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People Who Watch Porn Hold More Feminist Views

Study shows greater support for gender equality among men and women who watch adult films.

People might debate whether it's a chicken or egg effect, but it's often taken for granted that men who watch a lot of porn are more likely to hold hostile, retrograde, or sexist views of women. Yet new research links watching porn with more positive views toward gender equality.  

The study, published in The Journal of Sex Research, was conducted by researchers at the University of Western Ontario. "According to radical feminist theory, pornography serves to further the subordination of women by training its users, males and females alike, to view women as little more than sex objects over whom men should have complete control," they wrote in the study abstract.

Yet after comparing people who watch porn with those who don't, researchers found those who had watched an adult film at least once in the past year held more egalitarian ideas about women in positions of power and women working outside the home, along with more positive views toward abortion. The two groups did not differ significantly in attitudes about "traditional" families or self-identification as feminist.

"Taken together, the results of this study fail to support the view that pornography is an efficient deliverer of 'women-hating ideology,'" study authors concluded. "While unexpected from the perspective of radical feminist theory, these results are consistent with a small number of empirical studies that have also reported positive associations between pornography use and egalitarian attitudes."

Researchers relied on data collected between 1975 and 2010 for the General Social Survey, which asks Americans about a wide range of social issues and personal views (including gender equality and personal pornography consumption). For both men and women, viewing porn was associated with more positive attitudes toward women holding positions of power, less negative views of abortion, and less negative attitudes toward women in the workplace.

However, researchers have several caveats. When factors such as gender and survey year are controlled for, "pornography use is only weakly associated with less negative attitudes toward egalitarianism," they note, and—while statistically reliable—this link "may have little real-world meaning." The authors also caution that "no cause-and-effect statements are warranted or implied" here and a third variable most likely accounts for the association. For instance, certain religious beliefs may be linked to a rejection of both porn and gender equality.

Justin Lehmiller, a sex and psychology researchers at Ball State University, analyzed the study at Playboy, noting that it's consistent with findings from a recent meta-review exploring the link between porn and sexual violence. That study, published in Aggression and Violent Behavior, "did not find that adult content was linked to increased rates of rape and sexual assault—rather, the data supported the reverse association," points out Lehmiller.

"These findings do not rule out the idea that there may be negative effects for some men who watch certain types of porn," he added. "For instance, among men who are low in the personality trait of agreeableness (i.e., guys who don’t show much care or concern for others), pornography exposure appears to increase their sexist attitudes." Still, these sorts of effects seem to be the exception, not the rule. 

Photo Credit: Guttorm Flatabø/Flickr

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  • ||

    But Elizabeth, that just can't be true. Why, we are constantly informed by feminists that pornography, even the man-on-man sort is, somehow, violence against women.

  • ||

    While simultaneously being told that women own their bodies and can do as they please with them, men have no say over that.

    Women have agency, except they don't.

    Good God, listening to SJWs makes my head spin.

  • Doctor Whom||

    The right to make choices over one's own body consists only of the right to make the choices that I would make.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Expect some well-poisoning ("Don't listen to people in those disciplines, which are full of sex-pozzies who are dupes of the patriarchy.").

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    There's man on man pornography? This is the first I've heard of it.

  • Restoras||

    There's probably man on man on man porn too.

  • Irish ♥s ESB||

    I prefer man on girl on goat.

  • WoodchipperPatriarch||

    When it shows up in a link here again, don't say you didn't ask for it.

    FTFY

  • Lee G||

    Baaaah

  • SQRLSY One||

    That really gets my goat hard!

  • UnCivilServant||

    Study shows greater support for gender equality among men and women who watch adult films.


    we are constantly informed by feminists that pornography... is, somehow, violence against women.


    Here's the part both you and ENB overlooked. For the current mutant abomination that calls itself Feminism, Feminist views =/= equality. Modern 'Feminists' are female spremacists, who, like paracitic worms, have eaten out the heart of a once respectable equality movement and wear its dead skin as a disguise. Once you realize that, there is no discongruity.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    "For both men and women, viewing porn was associated with more positive attitudes toward women holding positions of power, less negative views of abortion, and less negative attitudes toward women in the workplace."

    That's so counterintuitive!

    Why would someone who fantasizes about having casual sex want there to be increased access to abortion?

    Why would someone who fantasizes about casual sex want women to be out in the working world, rather than locked up at home where you have to work for a pool-cleaning company in order to seduce her?

