Violence and Pornography


Pornography -- Sex or Subordination?

In the late Seventies, America became shocked and outraged by the rape,
mutilation, and murder of over a dozen young, beautiful girls. The man who
committed these murders, Ted Bundy, was later apprehended and executed. During
his detention in various penitentiaries, he was mentally probed and prodded by
psychologist and psychoanalysts hoping to discover the root of his violent
actions and sexual frustrations. Many theories arose in attempts to explain the
motivational factors behind his murderous escapades. However, the strongest and
most feasible of these theories came not from the psychologists, but from the
man himself, ˙as a teenager, my buddies and I would all sneak around and watch
porn. As I grew older, I became more and more interested and involved in it,
[pornography] became an obsession. I got so involved in it, I wanted to
incorporate [porn] into my life, but I couldn˙t behave like that and maintain
the success I had worked so hard for. I generated an alter-ego to fulfill my
fantasies under-cover. Pornography was a means of unlocking the evil I had
burried inside myself˙ (Leidholdt 47). Is it possible that pornography is
acting as the key to unlocking the evil in more unstable minds?
According to Edward Donnerstein, a leading researcher in the pornography
field, ˙the relationship between sexually violent images in the media and
subsequent aggression and . . . callous attitudes towards women is much stonger
statistically than the relationship between smoking and cancer˙ (Itzin 22).
After considering the increase in rape and molestation, sexual harassment, and
other sex crimes over the last few decades, and also the corresponding increase
of business in the pornography industry, the link between violence and
pornogrpahy needs considerable study and examination. Once the evidence you
will encounter in this paper is evaluated and quantified, it will be hard not
come away with the realization that habitual use of pornographic material
promotes unrealistic and unattainable desires in men that can leac to violent
behavior toward women.
In order to properly discuss pornography, and be able to link it to
violence, we must first come to a basic and agreeable understanding of what the
word pornography means. The term pornogrpahy originates from two greek words,
porne, which means harlot, and graphein, which means to write (Webster˙s 286).
My belief is that the combination of the two words was originally meant to
describe, in literature, the sexual escapades of women deemed to be whores. As
time has passed, this definition of pornography has grown to include any and all
obscene literature and pictures. At the present date, the term is basically a
blanket which covers all types of material such as explicit literature,
photography, films, and video tapes with varying degrees of sexual content.
For Catherine Itzin\'s research purposes pornogrpahy has been divided
into three categories: The sexually explicit anpathy has been divided into
three categories: The sexually explicit and violent; the sexually explicit and
nonviolent, but subordinating and dehumanizing; and the sexually explicit,
nonviolent, and nonsubordinating that is based upon mutuality. The sexually
explicit and violent is graphic, showing penetration and ejaculation. Also,
it shows the violent act toward a woman. The second example shows the graphic
sexual act and climax, but not a violent act. This example shows the woman
being dressed is a costume or being ˙talked down˙ to in order to reduce her to
something not human; such as a body part or just something to have sex with, a
body opening or an orifice.

Category: Social Issues