Prostitution, Pornography and Sexism

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When looking at how prostitution, pornography, and sexism affect each other, we see that sexism has caused and increased negativity towards individuals in this industry. An article by Susan Pharr called “Homophobia A Weapon of Sexism,” states that men “profit from women’s bodies through pornography, prostitution, and international female sexual slavery.” (Pharr 1997) In a study from Gert Martin Hald called “Pornography and Sexist Attitudes Among Heterosexuals,” stated that men who watched pornography were “significantly associated with less egalitarian attitudes toward women and more hostile sexism.” (Hald 2013) We know from our book that pornography and prostitution is a million dollar industry. For example, for pornography it is a $10 billion industry with investors, filmmakers, and store owners profiting. (Kendall 2012) Our book also states that women are more likely to get into legal trouble than men in the prostitution industry. For, female prostitutes 70% of all arrests for prostitution-related offenses, whereas male prostitutes, pimps, and customers make up only 30% of this population. (Kendall 2012)

In regards to race, there are many racial-ethinic issues raised in the prostitution and pornagraphy industry. Racism has affected the individuals in the prostitution and prognography industries. Our book states that for prostitution, the image of black women as promiscuous is widespread and more whites are arrested for prostitution than any other races. (Kendall 2012) These two groups of individuals are more susceptible to legal issues. For pornography, our book states that white women are more likely portrayed. In an article by Alice Mayall and Diana Russell called “Racism in Pornography,” stated that in regard to racial-ethnic groups that: white women are shown more because 'they fulfil traditional stereotypes equating female beauty' with skin and features. (Kendall 2012, pg 159) These examples show that prostitution and pornography can not only affect who can get jobs in this industry, but also cause an increase in racism in society.

Homophobia can also affect the type of job availability for LGBTQ individuals in this industry. Research has shown that individuals in the gay pornography industry face the same inequalities as others in the same industry. Those who are in the prostitution industry are also more susceptible to arrest, and more prone to violence. For social class we see that in both industries lower income and poverty-level women and men are more likely to be associated. Our book highlighted that in poorer countries both women and children are often sold into the sex trade. (Kendall 2012) We see that prostitution can result from class based inequalities. According to our book, Laura Kipnis a film scholar states in her study in 1996, that generally individuals think that people who appear in pornography “lack class” and 'opposition to pornography is a form of snobbery related to maintaining class distinctions in society.' (Kendall 2012, pg 159) We see here that pornogrpahy perpetuates social class inequality and social class inequality results in these industries. 

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Prostitution, Pornography and Sexism. (2021, Dec 31). Retrieved June 15, 2024 , from

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