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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Can it be ethically/logically proven or not proven that Porn is "demeaning" to women? (Page 4)

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Author Topic: Can it be ethically/logically proven or not proven that Porn is "demeaning" to women?
scifibum
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There are probably three or four general levels of "observation" excluding scientific study. I've ranked these according to how much weight I think they should have in forming an opinion:

1) direct personal experience
2) Stories you hear from other people about their direct personal experience
3) Observing other relationships and assessing what happened to them and why
4) Stories you hear from people about what they've observed happening in other relationships and how they've assessed what happened and why.

#1 has a lot of weight for obvious reasons. #2 should have nearly equal weight because other people's direct experience has as much validity as your own direct experience, and there's no better way to get the truth of that experience than to believe what they say (again, short of scientific study).

#3 and #4 should be discounted compared to #1 and #2, because most of the time you don't know more (or even close to the same amount) about the situation than the people who are directly involved.

MPH, I think you might have been telling me that advice for robots was talking about #3. I actually assumed it was just #1 and #2, but even if it included #3, I don't think it's valid to include that in the sum total of experiences and observations without also including #2.

Edit: in case it's not clear I'm talking about observation of personal relationships, not in a more general sense.

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scifibum
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Regardless, my tone was overly snide toward advice for robots. I'm sorry about that.
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advice for robots
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I'm a he, by the way. [Smile]

From your list, scifibum, it would be mainly #1-3, buttressed by #4, with #2 stories told in less of a debate setting than Hatrack. I am mainly talking about witnessing for myself the impact in lives over the long term, both in how they act, how they change, and how their relationships are affected--and feeling it when it was close to home. I have not seen porn be anything but more and more addictive as a person allows it into their life, and more and more destructive in the family. In my experience, it's not something that can be used casually for long or given up easily.

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MightyCow
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If a husband is a woodworker, and the wife thinks he spends too much time in the shop, maybe he should spend less time in the shop.

BUT, maybe she has an unrealistic expectation of how much time he should spend with her, and she needs to get another hobby to keep her busy while he's doing his woodworking.

OR, maybe she should consider taking up woodworking too, so that she could enjoy his hobby with him, and spend time together that way.

You can make the connection to porn.

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MattP
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quote:
I have not seen porn be anything but more and more addictive as a person allows it into their life, and more and more destructive in the family. In my experience, it's not something that can be used casually for long or given up easily.
I have to wonder if there is a cultural context that contributes to these trends, because my experiences are similar for the people that I know that are in a religious culture that shuns pornography, while not being the case for the people that I know who have consumed porn but are not religious.

*Edited a typo that negated the last statement.

[ March 12, 2009, 05:31 PM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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fugu13
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afr: I suspect that there's quite a bit of a sampling problem. The only people you notice the porn usage of are the ones with problems. Given that there are a large number of studies showing widespread viewing of porn (particularly by men), I suspect there are a number of people you know who view porn and see no noticeable negative impact (at the very least).
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scifibum
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advice for robot, sorry about the gender mixup. I think I inherited it from mph. [Smile]
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
I have not seen porn be anything but more and more addictive as a person allows it into their life, and more and more destructive in the family. In my experience, it's not something that can be used casually for long or given up easily.
I have to wonder if there is a cultural context that contributes to these trends, because my experiences are similar for the people that I know that are in a religious culture that shuns pornography, while not being the case for the people that I know who have consumed porn yet but are not religious.
Do not, please, lump "religious people" all together when it comes to this.
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mr_porteiro_head
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He's not. He contrasted "people in a religious culture that suns pornography" with people who are not religious.
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MattP
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quote:
Do not, please, lump "religious people" all together when it comes to this.
Please note that I apply the term "religious", with a "shuns pornography" modifier, to a specific group with which I have direct experience. I'm not making any claim about broader demographics.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
advice for robot, sorry about the gender mixup. I think I inherited it from mph. [Smile]

You inherited it from me? That means you must be my long-lost son! Or daughter. I forget. [Wink]
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
He's not. He contrasted "people in a religious culture that suns pornography" with people who are not religious.

Right. Just wanted to add, for the record, that while he noted only two sets of people, those are not the only two sets.
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scifibum
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I'm going to write here a bit about the cultural context thing.

