Pornography and Sexual Assault

Why are men committing 90% of sexual assault?

Well, to boil the answer down to one point would be difficult. There are many facets to the issue. On a very basic level, it can be acknowledged that men are biologically different than women. Men experience hormones differently than women, arguably in a stronger and more driving manner. Men are also, generally, physically stronger than women. It is not difficult typically for a man to overpower a woman. Conversely, if a woman had the desire to sexually assault a man, she would struggle to do so by means of her own physical strength. I mention these, in no way to excuse or absolve men of their responsibility in sexual assault cases.  Men, have a duty to protect women and honor them, not to take advantage of them for their own selfish pleasure. However, I mention these basic observations to account for at least a part of the great disproportion in gender offenses.

At a deeper level, I think the analysis given by the men and women shown in the documentary we viewed in class was spot on. Pornography certainly plays a role in our sexual assault epidemic. At the heart of rape, is the belief that women are not human, but objects. Objects that exist for gratification of one’s own desires. And what trains the boys of our society to think this way? At least in part, pornography. Videos depicting violent sex and abusive treatment of women becomes normal. Women become less and less human and more and more objects. It is what is expected. It is not surprising then that most sexual assault cases are committed against known victims. The offender is usually not an oddball citizen. Rather, he is generally a relatively normal guy. Why would a normal guy commit such a heinous act? It is because our society, through its embrace and widespread distribution of pornography, has made abnormal behavior normal. And thus “normal” guys now respond to sexual situations in accordance with what they’ve learned to be “normal” on the internet-rape.

I also think we have to acknowledge the massive correlation between sexual assault cases and abuse of alcohol. The statistics for alcohol involvement in sexual assault are staggering. Unless this topic is addressed on college campuses, I don’t think much will change. No matter how many petitions students sign, so long as pornography and alcohol abuse are rampant on college campuses, sexual assault will continue to be an issue to be faced.

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