Porn And Rape, Any Relationship?

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Porn and rape have been synonymously linked together for a long time. The Internet has brought porn to everyone. And pornography is all over the internet. Porn is within the reach of finger-tips of all internet users, and due to aggressive advertising by pornographic sites, internet users are likely to be exposed to such contents without actively seeking them. The debate whether there is a relationship between porn and rape still rages on.

Pedro Animashaun, 33 had a taste of immorality when he slid out of his matrimonial bed at 1.00am with sleep becoming  a mean stranger. His dirty thoughts were focused on Helen, their house help.Tiptoeing, with the pretense of ironing his clothes, since electrical power was restored about half an hour ago, he gained access to the living room where the househelp slept. He wasted no time touching Helen who was oblivious in deep sleep.

At that moment, Pedro’s heart skipped a beat as he heard someone walk into the living room. It was Pedro’s wife. She had caught her husband fumbling with the sleeping househelp. Before this embarrassing act, Pedro had visited several porn sites on his mobile phone. This begs the question whether his intent to rape was related to his addiction to porn? 

Another alleged incident of porn and rape is the gory incident of a seven-year-old who had spent just one academic term at his new school in Abuja when he told his mother he would not be returning to the institution, a special facility for children with disability. Using sign language, the boy, born with speech and hearing impairment, said he feared he may be killed.

“They will kill me if I return to that school,” Hannatu Usman recalled her son saying.

Alarmed, Mrs Usman, a medical doctor, pressed for details. The boy motioned about being sodomised and being forced to perform oral sex on older school mates. He spoke about being driven in the night to a gathering where men killed and conducted rituals, drew children’s blood and forced them to perform erotic acts. The boy said he was brutalised whenever he refused to do as instructed. The perpetrators of these heinous acts were core addicts to porn.

In 2011, a video of the gang rape of an Abia State University student by five men was posted on social media. Despite video evidence, the Abia State Governor denied the incident and excused the perpetrators, suggesting the victim consented to the rape because “we did not see her resist in the video”. Social media turned against the victim, and the case evaporated. No charges, no arrests. Addiction to porn allegedly had initially made this case seem inconsequential.

Be reminded that Child sexual abuse in Nigeria is an offence under several sections of chapter 21 of the country’s criminal code. The age of consent is 18.

UNICEF reported in 2015 that one in four girls and one in ten boys in Nigeria had experienced sexual violence before the age of 18.  According to a survey by Positive Action for Treatment Access, over 31.4 percent of girls there said that their first sexual encounter had been rape or forced sex of some kind.

Nothing exposes the backwardness of a country more than this prevalent rape culture, backed by religious and cultural sentiments of male supremacy and dominance.

Nigeria’s Criminal Code recommends life imprisonment for those convicted of rape and 14 years for attempted rape. Given that as few as two out of 40 rape cases are reported in Nigeria, it is difficult to estimate the number of rapes committed each year. Yet it is quite shocking that in the legal history of Nigeria, fewer than 20 persons have been convicted of the crime.

One major reason for this might be the fact that most rape perpetrators are known to the victim, and might even be family members. As Nigeria’s culture dictates protecting the family at all cost, the burden is left for the victim to bear, often causing major life-long trauma without any hope for justice.

In 1977, radical feminist Robin Morgan conceptualized ‘pornography is the theory, and rape is the practice’. This assumption that porn and rape are related is held by the feminist theorists who showed the relationship between viewing pornography and attempting rape by primarily studying pre-rape behaviors of convicted rapists. The view, ‘more porn, more rape’ is founded on the assumption that viewing pornography arouses sexual urge, encourages deviant sexual behaviors and because of the objectification of women in porn and normalization of rape along with deviant sexual behaviors, this increases the predisposition for sexual violence against women. Those who hold this belief conclude that viewing porn leads to increase in deviant sexual behaviors including rape.

On the other hand, the view, ‘more porn, less rape’, is founded on the researches that showed the increase of internet use doesn’t directly correspond to the increase in sexual violence. Some researchers show no significant relationship between pornography and rape, whereas some others point to decreased statistics of sexual assaults since internet porn became widespread. This view is based on the assumption that viewing pornography actually satisfies the sexual urge, primarily through masturbation, thereby leading to the situation where men are less likely to be violent to fulfill natural sexual needs. 

It is vital and of utmost importance that children and young adults are not exposed to pornography. Exposing them would hamper their natural growth or lead to deviant sexual behaviors. Parents should be made aware of the importance of healthy sexual and relationship talks with their children. 

On rape, proactive measures  such as public awareness, safety precautions, strong laws and victim-friendly investigation and prosecutions, are what the state should implement in order to decrease incidents of rape.

What’s your opinion? Does porn lead to rape? Drop your opinion below.

SAY NO TO RAPE.

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