Learning the Wrong Lesson about Porn Viewers

The fact that porn viewers are more likely to claim feminism doesn’t vindicate porn but exposes how feminism is about exploiting women.

Even though Reason has become insufferable lately over transgender “rights” and same-sex “marriage,” I was still surprised at how naïve they are regarding new claims about porn viewers: “People Who Watch Porn Hold More Feminist Views.”

People might debate whether it’s a chicken or egg effect, but it’s often taken for granted that men who watch a lot of porn are more likely to hold hostile, retrograde, or sexist views of women. Yet new research links watching porn with more positive views toward gender equality.  

The study, published in The Journal of Sex Research, was conducted by researchers at the University of Western Ontario. “According to radical feminist theory, pornography serves to further the subordination of women by training its users, males and females alike, to view women as little more than sex objects over whom men should have complete control,” they wrote in the study abstract.

Yet after comparing people who watch porn with those who don’t, researchers found those who had watched an adult film at least once in the past year held more egalitarian ideas about women in positions of power and women working outside the home, along with more positive views toward abortion. The two groups did not differ significantly in attitudes about “traditional” families or self-identification as feminist.

Killing babies is not gender equality, but it does mean that men don’t have to worry about getting a woman pregnant. Affirming “a woman’s right to choose” is an affirmation that a man has a right to abandon. At most, he is only obligated to shell out money for his latest conquest to go “donate a liver” at a Planned Parenthood abortuary. Abortion is a notorious method for covering sexual abuse and one that Planned Parenthood staff members have been known to aid.

Jesus once told a parable about two sons who were given a command by their father. The son who said “no” later changed his mind and followed his father’s order. The son who said “yes” to his father didn’t actually obey him. Jesus asked which son did his father’s will. Instead of looking at who is verbally affirming feminist ideology, why don’t we put more stock in which group treats women better.

Notice that this whole argument is anti-Libertarian. Reason, if it is true to its principles, ought to be arguing that porn should be legal on the basis of the so-called “non-aggression principle.” I don’t agree with this application of Libertarian politics, but that is the position. But that’s not enough for the current crew at Reason magazine. They aren’t content to let some sins be legal (as long as no aggression is involved). They insist on arguing that porn must be good for people (or, alternatively, that better people tend to use porn). Reason is leading readers to believe that porn should be legal because it is a positive benefit to society. If that becomes the reason for law and public policy, then we are going to find statism only growing.

It would be nice if the editors could try to divorce their libertarian analysis from the cultural pansexualism.  But I don’t think they are capable of understanding the distinction.