    Why would someone who fantasizes about kinky sex want to see women in positions of power?

    /sarc

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Note to the Pool-Cleaners' Union: Ha ha, I was just making a friendly joke about your distinguished profession, I don't *actually* think you habitually bonk lonely housewives.

  • ||

    This has to be tongue-in-cheek, right Eddie?

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Yes

  • SQRLSY One||

    Can I clean yer pool!?!?? PWEASE?!?!?

  • SimonJester||

    "I don't *actually* think you habitually bonk lonely housewives, I just really really really hope you do."

    ftfy

  • ||

    I had a friend who was a pool cleaner. He was pretty resentful about not getting laid IRL while on the job.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Tell him to be less ugly and be more charming.

  • Paul.||

    And more Hispanic.

  • Florida Man||

    +Ay Papi

  • MJGreen - Docile Citizen||

    Work on dem abs.

  • Rhywun||

    Wait a minute... not all pool cleaners are hot Latino men with washboard abs? Man, my TV has been lying to me again.

  • Mrs. Lemuel Struthers||

    Ha. My pool guy is fat and smelly. You'd think the chlorine would help with the smell, but it doesn't. It's just that bad.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    You need a new HR department.

  • Lord at War||

    Tell him to bring a camera man...

  • ||

    Why would someone fantasise about sex?

  • Almanian - Micro Trumper||

    In honor of this, I'm hitting up Hottystop when I get home. Solidarity, womyns!!!

    *pumps fist....so to speak...*

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Yet after comparing people who watch porn with those who don't, researchers found those who had watched an adult film at least once in the past year held more egalitarian ideas about women in positions of power and women working outside the home, along with more positive views toward abortion.

    The study doesn't investigate correlation between religious views and these ideas, though. Could be simply that more traditional Christians (9.5% are listed as None, and 5% as Other, so it's overwhelmingly Christian) would hold more traditional views of role of females as well as being less likely to admit to watching porn.

  • Illocust||

    Which the researchers explicitly state, as does the article.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    For instance, certain religious beliefs may be linked to a rejection of both porn and gender equality.

    Right, so you'd think that'd be important enough to try and make a part of the study, so you can draw a more meaningful conclusion rather than using weasel words like "may" and "certain".

  • Paul.||

    If it weren't for weasel words, the social study industry would collapse.

  • __Warren__||

    Well, on the one hand that's might be true. But on the other hand, things can be really complicated.

  • Rhywun||

    Some might say they see what you did there.

  • Reasonable Jim||

    They're not "weasel words," they're words that accurately represent the conclusions to be drawn by the study. Unfortunately, for reporters and middle managers, jumping to grand conclusions sans "weasel words" makes for more interesting stories about it the scientific process that was done, but it usually means the company is taking unwarranted action / the public is being mislead by "scientific results" made-up on the spot by non-scientists wanting to pitch a "sexier" story around something that allows for only non-sexy marginal conclusions to be drawn.

    The tough thing about it social science research is that it's almost impossible to conclude causal relationships among variables in the study. Randomization with control/ placebo groups is supposed to help build a case for causality, but how does one. Obstruct a placebo treatment for porn? That wasn't REAL porn you were watching, it was fake porn just to test to see if watching something/anything would have an effect on outcomes.

  • Zeb||

    That seems likely. My first thought was that most of the people who don't watch porn (or who deny it at least) are probably somewhat conservative and traditionalist.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Oh, by the way, nice way to slip in the idea that feminist=pro-abortion.

  • __Warren__||

    I believe women have the right to have cum shot not only onto their back, but their ass, their pussy hair, their tits AND their face!

  • Restoras||

    At the same time???

  • __Warren__||

    If you dream it, so it can be.

  • ||

    It's called "bukake".

  • waffles||

    Fuck yeah that wide!

  • silent v||

    Pussy Hair? How long has it been since you have seen porn?

  • Florida Man||

    Maybe he likes Japanese porn.

  • __Warren__||

    Shaved pussy ain't my thing. I like a nice bush.

  • Charlotte Falcon||

    Did the study normalize for age? My guess is that positive attitudes toward gender equality and admitted porn use correlate strongly with age.

  • ||

    I do some computer technical support on the side, and every man client that I've had but one admitted using his computer for viewing porno. And that one guy, it was true, his computer was never used as a porno delivery machine. So, the relation between porno viewing and admission of viewing porno in this sample was 1. These men clients were scattered all over the age spectrum from early forties to early eighties.

