It is clear that pornography has the potential to have a huge impact on young people, especially if they view it before they have an understanding of what healthy relationships and sex look like. Girlguiding’s 2015 Girls’ Attitudes Survey showed that 73% of girls and young women aged 13-21 feel that pornography damages young people’s views of what sexual relationships are like. The depiction of women in much of the freely accessible pornography seen by young people is hugely problematic as they are frequently objectified. Women are rarely given names or a personality; all that matters is their body. 80% of girls aged 17 to 21 feel that pornography encourages society to view women as sex objects and 71% feel it normalises violent behaviour towards women. This is hugely damaging, as without proper education to teach otherwise, young people may think that this is the norm.
The depiction of women in some pornography plays into the hands of wider societal issues faced by girls. Although less blatantly, women are sexually objectified across the media, be it in over-sexualised adverts, in magazines, or on TV. The widespread nature of this problem makes it even worse, as there seems to be no escape from damaging content. Everywhere girls look the message that their body is an object to be enjoyed by men is drilled into them, so no wonder girls are growing up feeling pressured and unsafe.
As well as directly damaging young people’s perceptions about sex and relationships, the extreme content of some online pornography could lead to a fear of sex, particularly among girls and young women. When we see the sex shown in some pornography, it often looks violent and painful for the woman, which is incredibly scary, especially if seen at a young age.
Added to this, the sheer amount of sexualised content and freely available pornography is now part of a culture where girls feel they should be having sex and that this is what’s expected of them, rather than being confident in their own feelings of it being okay to wait until they are ready. Findings from Girlguiding’s 2015 Girls’ Attitudes Survey backs this up, with 66% saying that pornography puts pressure on girls to have sex before they are ready.
This sexual bargaining is symptomatic of the unhealthy, even abusive relationships many young people are going into. The idea that men are owed sex by women is seriously …
Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Lifestyle