Porn


The Christian Post had an article on how women are being affected by pornography. 30% of women studied are addicted to pornography.

I have always considered porn to be more male driven, as 67% of the men said that they looked at it at least once a month. But for that many woman to be addicted to it, reflects a lack in their life and something that is not being addressed by society or the church. They are different by the way.

Several things stood out to me, but the article reminded us of the claim that an increase in pornography would lead to an increase in violent attacks against women. Research shows that the number of sexual assaults and rape attacks on women are not increasing at the amount of porn that is out there though. Rape is actually some what on the decline. So, does that mean that the Christian outcry against porn is wrong or over hyped?

I don’t think so.

Pornography is a catalyst that will influence people on the decisions they make, but it will not cause a certain reaction to take place. While it is true that people are desensitized from being exposed to it, you are not likely to look at it and want to go rape someone. What will happen is that those people who are exposed to it on regular basis will become more desensitized and will need to change the material they are looking at. It will need to push the boundaries farther in order for them to get the rush that they felt at first. It is a process where people progress from one level to another. There is still that inner moral center that they have, so they can always determine what is and is not acceptable. Not everyone will jump to bestiality or kiddie porn, but they move from looking at a person to looking at people having sex to a group encounter. It is a process and why most new internet sites target those harder markets. Women who are bi-curious or who are considering multiple male partners. The industry follows the demand and the money.

So why are people not acting out on these feelings more? They are, but society has changed and not just the people, so it is not as hard to find people who have similar interests. Look at craigslist. They have sections for casual encounters. Be careful if you do go there, as you will see images that could very easily offend you, but it is there. Ashley Madison is a nationwide site that arranges for married people to meet other married people in order to have affairs. AdultFriendFinder and the like are there. People are not raping more because there are willing partners available that will act out the fantasies and fulfill those desires and needs.

There are more victims from porn than what we are told about though. The number of people in sex slavery is unbelievable. It is estimated to be over 21 million people. These are women and kids who are being tricked or sold into slavery in order to fulfill the sexual desires of paying clients. It could be seen as rape in the fact that these people are not wanting it to happen, but they can not go to the police. The demand is there so people looking to make money will supply it. Would this all happen if porn was obliterated? Maybe. Who is to know. What we do know is that porn helps to remove that shock value at what we see and hear. When we are not shocked or offended, but we accept it as a part of life and develop our own little apathy that contributes to the problem that we have.

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5 Comments

Filed under Bible, Christianity, Religion

5 responses to “Porn

  1. If you are going to blame ‘porn’ for deleterious social effects, then you have to establish causation. And if you are going to select ‘porn’ and expect legislation to address what you assume are its negative connotations in law, then you had best be prepared to defend ‘theology’ from exactly the same charge.

    Or you can allow others to behave as they see fit and expect to be left alone to believe as you see fit. Not a bad compromise, I think.

  2. someone

    Do some research on Benjamin Nolot. He has traveled all over the world and made the Nefarious documentary, shedding light on how porn feeds the demand for sex trafficking. http://www.exoduscry.com

  3. I have no doubt there is much abuse involved with human sexuality, which is why we have laws about human rights and dignity. But to isolate porn as if it – and not the people who profit – caused abuse is simplistic and insufficient thinking.

    Of much greater interest to me is why the expression of human sexuality itself is so befuddled; it seems to me that suppression of healthy and mutual sexuality is a far greater problem that itself fuels unhealthy and objectified arousal.

  4. I think you have me confused with someone else tildeb, because I did not say anything about imposing laws to restrict pornography. It is, for the most part, a first amendment right just as religion or rejection of religion is. It is a choice that people make, but I am saying the choice brings about negative aspects as well.

    For 30% of a population to be addicted is amazing. Porn in this situation is worse than alcohol of the number of people who are addicted to it. That is not a religious statement.

    You suggest that people should allow others to behave the way they want to and others should be left alone. It is an interesting idea, but what happens when that behavior hurts or harms another? Or maybe you didn’t mean that they could completely behave they way they want to, as they must restrict themselves in certain ways. So where is the limit that you would like to impose on these people? They can not violate the physical person of another, perhaps, but is emotional considered in that? Can a man expose himself to a child, as long as there is not touching? Can a couple have sex in their front yards, regardless of the sensitivities of others? How far would you restrict people’s actions and what standard would you use to set that criteria?

    I ask the because I see families destroyed by the effects of porn. Money is spent on it instead of using it to pay bills. Time with the children is denied as the person would rather camp on computer, visit the strip club, or sleep with a lover. The family bond is betrayed and trust is lost. Spouses feel rejected and suffer emotional pain. This is from all kinds of people. I know men and women both who do these things.

