Nature: Psychological attacks rank high on torture list (explicit language)

The journal Nature reports that the long-term mental suffering caused by psychological abuse is similar to that of physical abuse. To us, this further undercuts the notion that porn is just harmless fantasy. Many porn scenarios involve psychological abuse, as we will show below. But first, Nature:

The long-term mental anguish caused by psychological torture and humiliating treatment is comparable to that caused by physical torture, a new study indicates.

…[T]he US Department of Defense has argued for a definition of torture that does not include many acts of psychological abuse, including humiliating treatment, isolation, or deprivation of sleep, food, or medical care. The implication is that these psychological acts aren’t as serious, says Metin Basoglu of King’s College University in London, lead author of the new study.

To investigate this point, Basoglu and his colleagues studied the effects of psychological abuse in 279 survivors of torture during the war in former Yugoslavia. Nearly all of the participants had been beaten, humiliated and threatened with death. Participants were asked to rank the distress caused by different assaults on a scale of zero to four.

The results, published this week in Archives of General Psychiatry [citation], showed that many forms of psychological abuse ranked as high as physical torture. Fondling of genitals or witnessing a sham execution, for example, scored an average 3.7 out of 4, higher than forced extraction of teeth (3.6) and stretching of the body (3.5), and nearly as high as the most distressing assault: rape, which was rated at 3.9.

Participants were also asked to describe how much control they felt they had during each stressor. Overall, the less control the prisoner felt, the more distress they experienced. This mirrors findings from animal research, in which animals exposed to uncontrollable and unpredictable stresses show greater signs of stress.

Clinicians in torture rehabilitation centres have noted this anecdotally for decades, says David Eisenman, a doctor of internal medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. “People who have the greatest mental distress are not necessarily the people who are physically injured by the event,” says Eisenman.

One genre of porn today is “bukkake”. Wikipedia defines this as

a group sex practice wherein a series of people take turns ejaculating onto someone. There can be strong overtones of erotic humiliation in this practice. Various styles exist, but a common form of bukkake seen in such publications will involve a woman or man sitting, lying down, or kneeling while men (or functional transsexuals) approach to masturbate until they ejaculate on her/his body, primarily on the face or in the mouth….

Fetish “forced bukkake” movies are popular in Japan. The typical plot features a young woman acting as a naïve, uniformed student or a demure pantyhosed office lady somehow finding herself in the predicament of being tied up and drenched with semen against her will.
In the case of lesbian bukkake,

Because many women do not generally ejaculate during orgasm, some pornographic films that purport to depict female ejaculation actually show women urinating.

See also:

Lizzy Borden: We don’t shoot “all the lovey-dovey stuff that there’s not a big market for” (explicit language)
Interviewer: So what is this scene going to have in it that’s controversial?
Borden: A girl being kidnapped, being forced to have sex against her will, being degraded. Being called “a cunt, a whore, a slut, a piece of shit.” Then being butchered at the end, and spit on. She’s being degraded…

Abusive Relationships and Porn: The Similarities (explicit language)

Punishment Porn: “Whether-She-Wants-It-Or-Not” (explicit)
My face averted, I did as I was told. I’ve learned the hard way that hesitating or protesting is stupid. But I haven’t learned how not to feel utterly juvenile and humiliated while I stand there in front of Rich, naked from the waist down while he scolds me, explains what I’ve done wrong, and tells me exactly what I’m about to get…

Now on Sale at (explicit language)
Use Em’ Abuse Em’ and Lose Em’ #9
Ride along as we pick up ordinary young women fuck’em senseless and dump’em! It’s all good clean fun!

Testimony in Minneapolis: Pornography contributes to women’s masochism, chronic depression, anxiety and lowered self-esteem; porn’s false promises to men
In my professional opinion, what women learn from observing pornography directly, or from relating to men who observe pornography directly, is tolerance for physical, sexual and emotional abuse at male hands. This, in turn, leads to the suppression of anger, and its consequent self-destructive behavior among women.

Free Book Download: Diana Russell’s Against Pornography: The Evidence of Harm (explicit)
As the myth that women enjoy rape is widely held, the argument that consumers of pornography realize that such portrayals are false, is totally unconvincing (Brownmiller, 1975; Burt, 1980; Russell, 1975). Indeed, several studies have shown that portrayals of women enjoying rape and other kinds of sexual violence can lead to increased acceptance of rape myths in both males and females. In an experiment conducted by Neil Malamuth and James Check, for example, one group of college students saw a pornographic depiction in which a woman was portrayed as sexually aroused by sexual violence, and a second group was exposed to control materials. Subsequently, all subjects were shown a second rape portrayal. The students who had been exposed to the pornographic depiction of rape were significantly more likely than the students in the control group (1) to perceive the second rape victim as suffering less trauma; (2) to believe that she actually enjoyed it; and (3) to believe that women in general enjoy rape and forced sexual acts (Check and Malamuth, 1985, p.419).

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