Wanna be a feminist? Watch some porn! 

In News by Jamie Peck / September 15, 2015

It’s been pretty thoroughly debunked at this point that watching porn makes you a bad feminist. I mean, what is this, 1972? But the findings of a new sociological study take that idea a step further to say that actually, people who hold feminist views are more likely to consume pornography than people who don’t. In your face, Andrea Dworkin.

For this study, which is somewhat heavy handedly titled Is Pornography Really about “Making Hate to Women”? Pornography Users Hold More Gender Egalitarian Attitudes Than Nonusers in a Representative American Sample, a group of researchers from the University of Western Ontario measured people’s feminism quotient by several litmus tests: their views on women in positions of power, women working outside the home, and abortion rights. They also looked at their views on “the traditional family” and whether or not they self identified as feminists. The data was taken from a survey conducted every year in the US from 1975 to 2010.

They found that people who had watched at least one X-rated movie in the past year held more egalitarian attitudes than people who had not. Via The Journal of Sex Research:

Pornography users held more egalitarian attitudes—toward women in positions of power, toward women working outside the home, and toward abortion—than nonusers of pornography. Further, pornography users and pornography nonusers did not differ significantly in their attitudes toward the traditional family and in their self-identification as feminist. The results of this study suggest that pornography use may not be associated with gender nonegalitarian attitudes in a manner that is consistent with radical feminist theory…Taken together, the results of this study fail to support the view that pornography is an efficient deliverer of ‘women-hating ideology.’

But does this actually prove anything? I mean, it’s the internet age. The only people who haven’t watched a single YouPorn clip in the past year are evangelical Christians and the Amish. (And some of them are probably lying.) Of course they’re going to have more retrograde views of women. And how does it skew the data to have it span both the pre and post-internet age? “The results of the current study can also be reasonably criticized on methodological grounds, because the survey items used in these analyses were not originally designed to test this hypothesis,” admit the authors.

In the end, it’s entirely possible that porn is both a reflection of and an actor upon society, and I’d love to see a more finely tuned study about it. Unfortunately, the people at the University of Western Ontario were too busy disproving second wave theory that nobody has taken seriously for decades to engineer such a thing.

[h/t The Telegraph | Image]