Porn: affecting viewers worldwide

Elaine Gerou editor-in-chief elaine.gerou@apps.schoolcraft.edu

Elaine Gerou
editor-in-chief
elaine.gerou@apps.schoolcraft.edu

R-rated and X-rated films are detrimental to society

Pornography, a $10-12 billion industry in the United States, may come off as a harmless and successful business, but it negatively influences the entire world, and it is one of the largest issues society has swept under the carpet According to Nojin Kwak, a professor at the University of Michigan, 30 percent of all data transferred across the Internet is porn, and porn sites get more visitors each month than Netflix. Porn is also accessed through video sales and rentals, cable, On Demand, pay-per-view, phone sex, exotic dance clubs and more. Pornographic scenes have even seeped into popular television shows and films, such as “Game of Thrones.” This industry has been so incredibly successful because porn is not just a collection of provocative services, it is actually an addictive drug that rewires users’ brains and pleasure centers, making them act differently than they naturally would.

Like many addictive drugs, porn makes users feel pleasure due to a release of dopamine, but with consistent use, the brain becomes overwhelmed and takes away some of the dopamine receptors. Soon enough, it takes a higher dosage of the drug to attain the same high. Then, the brain acclimates to the new level of dopamine, and events that used to make the user happy, such as sex, may no longer have the same effect, according to fightthenewdrug.org, an organization raising awareness of the harmful effects of porn.

The use of pornography can lead to physical problems for men and women of not being satisfied with real sex and not being able to maintain arousal. If the addiction becomes extreme, sexual activity can cease to exist due to inability of arousal, according to fighthenewdrug.org.

Porn can heavily affect romantic relationships as well. Relationships are supposed to be about trust, love and commitment, but all too often, a viewer in a committed relationship hides their porn exposure from their partner. When the other partner finds out, trust is broken because the one they love has not been honest or completely devoted to the relationship, seeking outside sources for pleasure. Porn causes viewers to rate themselves as less in love with their significant others and more critical of their partner’s appearance and sexual performance, according to fightthenewdrug.com. These factors make porn detrimental to otherwise successful relationships. Dr. Jill Manning concluded that 56 percent of divorces involved one spouse’s pornography use, according to an article titled “Porn can lead to divorce: study,” written by Catherine Briggs and published by Life Site News. This is not surprising when, according to psychologytoday.com’s “How Porn Really Affects Relationships,” most women feel fear and anxiety due to their partners’ sexual behavior.

Another fallacy of adult films is the constant degradation of women through verbal aggression and physical violence. This makes the connection in users’ brains between sex, violence and disrespect, which can influence viewers to be desensitized to rape and domestic violence. The Scoot and Schwalm Study in 1988 proved that, as there was a direct correlation between an increase in adult magazines circulated and an increase in rape rate. The adult film industry also portrays women as submissive and inferior to men, which feeds the unfair patriarchy system. On top of that, female porn stars are often surgically enhanced and airbrushed and many male porn stars rely on steroids and pharmaceuticals like Viagra. This raises appearance and performance expectations for both man and women.

Unfortunately, many teens’ first sexual experience is porn, which teaches unhealthy tactics for building lasting relationships. These create contradicting desires between the viewer and their non-porn viewing partner related to marriage or a committed relationship.

Although all negativities mentioned thus far are detrimental to users and their significant others, the worst aspect to the industry is that sex trafficking fuels it. To add more gas to the flames, increased sexual content available on television and the Internet normalizes the porn culture. It has gotten to the point that children’s toys and clothing are revealing and sexual now. Skimpy bikinis are worn at both children’s beauty pageants and local swimming pools, and big-breasted dolls encourage it. These outfits and toys do not give children the correct ideas to self worth, but definitely give pedophiles preferable outfits to checkout.

Porn is definitely an overlooked issue that needs to be publically addressed. People, especially users, need to be informed of the negative effects porn has on themselves and the rest of society. If the porn culture continues to grow, only the future will tell how many marriages will start and survive, how many women and children will be forced into sex slavery and what youth will wear and play with.

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