Tuesday, June 18 2024

Is there a connection between violence against women and pornography?

Pornographic web pages are unfortunately among the most searched and visited. Those who consume them the most are men, many of whom consume “hard pornography.”

What is meant by this expression? We are talking about audiovisual content in which, during intercourse, a woman is shown “suffering,” physically and emotionally. In this perverted vision, the woman is even presented in “seeking suffering,” content to be abused.

Some experts explain that there is a correlation between the consumption of this deviant material and acts of violence committed against women.

“Hardcore pornography” and the link to gender-based violence

According to the NZZ am Sonntag, discussed in the article “Switzerland. Hard Pornography Increases Risk of Violence against Women,” which cites several experts including psychologists and psychotherapists and representative surveys in support of its thesis, a considerable percentage of porn users consume “hard” pornography, that is, with scenes of violence.

According to the Swiss weekly, which cites sexologist Martin Bachmann, the majority of men who use porn do not have major problems, in their social lives. However, more and more people are turning to him for counseling: there are in fact individuals who dream about or enact what they see on the screen.

Teenagers also in danger

The weekly also quotes Andreas Hill, director of a psychiatric clinic in Zurich, who uses a study done in Sweden to explain that 10.5 percent of 18-year-olds consume pornography daily. Of them, more than half admitted that they have reproduced in reality what they have seen. And not only that: as many as a quarter of these young people have committed sexual abuse.

The specialist, far from drawing hasty and misleading conclusions, states that pornography consumption is only one factor – among many – that encourages such behavior. Gender-based violence, in fact, may be repeated through imitation, perhaps because it has been seen in the home, or for other personal reasons.

However, it is good to point out that “regular consumption of pornography can generate an addictive effect that lowers the bar on what is tolerable: a proportion of men end up consuming hard or banned pornography,” and this can have alarming consequences on their psyches and the acts they perform.

American psychologist Ana Bridges points out that out of 50 of the most viewed pornographic films, nearly 90 percent of the films have scenes of violence in them. Some characters are even tied up or strangled. In 70 percent of cases men are the protagonists of such acts.

The more you watch pornography, the more you compromise your marriage

Several times, developmental psychologist Thomas Lickona has spoken on the topic of pornography, warning about the many risks of using it. In his view, “in addition to separating sex from love, it presents a very warped, almost inhuman portrait of sexual relationships. It does not show healthy behaviors, such as loving conversation, kissing and gestures of affection. In pornography, everything is skewed and distorted.”

It is also very easy, in his opinion, for one to become a slave: “The continuous stimulation of dopamine in the brain, through pornographic material, causes an altered mental state of total addiction, similar to that of drug addicts.”

Those who become accustomed to pornography also end up living in a “world apart,” detached from reality. They become unable to grasp the beauty of having a person by their side, with whom they can grow and mature; with whom they can experience a healthy and deep relationship. Pornography, in fact, prods the user all the time, offering him or her in front of “ever new partners.” The massive consumption of pornography is, therefore, associated with an intimate relationship life that is almost nonexistent.

“Contact with a loved one, habitual and devoid of constant novelty, can release markedly lower neuro-chemical stimuli, resulting in making it seem like a cold dish to us.” Finally, addiction to pornographic material contributes to a negative image of marriage in the minds of users, as it “causes impersonal and self-centered sexual gratification,” which “pushes toward free and unattached relationships, rather than a relationship of love, self-giving and commitment, with the assumption of duties and responsibilities.”

For Lickona, “contracting marriage and parenthood are two of the greatest commitments we can make in our lives; pornography, on the other hand, projects a different and quite opposite vision onto young people, weakening the values based on love, responsibility and sacrifice that marriage and raising children require.”

How to heal?

While some people are able to free themselves from addiction, others need the help of a therapist. It should also be mentioned that there are real recovery programs, such as Sexaholics Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous, based on 12 gradual steps, taken from the path of Alcoholics Anonymous, which have helped many people.

Resources to help oneself break the porn addiction are not lacking. One just needs to set out, knowing that the effort to live virtuously, in purity, is a lifelong quest, but the first step is to really want to start it.

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