Does porn affect how men view sex, women and children?

Does porn affect how people view sex, women and children? Do you think porn encourages men to rape children (or anybody)?

If rape scenes in movies are said to affect the way Indian men view sex (i.e. men want, women provide; women never want hence can never consent or else are ‘loose character'; men always want sex; men can rape for sex; men are provoked by loose women to rape them; women must marry the rapist to save their honor etc) then what about porn?

Would free access to sex education change this? If people knew or acknowledged that sex was meant to be a consensual and mutually pleasurable act, and that sex was not against Indian values, would there be better understanding that those who rape are not sex-starved people but criminals with serious and dangerous mental and social issues?

Do you agree with the comment shared below this news link?

Gurgaon: A five-year-old girl was brutally raped and then abandoned near a metro station in Gurgaon on Saturday, the police have said. The minor has suffered severe internal injuries and is being treated at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital.

According to the police, the girl was allegedly lured away by a man who offered to give her food during a langar (community lunch) near the Bristol Hotel in Gurgaon. He later raped her….

[5-year-old brutally raped, abandoned near metro station in Gurgaon]

Do you agree with this comment:

People shout at top of their voices against the police, the government and the nation itself. No one speaks about the abyssmal downfall in values. Will any group concerned with this, fight against the free access to porn, which is the root cause of men becoming animals? No. Majority people will fight against any ban on porn. So whom do you blame? Blame yourselves for spawning these dreadful animals. [5-year-old brutally raped, abandoned near metro station in Gurgaon]

Related Posts:

Many of us view watching porn as a harmless activity…

Three BJP Ministers, including the Women and Child Welfare Minister caught watching porn in assembly. (Ministers caught on camera watching a rape video)

Is there any other way this crime could have been controlled? (Gurgaon, MG Road)

29 thoughts on “Does porn affect how men view sex, women and children?

  1. Millions of youngsters all over the world watch porn. The vast majority of them don’t go and rape women. Though it might give men (or even women) different ideas about how sex would be – which may or may not be realistic.

    I don’t really think it affects how they view women -because by the time they first saw porn – their thoughts about women were already shaped by how they were brought up and what they saw in their own families. Porn was just a was of – relieving??(for lack of a more appropriate word) themselves.

    • // their thoughts about women were already shaped by how they were brought up and what they saw in their own families//

      I guess I agree… but what about how they view sex? Does porn influence that?

      • How they view sex? – It has to affect initially at least. To what extent and its effect on their relationship – it would be very difficult to generalise i think.

      • “influence” is such a wide word. Everything we see and do influence us. Reading IHM most certainly has *influenced* my views of India, and women in India. I don’t think watching porn makes a lot of difference *unless* it’s the only source of information a person has.

        So for a person from a open society, one who can and does learn about sexuality from a variety of sources, I don’t think porn would change their views at all. But someone who’s watched porn, but otherwise never learnt about sex might think that porn depicts “normal” sex, which it most certainly does not.

    • Yes millions of young people watch porn
      around the world but they have also had proper sex education and live in an environment in which women are seen as human beings. Sex is also seen as healthy and natural not something that is dirty and bad. Women are also not viewed as “bad” for having a sex drive.

      I’ve commented about this before but my ex was from india and a virgin when we met and he watched tons of porn and had a very distorted view of sex. Porn is an exaggeration of sex, its a fantasy, its not a very real depiction. People where i come from understand this.

      My ex also thought women in the west were like women in porn and down for anything. There were things i didnt want to do that he would pressure me for and throw little hissy fits when i said no.

      Men in india dont really have an understanding of consent. No means no. But of course in india good girls are supposed to say no even if they want it.

      I think watching porn when your young when sex is never talked about at home, there is no sex education in school, where good girls are seen as having no sexual desires is very dangerous.

      Just my two cents.

      • I wonder if people like this understand more than they let on, because it serves them better to act ignorant. I struggle to believe that this person has a non-indian girlfriend and still thought that western women are all like the women in porn. I’m sure he watched porn in India but did not think that he could walk into any woman’s house and have raving fun with her.

        “There were things i didnt want to do that he would pressure me for and throw little hissy fits when i said no.”

        Men in India (and perhaps elsewhere) are taught to feel entitled and that’s where the hissy fits come from. Some men do this when their wives don’t cook to their liking. It’s about entitlement for me, not about porn.

  2. I think we should not pass the buck and avoid our responsibilities as parents, civil society, media and law makers. While people do get influenced by porn viewing and commit rape, is it reason enough to ban porn? What about the strict laws that was made to prevent rape? Also, it’s ridiculous to ban the film or fashion industry for social problems and in order to curb such problems, one cannot prevent freedom of expression or creative freedom.

