Understanding the Psychology of Violence Against Women in Pornography

Pornography is a controversial topic, especially when it comes to the issue of violence. While some people argue that pornography can act as an outlet for sexual expression and exploration, others point to its potential for desensitizing viewers to violence, particularly those who consume violent pornography on a regular basis and particularly towards women. 

Most porn shows aggressive acts 

Statistics show that Pornography fosters aggression by normalizing and depicting verbal and physical violence as enjoyable. Aggressive acts against women in pornography occur in roughly 87% of the scenes, and 95% of the time when these acts are committed, women respond with expressions of pleasure or neutrality

More young people are watching porn

What’s most disturbing is that pornography is becoming more commonly consumed by young men and adolescent boys. With the average age of first exposure down to 9 years old and 90% of teenage boys have been exposed to pornography with 71% of them regularly active in viewing porn. In fact children under 10 now account for 22% of all porn consumption of those under 18. 

Evidence of the impact of this reveals itself in the introduction during the past few years of revenge porn and parasite porn, We also see that 13% of female college students experience rape or forced sexual assault during their academic years. 

The Psychology Behind Pornography Consumption

At its core, pornography consumption is rooted in a spiritual disorder that reveals itself from a psychological perspective. 

From the psychological perspective, it finds many forms. On the surface, it is often thought of as the consumer’s way of finding pleasure and satisfaction through something other than traditional sexual activity. When you dig a little deeper, you find that it is more often a compensating pleasurable behavior for emotional discomfort or what we call “medication”. 

Simply put, porn is an escape from a bad day, an escape of relationships, or an escape of self. I discussed in depth the four components of recovery in our blog earlier this year. 

The Spirituality Behind Pornography Consumption

The consumption of pornography achieves several diabolic objectives.

  1. It is a grave sin, a sin that the church classifies as a mortal sin. Meaning that when engaged in, that person is at great risk of the loss of salvation – until the Sacrament of confession and repentance is observed. 
  2. The act of viewing pornography actually trains the brain to see the persons in the scenes, magazines, etc as objects. This dehumanization is part of the sin factor but also destroys the God designed human relationship factor between a man and women
  3. Because of the statistics revealed earlier, it trains the viewer to see these “objects” as something to use to release emotions such as anger and frustration. And since these emotions are directed at women, the viewer, most commonly male, begins to associate women as an acceptable target of frustration and anger. 
  4. Due to the “reasons” a man, in particular looks at porn, (the choice to escape self due to a negative self-image), This anger of self is then directed at women. The more sever the emotional pain, the more self-hatred that exists, the more likely the physical and/or verbal abuse of women will be the result. 
  5. The core of this emotional woundedness, self -hatred,  frustration, etc is the disordered spirituality of the viewer. As discussed  in part 2 of my 4 part series on recovery, this spiritual disorder is fed by diabolic lies throughout our lives.  Lies that lead us to believe that we are “not worthy”, “not good enough”, “not lovable” or “ I need to be perfect to be loved”. 

Bottom line is God created us to love and be loved. So any belief that we are inadequate, imperfect or undeserving of love in any form leaves a person severely spiritually disordered. Essentially in an internal, unresolved pain. It is literally impossible fo this pain to not somehow be transmitted in behaviors. 

So why are women the target of destruction?

Again, A spiritual root is the real answer, Satan hates women. From the very beginning, this has been the big (behind-the-scenes) picture.  

  1. Satan knows that his ultimate defeat will come at the hands (or foot) of a woman when the Blessed Virgin Mary crushes his head (Genesis 3:15).
  2. The woman is God’s greatest creation. Eve was created from Adam, while Adam was created from dust. 
  3. All life is born of a woman. Jesus, the Son of God, was born of a simple woman, Mary. All life is co-created  with God, and through a woman. 

So Satan uses every opportunity he can to destroy women and their place in our society, the family, and ultimately salvation history. And in the case of pornography, men are one of the tools he uses. 

In an interview with Ted Bundy, the notorious serial rapist and murder, he stated that not only was he addicted to porn but every other person he met in prison who was there for sexual assault was also addicted to pornography.  

The ultimate story here is that pornography destroys both women and men and all of it is part of the spiritual war that, unless we look or are shown, we will never see. 

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