Women and Porn: The Untold Story

Women and men experience pornography differently for many reasons, and because of that, they need different kinds of information to find the motivation to quit.
In this ebook you will learn:
  • Porn statistics and the truth about it
  • How and why porn affects women differently than men
  • How porn objectifies women
  • Why we need to talk about this!

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The Basics: How Pornography Hurts Women

 
What images comes to mind when thinking about porn consumers or addicts? Is it a mother on her computer, her kids playing in the next room? A high-profile female business executive discreetly checking her phone in a conference room? A teacher grading online papers while her students study? A doctor opening her laptop after a long day at the hospital? A high-school girl in sweatpants and a top knot switching tabs from her AP study notes to Pornhub?

Or is it a male with his device at home, the office, or anywhere else? Most likely, it’s the image of the man, and for good reason. We know that men make up roughly three-quarters of porn consumers. While the remaining 25 percent might not seem like a significant amount when compared to their male counterparts, the numbers for women do add up.

In 2017, Pornhub reported an astounding 81 million visitors per day which means that an average of 20.5 million women view pornography daily, based on those numbers, and that’s just traffic to one mega site.

That is a lot of women consuming porn.

 

Shame surrounds the topic of women consuming porn

 
In fact shame is so prevalent, that online porn addiction help specifically for women is nearly nonexistent. Women do not watch porn, the internet seems to say, or if they do, they’re doing it loudly—consciously making sexual choices for themselves like in the “porn for women” movement. The truth is that women do watch, and they’re usually in two different camps: women who watch porn and are in favor of everyone butting out of their private sex lives, and women who struggle with addiction to something negatively affecting their lives. Both exist and both are valid. The important rise of feminism and its embrace of women managing their own sexuality has given women freedom where they have been historically limited and controlled. This is an excellent step forward toward women rejecting oppression.

However, there are problems with generalizing on either side. The website Politico says that feminists are “decidedly less vocal than they were in past decades, split internally over the question of whether filmed sex empowers women or exploits them.” When researching for this document, we found this split between porn as freedom or porn as a problem to be polarized and difficult. Yet through it all, the culmination of our research points to the clear fact that pornography hurts women and girls. We set out to understand the reasons, doing our best to not be politically or religiously slanted by our sources. We feel that it is important to discuss the fallout of free, limitless online porn which is brimming with violence against women and girls. This is also a necessary conversation about children: the effects on children who view porn, rampant child pornography, and youth who use porn as sex education.

Perhaps Brian Mcneill, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, says it best:

“The growth of online pornography as a means of sexual expression is a complicated issue for women, whose bodies have historically been rigidly controlled by restrictive sexual norms and practices. Online pornography offers an accessible way to seemingly resist and challenge such restrictions. However, because online pornography is dominated by an industry with economic interests in the control of women’s bodies, the sexual expression offered by the pornography industry is produced through a supply chain built on the trade and disposal of other women’s bodies for male pleasure and profit. The pornography industry does not emancipate women from restrictive sexual practices; instead it repackages sexual control as a commercial product and markets it to women as a form of sexual choice. Thus online pornography presents dissonant messages to women—pornography is marketed to women as sexual empowerment but the content is violent and dehumanizing”

This 32 page document strives to take an honest look at how pornography hurts women and girls through stories, research, and a little common sense.