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The sexuality portrayed in pornography alters how people see the nature of their romantic relationships. Pornographic media affects people's sexual attitudes and actions and poses a threat to marriages, families, and their overall happiness. Pornographic media is one of the key elements that threaten social stability when it comes to unions. Pornographic material is growing more and more accepted, which denigrates women more and more. It is true to argue that pornography and lewd media act as factors used to shape men’s view of sexuality, contribute to people’s difficulty when it comes to separating reality and sexual fantasies, help to break down victims’ resistance to different unwanted sexual activities and provide training manuals for some abusers. The interest in the effects of pornographic media on women is understandable. Clinical psychologists, biologists, and social scientists have been at the forefront in clarifying the psychological and social effects of pornography and pornographic media. Pornography and pornographic media cause harm to children and women when forced on pornography, used in the production process of pornographic content, living in those cultures where pornography sexualizes and reinforces the subordinate status of women, and assaulted by people who use pornography. Pornography and pornographic media possess power that can undermine a woman’s social functioning.
How Pornography and Pornographic Media Affects Women
The Effects of Pornographic Media and Pornography on the Mind
Pornographic media and pornography distort men’s and women’s perceptions and attitudes concerning sexual intercourse. Men addicted to pornography, and pornographic media end up acquiring abnormal sexual behaviors, become aggressive, and can even end up raping women (Francis, 2008). These acts make women appear as sex commodities and objects, and not as people with dignity in society.
The Effects of Pornographic Media and Pornography on the Body
It is clear that pornography and pornographic media are very addictive to many users. The aspect of porn that makes it addictive is the dopamine hormone, and it's biological substrate which forms transmission pathways to the brains’ pleasure treasures (Tetlow, 2014). An increase in pornography’s sexual permissiveness increases a woman’s or man’s risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases. Most women end up as unwitting parents in out-of-wedlock pregnancies.
The Effects of Pornographic Media and Pornography on the Heart
Pornographic media and pornography mostly affect the emotional lives of women. A woman suffers from a less sensitive attachment from her man who may feel dissatisfied with his sexual relation. A woman married to a man addicted to pornography or views pornographic content more often will end up feeling angered, mistrusted and betrayed. Obscene material and pornography in most cases lead to divorce and infidelity (Walter, 2017). Women who view porn end up feeling ashamed and their self-confidence might diminish.
Some of the Key Findings Regarding the Effects of Pornography
Families and Pornography
A married man who watches pornographic materials may feel less emotionally attached to his wife and dissatisfied with his conjugal relations. When a wife notices this, she becomes upset, and it ends up weakening the marriage (Fisher, 1994). It is also true to say that pornographic media acts as a pathway to divorce and infidelity and causes some family disasters (Gossett, 2002). Research shows that couples affected by pornography addiction mostly experience loss of sexual interest. One of the most common effects of pornography and pornographic media is that they lead to loss of interest in desirable and good family relations.
Individuals and pornography
Pornography and pornographic media end up being addictive to individuals. The users of pornography become desensitized after using a particular type of pornography for a long time and they end up seeking more perverse forms of pornography (Hald, 2010). Those men who view pornography on a daily basis end up acquiring a high tolerance for normal and abnormal sexuality which include sexual promiscuity, sexual aggression, and rape. When men engage in pornography for a long time, they end up portraying women as sex commodities or objects. Pornography and pornographic media also end up engendering greater sexual permissiveness that contributes to STDs and wedlock births. For these and more reasons, it is clear that women are the most affected people as a result of pornography and pornographic media.
The Effects of Pornography and Pornographic Media on Women
Most women who view pornography feel shame, have sexual uncertainties and end up displaying low levels of self-confidence. Increase in sexually oriented materials and businesses cause a significant increase in crime levels and a decrease in property values (Kernsmith, 2009). Pornography and pornographic media prevents the development of healthy sexualities in women and also distorts their social realities and sexual attitudes. In marriages, pornographic media and pornography lead to infidelity, marital dissatisfaction, divorce, and separation. Most women become victims to those people who view and distribute pornographic materials.
When females are growing up, pornography viewing ends up disorienting them when they are in their developmental phase. Pornographic content and pornography make it hard for a woman to handle her sexuality and also causes some uncertainties about her moral values and sexual beliefs (Kohut, 2016). Research shows that internet materials that are sexually explicit increase women’s insecurities about sexuality and lowers their sexual self-esteem levels. Pornographic media increases sexual exploration in men with other people outside their marriages and thus decreasing their marital commitment to their legal spouses.