I think multiple factors usually have to converge in order for sexual compulsivity to develop. Certain applications of religious beliefs often contribute some of the factors. I'm not quite ready to google "sexual addiction" here at work (though posting this and other things I have posted recently might be skirting the same line *yikes*) but Sexaholics Anonymous has some literature that expounds on this. The oversimplified version is that shame and a need to keep sexual acts secret contribute strongly to compulsivity, because the cognitive patterns that develop reinforce a belief that one is bad and unloveable, honesty would preclude acceptance and love, and therefore the only way to care for oneself is through acting out. Ironically, when all of the factors line up just so, strong condemnation of porn use or other sexual behaviors can cement their role as secret deviation & important sustenance. Ironic because in those specific conditions, less condemnation might lead to less of a problem.

This is, unfortunately, mostly apparent in an individual after a problem already exists, and hasn't been able to control his impulses.

It's a real dilemma. For people with religious or other strong moral objections to porn and other sexual acts, compulsivity and significant negative consequences for a few might be a more acceptable price than tolerating and minimizing the importance of widespread indulgence. Whether there's a way to fine-tune the disapproval in a way that minimizes the total problem, I don't know - but I do have my suspicions that the culture I'm most familiar with - multi-generational LDS in Utah - might be leaning a little too far to the condemnation side of things, based on my own experiences, hearing about situations like MattP has described, and from hearing the LDS church leaders talking about how serious a problem porn has become (how widespread the usage is within the church at levels that cause other problems). Also when people who I understand to have a similar cultural context argue about how much damage it always seems to cause, when people outside of that context seem to have a much lower rate of problematic consequences.

I mentioned a talk from BYU called "the problem of pornography" and I want to refer to it again - the speaker seemed to have a great deal of experience counseling LDS pornography addicts and spoke with a great deal of compassion and common sense. She advised against reacting to it with ultimatums, threats, or otherwise escalating the problem outside of honest discussion of feelings. I didn't catch her name or I'd look up her credentials (I'm not going to google the name of the presentation at the moment). My impression is that within the church - or whatever aspect of the church or university bureaucracy this woman could be understood to represent - the recognition is growing that cultural horror of pornography can sometimes contribute to the problem.

As far as I can discern my motivations in posting in this thread, I think they include wanting to help people understand that violent disgust is probably exactly the *wrong* way to react to something that is normal (meaning not unusual) AND widespread AND difficult to avoid. That is, if you want to avoid contributing to the cultural context from which emerges compulsivity and life-ruining behavior. Of course, I also have a little bit of desire to justify what I do IRL, but let me be frank: I'm not celebrating my use of porn. I haven't done a 180 from the attitudes I grew up with, not to that extent. I find it somewhat embarrassing and might like to claim I have the self control never to look at it; I've just found it extremely counterproductive to beat myself up about it, so I don't (and most of all I try to maintain the stability and balance that I've found, which was so lacking back when I saw myself as a lecher and a failure).

I think aside from the utility of condemnation of porn in certain contexts, there are separate concerns about the ethics of the industry. I don't start from the premise that God says so, but I still recognize some potential ethical problems with pornography, in that sexual acts can be emotionally powerful in ways that participants might not be prepared to allow for. I think it does, often, exploit and worsen damage in people with compromised emotional stability, or who aren't capable of discerning and acting in their long term interests the way most other people are. However, I don't know that any of these problems with porn can be successfully addressed directly. Rather, I think they stem from problems such as broken households, sexual abuse, drug addiciton, etc. I think addressing those upstream problems is more important and potentially much more effective than trying to control or ban the porn industry. Especially since these problems aren't necessarily intrinsic to the activity - as others have pointed out, there are people who seem to function at a high level, act in intelligent self interest, act ethically, and otherwise don't seem to be broken, who participate at all levels of that industry.

The above was what I wanted to address to Puppy before he left. He mentioned concerns with modifying ethics to match behavior, and I actually agree with him. I would not want to argue that anyone who thinks porn is wrong should just change their mind and embrace it - because I do think there are ethical problems. I'm not at all perfect in applying my ethics to my own behavior, and that was not the point of me describing my personal experiences earlier - I was making a separate point about the nature of sexual compulsivity and the relative level of happiness and stability I've achieved by altering the moral context of my actions. (And I hope it's clear that that change did not come at the cost of increased harm for someone else.)

