The Latest Reason Why Porn Could Be Bad for Women's Rights

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The jury's still out on whether watching porn is bad for you — but it may be bad for your support of women's rights. At least that’s what one study published in  Psychology of Women Quarterly suggests.

Two researchers from the University of Indiana looked at data from the General Social Survey and found that those who indicated that they had watched porn in the last year (about a quarter of all men and a sixth of all women in the survey) were also more likely to respond negatively when asked if they were “for or against preferential hiring and promotion of women.”

There are plenty of problems with the study — its small sample size and the wording of the question, for example — but the overall bent seems fairly intuitive. With so much of porn treating women as sexual objects, it follows that those who consume this media — be they male or female — might be less attuned to the professional struggles of women and the value they hold as hard-working, complex, contributing members of society. That said, answering no to the above question does not necessarily suggest that respondents were against women's rights — simply that they do not approve of, all resumes being equal, a woman being promoted above a man simply because of her gender. Perhaps they are of a "may the best candidate win" school of thought.

The researchers write that they don’t support censoring pornographic materials, but believe that there needs to more awareness around the misogyny in porn. And in the meantime, the issue could probably use more research.