Speaker discusses the effects of porn on society

Speaker discusses the effects of porn on society

Gail Dines speaks about the porn industry and how it has changed our culture. Credit: Danielle Spitz/Chronicle

Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Wheelock College Gail Dines spoke at junior class meeting about how porn affects students and the hypersexualization of today’s culture.

Dines specializes in the study of pornography and published “Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality”. Dines is also the founder and President of Culture Reframed, which is a non-profit organization that combats the negative effects of porn.

She focuses on how porn can damage relationships, increase violent nature toward women and promote rape in our society.

“The problem here is that we socialize 50% of the population to be sexually vulnerable, women, and 50% to be sexually aggressive, men,” Dines said. ”Throw in alcohol, throw in hook up sex and you have laid the groundwork for rape.”

Boys are groomed by the porn industry, which can make them lose the ability to have a healthy relationship or cause them to over-conform to the violence and become rapists, Dines said.  

“I would argue that that violence [in porn] is causing a mass generation of trauma because it is so traumatic to see those images and you don’t have anyone to speak to,” Dines said. “This is a terrible thing to do to your sexuality. You have the right to be the author of your own sexuality, yet [porn producers] have come in and hijacked it for profit.”

The porn industry hypersexualizes women, which filters through pop culture media into magazines, movies and advertisements.

“[The culture] is perpetrating against you and denying you, the young women, the right to an authentic sexuality,” Dines said. “One that is yours for the making, not the pop culture industry. We know from years of research that those girls who internalize hypersexualization have increased anxiety, depression and lower self esteem.”

As a result of porn’s influence, many high school students are participating in hookup culture, which causes them to be unable to learn how to build a relationship. Many teenage boys especially are unable to learn who they are because they have not had a relationship and haven’t developed sexually, Dines said.

“She made a good point when she said that porn is usually taken as a joke but it can actually lead to serious problems including addiction, loss of sexuality, etc,” Ori Zur ’18 said. “I honestly don’t think it will affect the grade that much, since very very few people that go to HW end up being in the industry, but it definitely helped me and I think many others understand how big and serious the issue has gotten and ways to combat it.”

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