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Pornography and Rape - Essay Example

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Rape is a sensitive topic. It is also one that is extremely important to women. To be raped must be one of the most horrible offenses that can be done a person. As long as there have been people, I suppose, there has been rape. …
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Pornography and Rape
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In our free society, pornography seems to be everywhere. You can find it on the Internet, late night television, or at the 24-hour convenience store. As such, many researchers have come to the conclusion the pornography causes rape. Others, however, contend that pornography is not a cause of rape, pointing out different factors that are much more likely to cause someone to commit this horrible crime. As part of my own research, I have read the two assigned articles: One proposing that pornography is a cause of rape, the other in opposition to the idea. Even though I am an international student, I can understand the fear that women have of one day being raped. I hope it never happens to me or to anyone I know. I also hope that we can one day understand the mind of the rapist better and help people get treated before they commit the crime. That being said, however, I do not believe pornography causes rape and I will explain why in the coming pages. Pornography Does Cause Rape In looking for a reason why people rape, pornography usually gets talked about. There are many who talk about the evils of pornography. Many in society talk about the harmful effects it has on people and what it can ‘make’ them do. It was not a surprise, then, for me to read the article by Diana Russell and discover that she claims there is a relationship between the viewing and reading of pornography and rape. Her argument seems to center around the concept of ‘multiple causation’. This means that pornography does not actually ‘cause’ rape, but is a contributing factor in many cases. This further leads to her conclusion, then, that pornography does in fact cause rape. The argument stems from multiple research accounts that she writes about, both in her own book previously published and in the works of others. She begins by making the claim that pornography often brings images to the mind of a person that actually brings out preconceived tendencies that they have to rape. That argument, then, would have to be stretched to say had these people not viewed pornography in the first place, then they would never rape. That would, then, violate the idea that these people were already inclined to rape in the first place. Russell spends several pages describing accounts of actual sexual fantasies being acted out based on pornography that the male has in his possession. The accounts are not nice to read and I certainly agree that nobody should ever be treated in this manner. Again, however, I fail to see how this connects pornography to being a cause of rape in and of itself. I have read that many adults act out their own fantasies. They do so on their own, without being forced, and many with the help of pornography. This would not be considered rape at all. It does not seem to be accurate, then, to state that pornography causes men to rape because not everyone who is into this sort of thing would ever even consider raping a person. Finally, Russell makes some valid claims about how pornography seems to portray women merely as sex objects. I would tend to agree with this. She lists out seven reasons why this is. The one that seems to make the most sense in support of her argument would be that pornography trivializes rape. . This is based on a study done in 1984 where males were exposed to pornography in large doses. After a time, they were then asked to comment on rape cases going through the courts. Many of them ended up ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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