  • Nosea||

    As long as everyone views these sex workers for what they are. Sex workers-- aka prostitutes, then we can put an end to this universal hypocrisy and denial. It is amazing, when humans want to engage in something they will talk themselves into believing almost anything! People who don't watch porn?? There truly are such people in the world ?

  • Antilles||

    Anyone who works for a paycheck is a whore (aka prostitute). I'm one, and if you're unwilling to do your job for free than you're one too. Some people never outgrow their juvenile "sex is icky" phase.

  • ||

    I'm really more of a slut than a whore.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Yeah you are. High Five!

  • Antilles||

    Sluts do it for free; whores do it for money. Since no one has ever paid me for sex, I guess I'm a slut too.

  • __Warren__||

    Then what's a bimbo?

  • Paul.||

    A slut that won't have sex with you.

  • Antilles||

    "A slut that won't have sex with you."

    I thought that's a bitch. Or maybe that's just me...

  • ||

    If you can't get anybody to give you money for 'it' then the role is just thrust upon you (so to speak)?

  • ||

    As long as everyone views these sex workers for what they are. Fucking whores, then we can put an end to this universal hypocrisy and denial.

    "People who don't watch porn?? There truly are such people in the world ?"

    I've known at least two verifiable cases, and dozens of people for whom there was no evidence they watched porno, but with whom I was not intimate enough to know for sure.

  • Antilles||

    Can't wait to get home and enforce my Feminist Views. ;-)

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    Home? Doesn't your office have a door?

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Is his office at the Securities and Exchange Commission?

  • Antilles||

    "Doesn't your office have a door?"

    It does, but my work environment is not conducive for erections.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Not even a 20% erection? Because I hear that's enough.

  • Antilles||

    Hold on... Damn, only got to 19%! Maybe next time...

  • DJF||

    So once again showing the evil that porn does.

  • ||

    I never got the porn thing. How can anyone be interested in sex with a woman who is indifferent towards sex? The women in the porn that I have seen are faking the hell out of interest in what is going on.

    I find it very boring.

  • ||

    I forgot to add that I am very solidly pro-equality towards gender, race, orientation, etc.
    None of those attributes should be taken into account with regards to....well, anything. Character and competence are all that really matters.

  • Vampire||

    You lie, you hate wyminz!!!!!

  • Florida Man||

    I enjoy the professionalism and riveting story lines.

  • ||

    I tried to write out a short skit but it was just so bad it could have been a real porn skit. I just couldn't post it.

  • Florida Man||

    Ha!

  • Paul.||

    Depends on the porn, and the woman.

  • ||

    This is why I don't watch soap operas, but it doesn't bother me in pron. hmmm.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Maybe you're too old to require a daily release, but I'm not.

  • ||

    The women in the porn that I have seen are faking the hell out of interest in what is going on.

    I'm not gonna lie; when it comes to sex, a decent percentage of the time, I couldn't care what the woman is interested in. Agreeing with the ideology of equality, I don't always expect her to be interested either.

    Considering porn adds an additional layer of insulation to the physical, social, and psychological investment, I'm a little confused as to what you actually expect from women or porn. Excessive adulation of your sexual prowess both in and out of the bed in person and via printed media? The woman has to be 110% committed to you and the act and you have to be 110% committed back or no sex? Casual sex is like an abstract concept to you or you assume every one night stand has been nothing short of fireworks for everyone involved?

  • ||

    Women have an inherent casualness with regards to fucking that is at times shocking to real soulful man. Some chick fuck a guy up and he come back and say hes now in love and can't live without her. Some guy fuck a chick up and she come back saying he owes her $$$. If you want a real bummer, go listening to marrid women talking bout their adulterous affairs: no man of any character, no matter how philanderery, would ever be so inhumanly casual and careless about fucking. Then there's my neighbour's dog it seems is always telling him to kill all the whores. All I hear is something, could be the dog, screaming, "No!"

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    There's a line of porn where the women are very much enjoying themselves. They appear to be sitting on some sort of vibrating saddle, the name of which I can't remember. Definitely not faking it...

  • ||

    There's a line of porn where the women are very much enjoying themselves.

    If you've only found one, you're not using the internet correctly.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

  • Zeb||

    I'll say that I am certainly more interested in porn where the woman at least appears to be into it. Which isn't that hard to find.
    The fact that I know that they often aren't into it in reality doesn't matter much. It's mostly about pure visual stimulation. It doesn't have to depict what I would consider a quality sexual experience for it to stimulate.

