Porn consumption among men is either deemed entertainment or means of pleasure, but does it lead to objectification of women? It is not a secret how porn mostly objectifies women. Porn, which glamourises sex, often banks on enticing men with the bait of “sultry” and “sexy” women. In other words, it refers to women with humongous breasts and such outlandish physical proportions, which are only possible through surgical correction of one’s body.

Now sexually provocative content is not just available via magazines, laptops or dingy movie theatres. It is just a tap away on smartphones. Men can share and view it for free or barely any cost. So what does it mean for a patriarchal country like ours, where male sexual aggression is a part of every woman’s daily life, to have such an easy access to porn? How does it affect the perception of women among adult men?

One dimensional portrayal of women

Pornography isn’t art, nor does it abide by rules of morality much. Hence most porn is basically about lustful, shapely women being maneuvered into various sexual fantasies by faceless men

The focus naturally is on women’s bodies and it ingrains an image in male mindset. They begin to desire bigger breasts and derrieres. A specific body type becomes more desirable, which leads to discord or dissatisfaction, if one’s female partner “fails” to live up to the expectations.

SOME TAKEAWAYS-

  • The act of intercourse, which is glamourized in porn, often banks on enticing men with the bait of curvaceous or “well-endowed” women.
  • Porn mostly depicts women as submissive partners, objectifying them through instrumentality.
  • In India, videos of rape and sexual assault often get passed on as porn, which often leads to normalisation of grave sexual offences.

A 2014 study, called Gender (In)equality in Internet Pornography: A Content Analysis of Popular Pornographic Internet Videos, says porn mostly depicts women as submissive partners. The objectification of women gets depicted through instrumentality. Which means that women are portrayed to be instruments of sexual gratification of men. The study, however, also pointed out that men also frequently get objectified through dehumanization, since most pornographic material renders them faceless or out of focus.

When porn portrays women as mere objects of gratification, it gives men a sense of entitlement

They feel it is their right to live out their various sexual fantasies and women are under some gendered obligation to comply. This ends up making consent irrelevant for men. They think why would my wife or girlfriend or any woman for that matter not agree to have sex on my terms, when women in porn clearly do?

In India, men often share and watch videos of actual rapes and sexual assault under the guise of porn. Be it a bunch of men molesting a woman in a jungle, or gang rapes of young girls. Often the toxic male mindset consumes this content without putting much thought in it. Such videos lead to normalisation of rape. It leads to decriminalisation of very grave offences in men’s mind. As a result of which young boys and men think it is okay to hurt women. In fact, the idea of rape becomes titillating. Where does a woman’s dignity stand in this flux of misguided desired and toxic mentality? We all know the answer to that.

Many men and also women may argue that this demonization of porn is an overreaction

That porn caters to desires and sexual gratification, which most of us have to keep under wraps due to sex being still a taboo in our society. But everyone who watches porn must stop every now and then and ask themselves what they are consuming. How is what they are watching, in name of sexual pleasure, affecting our social and personal well-being? Porn isn’t just causing dehumanisation of women, it is also causing a rise in expectations between the sheets — the way we desire a male or female body, the way we want foreplay or intercourse to progress and even the climax. Porn gives people ideas and expectations which are far too scripted and way off the reality.

Which is why perhaps it is time to classify this “entertainment” as an influence, which has the potential to cloud our perceptions about sex and gender. Watching porn occasionally may not be a bad influence. But when lines between reality and fiction begin to blur, perhaps it’s time to question your choice.

Also Read: Adolescent Porn Consumption Is Dangerous Without Effective Sex Ed

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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