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Cyber-porn

Britnee Haslam
Comm 2500
8.1.2016

Pornography in general is still frowned upon in today's society.


Cyberporn, although more discrete than printed pornography, has become
increasingly popular since it's boom in 1997. With impacts on society such as
premature exposure to children, unrealistic expectations of teens and young
adults, and higher risk of porn addiction, large economic impact, and abuse
of privileges among pornography production companies.

With the rise of the internet in the nineties, society was hugely
impacted by the sudden access to all of millions of resources. One of these
being pornography. "With the publication of Playboy and Hustler in the mid20th-century, porn started going corporate, and the industry has since
bloomed into an enterprise so vast that people have a hard time estimating
its size" (Pinsker) However, despite the economic boom of this up and
coming industry, one of the downfalls that came with the internet was the
overexposure of graphic, exploitive materials. Child pornography and child
exposure to pornography has become an increasingly troubling scenario.
Porn addiction has risen to an all time high as well making the industry even
more popular.

For the most part, teens and young adults are over sexualized and held
to (standards that they see when they see enactments in cyberporn. "And
then, I would think, theres a trickle-down effect culturally, where the sorts of
things people see online end up shaping social norms" (Pinsker) These young
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adults come to the conclusion that what they see in porn is an act of
affection towards another person. What they need to do and live up to in
order to be normal and successful in intimate relationships. "A small minority
of participants, 12.0% of boys (n 20) and 18.7% of girls (n 37), said they
had viewed online pornography before the age of 18 that had a strong effect
on their attitudes or emotions (not shown in table). Asked about these strong
reactions, boys were significantly more likely to report feeling sexual
excitement (80% of boys, 27% of girls), while girls reported significantly
more embarrassment (73%)" (Sabina, C., Wolak, J., Finkelhor)

This statistic says a lot about the way that society views gender rolls as
well. While a teenage boy feels excitement over sexual acts, a little girl feels
embarrassed. Why is this? In society today, it is nor a norm for women and
females in general to "like" sex. While boys are often praised and respected
for outwardly enjoying sex and everything that goes along with it, women
and females are trained and told that it is not okay. It is un-lady like and that
being proud of your body or having sex means that you are not respecting
your self. Cyber porn plays a huge roll in this! The easy access by teenage
boys (who in most cases have seen porn long before they lose their virginity)
are making imaginary standards for what they should be doing and what
women should be doing during sex. "But in addition to reflecting a very
spoon-fed range of desires, it does then look as if that's what's popular, and
then people think that's popular, and it really shapes our views about female
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sexuality, about race, about gender, about trans status, about how we
understand agency and desire." (Pinksey)

Another downfall of the rise of cyber sex is the fact that children are
much more exposed in every day life. If a child is on the internet searching
something completely innocent, there is a very large chance that they will
stumble upon advertisements for sexually related sales or cyber porn.
Overall, 72.8% of participants (93.2% of boys, 62.1% of girls, p 0.001) had
seen online pornography before age 18. (Sabina, C., Wolak, J., Finkelhor)

Over exposure to sexual images and cyber porn has also greatly
influenced the rate of cyber addiction as well. "Internet sex addiction results
more frequently due to anonymity and convenience provided in the internet.
Internet technology also provides an inter- active experience and a realm of
virtual intimacy for its users" (Bahtia, Manjeet.) Easy access to the internet is
a given in America currently and the easy access includes access to cyber
porn, and a wide variety of it.

However, just like before the cyber porn and internet boom, people/
addicts still feel ashamed of any addiction or even watching of porn. Most
people are extremely judgmental when it comes to such a controversial topic
such as this. "In a survey, it was found that 7 of 10 participants keep online
sexual activities a secret, 1 in 5 men and 1 in 8 women use computers at
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work to access sexual material; 6 times as many men engage in online


sexual pursuits as women. 17 percent of respondents that were not at risk
before the internet may be vulnerable to sex addiction that interferes with
their daily lives. One percent of respondents could be classified as cyber-sex
compulsives." (Bahtia, Manjeet.) Although this statistic is growing everyday,
sexual addicts are often assumed to be a certain "type" of person.

According to the article Internet pornography use in the context of


external and internal religiosity, sexual addicts can be completely "normal"
outside of their addiction. It has nothing to do with religious or lack of,
religious reasoning as most seem to think. (Baltazar Helm, McBride, Hopkins,
and Stevens) According to this writing, religious belief has no impact on the
addiction itself. The only effected concept of religious thinking and cyberporn
is the feeling of guilt. Guilty feelings may be a little higher in those with high
moral standards and communities with the same beliefs.

One problem with porn addiction is that, in society, it is not seen as a


real addiction. Rather, it is seen as a lack of ability to control sexual urges.
Porn addiction has all of the characteristics of any other urges and should be
considered a true addiction.

Cyber porn has a major societal impact for the reasons I mentioned
above as well as increase in economic standing. Porn is one of the top
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internet, entertainment industries and has sky-rocketed in value and


popularity since the late 1990's. Pornography production, acting, editing, and
sales is a major economic boom still growing today. Porn is a legal production
in most states in the united states like Pinksey says in his article, "but unlike
nearly any other industry, these unseemly features are allowed to thrive,
mostly unchecked, behind the curtain of social taboo." (Pinksey)

This industry is not a topic that most people like to discuss over fried
chicken at the dinner table and therefore are, up until very recently, allowed
to get away with basically whatever it takes to make money. "It's hard for
several reasons. Official records are hard to come by. Many productions don't
even keep official records, and there are very few researchers looking at the
economic side of porn, because a lot of times for academics and researchers,
pornography is viewed as a sort of LOL, to-the-side kind of thing, rather than
the very serious financial and economic matter that it is." (Pinskey)