Watching Porn Might Be Linked To Feminist Views, Says Study, And Here Are 3 Other Lesser-Known Things That Correlate With Feminsm

Whether or not you watch porn yourself, many people hold the view that frequenting adult websites leads to sexist points of view. According to a new study, though, just the opposite might be true: Watching porn may be linked to feminist views. There's a reason "Isn't that anti-feminist?" is one of most porn watchers' least favorite things to hear.

A team of researchers at the University of Western Ontario found that, compared to people who didn't watch porn at all, those who watched "adult film at least once in the past year" were more likely to have an egalitarian view of "women in positions of power and women working outside the home, along with more positive views toward abortion." This outlook held true for both men and women surveyed. 

The study relied on comprehensive data collected between 1975 through 2001 — meaning that, despite changes in the style and accessibility of pornography, the overall trend towards egalitarian beliefs has remained consistent. The information was collected as part of the General Social Survey, which is "widely regarded as the single best source of data on societal trends" in the United States. The participants were 56.30 percent female, and 43.70 percent male. Slightly more than half were married, while the other half identified as "Never Married, Widowed, or Divorced." Only 14.88 percent responded "None" or "Other" when asked about their religion. The remaining 85.12 percent identified as "Protestant" or "Catholic"  an interestingly high number when considering the generally negative view of pornography in religious communities. 

It's worth noting that a previous study published in 2013 found that, for some men, pornography reinforces and encourages sexist thinking. However, this subgroup is the exception to the rule, rather than the rule itself. Yet another study, this time published in 2009, found that in general, rape and sexual violence are not associated with porn consumption

However, the current study also points out that we're not looking at a cause-and-effect correlation here — meaning that watching porn won't make you more likely to be a feminist. Though that's not exactly surprising, the study itself is still awesome. It's further proof that porn is for everyone!

A porn-watching habit isn't the only lesser-known thing that correlates with feminism, either. Check out these three links:

1. Feminism and Mental Health

Vlogger Ginny McQueen recently released a video detailing how feminism helps mental health in both men and women. While it's twice as likely that a woman will be diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or PTSD, men comprise 82 percent of suicides — a figure which may be due to the perpetuation of gender roles that prevent men from seeking help. By breaking down gender barriers, men and women will both be better treated for their mental health issues. 

2. Feminism and Marriage Success

Despite the age-old stereotype of a powerful, independent woman failing miserably when it comes to her love life, the truth is to the contrary. According to Salon, women with college degrees are more likely to be married than women without a degree. Moreover, women with established careers and financial independence are more likely to get married and stay married. None of that would be possible without feminism.

3. Feminism and Preventing Violence Against Women

Though this isn't altogether surprising, it's still very important: Research published in an Oxfam journal revealed that nations with the most powerful feminist movements have more "comprehensive policies on violence against women" than nations with smaller or nonexistent movements. The strength of the feminist movement trumped national wealth and female lawmakers in importance. This is concrete proof that your individual voice and participation really does make a difference.

Images: Fotolia; Giphy (3)

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