The impact of pornography on men and women is a pervasive issue that affects everyone’s body image and mental health. Regardless of biological sex, pornography leads to an increased feeling of objectification through the ever-growing presence of sexual content from the media (Peter & Valkenburg, 2014). We see it from movies to music videos and advertisements, women who are disproportionately debased by this are often portrayed solely based on their physical attributes and sexual appeal (Ward, 2016).
Dr. Monique Ward's review of 135 studies highlights the harmful effects of frequent exposure to sexualized content, including increased levels of body dissatisfaction, self-objectification, endorsement of sexist and adversarial sexual beliefs, and tolerance for sexual violence against women (Ward, 2016). Other empirical studies have been conducted, revealing that sexual objectification of women is often discovered to be also associated with lesser emotional intelligence, as a disregard and devaluation for their own feelings and thoughts become more prevalent (Loughnan, S., & Pacilli, M. G.,2014).
Moreover, research has shown that frequent exposure to sexually explicit content on online platforms - but not other forms of sexualized media - is linked to a heightened perception of women as mere sexual objects among adolescent males and females; this is especially true among adolescents. Being mindful of this issue and exploring ways to reduce the negative effects of sexual objectification by following and sharing information like this blog can greatly help the problem.
Loughnan, S., & Pacilli, M. G. (2014). Seeing (and treating) others as sexual objects: Toward
a more complete mapping of sexual objectification. TPM-Testing, Psychometrics,
Methodology in Applied Psychology, 21(3), 309–325.
NCOSE, B. (2023, February 9). What do we know about pornography use among women? NCOSE. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from https://endsexualexploitation.org/articles/what-
Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2014). Does exposure to sexually explicit internet material
increase body dissatisfaction? A longitudinal study. Computers in Human Behavior, 36,
Ward, L. M. (2016). Media and sexualization: State of empirical research, 1995–2015.
The Journal of Sex Research, 53(4-5), 560–577.