pseudoscience….

So I’ve been thinking about that recent study that came out in Canada – where they tried to find 20 guys who had never viewed porn because they needed a control group to study how porn affects attitudes men have towards women…. but they didn’t find any men who had never viewed pornography.

I wish WISH I could get a hard copy of that study – to actually look at how it was conducted. To see what kinds of questions the guys were asked, to see if their GIRLFRIENDS or past partners had any contribution in deciding how sexist the porn viewers are.

I keep seeing people throw this study around whenever discussions on porn (especially about how it reinforces sexism) are brought up. They (the porn supporters) keep saying that porn doesn’t affect male attitudes and blah blah blah – this study now gives them something to link to (even though it isn’t peer reviewed, freakin’ morons!).

A few things that make me a skeptic…

1. The person conducting the study is a MAN. Therefor, he already has biases and probably has also internalized many sexist things. And from the looks of the study and how things are worded – it appears he is also a pornography (thus porn supporter) viewer as well.

2. They only studied 20 guys. Which is a VERY POOR sampling for any kind of statistical analysis. Everyone KNOWS who has taken statistics that your accuracy in any kind of study is horrible when you have a small sample set. Also – I would be interested in how many men they asked whether they view porn or not. For all we know – they could have just asked 20 guys and stopped there. I have to wonder how hard they looked.

3. They didn’t bother trying to find men who have viewed pornography in the past but aren’t regular porn users. Meaning – they didn’t look for guys who have seen porn but think it’s gross or just think it’s a waste of time (or any guys who see it as the sexist filth it is). I think you would be hard-pressed to find WOMEN who have never viewed pornography in these times.  SO they should have found men who don’t view pornography at all but who have seen it before and know what it’s all about. ALSO – there are plenty of men – all over the world – whom do not view pornography. Maybe they aren’t from western cultures but they DO exist.

4. I really REALLY want to know what kinds of questions were asked to determine if the guys being studied are sexist. I want to know what kinds of things were being asked because some of the questions could have been blatently obvious. Like, “Do you think you are sexist?” or “Do you consider women equals?” as opposed to something more along the lines of “Do you ever refer to women as bitches and hoes?”  Any sexist asshole is going to claim NOT to be sexist (also – what does the author of this study consider “sexist” – which is basically what is defining the conclusion). That is just how it goes. THey don’t want to admit it but they want to protect their misogyny. Duh. And one thing that goes along with protecting their misogyny is protecting their porn. I’m trying to imagine a similar study in terms of racism. And it’s like – anyone knows the “correct” answer to make themselves look good – you know?

5. Did they talk to any of the WOMEN that these men have dated (not to make this all hetero but I think that’s what the study was based on). Have the women they have dated ALSO internalized misogyny. Do they also view porn? Did the women in these guys lives enjoy the sex? Or were they constantly being asked to pleasure the man? Were they ever pestered into trying things in porn that they really didn’t want to do?  Or were any of these guys in any long-term, monogomous relationships to begin with?

6. What kind of guys did they sample from? Were they all college students or graduates? Were they all from frat houses or did they sample from differing counter-cultures? Different majors?

7. If you are doing a statistical analysis of something – there is also a lot of space for people to lie.  I know a lot of white privileged people that wouldn’t say they are racist but they certainly think it’s okay to butt infront of a black person in line or steal a taxi. A person doesn’t have to commit hate crimes to be a racist. Just like a sexist person doesn’t have to commit rape to be a sexist person. Heck – you don’t have to be a different sex to be sexist against your own sex.

I think the biggest problem I have with this study though, is how a man conducted it.  How is that a good control for this study? Obviously a male’s entitlement, privilege and perspectives are going to totally mess with the results of this study and will probably draw conclusions that look favorable to men. We have no idea if this guy was going into the study to “prove that porn doesn’t cause sexist attitudes” or if he REALLY cared to find accurate results (the sample size sort of gives me an idea). None of the news flashes I’ve read on this go into any sort of detail. You don’t even know what the guy’s hypothesis was going into it (which can cause a lot of skews).

I can’t even count the number of men I know – who claim to be not sexist but totally are. For example – they are always making stereotypes about women (ex – women compete for male attention and don’t like each other out of jealousy EVERY SINGLE TIME they don’t like each other).  They make generalizations about women, especially about certain character traits etc that exist in ALL people – not just women. Like the jealousy thing, or saying things like “Women can’t be trusted.” (as if all men can be?) etc.  Or what about men disreguarding and ignoring a female perspective on pornography to begin with? Every guy I have dated tried to minimize my concerns about the porn thing. Isn’t that sexist to begin with? It’s easy for them to minimize it because it isn’t THEIR sex being degraded and treated like scum.  I know that NONE of the guys I know – who view porn – would continue watching it if men were being ass-fucked by women with strap-ons or being forced to suck on that strap-on after it came out of his ass. They wouldn’t watch porn where the money shot was of men giving themselves facials.  ISN’T that a red flag moment? The very fact that men won’t watch porn that is degrading to men, is sexist to begin with…. (I know, I’m generalizing “not all porn blah blah blah” I’m talking about mainstream/hetero gonzo). Of course – exceptions exist. The only opinions men generally want to listen to on the whole pornography issue – are women who agree with them and systematically support their own degredation. They are the only women who are allowed opinions on this subject.  Because anytime you start talking about the porn issues – men are like, “You are trying to control women, you are for censorship, you are trying to take away freedom of speach from other woman!!!!!” – when the reality is that I’m not down with most cencorship, I don’t want to tell women what to do with their bodies BUT I have a right to my freaking freedom of speach and if I think what women do in porn is irresponsible (when it is their true choice) – I have a right to point it out. And every asshole that brings up the “freedom of speach” bullshit is totally fine with banning racist cartoons.  Which I hate to break it to them – is still a form of art – even if it is offensive and ignorant (as porn is).

