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Porn and Sexual Violence: 10 Facts from the Experts

Last Updated: July 28, 2020

Matt Fradd

Matt Fradd is the author of Delivered: True Stories of Men and Woman Who Turned from Porn to Purity. After experiencing a profound conversion at World Youth Day in Rome in 2000, Matt has worked through full-time lay ministry in Australia, Ireland, Canada, and Texas. He has served as an apologist for Catholic Answers and has traveled all over the world, speaking to tens of thousands of teens and young adults. He and his wife Cameron have four children and live in North Georgia.

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.

LEARN MORE PORN STATISTICS

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.

  • Comments on: Porn and Sexual Violence: 10 Facts from the Experts
    1. Ginger Rathweg on

      Is there a website where you can list the men who raped or were domestic violence assault batterers. At the time I was too scared to report it.

      Reply
      • Sharon on

        I was married for thirty three years and my husband walked out and left me and our ten year old child. Six months befor that he was very violent with me and done things during our sex that I could believe and caused ripping in my annul area. I almost passed out after he did it because I never seen it coming and I told him to stop but he didn’t he also slapped me so hard I almost cried. I can’t believe what my life has become with the sexual and emotional abuse of what he has become. Nobody understands what I’ve went threw nor does anyone offer support. He has made my life very hard to deal with and I don’t mention anything because he is so charming that nobody believes me anyway. I hope I can get support for me and my child so that he doesn’t grow up like him. Thank you. Sharon

      • Kay Bruner on

        Sharon, I am so, so sorry. It sounds to me like you should be eligible for support through survivor services like a Family Advocacy Program,a Children’s Advocacy Center, or a battered women’s shelter. Often, individual cities will have a Family of Childrens’ Advocacy Center. Womens’ shelters often offer groups for victims of abuse, even if you don’t live at the shelter; or they can refer you to groups in your area. You’ll have to check in your community and see what resources are available, but there should be services available to you and to your child as well. Very often those are available at low cost (income based) or they are offered for free through non-profits.

        Those kinds of programs are set up to provide support in exactly the kind of situation you’re describing. While others may not understand that dynamic of the charming abuser, battered womens’ groups will completely get it. That is exactly how abusers present themselves to the world, and it’s exactly why they can get away with the terrible things that they do, over and over again.

        I would encourage you to check in your community, and find those resources that are available to families that have suffered abuse. Blessings, Kay

    2. Stop Being Biased on

      We need to get real on this subject. Women are very violent creatures. They have aborted 58 MILLION babies. That is killing to make one’s life better. That is all it amounts to really. Killing for convenience.

      Then when you look at domestic violence, upwards of 40% of men experience it. Further, while injury was more likely when violence was perpetrated by men, in relationships that featured reciprocal violence men were injured more often (25 percent of the time) than women (20 percent of the time).

      Let’s just stop with they hypocrisy and constant tears for women. The reality is they are aggressive, they kill, and the only reason why they do not do as much damage is they are the weaker sex. Wonder why things do not ever get better? We never hold women accountable for their actions. Never.

      Also, your statistics are very biased. When you go to shelters only for women, of course it is going to appear that women are constantly victims. So just stop it with your nonsense and do some real research and real reporting.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Since a number of these studies involved both men and women, I fail to see why we aren’t “getting real,” as you call it.

        What you call “biased” we call “staying on subject.” Are women guilty of violence? Sure. But we’re focusing on the studies that connect porn to violence, not covering every other kind of violence in the world.

      • davea0511 on

        I’m led to wonder in what groups you would fall regarding the results of the studies reported here.

    3. Stop Being Biased on

      By the way, I know you have a vendetta against porn, but you are really fighting a losing battle. Here is the reality that you repeatedly fail to address: women are the ones doing it all the time — they push sex. As the weaker sex, they use their beauty to manipulate. Translation: they use sex to manipulate.

      When you start counting the individual women in porn, escorting, stripping, web camming, modeling, massaging, doing homemade porn, sexting, phone sex operations, etc —– you see the clear numbers: there are HUNDREDS of millions of women using sex to get the things they want. From rent money to clothes to just a comfortable luxury filled life.

      So when you want to realistically discuss the subject and give comments such as mine equal billing, let me know because that is when real change will happen. Until then, your words will fall on deaf ears because people see the hypocrisy of it all. When Kim Kardashian can make 50 million dollars because she did a sex tape —- well people see the hypocrisy and see women for what they really are. Also, why do you go against the bible on this? Do you not see the same type of women in the bible? Do you think they went away? Has the PC world made you forget these parts of the bible? Hate to tell you — those women never went away. They are alive and well.

      Reply
      • Colleen on

        Yes women use sex to manipulate but it takes two to tango. If men would stop letting women play that game…well you do the math.

      • Luke Gilkerson on

        We regularly write about that angle here, so I’m not sure how we’re neglecting that side of things—but I certainly wouldn’t phrase it the way you do. The fact that men are willing to be so enslaved to their sexual desires, willing to throw gobs of money at it, is the reason why there is a demand commercial sex. No demand, there would be be very little supply.

    4. Thaddeus Tague on

      What you call a vendetta against porn, the Bible would call a struggle for purity. We are told we will struggle with sin our entire lives – so in essence, “stop being baised”, life is a losing battle. Does that mean we stop fighting? A struggle to overcome porn starts in many places. CE doesn’t claim to stop porn, they want to liberate as many men and women from its grasp as possible. Sin will always be amongst us. I appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts, but please help us be constructive and winsome in presenting the message. From my point of view, your comment was not constructive or helpful.

      Reply

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