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Pornography and the harmful effects it has on women


Porn used to be a taboo topic. People may have felt shame in admitting they watched porn or participated in it. However there has been in a shift in people’s view on pornography.

For some,  porn is viewed as an empowering sentiment made for women to take control of their sexuality. According to Pornhub’s 2021 annual statistics review revealed that worldwide 32% of porn viewers were women.

While this may be true for some, people fail to realize the harmful effects the porn industry has on women. The porn industry is a breeding ground for causing poor mental health in women and depicting unrealistic body standards.

According to a scholarly article “Women’s Problematic Pornography Viewing Related to Body Image or Relationship Satisfaction, Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity” by Nicholas C. Borgogna, Emma C. Lathan & Ariana Mitchell found that women who watch porn are more likely to feel dissatisfied with their body image.

Almost every female porn star is seen with big  breasts, voluminous butt, full lips and a small waist.

This standard of beauty is impossible for some women to achieve naturally, making it difficult and unfair for women to see these videos and feel  they are not pretty or sexy enough.

Each woman is beautiful in her own unique way, but porn pushes the idea that there is only one kind of sexy.

“Thus, women who view pornography may experience feelings of dissatisfaction about their own bodies, which can in turn lead to additional life problems, such as low self-esteem, depression, feelings of shame, decreases in overall life quality, and issues related to sexual functioning people whose partners watch porn,” the study read.

There are substantial issues pornography has on a young girls view on sex.

In the U.S 62% of girls before the ages of 18 are exposed to porn, Bevill & Associates Professional Forensic Counseling reported.

In the study “The Impact of Internet Pornography on Adolescents: A Review of the Research, Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity”  Eric W. Owens, Richard J. Behun, Jill C. Manning & Rory C. Reid found that young adolescents who watch porn develop unrealistic attitudes about sex and misleading attitudes towards relationships.

The article showed adolescents who watch porn view sex as something casual rather than something serious and relational.

Sex means something different for everyone but young women should be able to decide for themselves what sex means to them instead of having porn teach them what it should be.

Even further, pornography has the potential to affect women who do not consume the graphic content  themselves. According to Utah University State University Couple and Family Relationships Director Naomi Brower, pornography affects both the user and partner in intimate relationships.

“The user faces difficulty becoming sexually aroused without pornography, partner feels sexually inadequate and threatened by pornography and both user and partner experience a decrease in relationship sexual satisfaction and emotional closeness,” the article stated.

Sure, for some women porn is a plight to be in control of their sexuality and financial freedom, but the reality is that porn is a much larger issue than it is led on to be. The beauty standards and view on sex it possesses is only the beginning to fully understanding the role it plays in society and treatment of women.   

Think before consuming or sharing, to fully and truly understand that pornography is not a positive aspect in every woman’s life.

Julia Lucero is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Julia Lucero is a senior majoring in Multimedia Journalism. She is a contributor with The Prospector, member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and writer for Borderzine. She has experience editing/producing audio and visual projects.
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Pornography and the harmful effects it has on women