To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Unless You Count My Pained Penis, There Are No Victims of Online Pornography

Another installment of -- Things I Read So You Don't Have To.

Mary Eberstadt writing over at The Catholic Thing on Lust and porno:

The news – and as it happens, there is some real news about all this – is that this sophisticated game of dumbing down the costs of Lust has left many people disarmed at what may be the worst possible time. Such was the plain meaning of a conference at Princeton last weekend on “The Social Costs of Pornography.” The Witherspoon Institute and two other groups organized a gathering that for once truly deserves the adjective “groundbreaking” – an unprecedented assortment of psychiatrists, psychologists, authors, scientists, and professors of sociology, psychology, law, and philosophy, summoned from around the nation to tally up and explain, in particular, the human toll of internet pornography.

Just for starters, another outstanding lie of our time – that pornography itself is a victimless, harmless pursuit – has been definitively laid to rest by these researchers. In an age of so many fake victims, they offered a torrent of data about real ones. Lawyers reported that a growing percentage of divorces now come from pornography addiction. Therapists reported that frustrated wives and girlfriends gave the ultimatum, “it’s your porn or me,” only to have husbands and boyfriends choose the former – with family trauma and breakup the entirely predictable results. All this is to say nothing of the children and adolescents dragooned into the “industry” via drugs, prostitution, and rape; or of the many other children and adolescents who have been inadvertently or deliberately exposed to internet pornography as their first template, with consequences that even the most jaded psychologists and related practitioners cannot yet imagine.
So there's a lot to digest there, and I encourage you to read the whole thing if you aren't to busy ignoring your wife and kids and rubbing one out to some ATM porn (ass-to-mouth, Mary). If that's the case let me break it down for you -- Porn is bad. Easy to get, no cost, with as many genres as one could want; internet pornography is even worse. It's the cause of divorces, family trauma and enables rape, drug abuse and paedophilia. In fact, if you watch porn online you are probably supporting the terrorists directly. You didn't know this did you? I didn't either, and truthfully I made that last one up. Sssh, don't tell anyone. I figured with all the exaggerated bullshit in no-fun-Nancy's article you wouldn't notice a made-up statement or two thrown in.

The real take-away outrage from a piece like this is that these people are so blinded by their own value system that they miss the real benefits from something like internet pornography. There has been a lot of serious work done in the academic community that shows a possible correlation between the decrease of reported rapes in this country over the past 25 years and the availability of pornography over that same time. I tend to believe it, but it may just be a coincidence. However, the sharp decline in rapes, and other violent crimes means that you couldn't possibly connect the easy availability of pornography to a surge in rapes and violent crimes. I may not be able to prove the drop is connected to porn, but if you claim it causes an increase, you better be able to show that increase.

The proliferation of pornography has also empowered women who are involved in the industry. Not all women stars will become the next Jenna Jameison, controlling their own commercial empire, but more have that opportunity now than ever before. While recently there has been a trend towards home produced videos with the explosion of streaming video sites, a large majority of produced (and most importantly) commercialized porn is professionally produced by studios where the women actors hold the most leverage. Women are not coerced into this industry, and contrary to what Mary might think most porn isn't filmed Black Snake Moan style in some sceevy guys basement. Even the at-home productions provides women -- some of who may be single mom types -- access to a previously non-existent income stream.

Here's the best nugget of the piece:

And those are just some obvious casualties. Clinicians also spoke of patients progressing rapidly from itinerant use of “soft-core” pornography to compulsive forages for images of “hard-core” child rape, bestiality, and other violence.
"Hard-core" pornography is not child rape, bestiality, and other violent sexual acts. Hard-core pornography describes pornography that shows penetration, and the parts used for that penetration. It covers all porn. Soft-core is the porn that we all grew-up on that could be found late at night on Showtime. Or as Mary would call it, the gateway porn.

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