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A Study on Man and His Tendencies Toward Pornography

In: Social Issues

Submitted By migsandejas
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There is a variety of responses received from people regarding the subject of pornography. It depends on how people perceive the subject depending on their information about the topic, their personal experiences, and through the things they come across in their every day encounters that are filtered through their senses, personality, attitudes and values that they have acquired from their lives in society and in their respective cultures. To better understand this discussion, background on the subject being written will be laid out. The Merriam – Webster dictionary defines pornography as the depiction of erotic behavior which can be in pictures, videos or writing intended to cause sexual excitement. Another definition states that it is a material that depicts erotic behavior with the same intent as the previous definition. It may also be the depiction of acts in a sensational manner as to arouse a quirk intense emotional reaction. Therefore, pornography can be in any form which depicts erotic behavior to cause sexual and emotional excitement. The authors have generated their own personal definition of pornography:

“Pornography may be defined as the ‘explicit’ depiction, through any sort of medium, of sexual activity with the primary purpose of stimulating sexual excitement and pleasure.” (Gabaldon, Manlunas and Sandejas, 2009) Pornography roots from the Greek word, pornographos which means ‘to write about prostitutes’ or depiction of prostitutes; from pornē and graphein which means prostitute and to write, respectively. We see similarities between pornography and a type of art called Erotica. The latter being the depiction of sexual content through similar media as that of pornography, but with the different purpose of achieving aesthetic and emotional feelings. The essence of this study is to find out a brief history of pornography. Its roots may be traced back to ancient times. Researchers have seen ancient depictions of obscene markings in caves and rocks. Whether or not those were already considered pornographic during those times, the rock paintings and carvings were erotic and were done in a primitive and uncivilized manner. Among the early printed sexual contents is that of the Kama Sutra, an ancient Indian manual about sexual behavior written by Mallanaga Vatsyayana. Pornography, defined as anything that features obscene and sexual images, texts and the like, is as old as civilization as depicted in artifacts of the ancient world. But notably, pornography as we perceive it today did not exist until the Victorian Era. Before this era, sexual acts were regulated by law although looking at them was not prohibited at the time. According to the documentary: Pornography: The Secret History of Civilization by Chris Rodley (1999), there was a large-scale excavation at Pompeii wherein certain people discovered several obscene and sexual artifacts from the Romans— However, these people did not know how to deal with the astonishing discoveries during that day and age. “A small statue showed the god Pan having intercourse with a goat. Frescoes on the walls of many houses showed couples copulating. Freestanding phalli as well as phalli with rings so that they could be attached to various items were found in abundance.” (Pornography: The Secret History of Civilization, Road to Ruins)

Hiding the artifacts from the masses, especially to the women and children, was the solution they thought of since they could not come up with anything else. Therefore, a secret museum in Italy was built to shelter these objects. Only men with proper credentials were allowed to study and view the objects. This was the program which was known for the birth of our modern concept of pornography. Until today pornography, is still present and is very much intensified with the emergence and development of modern technology. Today we may find different kinds of pornography in almost all types of media available— magazines, tabloids, television, movies, music, and internet et cetera.


We are conducting this study about Why People Watch Pornography since the proliferation of such material is so widespread, which is also by triggered by the number of people tolerating and accepting pornography as a form of entertainment. It is from the authors’ own initiative to find out what drives people to allow themselves to be entertained or addicted to such forms of entertainment. The main objective of this study is to understand the underlying motives, drives and reasons in watching and engaging in pornographic materials. The authors aim to delve into what certain attributes and characteristics of pornography people are drawn to. Different areas surrounding pornography will also be researched and analyzed. The views and opinions of a certain population, particularly, the students of UP Diliman, will also taken into consideration. Therefore, this study will have global quantitative and qualitative information, with the aid of recent books, magazines, documentaries and the internet, and local statistical results from the survey which the authors have conducted for partial fulfillment of this study.


