Now we are ready to answer the question why a person is attracted to pornography.
Why are men turned on by the sight of a woman ready for sex? Yes, simply because those men who were NOT aroused by the sight of a woman ready for sex, died out a long time ago, leaving no offspring.
Why are men turned on by images of a sex-ready woman? Because the instincts do not know how to distinguish images from reality. Why does a man get turned on by sexual fantasies? For the same reason – instinct does not distinguish fantasy from reality. The instinct simply throws the necessary substances into the blood when some simple conditions are met.
So, in general terms, it is clear why viewing pornography causes great arousal in men – because (a) it is a realistic image that concentrates all the “triggers” of sexual instincts and (b) it provokes sexual fantasy. The effect of pornography on women is about the same, adjusted for the lesser strength of the woman’s sexual instincts. For women, unlike men, the broader context of sexual activity is essential, so pure pornography can also cause negative emotions. Female behavior in this regard is more variable and significantly more dependent on the emotional state than male behavior.
Let us now try to explain why men purposefully seek pornography and are willing to spend valuable resources on acquiring it, although this seems completely senseless from an evolutionary point of view. As we learned in the previous section, there are extremely strong selection pressures for men (and, to a lesser extent, women) to seek sex opportunities anytime, anywhere. This desire is so great that in real conditions it simply cannot be satisfied. Men are in fact in a state of permanent stress due to the discrepancy between the level of desires and the level of possibilities.
Consequently, a man is forced to either suppress his emotions, or look for substitutes for real sexual relations – and usually finds them in the form of erotic fantasies and masturbation. Let me remind you that a certain gene can predetermine behavior that is frankly harmful in certain situations, but this does not prevent it from gaining a foothold in the gene pool if the total amount of gain and loss is greater than zero. In this case, we are dealing with just such genes: it is evolutionarily more profitable to maintain a high level of sexual desire and put up with the inevitable stresses and unproductive ways of its (desire) realization, than to have a consistently low level of sexual instincts or to adjust them to the real situation.
In this context, pornography is an extremely convenient mechanism, because, together with fantasy, it allows you to successfully “circle around your finger” your own instincts; the illusion of a successful sexual strategy is created – the appearance of having sex with many young and sexually attractive women.
The following point should also be noted here: since genetically predetermined reactions are very simple, they “do not know” anything about certain deviations in the mechanism of their triggering. If for some reason a person is interested in sexual objects and practices that exclude sexual reproduction, this in no way affects the work of all other instincts; genes will continue to provoke the individual to carry out the optimal strategy, even if it certainly does not bring results.
Impact of pornography on individuals and society
Finally, we can move on to the question that was asked at the beginning of the article – is it possible to reasonably talk about some harm (or some benefit) of pornography for an individual and society as a whole.
The vast majority of materials on the Internet on this issue touch on only one topic here – the influence of pornography on the statistics of rape. Unfortunately, most studies are limited to this issue. I will not retell the whole history of this problem here – anyone interested can start digging even from Wikipedia . Let me briefly mention that there are no reliable statistics on this issue – some researchers conclude that the number of violent crimes of a sexual nature due to the spread of pornography has decreased, while others, on the contrary, report an increase in the number of rapes. This topic is so controversial that adherents of different points of view draw diametrically opposite conclusions from the same facts.
The most adequate and complete study of the influence of pornography on society I found in the works of Susan Dwyer , in particular – in the article “Constructing the ‘Problem’ of Pornography”. Dwyer identifies three main key approaches to the problem of the influence of pornography: a) traditional – pornography is immoral, therefore it should be prohibited; b) the above forensic – pornography leads to a decrease / increase in the number of violent crimes, and therefore should be allowed / prohibited; c) feminist – pornography implants patterns of behavior that are unacceptable in a free society. As for option a), it is vulnerable from several sides at once: first, we can talk about the volatility of moral norms and argue that pornography in modern society is no longer viewed as something uniquely immoral, and the norms need to be revised; and secondly, one can simply deny the very principle that any immoral phenomenon should be prosecuted by law – in the modern legal society there has been a clear rejection of the concept of “crime without a victim” . Option b) is most often used in discussions about the problems of pornography and, as mentioned above, at the moment is not unambiguously supported by any precise data. By and large, this discussion should simply be closed until some scientific results appear that do not allow for ambiguous interpretations. From the point of view of evolutionary psychology, there is not even a single understanding of what sexual violence is in general. Some researchers believe that violence is also one of the possible sexual strategies of a man, which works in the absence of other options for procreation – people (a) single people and (b) people of low social status usually resort to sexual violence. from an evolutionary point of view, losers. In this regard, pornography as an alternative to reducing the pressure of sexual instincts should lead to a decrease in the level of violence. However, other researchers reasonably object to the concept of “violence is a kind of sexual strategy.” As Dwyer rightly points out, even the recognition of pornography as a potential danger in itself cannot serve as a basis for its prohibition from the point of view of liberalism, since pornography falls under the laws on freedom of expression and expression; in fact, a pornographic film is as much a work of authorship as an ordinary one. Freedom of speech is a fundamental value in itself, so a complete ban on pornography is generally unconstitutional in most parts of the world.
