is porn sexist

Does Watching Porn Promote Sexism?

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Before we dive in, allow us to give you a brief definition of the word ‘sexism’. 

Sexism is a kind of predjudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex. 

For example, sexism is the belief that women are inherently inferior to men, should be subordinate to men, and belong in the home, not out in the working world and especially not in a position of power

With that being said, does watching porn promote sexism, or change one’s beliefs about women? Let’s look into it further… 

Does Porn Promote Sexism Against Women?

In a study by Canadian researchers, data from the General Social Survey, which is the oldest, largest, most in-depth nationally representative examination of the beliefs and actions of U.S. residents, was carefully investigated. 

And because the General Social Survey is so highly regarded and highly credible, researchers were able to come to the conclusion that no, pornography does not promote sexism.

The Study: Does Porn Promote Sexism?

In the study, thousands of men were asked about their porn viewing habits during the previous year. 

They were then asked to reveal how they felt about the following four statements:

  1. Most men are better suited emotionally for politics than most women
  2. Preschool children are likely to suffer if their mothers work outside the home
  3. Some say that because of past discrimination, women should be given preference in hiring and promotion (affirmative action). Others say affirmative action is wrong because it discriminates against men
  4. It’s better for families if the man is the breadwinner and the woman takes care of the home and family

The results:

  • Statement One: regular porn viewers and less porn viewers were no more likely to endorse this statement
  • Statement Two: for men whose porn consumption increased, their agreement with this statement decreased
  • Statement Three: pornography viewing had no significant effect on men’s agreement with these statements
  • Statement Four: with an increase in viewing porn, there was a small, but statistically insignificant, increase in endorsing this statement

The conclusion? “Viewing pornography was associated with less sexism, not more.”

But this is not the only study that’s looked at the link between watching porn and sexism against women…

A Second Study: Does Porn Promote an Egalitarian View of Women?

In a different study, which too found that porn viewing doesn’t promote sexism, more information was uncovered. Surprisingly, it was found that men who watched more porn were less sexist than those who viewed little to no porn. 

In fact, regular porn watchers often expressed views such as:

  • A support for abortion rights
  • A support for women to work outside of the home
  • A support for women to take up roles in political and economic positions

Interestingly, this study concluded that porn “superfans” (those who went above and beyond in the industry by going to Adult Entertainment Expos, worked in the porn industry, etc.) were more progressive when it came to gender roles than the general public.

While the results of the above two studies have actually been pleasantly surprising, there are, of course, other studies that show different results, but none of these are anywhere near as credible as the ones mentioned here today.

For example, let’s look at one particular study conducted by Texas Tech University. This research found that, while sexism does decrease when there is an increase in viewing porn, there were some that had “benevolent sexism”, which is the belief that women need the protection of men.

Porn: Does Removing the Taboo Factor Remove Sexism Beliefs?

There are a number of reasons why porn can be a taboo factor. From religion, to one’s upbringing, to their morals and beliefs they adopted as an adult. Not just that, but certain sexual acts and topics too are more taboo than others, like kinks and fetishes, for example.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to note that in countries such as the U.S, Canada, and Western Europe, where porn is legal and much more readily available for viewing, there are more women with social, economical, and political rights, opportunities, and power. This doesn’t appear to be the case in countries where porn is illegal or difficult to view.

Essentially, viewing porn doesn’t promote sexism. In fact, an increase in porn viewing behaviour has the ability for sexist attitudes to decrease.

A final thought? While the studies are actually in favour of watching porn as it decreases a sexist attitude towards women, the founder and CEO of MakeLoveNotPorn, Cindy Gallop, says: 

“Any industry that is predominantly driven by men and is targeting men, inevitably produces output that is sexist. If we had an industry that was 50-50 equal and that was formed, driven, and influenced by women, it would be a different picture”.

In other words, Cindy Gallop is a big advocate of ethical porn. What are your thoughts?