The methods that will be used for this paper are as follows: Firstly, the quantitative method. The quantitative method is that which uses quantitative designs to provide statistical descriptions, relationships and explanations about numerical data. Surveys shall be used to gather information about the study on pornography and the aspects surrounding it. The survey will focus on one hundred and fifty randomly chosen college students from the campus of UP Diliman. Each one will be asked to answer a survey with questions related to pornography; if they have ever watched it, what they think causes people to watch it and the like. The information collated from these surveys will be used for the study of the paper. The data gathered will be analyzed and reproduced into graphs that will present the data. From here, we will have background from a society of people that we can actually relate to. In this sense, we will have an understanding of our surroundings and of how people around us think. Secondly, a qualitative method of data gathering will be used. Online research, books and articles will be analyzed in order to gain as much information as possible about the reasons why people watch pornography and the issues surrounding it. From here, we will gain an understanding of how pornography is universally accepted. These two methods will allow us to understand pornography from a universal point of view as well as from a point of view from which our community views it.

Quantitative Analysis

Figure 1, Have you ever watched Pornography?

Figure 1: The first question that respondents were asked is if they have ever watched pornography. Ninety-one percent of them answered that they have watched pornography and the rest of the nine percent admitted that they had not ever watched pornography. From here, we see that even at the common age of college students which would range from seventeen to twenty-three; there are still people oblivious to the world of pornography. But it is still safe to say that majority of respondents are qualified to be answering the survey since they have already experienced pornographic material.
Figure 2, Regular?

Figure 2: The respondents who answered that they had already watched pornography were then asked if they watched pornography regularly. Majority of them, fifty-three percent, said that they did not watch it regularly while 47% admitted that they are indeed regular with their viewing of pornography. This tells us that despite already watching pornography for the first time, people do not always get hooked to it. There are people who choose to abstain from it for their own personal reasons. But we also now know that there are people who watch pornography for their own reasons, this will be further discussed as we go further into the analysis of the survey.
Figure 3, Morality of Pornography

Figure 3: Morality was also touched upon during the survey. Respondents were questioned whether they thought that pornography was morally wrong. Sixty percent said that it was not morally wrong to watch pornography while forty percent said that it was morally wrong to watch pornography. The religious aspect of it all states that pornographic material is a sinful indulgence but then again, some religions do not agree with this and may even say that masturbation is acceptable. As we see from the survey, majority of the people do not see the moral implications pornography may have and they believe that it is alright to watch it for whatever reasons they may have. This moral issue will be debated upon for a long time to come, as they say, it is up to he who perceives the issue to judge his own morality and the implications that stems from it.

Figure 4, First Time

Figure 4: The next question asked respondents their opinion on which of the following categories may cause people to watch pornography for the first time(on choice per respondent only): Curiosity, Peer Pressure, Sexual Urges, Media, Fun, Others. Data gathered showed that two people who listed ‘Others’ said: by accident; and for research purposes. The category curiosity garnered the most votes from respondents by an outstanding lead which tells us that it is commonly thought that the first experience of pornography is usually caused by man’s nature to know what he does not. Next in line came sexual urges which could include stimulating the mind’s sexual fantasies, masturbation and the like. Fourteen people said that a person’s first pornographic experience could have just been a fun-seeking endeavour. Media which refers to exposure to television shows and internet sites together with pressure from peers collected ten votes each.

Figure 5, Reasons

Figure 5: Moving onto our main topic, respondents were asked what they thought was the number one reason why people watch pornography, after their first viewing that is. Answers were grouped into seven categories: Curiosity, Habit, Education, Hearsay from Peers, Media Availability, Sexual Urges and Others. The category of ‘Others’ was not picked by any respondent. Sexual Urges garnered an astounding ninety votes leaving the rest of the categories behind by an astounding amount. Evidently, the respondents thought that sexual reasons are mostly what cause people to watch pornography. This is a reasonable assumption because if anything, pornography is meant to stimulate the senses. Media availability pertaining to television shows and internet accessibility came in second place with twenty-four votes. Nowadays, television networks are more lenient with the censorship of their programs. That plus the fact that the internet offers free porn could also account for respondents’ choice of this category. Next came curiosity; people can be curious about the pornographic issues e.g. Katrina Halili – Hayden Kho Scandal, even if they do not regularly watch porn. Hearsay from peers garnered eight votes. This category could include scandals as well as information on good pornographic sites or television shows that people may tempt their peers to watch. Six said that education could be a rationale behind watching pornography. This could also be a valid explanation since people may learn sex through pornography. Lastly, only two said that pornography could be a habit.

