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August 1, 2023 40 mins

It’s a $97 billion global industry that has made its way into mobile phones, video games and laptops. Never before has porn been more accessible, and offered more variety, than the present day. And yet, some feminists want to revisit the question of whether it should exist at all. They say pornography exploits young women and creates unrealistic expectations in the bedroom. So many of society’s worst problems – from pedophilia, to sexual assault, to gender inequality – are amplified by porn use. And with the advent of the internet and video streaming, children are able to access hardcore porn with few guardrails, leading to a generation of young men who are getting their sex education from unrealistic and exploitative sexual relationships portrayed onscreen. On the other side of the debate are those who see value in porn: research shows that men who watch porn value female pleasure more, couples who watch porn together have better sexual relationships, and LGBT folk report a greater sense of community acceptance. Porn, its defenders argue, is being used as a distraction when many of the problems related to the industry are already systemic in our everyday lives. And finally, attempting to ban porn would only drive it underground and increase the risk of exploitation. In their view, it’s time to put the decades long debate over porn to bed, once and for all.

Arguing for the motion is Meghan Murphy, she’s a writer, journalist, and founder of Feminist Current, a feminist website and podcast

Arguing against the motion is David Ley, clinical psychologist and sex therapist, and author of The Myth of Sex Addiction


The host of this Munk Debates podcast is Ricki Gurwitz

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Senior Producer: Ricki Gurwitz

Editor: Kieran Lynch

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