Ethnography: The Effect Of Pornography On Society

Great Essays
As of 2003 there are 260 million pages or erotic content on the internet according to

Seattle based web filtering company N2H2 (Brown, 2005). In 2008, the online intelligence

company Hitwise found 40,634 different websites that circulate pornography (Tancer, 2008, p.

21). Co-authors of the book A Billion Wicked Thoughts Ogas and Gaddam claim to be sitting

on the biggest set of porn-use statistics on the web. In an interview for Forbes magazine they

said that of the 1,000,000 most used websites globally, 42,337 of them are sex-related sites

(Ruvolo, 2011). A 2014 PEW research article by Raine and Cohn about the number of people in

the United States that own a computer states that 84% of households in the United States own a
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Evidence for these claims will be discussed in further detail with a more specific focus on the

effect of the consumption of pornography on society, the brain, emotions, and relationships.

Effect on society. The consumption of pornography has an effect on society in two

different ways. First, it has an effect on rape culture and violence. Consuming pornography

teaches the person that is consuming it that physical and verbal aggression are part of sex. In a

study by Bridges, Wosnitzer, Scharrer, Sun, and Liberman (2010) about physical and verbal

aggression in popular pornography it was found that 88% of the scenes had physical aggression

such as spanking, gagging, or slapping, and that 49% of the scenes had verbal aggression such as

name calling. What people learn from pornography carries over into real life. Allen, Emmers,

Gebhardt, and Giery (1995) found that exposure to pornography, both nonviolent and violent,

increases aggressive behavior and another study found that “adolescent exposure (to

pornography) was a significant predictor of the elevation of violence” (Mancini, Reckenwald,
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This alone shows that the adult entertainment market has an effect on the economy.

Consumption of pornography has an effect on society because of the effect it has on rape culture

and violence and the effect it has on the economy.

Effect on the brain. Consumption of pornography has an effect on the brain in one main

way, which is the release of dopamine. Doidge said, “Pornographers promise healthy pleasure

and relief from sexual tension, but what they often deliver is an addiction, tolerance, and an

eventual decrease in pleasure” (Doidge, 2007, p. 107). Sexual experiences such as the

consumption of pornography cause a response from the brain similar to many drugs of abuse

(Pitchers, et al., 2010). Drugs of abuse and consumption of pornography trigger the reward

pathway in our brain to release high levels of dopamine (Nestler, 2005). Dopamine is a chemical

that is released into the brain that gives us the feeling of pleasure. This gives us all of the

pleasure that we normally get from accomplishing something without having to do the work for

it. “Repeated activation of mesolimbic dopamine system results in persistent

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