Figure 6, Male Viewers
Figure 7, Female Viewers

Figures 6 and 7: The final two questions of the survey asked respondents on their opinion on whether majority (more than fifty percent) of their male and female friends watch pornography regularly. People inferred that 92% of their male friends did indeed watch pornography regularly while on the female’s side, it was inferred up to 94% that majority of their female friends do NOT watch pornography regularly. Do we see a stereotype between the sexes in this observation? Evidently, it is thought that males are more likely to watch pornography than women. Where this stereotype comes from may be from the same stereotype that males are more sexually driven beings than women. In the end, this debate boils down to the particular subject that a person is talking about because each person is different from one another whether they may be male or female.
Addiction to Pornography

In a lay man’s definition, pornographic addiction can be referred to as the constant and excessive pornographic use that interferes with the life of the person involved. It can be anyone’s brother, sister, mother, father, husband or wife. Pornographic addiction is just like any from of addictive substance; victims tend to replace important relationships and commitment with the particular substance or material they are addicted to. Pornography can come from internet sites, television shows or any form of medium, although it is very much evident in the World Wide Web. Pornography addicts, just like any addict, tend to isolate themselves when engaging in their activities. They may spend countless hours or even days lost in their sexual fantasies. This can cause to serious relationship problems and in most cases, lead to serious character devastation. Pornography addiction also carries a social and moral stigma. It is very possible that important love and sex relationships can be negatively affected. Most pornography addicts exercise compulsive masturbation while others engage in minimal sex although they both end up losing their selves endless sexual images. There are signs in which one can determine if someone is already a porn addict: An inability to yield to the behavior of engaging in pornography despite the several attempts to do so, being irritable if asked to stop the habit is also one sign. attempting to keep pornographic use a secret, continuing the behavior despite the knowledge of underlying negative effects to ones relationships, and losing track of a great deal of time when engaging in pornography are situations wherein pornographic addiction may be present. Porn addiction is just like any other form of addiction. It can yield to adverse consequences if not regulated. In the different web logs and articles of porn addiction-stricken families, fighting addiction is a big challenge. There are successes and failures. The recovery of a porn addict largely depends on the addict if he is willing himself to be renewed. The advancement of technology somehow helped the porn industry to proliferate even more. It can be accessed at the internet anytime and there are sites that provide it for free. It can be bought as a DVD which can be watched at home. It can also be a magazine carried anytime in anywhere. The widespread availability of pornography makes it hard to regulate them. This is one evident reason why there are people who are addicted to pornography.

Media, Censorship and Porn

Pornography can be shown through variety of media. It may be in the form of animation, photography, printed literature, the internet, sculptures, sound material, movies, videos, video game, and cellular phone programs. Without a medium, pornography cannot be, rather, it is just the explicit sexual act itself. The freest medium in which pornographic content is made available is through the World Wide Web. Attempts have been made in order to regulate the Internet although the regulators have not quite succeeded in their efforts due to the vast scope of the internet. It is true that there are certain websites that can be blocked but there will always be codes that allow them to be accessed or there will always be a web space on the internet that may raise new sites. The question of regulation comes to mind, by this time. There are several countries that have tried to regulate pornographic material in their respective jurisdictions. The subject of child pornography has been the focus of most of the censorship efforts that have been made. In an article written by Eleanor Mills regarding Internet Security and Privacy for CNET News: Germany, for one, has issued to stop the spread of child pornography through asking the World Wide Web operators to filter out websites that are deemed offensive. Its regulatory board has been working out with Google and other search engines, providing the latter a block list of sites to block. New Zealand has also been doing similar efforts to that of Germany. They order the Internet Service Providers to block down 7,000 block listed sites for them to crack down the access to child pornography. Malaysia has also planned to censor Internet pornography. As what Philippine Star released, the government of Malaysia may set up an Internet Filter to censor pornography as part of the effort to protect children from sexual predators. In the Philippines, there are also several efforts to censor pornographic materials although the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and the like institutions. They censor content from movies, billboard ads, et cetera. However, unlike the previous countries mentioned, the Philippines has no particular censorship of pornographic content online.
Fig. 1 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

No censorship Some censorship Under surveillance Heavy surveillance ("Internet black holes")

NB. The Philippines falls under the ‘No Censorship’ category.