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
I'm still, occasionally, re-reading this thread over and shaking my head with amazement.

You're still occasionally rereading this thread? It's not quite two days old.
Rarely do I go back to a thread and say something like "I really, just, feel lost, have I been reading this discussion right?"

So I combed this over a few times, just .. searching for words.

Porn as a moral scourge — people talking about porn as though it were wholly evil — really does feel anachronistic to me. I don't even mean that in an antagonistic sense. It feels so disconnected, like a bygone remnant of an age that worked hard to be *terrified* of its own sexuality.

When I hear people discussing porn as a Great Evil that tears apart families/marriages/mental health, it evokes the image of old evangelical fire-and-brimstone elders railing against the moral scourge of penny-dreadfuls and them thar picture machine shows saying that it turns good boys and girls into wastrels and ne'er-do-wells and puts The Satan in them.

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Samprimary
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quote:
but I do have my suspicions that the culture I'm most familiar with - multi-generational LDS in Utah - might be leaning a little too far to the condemnation side of things, based on my own experiences, hearing about situations like MattP has described, and from hearing the LDS church leaders talking about how serious a problem porn has become (how widespread the usage is within the church at levels that cause other problems).
Apparently a great way to increase porn consumption is to foster a culture that demands abstinence until marriage, which lends a lot of young men to turn to porn to deal with the frustrations of that abstinence.

I was wholly unsurprised to find out that Utah consumes the most .. I don't know what you would call the figure, per-capita porn?

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scifibum
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You're referring to a study that indicates Utah has a higher rate of subscriptions to a certain suite of porn sites than other states. This is *not* the same thing as the most per-capita porn consumption. One factor you should keep in mind is that I could count the places in Utah where I could buy a dirty video on personally attached digits. Per-capita I bet Utah has the lowest number of retail porn outlets.

But yeah, expecting abstinence can be one of the cultural contributors that sometimes produce compulsive sexual acting out.

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Samprimary
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When other people read that study, they conclude that either utah either

1. needs more porn per person than the rest of the nation, or

2. is filled with the highest quantity of people who can't figure out how to d/l their porn for free

I guess you've added a possible #3 for 'is the state with the highest reliance on internet porn availability'

idk though. On the whole e-porn is collapsing retail sales of porn because it's more anon and you also don't have to pay as much per minute (or at all)

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scifibum
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While I can't say that #1 is definitely NOT true, I think #3 is probably the most significant factor, and #2 probably factors in as well.
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
advice for robot, sorry about the gender mixup. I think I inherited it from mph. [Smile]

You inherited it from me? That means you must be my long-lost son! Or daughter. I forget. [Wink]
My parent class was derived from MrSomethingHead, but I'm not sure I should mention the specific class name here. Perhaps we both inherited from MrSomethingHead. All I know is it might be time to implement the HeSheDistinction interface.
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Vyrus
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My moniker is ambiguous-I feel your pain.

Anyway, as for

quote:
"There are many actresses in porn who are perfectly functional members of society, of the family unit, who are active in their community, despite what they do in their "dayjob" is atypical."

How many? I'm curious to know what percentage of porn actresses fit this description.

I'm sure there are no real statistics on it.

I know a large amount of porn stars, particularly those of an older age (which, for the porn industry, is anyone over twenty-five or so) that are married, and many with children.

This information is largely gleaned from documentaries, television shows, and research on wikipedia.