  • Florida Man||

    I like porn blooper reals.

  • Florida Man||

    Reels

  • __Warren__||

    Sounds like a porn where people do a Scottish dance while shitting.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    That's the German stuff.

  • ||

    "How can anyone be interested in sex with a woman who is indifferent towards sex?"

    It's not hard. What I don't get is guys who not only dream about it but actively pursue sex with a woman who is INEFFICIENT AT SEX. For me, a woman gets eight minutes, max. No fucking around. A person's got a lot of other more important things to do in life than fucking. And, at any rate, who wants to dick around with doing something poorly? You need a fuckbuddy who's UP TO IT, who's got it together, and is willing to work with you toward maximal speed and efficiency. Fucking, like anything, is a form of art.

  • ||

    You're not watching very good porn then.

    Most of the bondage porn I have seen (and I'm not claiming to have viewed a lot), usually always has the women getting off first. Often, there's not even any actual fucking. It's just all about the girl getting tied up and stuff, and then someone gets her off with a vibrator.

  • Paul.||

    I watch porn and I LOVE the bitchez!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    For both men and women, viewing porn was associated with more positive attitudes toward women holding positions of power, less negative views of abortion, and less negative attitudes toward women in the workplace.

    "Which one's Logjammin'?"

  • MJGreen - Docile Citizen||

    Don't be fatuous.

  • ||

    Ilana: All Hollywood media is porn, and all porn is kiddie porn.

    Abbi: Ooh.

    Ilana: We live in a rape culture, you know? We just do.

    Abbi: I'm gonna run to the little girl's room.

    Ilana: That is rape culture language right there.

  • Suellington||

    Speaking of chimpanzees riding shotgun in Ferraris, here is some great narco porn. wonder if he sends Xmas cards to the drug warriors for making this all possible?

    http://m.sfgate.com/news/us-wo.....493872.php

  • *GILMORE*||

    which raises the important question = how many tigers is TOO MANY tigers?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

  • Suellington||

    As long as you have enough meat on hand there can never be too many tigers.

    The new series on Netflix 'Narcos' does a good job with Pablo's story. Great Brazilian lead actor.

    When I was in Colombia in the late 90's they were selling almost pure to gringos on the street for 2 bucks a gram. That one fact alone told me all I ever needed to know about "winning" a war on drugs.

  • Paul.||

    He lost 10% to rats and mold, I'm losing more than that to US monetary policy.

    I could do something about rats and mold...

  • Certified Public Asshat||

    Alt-text should read: ENB's private collection.

  • ||

    I was gonna say - "The REASON research library... was not nearly so good when Postrel was here"

  • Medical Physics Guy||

    Cool study. What a head-exploder for the New Victorians.

  • *GILMORE*||

    What if "Feminist Views" are whatever the fuck you feel like saying they are at a given moment, because *FEELS*?

    because its pretty freaking easy to find "Feminist Views" which say either that "porn is a modern form of slavery"...

    ... or other equally-feminist-views that say that any restriction of women's sexual agency is Neo-Victorian twaddle.

    And then there's the 'rational middle', where what we really need is more Feminist Critics of Feminist Porn to figure out which is the Empowering Stuff and which is just Male-Gaze-Serving-Fodder

    This calls for a Bustle explainer-article!

  • lap83||

    What if "Feminist Views" are whatever the fuck you feel like saying they are at a given moment, because *FEELS*?

    Exactly

  • ||

    And then there's the 'rational middle', where what we really need is more Feminist Critics of Feminist Porn to figure out which is the Empowering Stuff and which is just Male-Gaze-Serving-Fodder

    ^This^

    Some of the most misogynistic things I've seen in porn are/were done by women and to women and filmed by women in support of women in a 'pornography verite' style.

  • *GILMORE*||

    Read that Jezebel link. Its derptastic. They seem to think that there's some really substantive difference when the porn includes more 'fatties and trannies' choosing whatever floats their boat (rather than performing acts to 'please the viewer')

    Its basically inverting the purpose of "porn" (*nay, everything) to simply be "constantly reaffirming our arbitrary political insanity du jour".... because really, isn't that why we do anything?

    I imagine their 'market' of middle-aged lesbians is quite pleased with the product.

  • Certified Public Asshat||

    For both men and women, viewing porn was associated with more positive attitudes toward women holding positions of power, less negative views of abortion, and less negative attitudes toward women in the workplace.