Relgion, Morality and Pornography

Morality is defined as system of behavior in regards to the standards of right or wrong behavior. These sets of standards make our own personal moral codes which are the set of values that we uphold. In terms of traditional morality, pornographic materials, to some people, are considered very wicked as they make the minds and hearts of the viewers unclean and unpure. According to the teaching of the Church and that of our Catholic Faith, pornographic materials attack the dignity of men and women created in the image of God. It also distorts the gift of sex from God which should only be shared within the bounds of marriage. Pornography also promotes misuse of the gift of sex such as sodomy, bondage, torture, pedophilia, rape, incest and the like, which are condemned by God. According to the Biblical perspective, sexual intercouse is exclusively for marriage for the following purposes: 1. Establishes “one-flesh” union 2. Provides bond through sexual intimacy within the marriage. 3. Intercourse is for pro-creation

Sexual morality requires the strongest discipline. Believers of God are called to be pure and must not entertain the thought of pornographic content. Therefore, in the perspective of the Church, pornography is an evil entity which demoralizes the true meaning of sex since it manipulates it in ways that should not be. Pornography exploits the bodies of men and women which are supposed to be temples of God. In this light, pornography is considered immoral. There are others, in which whom, who says that pornography isn’t immoral but rather, it depends on how one views it. It is relative and varies drastically from person to person based on their background and beliefs. It depends on people and their own beliefs and morals. One person might argue porn is bad and degrading, while another might say porn is enjoyable to watch and can add spice to your sex life or something. Considering everyone has different moral standards, everyone's answer will be an opinion. (New Life Habits, 2007)

The subject of morality in porn is subjective to the person in question. We do not have a uniform set of moral values.

Masturbation in Relation to Pornography

Masturbation is defined as the manual stimulation of genitals to produce sexual arousal and even orgasm. Another definition for such is the pleasuring of one person with the use of other body parts aside from a partner’s genitals and by other types of bodily contact as well. Masturbation can also be done with the use of common objects and tools such as “sex toys”. There are several techniques and positions involved in the act of masturbation. These are influenced by factors such as personal preferences, capabilities and whatever one feels is more comfortable. Various fetishes and paraphilias influence one preference of masturbation. In the past, there were several negative views and connotations with regards to the act of masturbation. This was commonly related to sinning, a violation to moral laws, a violation of one’s body and one’s self and etc. In the 17th century, a law code for the Puritan colony of New Haven, Connecticut stated that people who were caught masturbating were to be persecuted. Many actions were implemented simply to avoid this act of “self violation”. In this generation, views on masturbation have changed greatly and this act has become more acceptable. Today, a number of people still believe that masturbation may lead to several health consequences and have not yet fully accepted such act. But on the other hand, others believe that this act can bring several benefits such as help in strengthening their personal relationships and lengthening their own life spans. It is also believed that masturbation is a healthy practice of achieving arousal and pleasure, while at the same time, it is a whole lot safer than the act of sex itself. Masturbation and pornography are two topics which usually go hand in hand. Pornographic materials are believed to stimulate ones thoughts, fantasies, imagination and can even help one recall memories of the past arousal. Studies show that as people watch these pornographic materials, the stimulation of sexual excitement often leads them to engage in the act of masturbation. These materials also tend to increase one’s sex drives. Some people seek pornography to achieve more enjoyable and entertaining masturbation. Recent statistics show that it is the males who usually masturbate while looking at pornographic materials such as magazines with sexy women, sexy DVDs and etc. Several problems and issues involving masturbation with the use of pornography arise for people who are in relationships. Most women consider this a threat and as an insult when their partners engage in this activity, most especially when their partners get addicted to such and prefer this over actual sex. Over the years, the act of masturbation has rapidly increased along with the advancement of technology, and the rise of internet usage. Nowadays, one can easily find and have access to pornography and at the same time, masturbate almost anytime and anywhere. Masturbating and reaching climax also strengthens ones addiction to pornography. Such has also lead to abusive acts of masturbation and pornography usage which have lead to deterioration of relationships and personal lives.

