Pornography and Its Impact on Women and Society

Topics: Pornography, Erotica, Wendy McElroy Pages: 5 (1885 words) Published: January 9, 2002
As the amount and severity of sexually explicit materials grows in our society questions of these materials hurting people have risen. It is said that men get explicit ideas from certain types of music, movies, and pornography. As a result of these explicit ideas, men force women into what they want them to do and to degrade them. The idea that men use force in their relations due to pornographic substances is preposterous. "Men who use force in their relations with women have done so for centuries before the camera [was invented]" (Pally 24). It is obvious that men have abused women before pornography but people still say that some of abuse against women is a result of pornography. Pornography has many positive aspects some are commonly overlooked. In the debate over the issue of pornography and its negative characteristics, rarely does anyone hear the benefits that society has from pornography. Pornography has been seen to help relationships and create more stable and long lasting marriages (Christensen 311). People have preset beliefs about pornography without ever looking at the facts. The belief that pornography is evil in itself is simply wrong (Christensen 309). Although sometimes thought otherwise, pornography is not harmful to women and has many positive effects, such as helping relationships and creating more stable and longer lasting marriages. Pornography has been around ever since people began to mold clay into human shapes (Cothran, 15). Eventually people began to paint pictures of women in the nude as a form of art. This was also initially seen as crude and as an early form of pornography. Eventually with the invention of the printing press, pornography could easily be given out among the masses, which brought about controversy. In the 1700's an English editor Thomas Bowdler, removed passages from Shakespeare because he thought they were obscene (Cothran,15). Continuing the pornographic evolution was the VCR. The high accessibility to a VCR in the 1980's started the X-rated video market. Today the Internet has millions of pictures, movies, and online catalogs of sex movies for anyone to access creating an even deeper mountain of deliberation on the issue. In response to pornography, society has tried to come to a conclusion that satisfies all, but this seems more and more unreachable due to the fact that there are many different moral and religious views on the subject. Over the years there have been attempts to pass laws on pornography and some have even brought crusades against it. Through all of the controversy there have been many tests to determine if pornography is harmful to society and, "the general conclusion of the U.S. Commission was that no adequate proof had been provided that pornography was harmful to individual or society"(Simons 143). Also the commission stated for further incidents "if a case is to be made out against pornography [in 1970] it will have to be made on the grounds other than demonstrated effects of a personal or social nature"(Simons 143). As more tests and findings have become uncovered about pornography the controversy began to grow larger. In 1983 the Toronto Task Force on Violence Against Women asked Thelma McCormack, a feminist open to pornography in society, to study pornography's relationship with sexual aggression. Her results showed that pornography might reduce the incidence of rape so her report was discarded (McElroy 85). Numerous tests and government run commissions have been attempted and regardless of the findings, the people choose their own conclusions. There have been several cases about the dangers of pornography, many of which have gone all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court (Showers 21). After the many court cases and trials, 29 cities and the state of Utah have taken hardcore pornography and made it illegal to have (Showers 22). These actions are consistently always under fire because of the possible violations of the First...
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