Why Men Like Porn and Women Like Romance Novels Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 16 December 2016

Why Men Like Porn and Women Like Romance Novels

Gender differences and their implications have fascinated anthropologists and psychologists and frustrated those in relationships for decades. However, as more and more research becomes available on these differences, people can begin to understand them. One huge area of difference involves sexuality and arousal. For instance, research indicates that men are aroused by visual pornography while women are aroused by romance novels and more subtle approaches.

While these differences may seem solely behavioral, evidence suggests that they may also be biological as well. Either way, the differences between men and women when it comes to sexual stimulation are clear. It is very obvious that more men than women enjoy reading/viewing pornography. Seventy-one percent of adolescent males surveyed in a Canadian studied admitted to seeking out pornography online while only 40% of adolescent females admitted the same (Nosko, Wood, and Desmarais, 2007).

This number increased in males as they entered adulthood and middle age. While it is well known that men are basically visual, the questions is why? One answer comes from experiments which used magnetic resonance imaging MRI to examine the brains of both men and women as they were watching erotic pictures. In men’s brains, the amygdale and the hypothalamus were more activate than in women’s brains (Hamann, Herman, Nolan, & Wallen, 2004). This shows a definite biological approach to the stimulating effects of visual pictures of nudity and sex on men.

Of course this revelation, which has been repeated by other studies, involves the idea of stimulation generalization, which is “the behavioral fact that a conditioned response formed to one stimulus may also be elicited by other stimuli which have not been used in the course of conditioning” (Hilgard and Marquis, 1940). What this basically means is that men who are aroused by visually seeing a woman’s body while having sex will be able to switch this response automatically while viewing pornography.

Because women do not have as high a level of activation in those areas of the brain described above, they are not as prone to this type of visual arousal. So why do women like romance novels and the like? Nora Roberts, a popular romance novel author says, “The books are about the celebration of falling in love and emotion and commitment, and all of those things we really want” (Gray, 2000). Therefore, women are more impressed by emotion than by visual stimuli.

In fact, Gray says that romance novels, which make up 40% of the novel market, allow women to create their own fantasies that do not involve any of the guilt or ambiguity of real life. Women purchase these novels almost exclusively, and they are written almost exclusively by women (Gray, 2000). While men want to see the actual image of a woman and turn to pornography, women want to create their own fantasy world in which true love and emotion rule. Women, therefore respond to these non-visual novels in order to create an “optimistic and emotionally satisfying ending” (Gray, 2000).

Men prefer that world to be ready-made and to have a physically satisfying ending. Thus gender differences even invade the types of reading/viewing materials that people choose. Women choose romance novels for the emotional fulfillment and dislike porn as disgusting. Men like porn because it offers them a quick and easy way to fulfill a desire for visual images, which are supported by research on the brain. Thus, the vision is the stimulus which creates the physical arouse. For women, the emotional arousal must come first.

References Gray, Paul. (2000).Passion on the Pages. Time. March 20. Retrieved 11/9/2007 from . http://www. time. com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,996381-1,00. html Hamann, Herman, Nolan, & Wallen. (2004). Men and women differ in amygdale response to visual sexual stimuli. Nature Neuroscience 7(4): 411-416 Hilgard, E. , and Marquis, D. (1940) Conditioning and Learning. New York: Appleton-Century. Nosko, Wood and Desmarais. (2007). Unsolicited online sexual material: What affects our attitudes and likelihood to search for more? The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality 16 (1-2)

Free Why Men Like Porn and Women Like Romance Novels Essay Sample

B

  • Subject:

  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 16 December 2016

  • Words:

  • Pages:

Let us write you a custom essay sample on Why Men Like Porn and Women Like Romance Novels

for only $16.38 $13.9/page

your testimonials