What girls are saying about the porn culture they are forced to grow up in

By Jonathon Van Maren

Over the past several weeks in the Netherlands, I have been giving a number of lectures on abortion, pornography, and other aspects of the culture wars. At one event, I was detailing how pornography has largely transformed sexuality among young people, especially in regard to the sexually violent behavior that has now been mainstreamed. One middle-aged gentleman strenuously objected, noting that he had two sons, that they probably watched pornography, and that he was sure they would never do anything horrible to a girl. After all, he pointed out, don’t all people have the wherewithal to discern between fantasy and reality?

I responded by pointing out a number of problems with his question. First of all, if pornography has caused enormous numbers of young people to fantasize about sexual violence, isn’t that a problem in and of itself? Isn’t it also true that we have one brain, and that we don’t have a separate brain with which to court fantasy? And finally: Watching violent pornography is participating in sexual violence. In a movie when someone gets beat up or shot, they didn’t actually get beat up or shot. But in a porn flick when a girl gets choked, slapped, and abused, that is a real girl actually getting choked, slapped, and abused.

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