Saturday, April 17

With pornography, men under the influence


Viewing pornographic films is a trivial phenomenon, since 92% of men and 73% of women between the ages of 18 and 69 have seen them. »It is an archi-specialist who affirmed it in 2012 (in the review Agora Debates / Youth): Michel Bozon, sociologist, research director at the National Institute of Demographic Studies in Paris, co-author of “official” surveys on the sexuality of French people. What about 2020? Contacted by e-mail, the sociologist made the same observation: “ The figures cited are already very high, and they have not gone down.

Is it possible that this massive consumption of pornography has no impact on our daily lives – that it is a simple parenthesis? Can we masturbate every day, every week or every month, for years, on very specific images, without our brain “printing”? This is the question asked by Florian Vörös, sociologist and lecturer in information science at the University of Lille, in a book to be published next week: Desire Like a Man – Investigation of Fantasies and Masculinities (ed. La Découverte, November 5, 2020, 160 p. 18 euros).

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Even though the “X taboo” seems to have disappeared a long time ago, this essay questions a media blind spot: adult and “normal” viewing of pornography. We regularly comment on addiction, ultra-violent content, problematic production conditions (this is the case at the moment with the accusations of pimping targeting the Jacquie et Michel site). But the conversation about the banality of porn is rarer, no doubt because it is more slippery: in the absence of consensus on the neuronal, relational or sexual consequences of these images, any position taken becomes militant.

The other reason for this silence is the focus on minors (see reports from theNational Institute of Youth and Popular Education (Injep), polls on the ” Youporn generation “, etc.). As Michel Bozon explains, it is a media chestnut “ associated with fear of the Internet in adults. This obsession with the effects of pornography on young people is a very French phenomenon, which is not found in other countries.

Guilt and contradictions

For Florian Vörös, the question of young people (and even more so young people from the suburbs, perceived by public opinion as particularly malleable) is certainly worrying, but it creates a diversion. Why don’t we wonder about the cognitive dissonance of reconciling republican values equality and non-violence with fantasies whose majority business is based on sexist, racist, LGBTphobic, classist, ageist codes … willingly eroticizing violence?

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