Tag Archives: Pornography

Pornography and Panic

Samantha Keene

Contemporary pornography is immensely popular, accessible and mostly free via pornographic ‘tube’ sites such as Pornhub, Xvideos, Youporn and live webcam sites such as LiveJasmin. The colloquial rules of the internet suggest that the internet exists for pornography, and that if pornography of a particular genre does not currently exist, then it soon will. Pornhub.com is one of the biggest and most popular online pornography tube sites. In 2018 alone, it reported a record 33 billion site visits, which amounted to 207,405 videos viewed every minute. As has been the trend in previous years, Pornhub’s annual year in review data for 2019 will likely show increased numbers of site visits, increased hours of content viewed, and increased numbers of videos uploaded to the site.

The front page of Pornhub has over 10 million videos to search from, as well as offering a selection of ‘hot porn videos in New Zealand’ and the ‘most viewed porn videos in New Zealand.’ It allows viewers to search for content from what seems to be an endless menu of sexual behaviours, acts and themes. Of course, this is perhaps not news for most – we know that New Zealanders feature in the top 30 countries in the world by capita for viewing frequency on Pornhub. Whilst pornography is often thought of as a man’s activity, we also know that Kiwi women are increasingly viewing pornography, making up 40% of New Zealand’s viewing audience.

Various claims are made about pornography and its impacts. Pornography is labelled dangerous and harmful for children, especially regarding their sexual development. It is labelled aggressive, misogynistic and degrading to women. It’s situated as a causal factor in the perpetration of sexual and physical violence. It’s claimed to affect intimacy in adult relationships, to be ‘addictive’ in nature. These claims encourage us to panic about pornography, and calls are often made to regulate, or ban, access to pornography.

Continue reading Pornography and Panic

Still Silent Objects

On Tuesday 16 April 2019, Professor Jan Jordan and colleagues launched the results from a three year Marsden study at a symposium in Wellington. The work – encompassing significant police file analysis, media analysis and interviews – examined women’s representations, contemporary pornography, and criminal justice responses to rape.

The symposium was live-recorded. You can watch all the main talks here – just click on the title of each talk below.

Please be advised that much of the material is challenging and deals directly with issues of sexual assault and objectification. Continue reading Still Silent Objects

‘Let’s Talk about Sex (on Screen), Baby’

Family First New Zealand has recently launched a petition for an inquiry into the impacts of pornography. Their petition calls for “an expert panel [to] be appointed to investigate the public health effects and societal harms of pornography to both children and adults, and to make policy recommendations to Parliament”. The website hosting their petition claims that “men who view pornography regularly have a higher tolerance for abnormal sexuality, including rape, sexual aggression, and sexual promiscuity” and that ongoing use of pornography “results in stronger perceptions of women as commodities”.

But what really are the impacts? And why, when pornography has existed for centuries, is Family First New Zealand only now calling for an inquiry?

Thanks to the internet, pornography is more available and accessible than ever before. Whilst many reading this will remember the days of pornography in print formats, such as Playboy or Penthouse magazine, pornographic internet tube sites such as Pornhub appear in the top 150 globally accessed websites. To put into perspective how popular internet pornography is, we only need to look at the amount of traffic to these websites. At its peak in the 1970s, Playboy magazine had a monthly circulation of 7 million copies (Gunelius, 2009). In 2016, Pornhub.com recorded an astonishing 23 billion visits to their website, amounting to a total of 64 million visits per day. What Playboy was able to achieve per month, Pornhub is able to achieve in just under three hours. And it seems that New Zealanders are particularly fond of consuming pornographic content, coming in 5th for per capita page views globally. Continue reading ‘Let’s Talk about Sex (on Screen), Baby’