Porn and Sexual Violence: 10 Facts from the Experts

Is there a correlation between porn use and sexual violence? Here are 10 facts from the experts.

1. According to a meta-analysis of 46 different studies, if you watch pornography you have a 31% increased risk of accepting rape myths—that is, believing things that would reduce your empathy for a rape victim or lead you to blame a rape victim for being assaulted. 1

2. According to one college-age study, the prevalence of objectifying images of women in your dorm room or fraternity house significantly correlates to having attitudes that are hostile to rape victims. 2

3. According to another college-age study, if you are a woman exposed early to pornography in life, you’re more likely to have rape fantasies and you’re more likely to have attitudes that support sexual violence against women. 3

4. According to a study done among women involved in a battered women’s program, the use of pornography by their partners significantly increased the odds of the women being sexually abused by their partners. 4

5. According to one meta-analysis, watching porn is correlated with a 22% increase risk of committing sexual offenses. 1

6. According to the same meta-analysis, watching porn is correlated to a 31% increase of developing sexually deviant tendencies. 1

7. According to a report submitted to the U.S. Justice Department, men arrested for visiting prostitutes are at least twice as likely to be porn users than a random national sample of men. 5

8. According to a study of Italian teens, viewing porn was significantly correlated with committing acts of sexual violence and engaging in unwanted sex. 6

9. According to a Japanese study, men exposed to rape porn where the victims show pleasure in the act of rape are significantly more likely to believe that higher percentages of rape cases are simply invented by victims. 7

10. According to the same study, these men exposed to rape porn were also significantly more likely to believe women could enjoy rape. 7

The evidence is clear. Consuming porn is associated with all kinds of attitudes and, in some, even behaviors, that do not make this world a better place.

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1.Elizabeth Oddone Paolucci, Mark Genuis, Claudio Violato, “A meta-analysis of the published research on the effects of pornography,” The Changing Family and Child Development (January 2000): 48–59.

2. E. Timothy Bleecker and Sarah K. Murnen, “Fraternity membership, the display of degrading sexual images of women, and rape myth acceptance,” Sex Roles 53 (2005): 487-493.

3. Shawn Corne, John Briere, and Lillian Esses, “Women’s attitudes and fantasies about rape as a function of early exposure to pornography,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 7 (1992): 454-461.

4. Janet Hinson Shoppe, “When words are not enough: The search for the effect of pornography on abused women,” Violence Against Women 10 (2004): 56-72.

5. Martin Monto, Focusing on the Clients of Street Prostitutes: A Creative Approach to Reducing Violence Against Women, Report submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice, Oct. 30, 1999.

6. Silvia Bonino, Silvia Ciarirano, Emanuela Rabaglietti, and Elna Cattelino, “Use of pornography and self-reported engagement in sexual violence among adolescents,” European Journal of Developmental Psychology 3 (2006): 265-288.

7. Ken-Ichi Ohbuchi, Tatsuhiko Ikeda, and Goya Takeuchi, “Effects of violent pornography upon viewer’s rape myth beliefs: A study of Japanese males,” Psychology, Crime & Law 1 (1994): 71-81.