Every guy I’ve ever known has had sexist attitudes (I think you’d have to do a 40 year study to find out how much of that influence is dedicated to porn).  What differs about them is in degree – not in the existence of their sexism. Some guys are more sexist than others. And my experiences basically point to the fact that the guys I dated whom viewed the MOST pornography – had the worst attitudes about women. They ignored my opinions, would risk ruining our relationship to view pornography (which is sexist in of itself because he’s flexing his “privilege” and ignoring any consideration for the woman in his life, despite her feelings on it), they had no problem calling me a “bitch” when I’d stand up for myself etc. The way in which men won’t tolerate a woman telling them that they consider porn hate speach – is sexist in of itself and it’s offensive.  I mean – it’s like denying racist advertisements/cartoons as being racist, simply because they are “art”. As art is an expression of human emotions, perspectives, depths etc etc etc – in art, can exist racism, sexism, hatred etc.

The guys I dated who viewed the most pornography were also more selfish when it came to sex.  Ex: I dated this guy once (in my younger years) who wouldn’t return the favor. He was the sneakiest porn addict I have ever dated.  I NEVER found porn while him and I were together, it wasn’t until after when we were friends with bennies, I used his computer and when I was typing in an address, a HUGE list of pornography websites dropped down (and no other websites came up, so clearly that was what he was viewing mostly on his computer). 

The porn viewers were also the biggest pests. They would nag and bug me to try different sex things that I clearly didn’t want to do (some of it was as harmless as “talking dirty” which I never wanted or desired to do at ALL and clearly an idea sprung up from porn). Like anal or shaving my crotch hair. The guy I dated in highschool was always pestering me about trying all of this stupid shit he saw in porn (contrary to everyone’s defense that they are natural fetishes – he would have never gotten the ideas he had without porn). He wanted me to get implants, he wanted me to shave my crotch, he wanted me to dress more revealing.  IOW – me, just being me – wasn’t good enough for him, which HELLO is a fucking sexist attitude.  He didn’t feel that it was necessary for HIM to shave HIS BALLS or get a penis implant… It was all about things I could do to myself, that would make me NOT like myself.  Making those “suggestions” is sexist to begin with. And I’m sorry – he didn’t get the “big fake boob” idea from his own brain. Nor did he desire to stick his penis up my poop shoot (I never gave into him though, haha) randomly from his own fantasies – another idea he got from porn. He also wanted to try other positions from porn that do nothing for female stimulation – as all porn tends to.

The other guy I dated above (the one who was a porn addict in secret) also would tell me all the time that I’d look “sexier with make-up on.” – which is totally  sexist. I don’t care how any man tries to spin that one. You are telling me to cover up my face, to be ashamed of my face as it is… That is sexist. Superficial at best. I can’t think of ONE moment where I told a guy he should dress differently or cut his hair differently etc (I know there are women who do that stuff, but not me).

The guys who watch porn are also more likely to reach for words like “bitch, slut, whore, cunt, pussy” etc. Not necessarily about me but about other women.

Either way – I just don’t think you can have an ACCURATE study on SEXISM that is being conducted by a probably WHITE male.  It’s completely ridiculous and you know what? I bet if a feminist did the same study (and had a better sampling system and control group) their results would come out completely different. Probably opposite.

Of course – no one would trust the perspective of a WOMAN on this subject (sexism galore).  All of the people backing this study done by a man would totally denounce a similar study done by a woman (especially a feminist).  I think it makes sense to have a non-white person do a study on racism. I can’t picture a white person doing a totally accurate study on racism because there are times where even the best intentioned, least racist white people flex their privelege or entitlement without realizing it.

I guess another and final thing I have to say about this pseudoscience study is basically this: We live in such an incredibly sexist society, so how the heck can anyone do a study accurately on how “sexist” porn makes a man.  The men going into these studies all had varying degrees of sexism BEFORE they ever even viewed pornography. Because even as boys they are taught that they can do just about everything better than women.

I just smell a foul taste of bullshit. NONE of the men they talked to had sexist attitudes? Yet EVERY SINGLE man I have ever met had some sexist views? Give me a break. Another man patting himself on the back. Just what women need.

Anyway – if anyone can get me a copy of this “study” – I would LOVE to go through it and rip it apart, bit by bit – lie by lie.

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