A new study in Psychology of Women Quarterly, reports that people who admitted to watching pornography were less likely to support affirmative action for women in a subsequent interview. Why?
“[ . . . ] sexual media activate abstract social scripts, which may then be used to inform opinions about social issues.”
“Pornography often presents women as sexual objects deserving of degradation, and even aggression.”
“In alignment with these depictions, prior studies have found that pornography viewers are more likely to hold a variety of antisocial attitudes towards women.”
Countless studies similar to this one have supported the link between exposure to pornography and a rejection of egalitarian values.
So, my question is: Why does the Nonhuman Animal rights movement (PETA, James McWilliams, CUFA, 269Life, VOKRA, VGirls|VGuys, Animal Liberation Victoria, Vegan Pinup, LUSH, etc.) use porn? How can “sex sell” Nonhuman Animal rights if it fosters anti-egalitarian attitudes? If pornography fosters female objectification and degradation and aggression against women, why would we expect that reaction to magically transform to respect for other animals? And do we not have a duty to protect the safety and dignity of the women who compromise 80% of our movement? How can we build a strong collective if we’re giving the green light to antisocial attitudes against our largest demographic?
This post was originally published on The Academic Abolitionist Vegan on September 16, 2013.
Dr. Wrenn is Lecturer of Sociology. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology with Colorado State University in 2016. She received her M.S. in Sociology in 2008 and her B.A. in Political Science in 2005, both from Virginia Tech. She was awarded Exemplary Diversity Scholar, 2016 by the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity. She served as council member with the American Sociological Association’s Animals & Society section (2013-2016) and was elected Chair in 2018. She serves as Book Review Editor to Society & Animals and has contributed to the Human-Animal Studies Images and Cinema blogs for the Animals and Society Institute. She has been published in several peer-reviewed academic journals including the Journal of Gender Studies, Feminist Media Studies, Disability & Society, Food, Culture & Society, and Society & Animals. In July 2013, she founded the Vegan Feminist Network, an academic-activist project engaging intersectional social justice praxis. She is the author of A Rational Approach to Animal Rights: Extensions in Abolitionist Theory (Palgrave MacMillan 2016).
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