Femclub Porn Debate

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Does Porn Really Effect Our Sexual Health?

Amy Marleau
Contributor

The subject of porn is one that has long been confined to informal and sometimes secret settings. This topic tends to elicit many strong opinions, though it is still considered a taboo in society at large.

Why is this? In the modern technological age, we are able to participate in a multitude of conversations using our cellphones, computers, tablets, and a whole variety of other platforms. In digital media, issues such as the sexualisation of music, media, advertising and movies have been raised quite frequently as of late. Discussions have taken place regarding what ought to be considered PG or not, and further, what should or should not be censored, as seen in debates about modern art and the recent “Free the Nipple” movement. One subject that never seems to be brought up, however, is the issue of porn in relation to sexual health and education.

There is no doubt that most people who use these forms of technology have stumbled across porn sites at one point or another, whether intentionally or accidentally. So, the question must be raised: is porn conducive to healthy sex education, or does it distort reality in such a way that it cannot be used for any educational purposes?

For Sexual Health Week, FemClub decided to open up that topic of conversation, and hosted a booth at the Sexual Health Fair. We asked students what they thought of porn, and asked people to contribute to our list of pros and cons. Some trends were quickly observable, the obvious one being that a booth with the word “Porn” featured prominently in its title will inevitably attract many curious students, the second of which being that few people are willing to discuss this topic publicly.

Sexual education is especially crucial to students these days, as we are moving into a world in which we can no longer pretend that abstinence-only education works, or that students will not be exposed to the subject of sex in their day-to-day lives. This topic is of course an uncomfortable one for many, but it is indeed human nature to be curious about this fundamental biological process.

The goal of Sexual Health Week is to educate students and to give them an opportunity to raise questions in which they normally would have no context to ask. The Porn Booth sought to give students a chance to debate whether or not porn was educationally useful. Among the views that were offered, some were positive and noted that porn offers job opportunities to actors, and presents sex to us in a direct manner. Most comments, however, were not in favour of it, arguing that porn is very male-centered, encourages violence towards women, promotes unrealistic beauty standards and does not accurately portray sex, in that it gives people the idea that sex is something to be done to women by men.

The number of perspectives was unfortunately limited, though. It is for this reason that we must once again seek to broach this topic, and encourage public discussion. It is 2016 and both sex and porn must no longer be taboo. It is crucial that we open up this debate to as many people as possible, and educate both ourselves and future generations.

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