This information is only readily available for most higher-name porn stars, of course.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
advice for robot, sorry about the gender mixup. I think I inherited it from mph. [Smile]

You inherited it from me? That means you must be my long-lost son! Or daughter. I forget. [Wink]
My parent class was derived from MrSomethingHead, but I'm not sure I should mention the specific class name here. Perhaps we both inherited from MrSomethingHead. All I know is it might be time to implement the HeSheDistinction interface.
The HeShe distinction interface, which parses screennames for certain patterns, has been in place for a long time. You just choose to not utilize it by using a screen name which the HeShe distinction interface fails to return a definitive value for. [Razz]
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Hobbes
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Scifibum, I really appreciated your post, thank-you! [Smile] I'm not in total harmony with your positions but that really helped clarify a lot of things. I agree that overly strong reactions can do more harm than good, forcing either increased polarization of the issue when "the user" so to speak, believes there's no problem, or deep feelings of shame and a drive to hide actions rather than change when confronting someone who does believe it's wrong but does it anyways. I know for me with my own laundry list of sins I commit despite my knowledge that they're wrong (for me) being confronted with horror or disgusts has never helped me do anything productive. I think most people's "overly-strong" reaction is probably due to the general feeling of permissiveness that pervades our culture as well as deep-seated feelings about it's moral status. Sometimes we try to overcompensate for other's lack of concern by dialing up our own I think. It doesn't really do much good; it's like lying to defend the truth: it may sound impressive but in the end the false foundation you've created crumbles and destroys any confidence that might be left in the real truth!

Hobbes [Smile]

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scifibum
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Thanks for the response, Hobbes. [Smile]
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BlackBlade
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scifibum: I appreciated your lengthy treatment of your own feelings on this issue, it is one for which I can sympathize extensively.

It seems like if we crudely summarize everything you said you are essentially saying that being excessively hostile towards porn use can cause harm as surely as excessive porn does. Excess in all forms is harmful I should think.

But what of the matter of excess belief that an addiction is without solution? I can completely understand that pornography can often seem like an insurmountable obstacle, that after years of struggle to defeat it it remains strong if not stronger than ever. After confessing to having a problem time and time again nothing seems to free you from its' grip. Priesthood leaders can't cure you, family can't, friends can't, you can't. Other addicts stories of success seem hollow to you as they didn't do anything you haven't already tried. You start to believe there isn't any method out there that will work but at least you can rid yourself of some of the guilt associated with hating the activity and that certainly makes you feel better to a degree.

Only you can know this for yourself, but look inside and ask yourself if you've really done all that you could do. How many hours do you spend viewing porn and how many do you spend actively attacking the addiction? How much time have you spent simply hating yourself after viewing porn and how much did you spend formulating a plan to escape? How much time have you spent actually researching how to break porn addiction? How many programs designed to free you from porn have you actually attempted? I don't have much advice for you as only you know the answers to that question and I am not a therapist.

I only know that in my own behavior if I encounter an obstacle that just won't go away I have a tendency to just give up and wish it would just go away, sometimes it does but more often it just doesn't. I also know that when it comes to picking myself up and trying to go above and beyond what I typically do in order to accomplish tasks that I am not very reliable. Sometimes I need to be prodded by others, and sometimes I just need to be fed up enough that I am willing to go just alittle further.

I'm not sure if any of that helps you as it seems you have made some pretty distinct decisions as far as your approach to porn is concerned. But I hope you might reconsider that porn is unbeatable and really it's the attitude that it can be avoided completely that's always wrong. Maybe you think that you are particularly unsuited for beating that addiction, and that others are more capable. Maybe that's true, but I'd suggest that you always be open to the idea that it might be wrong.

If a solution for porn addiction was found and it had a 100% success rate, but was harder than anything you could ever conceive of, would you still do it? Again a question only you can answer. As for myself I want to believe that if I was in the way of my own happiness I'd find a way to remove myself as the problem, no matter what it took. But I am honest enough to recognize that I might languish for years letting the problem fester rather than sucking it up and doing what was necessary.

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scifibum
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BlackBlade, some of those questions are only relevant from the context that says "using porn is bad. Period." However, I appreciate the thought and effort that went into your post, and I may give you a more substantive response later. (Or may just send you an email because I really don't want this to turn into a "does scifibum have a problem or not" thread.)
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MattP
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I was going to say that I think BB kind of missed the point of scifi's post which was not about how hard it is to completely free oneself from porn, but whether it was necessary or even preferable to do so in every case.

It seems reasonable to me that you can look at the two opposing factors, the combination of which is the actual cause of pain - porn vs. religious objection to porn - and decide that perhaps it is healthier to give up the latter than the former.

