New Study Proves What Women Already Knew About Porn — and What Men Won't Admit

A recent study conducted by Indiana University's Paul Wright and Michelle Funk indicates that watching porn makes people less likely to support women's rights. While there are problems with this particular study, Wright and Funk help prove one of the biggest problems hindering women's rights in the workforce: demeaning female portrayals in the media.

First of all, this study is not 100% perfect. To illustrate the effects of pornography's negative portrayal of women, Wright and Funk surveyed and followed up on participants that responded "yes" to a question asking if he or she watched pornography in the past year; the results did confirm their hypothesis of linking less support for women's affirmative action to watching pornography. However, the overall number of people that participated throughout the study adds up to 190. While Wright and Funk point out that 190 out of the initial survey accurately represents the percentage of Americans that admit to watching pornography, 190 certainly seems like a small sample size to draw definite conclusions.

Furthermore, Wright and Funk state that "third-variables" such as political orientation, gender, and age had no significant bearing on their research. However, they failed to state in their research if sexual orientation had been taken in consideration. After all, if they are trying to show that some people view women negatively due to pornography, then any subject that watched homosexual male porn should not have been followed up on.

Despite these flaws, the statistics do not lie; even the women in the study were less supportive of affirmative action programs after watching pornography. However, these results aren't terribly shocking. Overall, this study shows a one part of a major problem hindering progression for women's rights: media depiction of women. Pornography, television shows, music, and video games all take part in the objectifying of the female body.

And while that's a generalization, since there could be an argument of "tastefully-done" porn as with other media's sexualized portrayals, the amount of products that rely on a woman's body for sales is alarming. With all these negative depictions, it really isn't too hard to comprehend why some people look down on women. This kind of attitude needs to be changed, but that's not going to happen as long as the femals body is so used so scandalously in the media. And since "sex sells," that change won't be happening anytime soon.

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Nancy Chung

I am currently a student at Emory University, majoring in English. In my free time I enjoy reading, gaming, and collecting spoons.

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