Effects of Pornography on Society

The rise of pornographic materials has definitely shaped the way our society views and understands many things today. The sexual messages which are commonly associated with these pornographic materials have altered people’s attitudes and perceptions towards the meanings of several things. Nowadays, people can easily relate sexual messages to the most common objects such as bananas, donuts and etc. Even the behavior of people of this generation has also changed in relation to these pornographic materials. Many people are becoming more aggressive towards their peers, more open to sex related topics and ultimately, more liberal. It is obvious that pornography has its different effects on people of different ages, beliefs and statuses in the society. People also have different opinions with regard to this topic. Research show that some believe that pornography has no detrimental effects whatsoever but others still believe that pornography is wrong and has no positive side to it at all. But even with such division of opinions, recent universal statistics still show that a huge majority of the population today are pornography users. Adults are the ones who usually purchase and possess these pornographic materials for their personal means of entertainment and pleasure. They believe that these pornographic materials can improve their sex lives and relationships. Commonly, their irresponsible possession and storage of these materials are also the usual reasons of why the youth discover and are exposed to such explicit materials. The youth today are overly exposed to the sexual culture, thus they perceive so many things differently as compared to the youth of earlier generations. These materials provoke the youth to be inclined to sexual acts and underage violations. Sexual violence is also promoted in many of these materials. Morals of the youth are also tainted by the widespread availability of pornography. Also, the abusive use of pornography can be detrimental to personal relationships of people. Some people may even tend toward becoming dependent on the use of pornography and forget about their own personal partners. Despite the several detrimental effects of pornography towards people and the society, many still choose to possess and use these materials since they consider this a cheap means of extreme enjoyment and entertainment – lustful food for the eyes. They view it as a harmless means of personal pleasure. Many also see pornography as a quick road to masturbation and self-fulfillment.


1. Without considering moral and ethical implications, pornography is not wrong to engage in unless it becomes an addiction; even if it leads to masturbation, which science says is not harmful unless done excessively so. When pornography becomes an addiction, it may ruin one’s well being and identity. Considering the aspect of morality, the present world has different points of views on pornography. Depending on the person, pornography may or may not be considered immoral. 2. According to the survey’s results/ the opinion of the respondents, the main reason for people to engage in pornography is to satisfy their sexual urges. The survey also inferred that people encounter pornography for the first time out of curiosity. 3. According to research, one main reason for man’s inclination to pornography is the fact that it is ever present in today’s society. It is easily accessible and portrayed in such an appealing way. Censorship may be in effect but it is not enough to cover all ground of the growing pornography industry. 4. Pornography can be seen in the same light as any addicting substance. It is pleasurable to look at, easy to access, and can stimulate the imagination. It provides man with a venue to access his senses. This is where man’s interest for pornography stems, despite whatever moral implications he may or may not realize, he will at one point in his life be drawn to pornography because of these reasons. In the end, it is all a matter of choice. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Dear Respondent,

You are about to respond to a survey that will provide our Social Science 3 group with the information we need for a research paper we are conducting. This research will cover the topic on Why People Watch Pornography and you have our group’s utmost trust that all information you send to us will be kept in complete anonymity. Thank you for your time and effort.

1.) Have you ever watched pornography?

Yes No

• 1a.) If yes, do you watch pornography on regular occasion?

Yes No

2.) Do you think that the act of watching pornography is morally wrong?

Yes No

3.) Which of the following categories do you think is the main reason that influences people to watch pornography for the first time? (Choose one only.)

Curiosity Peer Pressure

Sexual Urges Media

Fun Others: _________________

4.) In your opinion, which of the following categories is the main trigger of man’s urges to watch pornography? (Choose one only.)

Curiosity Habit

To educate themselves Hearsay from peers

Media(TV/Internet availability) Sexual urges

Others: _________________________

5.) Do you think majority (more than 50%) of your male friends watch pornography regularly?

Yes No

6.) Do you think majority (more than 50%) of your female friends watch pornography regularly?

Yes No…...

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