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Pornography is harmful to women

Pornography nowadays is quite a widespread phenomenon. Million of people use it systematically and have no idea what impact it has on women. As each and every pornography video deals humiliation of women and perception of women as sexual objects. In pornography the “character” of the women is dehumanized and is seen as a body for masculine sexual satisfaction. Many men watching pornography take this attitude as a model for further relations with woman and this eventually results not only in moral but also in physical aggression directed against women. Evidently, pornography is harmful for women as it changes the male attitude.
As woman becomes an object in pornography where is sexually exploited. As pornography has a global social character the fact the sexual harassments occur is its simple consequence. The impact of pornography spreads to everyday life of people and makes the female “body cult” as women become better sexual objects when their bodies are fit and correspond to male requirements. These requirements, in their turn are aimed at getting a better sexual satisfaction for the sexual object. Pornography hurts the image of women as human being equal to man and deserving a decent treatment and respect as human beings.
According to definition of Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin presented by Val Richards (1999), pornography is “the graphic sexually explicit subordination of women, whether in pictures or words”. Here the key word is subordination as the woman obeys the man’s sexual will. Very often in pornography women, experiencing violence seem to enjoy it and therefore it send a wrong message to the male audience. As the woman’s body is penetrated not only by males, but also by objects and sometimes even by animals – this reduces the image of a woman to a being that can be sexual penetrated (Richards, 1999).
It is vital to put the borderline between what is erotica and what is pornography. Erotica shows the beauty of the woman’s body and pornography deals with hard “mechanic” sexual satisfaction. It has no contents and evidently destroys the romantic character of a woman. The sex images presented in pornography have no emotional dimension but are brought to the close-ups of the female genitals. In addition to that, according to Diana Russell (1994), there might be a probability of pornography causing the increase of the rape level as pornography often includes violent scenes and as it has been mentioned before – assaults (p.16). It goes without saying that these facts may be argued; nevertheless it is rather hard to argue with the fact that the female sexuality is harmed by pornography.
Many women follow the “pornography” trend and convert themselves into sexual objects in order to be needed by man and to be “loved” but they always have the opportunity to disprove the fact that women are sexual objects (Lebegue, 1991, p.44). It is all their behavior and choice. If a man watches pornography and starts perceiving women as sexual objects but in real life faces the fact that the woman does not want to be involved in violent penetrations – he will learn from it.
Pornography is truly harmful for women, as it hurts their sexuality and converts them into sexual commodities and can make them objects of violence. Nevertheless if women do not oppose this stereotype, nothing will eventually change. The way out is not to follow and subordinate this “dehumanization” but to show that women have self-respect and are more than sexual objects as they have minds and not bodies only.


1. Lebegue, B. (1991). Pornography Made Me Do It. Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law , 19(1).p 43-48.

2. Russell, Diana E.H. (1994). Against pornography: the evidence of harm.Russell Publications. p.16

3. Richards, V. (1999). Pornography - safe or sexual? University of Michigan press. Retrieved July 21, 2008.

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