Pornography

There is a huge discussion going on, especially in the media about pornography.

One thing that everyone agrees on is that porn is far easier to access these days than ever before. With the internet and the rise of the smart phone – people can access porn anywhere and there aren’t many restrictions regardless of your age.

As a result porn is being blamed for sexualising young people from an early age, increasing insecurities about their body image and making people feel inadequate, for gender inequalities that reinforce a male centred ‘rape culture’ where women are objectified and used for sex.

With headlines like ‘10 year olds regularly accessing porn’ and ‘young people feel pressured to act out what they see in porn’– the moral panic in the media seems justified. But what is the truth… are these just easy headlines used to sell papers or are there facts to back it up?

Just a thought…

It is perfectly acceptable to go to the cinema and pay money to watch a film that makes you laugh –that makes sense, but we also pay money to watch films that make us scared or even films that are designed to upset us… so why is this any different than watching a film that is designed to turn us on… how is this any different or strange – is getting turned on any less of a human experience?

So, what actual is our problem porn? And does porn really harm young people?

Why do we watch porn?

Perhaps the first question we should ask if we want to understand more is why do people watch porn in the first place – What do they get from it?

First and foremost is curiosity – to find out more about sex, to see what guys and girls bits look like – a ‘am I normal’ and to find out how you do ‘it… the trouble is in most schools the only image you will see of a girl’s genitals is the internal one that looks like a sheep’s head – which is great if you want to learn about reproduction – but useless if you are curious about sex!

Often it has nothing to do with sex – instead we watch porn to freak out our mates – it’s what we have always done, to collectively gross each other out and go urhh! eewww! In this sense it is a bit about showing off and fitting in. Now people post porn on social media sites, not because it turns them on, but to get as many ‘likes’ as they can – it’s a way of seeing how popular you can be.

Plus the obvious reason… because they are horny!

We receive lots of questions from people about porn, about how porn is affecting their relationships or just people who are trying to get their heads around their mixed up feelings about it all… it is hard to know what to think when people are shouting with very loud voices.

In these pages we will look at:

© Going off the Rails 2014. Adapted from ‘Playing Downstairs’ by Jonny Hunt

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