What is Pornography? Its Impacts on Society, Family, and More

What is Pornography?

The depiction of sexual subject matter (such as nudity, sexual act, or erotic behavior) in writing, pictures, video, etc. with the intent to cause sexual excitement is called pornography. It is also referred to as commercial sexual exploitation or porn.

Social Attitude towards Pornography: Although the social attitudes towards the discussion and presentation of sexuality have become more tolerant in Western countries, the non-Western societies still consider the depictions of sexual nature immoral addictive, and noxious and attempt to suppress them under laws.

Legal Status of Pornography: The legal status of pornography varies from country to country. Most countries allow at least some form of pornography. In some countries, softcore pornography is considered acceptable but hardcore pornography is usually regulated i.e. controlled by laws. In almost all countries, child pornography is illegal.

Impacts of Pornography

The Naturalist believes pornography is beneficial to the individual and society. It promotes sex education and reduces sexual crimes. On the contrary, studies have depicted several dark sides of pornography on an individual and society as a whole.

There has been concern regarding the impact that pornography is having on society, both on children and adults. Research suggests negative impacts of it that include attitudes towards women, low self-esteem, and addiction.

In general, pornography can,

  • Lead to unrealistic expectations of sex
  • Has a damaging effect on how young people view sex and relationships
  • Develop maladaptive attitudes and beliefs that women are sex objects
  • Children and Young people’s engage in risky behaviors eg. sexting, bullying, etc
  • Creates the situation of infidelity i.e. unfaithfulness to a sexual partner or spouse
  • Unwanted cases of exploitation of children, prostitution, and abuse flourish
  • Lead to significant shame and distresses such as:
    • losing employment as a result of viewing porn at work
    • Fractured intimate relationships
    • Diminished libido or sexual dysfunction
    • Excessive use of escorts
    • Suicidal ideation
    • Wasting large sums of money

Impacts/ Effects on Individuals

The most notable effect of pornography on the individual are:

  • It causes the individual to be focused on lustful thoughts
  • It leads to unrealistic expectations of sex and provokes them to a more intense form of sex
  • Develop maladaptive attitudes and beliefs that women are objects
  • It causes men to become more anti-social, aggressive with women and may lead to rape
  • Married men become more likely to abuse their wives
  • When the person is obsessed with thoughts of sex, it increases the likelihood of molesting children.

Impacts/ Effects on Business

The most notable effects of porn on businesses are:

  • As more and more business is performed on the internet requiring office internet connections, the staff are found increasingly engaged in viewing porn videos at work. This leads to a number of issues as follows:
  • There is time lost in productivity to people as they view porn instead of working.
  • Business organizations must spend money to build firewalls, block websites, and employ IT professionals to manage these systems.
  • When someone is caught viewing porn videos, there is no other choice except to terminate that individual which then increases costs related to hiring another employee as a replacement for that individual.
  • The work environment where pornography exists would be hostile to female workers and thus the issues of sexual harassment may arise.

Impacts/Effects on Society

The most notable effects of pornography on society are:

  • It can impair the mental and emotional health of children and adults and therefore the business productivity gets low.
  • Society has to deal with the increase in violent crime against women that pornography brings.
  • It also leads to a degradation of morality in the society
  • Society has to spend money to rehabilitate those criminals inspired by pornography, and to treat the victims of it.

Impacts/Effects on Family

The most notable effects of pornography on the family are:

  • Married men who are involved in pornography feel less satisfied with their conjugal relations and less emotionally attached to their wives. Wives notice these awkward changes in their husband’s behavior and get upset.
  • Creates the situation of infidelity i.e. unfaithfulness to a sexual partner or spouse.
  • The regular porn viewer experiences a loss of interest in sexual intercourse with the spouse (wife or husband).
  • Porn video viewing leads to a loss of interest in good family relations.

Measure to Reduce Harms by Pornography

It can be damaging to children and young people and to some adults. The research studies suggest that it can have a negative impact on an individual’s social and economic environment affecting relationships and day-to-day life.

Hence, the following measures should be taken to end harms by pornography:

  • The Government and parents should ensure that children are unable to access inappropriate content.
  • Government should ban adult sites and make the porn industry account for any negative harm to society.
  • Raise awareness of the potential negative impacts of pornography on relationships and health.
  • A self-exclusion mechanism for online pornography may be one way to help individuals protect themselves from such content.
  • Provision of serious penalties to those who violate the laws against pornography.
  • Establish close family relationships and work towards maintaining a good married life.
  • Develop good relations between parents and children and parental monitoring of internet use by their children.

Feminist View

Many feminists argue that all pornography is demeaning to women or that it contributes to violence against women, both in its production and in its consumption. They argue that its production;

  • entails the physical, psychological, or economic coercion of the women who perform in it, and abuse and exploitation of women.
  • reinforces sexual and cultural attitudes that lead to rape and sexual harassment of women.
  • presents a severely distorted image of sexual relations as it shows women as readily available and desiring to engage in sex at any time, with any man.

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