Does Pornography Cause Men to Hate Women?


By Justin Lehmiller
This article originally appeared on
Photo courtesy of Flickr user andronicusmax.

Anyone who reads or listens to the latest media reports about pornography will undoubtedly come away with the impression that porn is one of the greatest dangers facing young men today. Adult content is addictive, they say. It causes erectile dysfunction. It contributes to misogyny and sexual violence — indeed, in the words of Pornland author Gail Dines, adult videos and the like are not like making love, but more “like making hate to women.”

Scientific research on the actual effects of pornography tells a very different story, though. For instance, neuroscience research does not support the idea that pornography is addictive, and study after study have found that there is neither a strong nor consistent link between porn use and erectile functioning. Challenging one of the oldest and most pervasive aspects of the anti-porn media narrative is a brand new study published in the Journal of Sex Research that debunks the idea that porn promotes widespread misogyny and hatred of women.

In this study, researchers looked at a nationally representative sample of men and women who took part in the General Social Survey between the years 1975-2010. In total, they looked at data from more than 25,000 Americans.

In particular, the researchers were interested in whether those who reported watching adult films in the last year had different attitudes toward women compared to those who had not watched such films.

What the researchers found was that both male and female adult film watchers held more egalitarian (i.e., equal) views of gender compared to non-watchers. Specifically, porn watchers reported more positive attitudes toward women holding positions of power, toward women in the workplace and toward —> Read More