Finally, option c), oddly enough, is the most holistic and interesting concept in our study. Initially, these arguments were put forward by feminists (in particular, Andrea Dvorkin) and briefly boil down to the following: (a) pornography portrays sexual relations in a form that, generally speaking, assigns women a subordinate role (we will not touch on individual genres where this statement is incorrect, although would be due to their extremely low weight in the porn industry); (b) thereby, pornography perpetuates patterns of behavior in the minds that are undesirable in modern society; (c) and this is especially true in the context of the accessibility of pornography to children who are still in the process of socialization; (d) in particular, pornographic films in this context are no different from porn with live actors and should also be prohibited. In general, it is impossible not to recognize a certain logical and factual harmony behind this argumentation. Indeed, the real-life model of attitudes toward women in porn films is sometimes simply unacceptable; in addition, due to the exceptional emotional impact on a person, pornography is indeed quite capable of fixing such behaviors in the mind. Accept or reject such a concept is up to you,% username%. In opposition to this concept, the following arguments can be made: (a) As Dwyer rightly notes, unwanted behaviors have nothing to do with pornographic depictions of sexual relations. There is a so-called. “Female friendly” pornography, which is devoid of these shortcomings. Thus, on the basis of Dworkin’s reasoning, one can demand a ban on specific porn films, but not pornography as such. (b) pornographers portray such a model of gender relations precisely because it is perceived by men as “default”; the fact that porn changes its format will not change the genetic model of behavior. (c) let us assume that in modern society it is worth prohibiting the propaganda of the “default” male strategy of behavior as inappropriate to the requirements of the time. What then can be said about the “default” female strategy described in the previous sections? Does it meet the requirements of the time? From a feminist point of view – not more than a man’s! Is the so-called. love novels promote the idea of complete gender equality? Nothing of the kind – they just exploit the genetically inherent desire of a woman to have a strong and loving man by her side, to whom they can shift the care of obtaining resources for the family. What now, to ban women’s novels (feminists, yes, they demand to ban them :-))? If you are so worried that your child will see enough porn – why don’t you care that your child will hear a lot of Cinderella tales, which are just like porn! – are they exploiting a genetically based breeding strategy? In other words, if we decompose pornography into three of its components and analyze separately, then we can come to the following: (a) the actual sexual component, the image of sexual intercourse, itself cannot be either useful or harmful; people deliberately seek pornography, because it provides an opportunity to reduce the pressure of sexual instincts, and this pressure is precisely because there is to force a person to seek an opportunity to reduce it; if a person (child) does not have this pressure, then pornographic content does not mean anything to him. (b) behavioral component – a depiction of a model of behavior that is ideal from a male point of view, but is unacceptable in conditions of equality of the sexes; in itself, the behavioral component of pornographic content does the same good / harm as the behavioral component of, say, romance novels. It cannot create a strategy of behavior out of nothing, but simply actualizes the genetic program. (c) the social component – the image of the behavior model, clearly and undoubtedly associated with the relationship of submission and struggle for status. Here, in principle, it would be possible to talk about some kind of negative impact on the psyche in general (and the child’s psyche, in particular), if not for one “but”: a person participates in the status struggle WITH BIRTH. The struggle for social status among children, even in kindergarten, is already extremely intense. What negative impact can pornography have here? None, most likely – porn is still far from action movies, talk shows (!) And other visual images of the struggle for status