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We need some sort of crack down on the violent pornography that is currently accessible to boys and men. This violent pornography should be illegal to make or view in Australia as we clearly have a problem with violence and boys are watching a lot of pornography which can be very violent … This is influencing men’s attitude towards women and what they think is acceptable. Violent pornography is infiltrating Australian relationships.” – Josie, aged 18 years.

Below, Melinda Tankard Reist discusses a survey conducted with 600 young women and girls in Australia. The study explored personal safety (including online safety) and gender equality. The key findings from the study are (from the report, here):

• Seven out of ten young women surveyed agreed that girls are often bullied or harassed online
• 58 percent agreed that girls often receive uninvited or unwanted indecent or sexually explicit material such as texts, video clips, and pornography
• 51 percent agreed that girls are often pressured to take ‘sexy’ photos
of themselves and share them
• 82 percent believe it is unacceptable for a boyfriend to ask their girlfriend to share naked photos of themselves
• 44 percent do not feel comfortable reporting incidents of abusive online behaviour

They’re pretty stark findings – most young women and girls believe that it is unacceptable for a boyfriend to ask them to take and share naked pictures of themselves, yet over half are frequently pressured to do so. Also troubling is the finding that young women and girls do not feel empowered to report abuse online.

All of the above is just lose-lose. It’s worth reading the whole study (it’s not TL).

And here’s Melinda Tankard Reist‘s take:

“[I want] better education regarding sex for both boys and girls [and] information about pornography, and the way it influences harmful sexual practices.”

These are the words of Lucy, aged 15, one of 600 young Australian women and girls who took part in a just-released survey commissioned by Plan Australia and Our Watch. The survey, conducted by Ipsos, gathered responses from the girls and young women aged 15-19 in all states and territories.

In the survey report, entitled Don’t send me that pic, participants reported that online sexual abuse and harassment were endemic. More than 80% said it was unacceptable for boyfriends to request naked images.

Sexual bullying and harassment are part of daily life for many girls. Young people are speaking out more and more about how these practices have links with pornography – and so they should, because they have most to lose.

Pornography is moulding and conditioning the sexual behaviours and attitudes of boys, and girls are being left without the resources to deal with these porn-saturated boys.

My own engagement with young women over the last few years in schools around Australia, confirms that we are conducting a pornographic experiment on young people – an assault on their healthy sexual development.

If there are still any questions about whether porn has an impact on young people’s sexual attitudes and behaviours, perhaps it’s time to listen to young people themselves. Girls and young women describe boys pressuring them to provide acts inspired by the porn they consume routinely. Girls tell of being expected to put up with things they don’t enjoy.

Some see sex only in terms of performance, where what counts most is the boy enjoying it. I asked a 15-year-old about her first sexual experience. She replied: “I think my body looked OK. He seemed to enjoy it”. Many girls seem cut off from their own sense of pleasure or intimacy. That he enjoyed it is the main thing. Girls and young women are under a lot of pressure to give boys and men what they want, to adopt pornified roles and behaviours, with their bodies being merely sex aids. Growing up in a pornified landscape, girls learn that they are service stations for male gratification and pleasure.

Asked “How do you know a guy likes you?,” a Year 8 replied: “He still wants to talk to you after you suck him off.” A male high school student said to a girl: “If you suck my dick I’ll give you a kiss.” Girls are expected to provide sex acts for tokens of affection. A 15-year-old told me she didn’t enjoy sex at all, but that getting it out of the way quickly was the only way her boyfriend would settle down and watch a movie with her.

Rest of Melinda Tankard Reist’s piece: Growing up in Pornland: girls have had it with porn conditioned boys

#research: "[Porn] is influencing men’s attitude towards women and what they think is acceptable" - via @meltankardreist