    I understand this industry a bit as I spent many years working in it before I was saved. I have worked in strip clubs and saw the drug and alcohol abuse that went with it as women tried to deal with what they were doing. I watched boyfriends pimp out the girls in order to make money so they would not have to work. I have seen people spend entire paychecks at the strip clubs, swinger clubs, adult stores and web sites. I have seen the men and women who cheat on their spouses because they are bored and unfulfilled at home. They see the physical pleasure that can be found with sexual freedom and they crave that. They want to feel something and are willing to lose their families for it.

    I do not blame porn for what happens, as it is the persons responsibility for the choices they made. Porn gave them a view of something they felt they were missing and exposed them to a different life. Without the porn, they could have still had problems, but the problems that developed from the exposure to it would not have occurred. I am stating a problem that society has developed an apathy too. I want people to be aware that there are negative aspects to it.

    • I was addressing the notion that ‘porn’ was being painted as one thing – something blameworthy in and of itself, something that ’caused’ victims. Although I think one can successfully argue certain highly negative aspects of behaviour that are linked to what we call ‘porn’ is very damaging, I also think we have to be careful what it is we are actually talking about. Obviously, criminal activity is defined as such because it causes victims (thus the argument to decriminalize any behaviour where there is no victim) so when a victim is created by an activity or behaviour lumped under this fuzzy notion we call ‘porn’, we must be careful to identify what the crime actually is and who is committing it rather than attribute all this to ‘porn’ itself.

      We like being aroused. That word ‘arousal’ is commonly misunderstood to mean an interest of a sexual nature. But it is exactly the same physiological response we might call ‘thrill seeking’ in this situation and a ‘fight or flight’ response in that. So it’s problematic to attribute the term ‘arousal’ to mean ‘sexual’, in that we seek all kinds of arousal that have the same core physiological responses like an increase in blood pressure and respiration, the release of adrenalin and endorphins, and so on. Under this physiological response, we can attribute its cause to be ‘sexual’ in nature even when many of us would be shocked to think of something this way and this is exactly what we find with people who attribute the pain and shame response to sexual arousal. But the two – arousal and sexual stimulation – are not directly linked; it falls to us to attribute the stimulus appropriately… and it is this term ‘appropriately’ that causes so much confusion. This is why sexual arousal is actually a brain thing – meaning the physiological sexual response we experience responds to our brain’s command to be sexually aroused and not the other way around.

      Where I might find shoving needles under my fingernails painful and unpleasant and extremely removed from what I might find sexually arousing, I can attribute that same physiological arousal response to be stimulating a sexual response even though all nerve impulses reveal a very appropriate pain response. This is how we develop all kinds of sexual quirks.

      ‘Porn’ in this sense of helping to arouse us can be just about anything. Most of us (thankfully) become sexually aroused when we are exposed to what our brains find sexually appropriate… a more intimate and personal expression of caring and concern translated into physical affection. We are showing our affection in a deeply intimate and highly personalized way (which then deepens the bonds of trust and concern) to a willing and responsive partner. But when such advances are rejected in part or whole, then we have a problem in a monogamous social setting.

      Men, for example, are more physiologically capable of easy arousal than women. Seeing a knothole in a fence might be just the ticket to be fully employed and raring for sexual congress and satisfaction. Women (thankfully) are not quite so easily stimulated into action; in general there must be some accompanying emotional component for their arousal to advance into full preparation for sexual congress. Porn for men, by and large, is different than porn for women if we are to associate the term ‘porn’ to be sexually stimulating through physical arousal. But once we include other kinds of stimulation leading to physiological arousal attributed as sexual – for either gender – then all bets are off.

      Stimulants like power, money, status, and so on can be easily attributed to be sexually stimulating. Personal power, for example, is the stimulant for much of what we see in the porn industry where there is a necessary objectification for the sexual act to be stimulating in this impersonal setting. Taken to the extreme, much harm can befall those who participate in (who literally buy into) this form of sexual gratification. But what was stimulating then may no longer suffice now. This is the problem you attribute to how porn sort of advances rather than with those who abuse it for their sexual gratification. But the same is true with broccoli; too much is always a bad thing and not the thing itself used in moderation.

      This is why I wrote that that human sexuality is a fascinating subject of study and just how befuddled a job we do of teaching our young how to find and enjoy that essential balance, of using sexual gratification as a natural extension of our deepening and lasting affections between consenting adults. That we are sexual beings is a fact (thus better understanding why celibacy without any sexual expression is actually a perversion). Understanding what that means, while learning how to express ourselves sexually in enriching (and victimless) ways, is not something to avoid but to embrace. Or, to put it another way, if you want to reduce the harm from those who utilize porn poorly, then you have to teach human sexuality on a much broader scale so that porn can be properly understood to be a very poor substitute for a healthy and vibrant sex life available to all. As I wrote, it’s a brain thing.

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