  3. There is no established connection between watching porn and committing sexual violence.

    Mainstream porn does degrade women, I firmly believe. This is because it is largely made for men. Like other cultural texts, porn privileges male desire over female. But so does cinema, art, literature and so On.

    Do people who watch porn most likely to see women as objects?? Mostly yes. Are they likely to rape?? No. Unless you believe every man who sees hoardings depicting objectified women is a rapist. Or every fan of James Bond movies is a rapist. Or collectors of art are rapists.

    Open attitudes towards sex and sexuality would be a definite solution to some problems of violence.

  4. Porn does influence how people view sex. A lot of porn is not a very accurate depiction of sex in general, because it’s often just wish-fulfillment. That said, porn shouldn’t be banned as much as people should be educated about what sex /actually/ is. When people lack knowledge about sex in general, they turn to sources that are generally less than trustworthy to get their information. When a teenager in India, or anywhere else really, is denied proper sex education, you automatically subject them to all kinds of awful misinformation, none of them any good. Why not save all the trouble and just tell them the basic facts?

    Watching porn for sexual gratification is something that all humans do. It just is. The problem (and the reason for this “downfall in values) is when people do not know the real facts, and instead get all their information from a constructed fantasy that often caters to a very specific market. Educating people about sex in a proper way won’t cause them to have more of it. Letting people go uninformed and misinformed is what will.

  5. I think porn affects both men and women in the way they perceive sex. On one end, it may normalize the act of sex itself. On the other hand, it may lead to unreasonable expectations.

    I don’t think porn increases anyone’s chances of being a rapist. That right exclusively belongs to misogyny.

    Porn is exactly like movies. It is embellished reality. And should be treated as such.

  6. It’s amazing how these self righteous ‘samajh ke thekedaars’ come forward to propagate ‘values’ in a country that has utter disregard for actual contemplation about how to go about eradicating a problem.

    Having said that, porn or any erotic media wherein women are shown as ‘enjoying’ consensual sex (not forceful sex or BDSM), does not encourage depravity or arousal. In fact the more you normalise the fact that women can enjoy sex as equal partners, the more they can be respected as sexual beings, people who deserve consensual sex, or well, just ‘people’ for starters.
    Porn or erotica does not only come in the form of videos packaged in an exclusive men-only fashion. There is a huge industry around erotic literature, music and ancient erotic imagery which is enjoyed by both women and men alike.
    The origins of modern porn as we know it, were in the World War when images of nude or semi-nude women were presented to men fighting the war so as to provide them with masturbatory stress busters during war. This helped them in easing the tension and channelise a part of their aggression in the right direction by taking care of the sexual kind. So going by that logic, in today’s context, watching erotica does not make one sexually aggressive, but in fact curtails the sexual aggression by presenting content on a platter and satisfying a primal sexual requisite. So in a way erotica (and again, I’m not talking about violent pornography, but erotic content where women equally enjoy consensual sex) actually eases sexual tension in people (in this context, men) and discourages people from forcing their sexual desires elsewhere.

    But then again, rape is really not just about sex. In fact, rape is about male domination and power-play, and only some 0.0001% of it is about the sex. And when a rape occurs there is no one to blame except the rapist and ONLY the rapist!

  7. Porn has a negative effect all around.
    1. Boys have started watching porn at a very young age. With lack of sex education and parents unwilling to discuss sex, porn is the only exposure most of these boys get regarding sex. With nothing to point otherwise, for them the degradation they watch on porn is the standard way to have sex. This has very serious consequences. The sex they want is different from the sex in reality. This often tends to an unsatisfying sexual relationship (where one partner has to compromise). Not only this, they are exposed to extreme degradation and objectification of women. This is a factor in the misogynistic feelings that most men seem to develop.

    2. Does porn cause sexual assault? Of course it does! The statistics will show you that there has been an exponential increase in the number of sexual assaults since the introduction of porn on the internet. The major reason for that is that access to a woman’s body is just a click away. This has led to enforcing the feeling that men have a right to a woman’s body.

    • “The statistics will show you that there has been an exponential increase in the number of sexual assaults since the introduction of porn on the internet. ”
      Could you please point to links with these statistics? Is there a proven cause and effect link.. or simply a correlation in timing? There was porn before the internet too, especially in India – it’s on temple walls for all to see.

      “The major reason for that is that access to a woman’s body is just a click away.”
      Do you think women don’t watch porn? Why aren’t more women raping men?

      “This has led to enforcing the feeling that men have a right to a woman’s body.”
      I think this feeling has persisted for a long time, coming from the system of ‘marrying off’ girls to strangers, condoning marital rape, blaming victims for rape and making them marry their rapists, men of power/ higher caste systematically abusing women, systems like dev-dasis etc. We haven’t historically respected consent. The word ‘pati’ literally means owner and we still don’t accept marital rape as rape. This feeling of ownership of a woman’s body does not come from porn.