Pornographic media make men and women to develop cynical attitudes about love, and they end up settling for superior sexual pleasures while ignoring affection towards their partners. In most cases, the decline in sexual satisfaction in most marriages originates from the exposure to pornography (Lim, 2016). Users of pornography materials view the institution of marriage as an institution that is sexually confining. Pornographic media ends up diminishing the belief of men and women on the importance of faithfulness in marriage and the value of marriage. As a result, women, and men fail to have excellent or desirable family relations.
Another consequence of pornography and pornographic media is the degradation and objectification of women. Pornography and pornographic media foster the idea that women degradation is acceptable (Dukes, 2015). The fact that males use obscene materials more often than females, the exposure to semi-sexual and sexual materials from the media creates a strong notion that women are sex commodities or sex objects. This makes men describe women in sexual terms instead of using their attributes.
Pornographic media degrade women through different scenes that show how women enjoy the experience when men rape them. Such scenes portray that women enjoy the act of rape. Pornographic content act as forms of self-degradation since such content leads to the development of a negative body image in women because most women fail to meet the depictions of the various pornographic materials. Pornographic media and pornography have more than just familial and psychological ramifications (Dukes, 2015). Some clinical consequences of pornography include increased mental and physical health problems and higher chances of committing sex-based crimes.
Pornographic media are very addictive and can lead women to sexually compulsive behaviors that may prevent them from performing various significant tasks in their lives. Pornographic media makes women to experience impairment and feel distressed if they are the ones who get addicted to pornography. Aggression and abuse are also effects of pornography and pornographic media. The use of pornography and pornographic materials leads to sexual assault and increased cruelty during intimacy. Research proves that men who view pornographic content are more likely to force women into sexual intimacy (Dukes, 2015). Pornographic media plays a significant role in the different reported cases of sexual abuse. Some users are so cruel and inhuman that they use pornography as they commit the violence while others force their victims to participate in the production of pornographic films.
The Consequences of Sexual Violence brought about by Pornographic Media
People link sexual violence against women with a myriad of consequences on the long and short-term well-being and health of women. In addition to immediate emotional and physical impacts of sexual violence, the quality of life of the victims ends up affected over their entire lifetime (Romito, 2015). The effects of sexual violence adversely influence the engagement and participation of the victims in different aspects of society and life. Sexual violence as a result of pornographic media has adverse effects on the victim and the community at large.
Sexual violence that results from pornographic media results in many consequences that affect not only the victims but also the fundamental human rights and freedom. In the different socio-centric societies that view rape as a common emotion, victims of violence fear to open up concerning their trauma and in most cases they end up not reporting it. In the end, if victims fail to report such incidences, the understanding of the rates of the act and the nature of the trauma becomes difficult therefore influencing the process of policy-making (Romito, 2015). The different victims who in most cases are women suffer from adverse reactions when they decide to disclose their ordeal. Research shows that there exists a relationship between stereotyping, gender prejudice and victim blame. High levels of the blame on victims are evident in cultures where there is stigmatization of incidents linked to sexual connotations.
When men’s addiction to pornographic media increases they may resort to rape when they do not find willing partners. Some men may force or drug women into having sex with them. Forced sexual acts may cause visible bleeding or bruises on the different genital parts of the victim’s body. Some of the physical violence that women encounter as a result of forced sexual intercourse includes urinary infections, painful intercourse, uterine fibroids, sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancies (Romito, 2015). Some of the sexually transmitted diseases that women may acquire during the act include; syphilis, genital warts, HIV, Chlamydia and gonorrhea among others. Victims in such cases acquire these diseases because the people who engage in such sexual acts do not use protection and at the end, the victim ends up suffering the most.
Self-blame acts as the most common consequence of rape that results from pornographic media addiction. The victims who are women use self-blame as avoidance tools to cope with the situation (Romito, 2015). Self-blame in most cases stops or slows down the healing process. Other psychological consequences of rape that result from pornography addiction may include; depression, post-traumatic stress disorders, guilt, sleep disorders, border personality disorder, eating disorders, dissociative identity disorder, anger, distrust of others and feelings of powerlessness.
The Aftermath of Rape that Results from Pornographic Addiction and Influence
The victims of rape and sexual assault suffer from various chronic and acute psychological and physical effects. It is vital for victims to receive care which addresses the long and short-term effects. Some of the best therapies used during the treatment include; supportive counsel therapy, stress inoculation therapy, cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure therapy.
