Matt Fradd

Featured Image
Is that really the standard we want for our men in society: he doesn’t rape, he just likes watching it?

Blogs

Does porn prevent rape?

Matt Fradd Matt Fradd

It is interesting to note that since the advent of the Internet and the invention of the web browser, some statistics suggest that rape rates have actually declined. 

In fact, some claim that states in the U.S. that adopted the Internet more quickly have seen a greater and faster decline of rape than other states. For many people, this makes a lot of sense: if you are the kind of guy who is inclined to want to rape a woman, perhaps sitting at home in front of your laptop more or less gets it out of your system, making you less inclined to commit rape.

But I’m skeptical that easy access to porn is what has resulted in less rape. We should not confuse correlation with causation. That is, just because two things are correlated, it does not follow that one caused the other (the rooster is not the cause of the sun’s rising).

The supposed decline in rape rates could be due to a number of factors, like greater measures being put in place to protect women, or, more education about rape.

Second—and this is a big one—the claim that rape is actually on the decline, as reported by the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), may simply be false. Many organizations have criticized their findings, saying they were based on poor data collection. The National Women’s Study, the National College Women Sexual Victimization Study, the National Violence Against Women Study, and the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence survey all report higher rates of rape and sexual assault than the NCVS.

I am of the opinion that the evidence points, rather, to the opposite: not that men who watch porn all become rapists—that is patently false, no one is arguing that—but that porn shapes how men see women, and when you have a whole culture of men who are fed on porn, you create a culture where women become sexual commodities, which is an ideal environment for sexual abuse to flourish.

For instance, take the idea of rape myths. A rape myth is a pervasive cultural belief that reduces a person’s empathy for rape victims, or even leads us to blame victims for the assault:

“She didn’t fight it, so it wasn’t rape.”
“She went home with him, so it wasn’t rape.”
“She said no, but really meant yes.”
“Did you see what she was wearing? She was asking for it.”

When people hold to these beliefs, they take instances of rape less seriously.

Follow Matt Fradd on Facebook

One meta-analysis of 46 separate studies concluded that consuming pornographic material correlates to a 31% increased risk of accepting rape myths. A culture for which porn has become the norm, is a culture less able to empathize with victims.

I mean, should men be congratulating themselves when they say, “I’ve never raped anybody,” when, at the same time, they are turned-on by films that objectify women and depict sexual acts that are degrading and dominating, films where women are paid to pretend to like they're being objectified, and even raped? 

Is that really the standard we want for our men in society: he doesn’t rape, he just likes watching it? If this is the standard of what it means to be a man, then we have fallen woefully far from the way things should be.

Whatever we might say about the exact relationship of porn to sexual violence, it should be clear: in order for men to violate a woman’s body, some part of them must first believe she is an object to be used rather than a person to be respected—and porn is quite possibly the most powerful delivery method that endorses that belief.

If you’d like to learn more about the impact of porn on the human mind, download the free ebook, Your Brain on Porn.

Follow Matt Fradd on Facebook

FREE pro-life and pro-family news.

Stay up-to-date on the issues you care about the most. Sign up today!

Select Your Edition:

You can make a difference!

Can you donate today?


Share this article

Matt Fradd

Follow Matt...

Matt Fradd works for Covenant Eyes and is the author of the book Delivered: True Stories of Men and Women Who Turned From Porn to Purity. A popular speaker and Catholic apologist, he has addressed tens of thousands of people around the world and appeared on EWTN, ABC, and the BBC. Matt is also the founder of this website, ThePornEffect.com, which is dedicated to helping men and women break free from the vice of pornography. He lives in North Georgia, with his wife Cameron and their four children.