      • “There was porn before the internet too, especially in India – it’s on temple walls for all to see.”
        Of course there was porn before internet. I am not denying that, but it wasn’t as easily available as it is now nor was it as violent and degrading as it is now.

        “Do you think women don’t watch porn? Why aren’t more women raping men?”
        With all due respect, this is a very stupid question. Porn has always degraded and sexualized woman. Porn depicts women as nothing but a set of holes to be filled. It doesn’t do that to men.

        “I think this feeling has persisted for a long time, coming from the system of ‘marrying off’ girls to strangers, condoning marital rape, blaming victims for rape and making them marry their rapists, men of power/ higher caste systematically abusing women, systems like dev-dasis etc. We haven’t historically respected consent. The word ‘pati’ literally means owner and we still don’t accept marital rape as rape. This feeling of ownership of a woman’s body does not come from porn.”
        I am not denying any of this. This is the major part of the problem and i understand that.The point i am trying to make is that men have now got easy access to women’s bodies which they did not have a few years ago. They also feel that they have a right to a woman’s body due to reasons including the ones that you have mentioned. Now the easy access of porn, where they can watch women being used as per the whim of men acts as reinforcement to this belief.

        • I don’t think porn or sex is automatically degrading to women. Women watch porn too, women want to have sex too. My issue is with this blanket assumption that all porn is for men.. kind of like when people say all sex is for men and women just give (or are just used). That’s just not true. There is abusive porn showing child abuse and rape which is vile. It mirrors abusive acts in real life and people who want to carry out such assaults probably seek out such porn. I don’t think porn is the instigator of men’s attitudes of ownership towards women and children, these attitudes have been around a lot longer than porn.

  8. I have a hard time believing porn is a causative factor in rape.
    I can’t help wondering if there isn’t a certain ‘copycat’ factor in these recent gangrapes of young girl children as well as pop
    Then again, who is lowest in the social hierarchy of India?
    The girl child.
    Who is the least likely to be missed?
    The girl child.
    Who is the most dispensable?
    the girl child.
    Who can you treat like an animal (or worse) & it is acceptable if not encouraged by a certain % of Indian society?
    The girl child.
    So I wonder if these rapes of girl children aren’t pedophiliac inspired, or caused by viewing sexually suggestive images- but rather a crime of opportunity where the rapists know the girl child is ‘dispensable’, not even quite human, and probably won’t be missed by ‘it’s’ parents.
    The rapists know they’ll probably get away with it because of this.
    And since something ‘barely human’ & worthless (like a girl child) can’t have meaningful emotions who cares what physical pain or emotional horrors are inflicted on it (thinks the rapists)?

  9. Excuse me,
    That should have been-
    I can’t help wondering if there isn’t a certain ‘copycat’ factor in these recent gangrapes of young girl children as well as OPPORTUNISM.

  10. This is bullshit. Porn, if anything help decrease rates of rape. What India needs right now is a massive promotion of pornography, and masturbatory aids like fleshlight. While most social purists will frown upon such intentions, it will help quell huge untapped libido among a vast majority of sex starved Indian men, and leave women alone. That is what Indian women rights activists should target right now. It’s a win-win for both sides

  11. I think these so called indian ‘values’ are responsible for the sexual violence we see on women and children, not porn.

    Our society tacitly condones men raping women and children if they couldn’t ‘control’ their urges.. it also condones rape as a tool to keep women in check. When a woman is raped, our governments make laws making it difficult to employ women after 8 pm. They pander to rapists, intentionally or sub-counciously, that is their knee jerk reaction.

    Porn does not make anyone a rapist. Arousal or an erection does not make someone a rapist. Most regular people are fully capable of controlling themselves or jerking off. Porn does not interfere with that. A rapists chooses to carry out a violent act on another person. It’s down to lack of empathy with women/ girls as people, lax law enforcement and a feeling of tacit social approval for their actions.

    Does porn distort men and women’s understanding of sex? I find that hard to believe. Everyone has watched porn, most people still don’t rape others. In fact consensual porn shows women in control of their sexuality, so one can choose to watch ‘healthy’ porn. I think tendencies towards wanting to abuse or rape women/ children are inherent and not instigated by porn.. such people probably seek out the depraved kind of porn.

    It comes down to the ‘poor men, can’t control themselves’ argument. Why do we find it so difficult to do the obvious and hold rapists responsible for rapes?

  12. Blaming porn for rapes is such a poor excuse to defend the evils of patriarchal system.
    We watch tons of crime mysteries and dramas. We are thrilled by the mystery and action involved. But sane people do not use that as an excuse to go rob banks. Just like every parent teaches their children that stealing is EVIL, and that even if you see somebody who has left a bagful of candy/toys unattended, you CANNOT touch it without their permission. Similarly I wish every parent starts to teach their sons that even if you find a girl drunk,alone,naked,isolated and vulnerable in the middle of the night, you cannot touch her without her permission.

