'Normal' men viewing pornography over time in laboratory settings become more aroused to scenes of rape than to scenes of explicit but not expressly violent sex, even if (especially if?) the woman is shown as hating it. As sustained exposure perceptually inures subjects to the violent component in expressly violent sexual material, its sexual arousal value remains or increases. “On the first day, when they see women being raped and aggressed against, it bothers them. By day five, it does not bother them at all, in fact, they enjoy it.” Sexual material that is seen as nonviolent, by contrast, is less arousing to begin with, becomes even less arousing over time, after which exposure to sexual violence is sexually arousing.
Viewing sexual material containing express aggression against women makes normal men more willing to aggress against women. It also makes them see a woman rape victim as less human, more object-like, less worthy, less injured, and more to blame for the rape. Sexually explicit material that is not seen as expressly violent but presents women as hysterically responsive to male sexual demands, in which women are verbally abused, dominated and degraded, and treated as sexual things, makes men twice as likely to report willingness to sexually aggress against women than they were before exposure. So-called nonviolent materials like these make men see women as less than human, as good only for sex, as objects, as worthless and blameworthy when raped, and as really wanting to be raped and as unequal to men.
As to material showing violence only, it might be expected that rapists would be sexually aroused to scenes of violence against women, and they are. But many normal male subjects, too, when seeing a woman being aggressed against by a man, perceive the interaction to be sexual even if no sex is shown.
Sexuality, Pornography, and Method: “Pleasure under Patriarchy”
Author(s): Catherine A. MacKinnon
Source: Ethics, Vol. 99, No. 2 (Jan., 1989), pp. 314-346
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
*trigger* this is so disturbing every time I read about it.