    The more women in the office increases my chances of some hot copier sex, right?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Are CPA women hot?

  • Certified Public Asshat||

    I would say skews more toward fuckable than not.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I'm going to audit that statement very carefully.

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    I believe the term is "foot".

  • Lee G||

    Debit that account! Yeah baby!

  • Kevin Sorbos Manful Locks||

    Hey baby, I'm gonna deduct your skirt as a business expense.

  • Ivan Pike||

    However, researchers have several caveats. When factors such as gender and survey year are controlled for, "pornography use is only weakly associated with less negative attitudes toward egalitarianism," they note, and—while statistically reliable—this link "may have little real-world meaning." The authors also caution that "no cause-and-effect statements are warranted or implied" here and a third variable most likely accounts for the association. For instance, certain religious beliefs may be linked to a rejection of both porn and gender equality.

    Don't those caveats basically make the study worthless?

  • prolefeed||

    Don't those caveats basically make the study worthless?

    No, it means they found something interesting, and then instead of jumping to inaccurate conclusions, took great pains to point out how it might not mean much of anything, and pointed to a follow up study to account for these possible problems.

    Unlike, say, a lot of AGW researchers.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Jinx.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Don't those caveats basically make the study worthless?

    Only if you think the purpose of empirical study is to validate an already preconceived notion, as opposed as an attempt to test a hypothesis or describe a phenomenon.

  • Lee G||

    I want conclusions dammit. Particularly ones that agree with me.

  • Ivan Pike||

    I want conclusions dammit. Particularly ones that agree with me.

    Are you of the opinion that I don't agree with the study?

    If someone does an empirical study and then says that "it is only weakly associated with," "may have little real-world meaning," and ""no cause-and-effect statements are warranted or implied" it makes me think that there is a lot of nothing to see here, as prolefeed pointed out.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Right. But proving the null hypothesis doesn't make the study worthless.

    Falsifiablity ain't just a river in Egypt.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Falsifiability, even.

  • Ivan Pike||

    I see your point.

  • Reasonable Jim||

    You can never "prove" a null-hypothesis. I'm just sayin...

  • lap83||

    feminism is not egalitarianism, neither is abortion

  • Aloysious||

    People Who Watch Porn Hold More Feminist Views

    Mind. Blown.

  • Lee G||

    Perhaps it's feminists watch more porn

  • BigT||

    If that's all that's blown, you're doing it wrong.

  • prolefeed||

    People Who Watch Porn Hold More Feminist Views

    So, every man everywhere holds more feminist views than ... who, again?

  • ||

    women

  • Lee G||

    I'm getting an ad for unique engagement rings. Wonder what the correlation is of people interested in porn and getting married.

  • prolefeed||

    I'd say around 100% of men interested in getting married are interested in porn. Women, a lot lower number.

  • ||

    as a corrolary: Around 100% of men not iterested in getting married are interested in porn.

  • ||

    You're somehow tangentially interested in libertarianism and porn? That AI doesn't have to work too hard to figure out that it'll get more click-throughs by showing you the wedding ring ad than the wedding dress ad.

  • ||

    dworkins and minorities hardest hit

  • timbo||

    This just in:

    A business does not give a shit if you are male or female. If you can make me money, you can work for me.
    That is how a market economy works in the for profit world. The rest is just a bunch of complaining pussies. Woman do happen to be better at that.

    The only equal opportunity that exists is equal access to opportunity, which American still have. In fact, women, black people, disadvantaged business owners have more opportunity in many instances.

    Move on to he next distraction.

    And I'm pretty sure that no person that ever watched porn reflected on whether the balloons on jade's chest were provided by a male or female plastic surgeon.

  • timbo||

    equality issues -

    jibbity-jibbity and a rat-a-tat-tat

  • Vampire||

    Oh no, someone just ate your cat!

  • Devil's Candy||

    Wait, wait!!! The author seems to be under the impression that Feminism is about gender equality.

  • ||

    Whew. I thought it was only me and Pee-Wee Herman that watched porn.

  • Vampire||

    Ewwww!! Stop watching porn with peewee!!!!

  • Robert||

    Case in point: Hugh Hefner.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Is he a slut or a whore? Can one be both?

  • ant1sthenes||

    So... people comfortable with admitting to strangers that they like to watch porn are more likely to be socially liberal? Research money well spent.

  • ryaniskira||

    This confuses Feminism with Egalitarianism. I watch porn and Im not a hypocritical man-hater, but I hold Egalitarian viewpoints.

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