreover, pornography weakens a man’s internal consciousness against acting out their desire for rape (Russell, 1988). So, even if a man is not an aggressive person, his rape desire may rapidly increase due to his pornography exposure. This is in addition to an event wherein a man weakens his social consciousness against acting out a rape (Russell, 1998).
On the other hand, there have been some studies showing that rape is not related to person’s exposure to pornography. Robert Jensen (2004) wrote that a review done by leading researchers shows that a person who committed rape is someone who has a natural tendency of committing such crime because of different cultural and/or personal factors, thus pornography is not the main cause why rape was committed. It was also pointed out that exposure to such pornographic materials is not an indicative of risky sexual aggression (Jensen, 2004). This last claim shows that there is no direct relationship between rape and pornography as some men who rape are also against it, but did it because they have witnessed such act previously (Jensen, 2004).
The opposing claims against pornography-rape relationship may have cited some specific examples. However, we may still say that even a plain pornographic magazine could trigger an aggressive man’s desires to rape. Neil Malamuth and Barry Spinner (1980) show that the result of their research shows that sexual violence such as rape is related to viewing some of the most popular erotic magazines during 1970s. Subsequently, as the access in pornographic materials increases, its relation to rape increases as well.
Based on the articles used in this material the relation between exposure to pornography and rape is very close if not directly related. A pornographic or explicit material serves as a key in activating a man’s urge to rape a woman. Being exposed to such materials is comparable to being in the actual scenario, in this case a pornographic video. Moreover, many people especially men are aware what these materials could provide effects to them either emotionally, socially, or even to their masculinity.
Jensen, R. (2004). Pornography and Sexual Violence. National Electronic Network on Violence Against Women, 1-8. Retrieved from http://www.oneangrygirl.net/jensenlong.pdf
Malamuth, N. M., & Spinner, B. (1980). A Longitudinal Analysis of Sexual Violence in the Best-Selling Erotic Magazines. The Journal of Sex Research, 16(3), 226-237. Retrieved from http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/comm/malamuth/pdf/80jsr16.pdf?origin=publication_detail
Russell, D. E. (1988). Pornography and Rape: A Casual Model. Political Psychology, 9(1), 41-73. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3791317