The stress inoculation therapy helps to treat those women with elevated anxiety and fear, and avoidance behaviors. The three phases of this type of therapy are the education, skill building and application phase respectively. In the education phase, the treatment is mainly about explaining to the victim that fear is very reasonable when it comes to reacting to trauma. The victim also learns about some of the cues that trigger anxiety. The second phase of this therapy involves skill building. In the skill building phase, the therapists teach rape victims on how to control and face their fears psychologically and physically. The application phase which is the last phase of the stress inoculation therapy involves the use of skills acquired by the victims. The victims also learn how to avoid criticism and how to appreciate themselves about the progress they show after all the violence.
The prolonged exposure therapy helps to desensitize people to different traumas that result from rape or sexual assaults by exposing them to varying memories of the fateful traumatic event. A victim of abuse recounts her rape incident as she confronts real-life incidents that remind her of the assault. In the process of the therapy, victims listen to recorded tapes that tell of the events of rape to help increase their exposure. This type of treatment is beneficial in treating depression, PTSD, and guilt.
Cognitive processing therapy is a type of therapy designed to assist victims who suffer from depression and PTSD. In this kind of therapy, the therapists use exposure, cognitive techniques, and exposure. The victims identify stuck points associated with them. In this context, stuck points refer to those parts of their trauma associated with emotions inadequately processed.
Eye movement desensitization therapy is a type of therapy designed to help the survivors of trauma to cope with their situation. This kind of therapy involves cognitive techniques and exposure therapy. During this treatment, the victim recounts the scenes of sexual assault while still focusing on the movement of different physical objects like the counselor’s or therapist’s finger. External attention is necessary for this type of therapy because it helps in the reprocessing of traumatic events (DeKeseredy, 2017).
Supportive counseling therapy is a therapy used in most intervention centers that deal with rape cases. The therapists provide general support, positive regard, and active listening. Most therapists recommend this type of therapy because it helps to treat trauma. Research shows that the most effective therapy is the cognitive behavioral therapy.
Some Defenses against Pornographic Media and Acts of Pornography
Some of the most common defenses against pornographic media and pornography that helps to reduce and eliminate the adverse effect they have on women include; close family lives, good relations between children and parents and good marriages. The government should also keep tight lids on sexual businesses and sexual traffic, and also provide treatment programs for pornography addicts and sex offenders (Tetlow, 2014). With an alarming rise in the deleterious social, marital, individual, family and significant effects of pornography, communities, governments, and citizens should adopt their different laissez-faire approaches.
The treatment programs put forward by the government for pornography addicts and sex offenders should break patterns helpful in deriving pleasure. The best technique used to reduce sexual fantasies and addiction is the safeguarding technique. When patients experience sexual fantasies, counselors or healthcare providers advise them to think of safeguards like mental images of bedbugs crawling on their bodies (Tetlow, 2014). This method helps participants to interrupt their sexual fantasies and successfully displace their old neurological pathways with different and safer ones.
What People can do to eliminate the Violent Effects of Pornography on Women
There are many things that people can do to prevent or eliminate the violent effects brought about by pornographic media. Some of the things that people can do to reduce the effects of pornographic media include understanding pornography, considering the consequences of pornography, pray about it and talk to someone about the addiction (Francis, 2008). People should be well vast with the knowledge of pornography and its effects.
People should also consider the consequences of pornographic media. Pornography devalues its users and makes innocent people fall as victims of sexual assault and rape (Francis, 2008). Believers can choose to pray about it so that they can overcome their pornographic addiction. When believers pray, they can acquire the strength to overcome such habits.
Talking to someone like a therapist or any other person that you consider a confidant can prove to be very helpful to people addicted to pornographic media. A therapist or a confidant will help a person who is addicted to pornographic media to break the habit (Francis, 2008). All of these methods are beneficial and helpful in curbing the violent effects of pornographic media on women.
In conclusion, the contemporary society is highly sexualized, and the different traditional sexual taboos of well-functioning societies have faded away. Most people who dare to raise critical questions concerning the sex industry and pornography receive blame on their side for being anti-sex, prudish, or repressive. Those issues are significant in the struggle aimed at ending domestic and sexual violence and in building healthy sexual cultures. It is clear that pornography and pornographic content change the various habits of a person’s mind and their inner private selves. The use of pornography and obscene material easily becomes habitual, thus leading to boredom, desensitization, objectification of women and, distorted aspects and views of reality. In the long-run, regular users of different pornographic materials end up requiring a higher amount of stimuli to arouse them sexually, thus resulting to pursue of more different types and forms of pornography with the aim of fulfilling their growing sexual desires. For these and more reasons, pornography and pornographic media qualify as significant components of the problem associated with violence on women.
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