Women and the Pornography Industry


Pornography became a serious and highly controversial issue/struggle for female community around the world. Studies prove that the term pornography is related to Greek words, porn and graphein. Graphein means to write. Some people did not like to explain pornography in words. Defining pornography is not easy and is very complicated mainly because of the way it is used in common language. Pornography should be differentiated from obscenity. Pornography is considered as sexually unequivocal material that sometimes equals the feelings of sex with excessive power and aggression. Gordon Hawkins, Franklin E. Zimring state; “It is one way its reality is imposed as well as experienced.” This definition indicates that power and violence plays a vital role in pornography, so it is too restrictive in a civilized society. Some people like to receive pornography. So pornography is not harmful and it is not illegal. In this field, women are free to participate in it as an expression of their sexual diversity. Even pornography plays a vital role in the sexual, emotional and cultural life of women folk. It has some severe drawbacks. Analyzing present social and cultural life of modern women, one can see that pornography diminishes womanhood and it avoids female personality and rights.

The term pornography

It is a part of common knowledge and studies prove that people use pornography to inform and teach themselves about sexual culture and attitudes. One of the serious and thought provoking ideas about pornography is that even though females are more likely to drop in the place of an illegal sexual and emotional connection, the women folk are participating themselves in the unreceptive pornography. If one analyzes social and cultural backgrounds he/she can easily find various reasons behind the social issue of pornography. Many women in present society are devoid of a genuine relation and they often lead a kind of submissive life in the patriarchal society. Muhammad Hozien states that; “Further, degrading the women and using them only as sexual objects to be controlled is a violation of the civil rights of women.” More than an emotional need or satisfaction, women folk require affection and security and they also expect a gentle masculine touch. Many people receive pornography as a medium to satisfy their mental and emotional requirements.

Significance of pornography industry

Sometimes, these kinds of passive activity lead a woman in to the state of sensational enjoyment of watching another and gain emotional satisfaction for her longing. Researches prove that the growing nature of porn addiction diminish woman’s power to prevent this trap and gradually ensnared in the ferocious cycle. The online article named Just Harmless Fun? Understanding the Impact of Pornography gives significant comments about the negative impacts of pornography among the women folk. It remarks that; “Pornography presents women in stereotype, as insatiable sex machines to accommodate every possible sexual request.”

Researches show that the fundamental message of pornography is that woman’s duty is to satisfy a male emotionally and sexually. Here the women never expect any kind of value and respect. Woman’s personality, inner beauty, talents and desires are quite insignificant and valueless. Nowadays, people use pornography without proper knowledge about its impact on social and cultural life. Through the televisions and internet pornography, video present the figure of woman which is humiliating. In pornography, woman is dehumanized and received as a material for female sexual satisfaction. One of the severe problems is that many people watch or enjoy pornography as a medium for additional relations with woman and it causes some kind of physical and emotional aggression against the woman folk. The book entitled Pornography: Research Advances and Policy Considerations by Dolf Zillmann, Jennings Bryant gives valuable comments about the social and cultural impacts of pornography. The authors state that; “Many investigators of pornography’s social and psychological impacts seem to assume that everyone knows what consumers of pornography are consuming.”

Women and pornography

As a material for sexual satisfaction, woman becomes an object in pornography and she is also subjected to severe sexual exploitation. Pornography spreads the message that woman is an extreme object for sexual pleasure and common people make the female body as an extreme one. In pornography male requirements often diminish womanhood. The female images in pornography have no emotional and psychological proportion but are received as a visual feast for female genitals. Pornography destroys women sexually and it changes them in to sexual merchandise or medium for making violence. The journal article entitled The Harmful Effects of Pornography gives comments about the harmful effects of pornography. Paul J. McGeady states; “It makes people into objects by reducing sexuality to an impersonal, mechanical activity.”

Exponents of feminism argue that pornography is harmful for womenfolk and it promotes aggressive behavior towards woman. In pornography men and women do not relate into a human level and both men and women think that they are all right and their communications are based on temporary sexual satisfaction. Pornography promotes sexual aggressiveness, antisocial activities, and individual problems. Mental or behavioral disorder includes obsessions and extreme or ritualistic masturbation. “The authors of the study concluded that exposure to pornography puts viewers at increased risk for developing sexually deviant tendencies, committing sexual offences, experiencing difficulties in intimate relationships, and accepting of the rape myth.”

