Is Easy Access to Pornography A Cause of Rape?

Is easy access to pornography a cause for rape? Of course, pornography could be a reason for rape in some cases. But not everyone who consumes pornography does rape.

Gujarat’s Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi recently denoted that the cause of the increase in rape in India is because of easy access to pornography. He said that “When a father rapes his small daughter, is this not a huge social issue? If a father rapes his daughter, the reason is his mobile phone.” As society always does, we are finding something to blame instead of the perpetrator and patriarchy when rape happens.

Of course, pornography could be a reason for rape in some cases. Pornography often dehumanises women and undermines the consent of women. Over the years pornography has become more and more violent and aggressive. But that cannot mean that pornography is directly proportional to the increase in rape.

Not everyone who consumes pornography does rape. That is a fact that we need to accept. The industry is such a success because so many people watch and pay to watch pornography. Even if they do not like to accept in public that they have watched porn; the reality is that the majority of men have watched pornography at least at some point in their life. And we cannot forget the fact that in today’s day and age, women also consume pornography. But not all of them are rapists.

But there is a chance that those who have a tendency of being a rapist will enjoy violent pornography. Or only those men who enjoy violent and inhuman pornography will tend to rape. We also must consider the fact that there are various types of pornography out there and not all of them are violent. The viewers also filter and screen and watch the type of pornography that they enjoy watching. So, there must be a fair share of humans who enjoy ‘torture porn’ and ‘rape porn’ as these types of pornography do exist on the internet.

But we cannot find a direct relationship between pornography and the increase in rape as we do not have the exact statistic of the number of people who consumes porn and the number of people who enjoys violent porn. We also do not have an exact statistic for the number of rapes happening in the country (or the world) as the majority of the incidents go unreported.

Also, will a complete eradication of porn stop rapes? We cannot be sure of that either. This can be a bizarre fact, but there is some form of rape happening in the animal kingdom. Some species of animals have displayed horrific sexual behaviour which is extremely similar to rape. And they are not consuming any pornography.

But animals cannot be educated on this matter. But humans can be. We have the ability to understand what is right and wrong.

What we need to do is to establish better and strict sexual education at the school level. Without sexual education in schools, most Indians learn about sex through pornography. This needs to change as pornography gives a wrong image of what sex should look like. We need to teach our teens properly about what the right way to have sex is and the importance of consent.

Also, rape is somewhat linked to patriarchy. Women are still considered second class citizens or at least very different from men. We live in a world where violating a women’s body is directly linked to her ‘purity’ and ‘honour’. We have seen many rapes that were done to ‘teach the women a lesson’. The whole concept of a woman’s body’s losing its purity at a man’s touch should come to an end, anyway. And so should patriarchy…

But patriarchy is not the only reason for rape as men and boys get raped too. In these cases, it is the pure instinct to fulfil their sexual desires by any means that applies. The other party just need to be weaker than you… In these cases, rape becomes a display of physical superiority and authority as well.

So, in the end, it is all the basic instinct of wanting the sexual pleasure to the point that you do not care about the consent of the partner. In this situation what can help is having more capital punishment for sexual offenders. At least the fear of the punishment will keep them from committing the crime. 

 -Staff Reporter

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