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The Effects of Violent Pornography

            Margaret Atwood, in her essay "Pornography," published in 1988, describes the issue of violent pornography in the United States and its growing popularity. Atwood's purpose is to inform readers and help them develop opinions about the gruesome topic. She begins by describing the violent side of pornography, "the death, messy, explicit, and highly sadistic" kind (30). She neutrally discusses the "pro-porners" and "those in favor of censorship," describing each sides beliefs (31)." Atwood transitions into describing the speculated reasons for pornography. This multibillion dollar industry is thriving off of males seeking entertainment, backlashing the women's movement, and trying to have power over female sexuality. Atwood argues that pornography ruins relationships, decreases sex education, glorifies rape, and causes severe addiction problems. Although Atwood presents many factual statements about the addictiveness of porn, she is bias towards males and I believe is incorrect in stating that porn is making sex education a thing of the past. .
             Atwood uses an effective technique in comparing porn to alcohol and drugs, appealing to logos by describing the many similarities they have on the human body. She clearly describes the comparable chemical changes that occur in the body which the user finds exciting and pleasurable. Atwood goes on to address the "hard core" users, who develop a tolerance to porn very similar to a tolerance of alcohol (34). These users realize that a little is no longer enough, and they begin craving more and more. Atwood bluntly and boldly states, "Not only the quantity consumed but the quality of explicitness must escalate, which may account for the growing violence: once the big deal was breasts, then it was genitals, then copulation (34)." I feel that Atwood's technique of factually comparing porn to alcohol helps the average American reader relate to something they are more familiar with, and thus better understand how the addictions come to pass.

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