The internet has given our generation a new way of exploring raging hormones: porn. As an ever developing notion, ideas and stigmas of pornography are constantly bandied about. Commonly, porn is associated with younger men, making the industry all the more relevant to the student population- whether you watch it personally or not.

Perhaps one of the scariest things about this mammoth business is that the scale of its reach and affect upon our peer group is swathed in the cloudiness and anonymity of the web. Statistics suggest that 68% of men and 18% of women use porn once a week- and many use it more. So the next time you are in Hartley, 7 out of the 10 men around you will be porn users. Also, if you are in Hartley, the majority of porn traffic happens in the 9-5 day… so if walking past someone’s laptop results in a swift shutdown- you have the right to be suspicious!

The statistics also make it blatantly clear that the male population is extremely more engaged than women in pornographic activities, being 543% more likely to look at porn than women. Taking this into account, it would appear that men are more at risk to dangers such as pornography addiction, but women are still very much affected.

Features porn by Martha Williams

Where once the catwalk runway gave unrealistic expectations of appearance, the porn industry now mutilates expectations of how a woman should look and act in bed, with scrupulously waxed and plastically enhanced models becoming the new requirements. In one US study, over half the participants believed that porn distorts expectations of how women should look. More worryingly, however, is the tendency for porn to distort the morality of sex, with 116,000 searches for child porn every day, and 88% of the top 50 selling porn videos containing scenes of physical aggression. This is not to say that every porn user will become a masochist or paedophile, but it is startling to consider how even seemingly harmless porn can affect real life sexual activities.

With porn available anywhere, anytime, there are growing concerns about porn addiction- a dependence still unofficialised in medical practise. Although this makes it hard to definitively categorise what makes a porn addict, we can still observe the hazards of even mild porn use amongst students: with 50% of those involved in internet sexual interactions being shown to lose interest in sexual intercourse- a seemingly bizarre reaction to watching erotic stimulus. This is down to the fact that watching porn may even rewire the male brain.

The truth about the use and effects of porn amongst students is still shrouded in the murky waters of the internet, but the associated dangers of partaking in this industry are already shocking and undeniable. It may be possible for students to enjoy responsible porn as part of a healthy sex life, but the next time you click play, think of the exploitative and misogynist nature of the industry, as well as the neural and behavioural risks it presents.

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