Everywoman Center Coordinator: Porn Damages Women; Porn Addiction


From “Incident triggers debate on pornography”, Sunday Republican, 2/12/89…

Stacey Roth, coordinator of an educational outreach program at Everywoman Center, a women’s advocacy group at the University of Massachusetts, said that, based on accounts of area women speaking about their experiences with domestic abuse, she agrees with recent arguments that pornography damages women.

“Typically, a woman will say that her boyfriend is into very violent forms of pornography and likes to act out specific aspects of that, and she doesn’t know how to stop it,” Roth said, “or a battered woman might perceive a connection between the pornography in her household and the bouts of violence.

“Of course, it’s only the victims’ perception that there is a connection, but from listening to them, I’m ready to believe there is one.”

Meanwhile, some area women seeking help from the Northampton-based battered women’s support group Necessities/Necesidades have also linked pornography with abuse, according to N/N hotline volunteer Helen Harrison.

“Women have told me about being forced to watch violent, hard-core porn or to act out scenes from such material. It’s psychological abuse: the woman being forced to associate sex and her self-image with the depictions,” Harrison said…

“In no other case [of media communications] are people so quick to discount the argument about the human cost, which I think reflects how low protection of women ranks in our priorities. We’re quicker to protest media (material) that depicts the mistreatment of animals than of women,” Roth said. “A society does need to make choices about what attitudes it wants to condone.”

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