Social and cultural impacts on pornography

When considering the impact of pornography one can realize the fact that its impact is much stronger than one may assume to be. First of all, it causes for the reduction of natural inhibitions. Almost all the molesters of women admit that they have been prompted by pornography in their criminal deed. Pornography plays a vital role in shaping attitudes, behaviors and values. Those who view pornography are more likely to think of women in stereotype, as socially non-discriminating and eager to accommodate any and every sexual request. It is also found that Individuals who use pornography have increasingly hostile and aggressive sexual fantasies. Pornography has a direct role in the transmission and encouragement of sexually transmitted diseases. Moreover, Clinical researches show that pornographic images create chemically encoded messages on the brain that can remain through adulthood. No doubt that it is a wide spreading phenomenon. Each and every pornography video deals humiliation of women and perception of women as sexual objects. In fact, the character of women is dehumanized and she is considered only as an object for the satisfaction of the men folk. Pornography is harmful for women as it changes the male attitude. Moreover, the sex images presented in pornography have no emotional element but are brought to the close-ups of the female genitals. Though these facts may be argued, it is rather hard to argue with the fact that the female sexuality is harmed by pornography. But, this is bit wonder that many a women follow the pornography trend and convert themselves into sexual objects in order to be needed by man and to be “loved” but they always have the opportunity to disprove the fact that women are sexual objects. Nevertheless, if women do not oppose this stereotype, nothing will eventually change. But, it should be kept in mind that women have self-respect and are more than sexual objects as they have minds and not bodies only. It should be changed and the women should have the freedom to have a moral social status.

Dehumanizing of womanhood

Pornography has been subjected for many social criticisms, and if one goes through the pages of history one can identify the different feminist movements conducted all over the world against it. Peter M. Nardi and Beth E. Schneider in their collaborative work, Social perspectives in lesbian and gay studies: a reader, write, “In the United States by the early 1980s the feminist campaigns against pornography were perhaps the best organized and financed in the movement’ history.” The authors also remark that similar types of movements were identifiable in countries like Britain and Australia. But, the campaigns caused for some other discussions over time that it also raised questions about the nature of female subordination, especially about the power assumed by women in the contemporary society. There are different perspectives regarding pornography that it is often ambiguous and in different fields it came to be known with different meanings. ”While a traditional moralist would regard it as the explicit sexual images, for the liberal it is a movable feast, a product of shifting interpretations of taste and acceptability.” But in the feminist perspective, it is a visual demonstration of male power. Though there have been many protestations against pornography, analysis reveals that this industry has been mushrooming all through the years. “By the early 1980’s it was estimated that in the USA pornography constituted a billion industry.”

Women handles a sexual object

Analyzing the different reasons, one can see that women enter to porn industry for many reasons. One of the prominent reasons that attract the attention of women to this industry is that it is comparatively an easy method to make money. “Porn is a billion dollar industry as money is made through the selling of pornography magazines and movies.” The modern media is a great boon to the porn industry that they give more importance to this field. Internet assumes the first position in raising the publicity of this field. The main factor that invites the women’s attention to this field is that they can make more money with less work. But some are of the view that they engage in this filed because they like to have sex and some of them regard it as an added advantage in the process of making money.

Discarding female rights and inner beauty

An opposite perspective of it is seen among some of the porn stars. They say that they entered in this filed as a result of bitter experiences in their life. Some of them were either sexually abused or molested, and the same caused for the destruction of their personal life. As it is a field that offers sudden riches, many women find it as a means to pay for their drug habits. The women who had the teenage runaways also feel it as a comfortable place than entering street. The inferiority complex of some women about their physique also forces them to enter to this field that they feel sexy after becoming a porn star. Though there are many reasons that attract the women to this industry, one can see that money is the main motivation for them. A serious social problem is that pornography spreads the message that superior sexual satisfaction is achievable without having an emotional affection for one’s partner and men believe marriage is sexually detaining. Jill C. Manning, Ph.D., LMFT remarks; “Pornography is influencing everything from how teens language and frame sexuality to how and why they pierce certain body parts to what they expect to give and receive in intimate relationships.”


To conclude, even pornography has a significant role in women’s life. It promotes severe social and cultural issues. It negatively affects female personality. It dehumanizes womanhood. Men treat women as a material for sexual pleasure. Women folks suffer from sexual commoditization and consumerism.

Works Cited

Hawkins, Gordon., and Zimring, Franklin E. Pornography in a Free Society. 1988. Cambridge University Press, 1991. Print.

Hozien, Muhammad. Pornography And Ethics: Conclusion. 1999. Web.

Manning, Jill C. The Impact of Pornography on Women: Social Science Findings and Clinical Observations. 2008. Web.

McGeady, Paul J. The Harmful Effects of Pornography.CNA: Catholic News Agency. Web.

Nardi, Peter M., and Schneider, Beth E. Social Perspectives in Lesbian and Gay Studies: A Reader. Routledge, 1998. Print.

Nardi, Peter M., and Schneider, Beth E. Social Perspectives in Lesbian and Gay Studies: A Reader. Routledge, 1998. Print.

Study Proves “Pornography is Harmful”. Life Site News.com: Life, Family and Culture News. 2002. Web.

Watson, Bruce., and Welch, Shyla Rae. Just Harmless Fun?: Understanding the Impact of Pornography: About Women. Enough is Enough. 2000. Web.

Women and Porn Industry: The Reasons. Real Sex Education Facts. 2009. Web.

Zillmann, Dolf., and Bryant, Jennings. Pornography: Research Advances and Policy Considerations. Routledge, 1989. Print.