Midday Culture Connections: Do We Live in a "Pornified" Culture? | WYPR

Midday Culture Connections: Do We Live in a "Pornified" Culture?

Jan 2, 2018

93 percent of boys and 63 percent of girls will be exposed to internet porn before the age of 18.
Credit pixabay.com

A warning to listeners who may be tuning in with young children: we will be talking about mature topics today on this edition of Midday Culture Connections.

The sexual assault allegations against powerful men in Hollywood and pretty much every other industry has shined a light on the pervasiveness of predatory sexual behavior. Today, we’ll examine the ways hypersexualized images of women on television, on the internet and in print distort the ways our culture views and treats women. Scholars have called it “pornification.”  

 Pornography dominates the internet. More people view internet porn every month than click on Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined. So how does pornography affect mainstream popular culture? And how do the images of women we encounter every day affect the ways women view themselves and the ways men view and interact with women?

Is the modern multi-billion dollar pornography industry inherently violent and sexist against women? And if so, what does it mean that 93% of boys and 63% of girls will be exposed to internet porn before the age of 18. 

Dr. Sheri Parks joins us for Midday Culture Connections on the first Tuesday of every month.  She is an Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland College Park. She’s the author of Fierce Angels: Living with a Legacy from the Sacred Dark Feminine to the Strong Black Woman.

Dr. Gail Dines is a professor of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College in Boston. She is the founder and President of Culture Reframed, a non-profit organization that addresses pornography as a public health crisis. She’s the author of Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality

Shanita Hubbard is an educator writer and social justice advocate. She wrote a piece for the New York Times entitled Russell Simmons, R. Kelly, and Why Black Women Can’t Say #MeToo.