    • Agree. Many parents in fact condone misbehaviour from their sons with ‘boys will be boys’. In places like Haryana, if a girl is raped she can expect to be ostracised, If a boy rapes he can expect to be protected from the law by the village heads (as long as is not from a low caste). It’s easy to see where the problem lies really.

      • So true Carvaka. Rape is mostly about power and entitlement. Men can rape a 5 year old boy or girl with little consequence. If watching porn makes them believe in the fantasy, does watching superman like movies make them believ they can jump off the window and fly? (They should)

  13. I agree with most comments here the porn doesn’t lead to sexual violence, but we’d all be in denial if we didn’t acknowledge that porn does influence how people view sex. There are studies that show porn can have an impact on our sex lives. But you know what I find interesting, I noticed the main people who are anti-pornography who are from the social conservative end, don’t seem to realize how it actually mirrors our culture in several ways.

    For one thing, when it comes to sex, I see this in both Western and Indian culture, it’s the woman who’s supposed to be passive. The very definition of sex is viewed as something a man does to a woman, not something that people do together. In pornography, it’s the same. The woman is often the one who’s passive, the guy is dominant.

    Here are some studies:

    Social Science Research on Pornography

    Pornography

  14. It isn’t watching porn per se that is the problem. It is the inability to distinguish between porn (as fantasy, for gratification, whatever be the case) and what reality is, that causes the issue. That’s what I feel.

  15. I agree with RenKiss and a few other comments here. I have nothing against porn in general, if is portrayed as consensual sex between two EQUAL adults, but it rarely is. And yes, misogyny has existed for centuries in many cultures, regardless of the availability of porn. The problem I have with porn is – sex is portrayed in very unequal way – the man has all these fantasies, and the woman passively caters to them. It seems like a selfish view of sex. There is no mutual sharing, no concern or interest for the woman’s desires. So if young boys are watching porn, they might think that women don’t have desires, they’re willing objects meant for male pleasure. This is a rather disturbing thought. It may not always lead to rapes. But it does lead to an unhealthy view of women, to female desire, and to seeing women as humans and individuals, all of which lead us uncomfortably close to misogyny.

    • Totally agree, wordssetmefree. Porn cannot be blamed for rape but *most* porn dehumanizes women, and being just a click away always, it cannot not impact how youngsters come to view women and sex.

  16. Either people have never watched porn (?!) or they are watching the wrong kind (?) of porn.

    Porn isn’t a substitute for sex education. Porn isn’t a substitute for understanding women. Porn is not a means of gaining free/easy access to ‘women’s bodies’ like some one here earlier commented.
    Porn isn’t spawning a sub-culture of its own. Where the West (such a blank all encompassing world for everything outside India, sic) is now actively talking and debating about porn-addiction, we are still caught in the naivete of the word itself! So what if in the meanwhile it really is our so called ‘values’and ‘culture’ of systematic abuse, conditioning and silence that fosters such inhumane attitude towards women and children.
    A married woman who is assaulted is a-okay cause she is not a virgin. An unmarried woman, subject to conditions of her history, behaviour, conduct, state of mind at the time of assault and of course clothing, caste, time of day, what pet dog she has, is a bad thing, but such things happen..

    And if not, dare anyone point to our own problems and say- look we have a problem here, we need to talk about how to make sure the society is a safe and secure place for everyone; cause all our problems stem from ‘Western culture’, from ‘degrading values'(because our women are now going to school, carrying mobile phones and wearing jeans!) and ‘modernity'(equality of sexes)

    We don’t raise a hue and cry about little kids being molested unless they are raped brutally, we don’t care about young or old women being assaulted unless they die, we don’t talk about the why and look back, we don’t want to hear the first thing about sex-education, how segregating sexes only worsens a festering wound.

    But raise the word porn and all our hackles are raised! Is it because we didn’t ‘invent’ porn (referring to porn in media, not the Kamasutra or temple art)? Is it because we associate Porn with the west? If it was our own brand of home-grown deviance, would it be acceptable and therefore not worthy of a second thought, let alone dialogue?

    Also, if porn instigated rapes, assaults and its myriad manifestations, every place outside of our glorious country would be a sticky explosive web of assaults, beatings, rapes, molestations, don’t you think?

  17. Our cultural police don’t like porn. They think it is sin to watch it and completely against religion and culture. Sex is taboo for them. They tried to ban porn saying It’s against our culture and religion. It didn’t worked. Now they are catching up the trend after Nirbhaya incident. They are accusing porn for violence against women and claiming it encourages rapes. But there is no valid proof for this. But they don’t mind, In fact, they never worried about logic or validity of their argument.

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