BTW scifi, that was an extraordinary post. Thanks for making it.

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fugu13
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Yes, you seem to be assuming that all porn usage is an addiction. I don't think that's any more true than all romantic comedy viewing being an addiction. Many people have absolutely no problem controlling the amount of porn they consume (unless you're asserting that the vast majority of people either are in a porn addiction but hiding it, or had great difficulty breaking away from it, since the widespread consumption of porn is well documented) in a mature way, like they manage to control their consumption of all sorts of other things. This view of porn as something that cannot help but draw people into its trap without complete and utter abstention is a sad view of self-control.
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Epictetus
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Scifibum hit the nail on the head, his experience is similar to mine.

Speaking both as someone who was a self-described "porn-addict" in my adolescence and as someone who has quit smoking, I say porn is not an addiction, period.

IMO an "addiction" to porn is the result of your culture's view of pornography (as scifi explains) and/or personal psychology: depression, angst, sexual curiosity and just being a teen in general. But these cultural perceptions and personal problems are neither helped by porn or exacerbated by it. It may seem like they are, but it only seems that way in your mind.

Compare that to smoking. I used to smoke to relax, to concentrate, to relieve stress and to relieve boredom. Fact is, before I started smoking, I had absolutely no need for any drug or prop to relieve those symptoms. I was able to quit when I realized that the symptoms cigarettes relieved were actually created by nicotine withdrawal.

I'm not a doctor, and I can't say I'm well read on this sort of comparison, but from my experience, one was an addiction, the other was a perceived addiction that stemmed from overwhelming guilt, shame, depression and curiosity.

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scifibum
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I would not put the period behind "porn is not an addiction" but I think that there's a useful distinction between porn addiction and nicotine addiction nonetheless: one requires a certain mindset and cultural setup, as far as I can tell, and the other does not, and is more purely physical in nature.
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MightyCow
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A porn addiction is no more damaging than a video game addiction, a television addiction, a knitting addiction or a Bible reading addiction for that matter. It isn't anything inherent in porn that makes being addicted to something destructive.
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Vyrus
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I think porn is not so much an "addiction" as a child-it's perfectly natural for a child to explore sexuality, and, as an adolescent, to watch far too much porn than they think that they should be doing.

It's largely hormonal, I think, coupled with a society (at least in America) that takes an odd stand on sexuality.

It's glorified, trivialized, flaunted on most tv shows and movies in what I could consider an immoral manner, (a lascivious one, I would suppose), when whenever sex is discussed within the content of a loving, beneficial relationship, or within the context of everyday life, it's demonized and portrayed badly.

This can also add to an adolescent having skewed or what they would consider "not normal" perceptions of sexuality, and means with which to explore it, whether that be experimenting or watching porn.

"We'll show you all these dirty movies, but don't you like it!"

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mr_porteiro_head
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I imagine that most of the people who are opposed to pornography, myself included, are also against the lascivious manner in which sex is generally portrayed in the media.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
A porn addiction is no more damaging than a video game addiction, a television addiction, a knitting addiction or a Bible reading addiction for that matter. It isn't anything inherent in porn that makes being addicted to something destructive.

I knew a lady who was addicted to making cakes.
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BlackBlade
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scifi: I don't have an interest in putting you in front of a firing squad either. I don't operate under the assumption that all porn must be bad. But I do believe that pornography is abused more than it is utilized for good, so much so I can see why it seems reasonable to believe all porn should just be destroyed.

I was trying to recognize that if porn can be damaging and horror directed at porn can also be damaging, that surrendering to porn and deciding that it is unavoidable can also be damaging.

I tremendously respect your willingness to put yourself out there and try to help others by confessing to your own futile efforts as well as outlining your conclusions. I suppose in a world where David Duchovny admits to having a porn addiction and is simply laughed at it seems like people are starting to believe that pornography is only harmful when people believe it to be harmful.

I do have strong negative feelings directed towards porn for my own reasons, but I do not think the root of the problem is people believing porn does affect people negatively. I'm not saying you were trying to push that idea, just that I hope you are not resigned to the idea that you must view porn in order to be happy.

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scifibum
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BlackBlade, how can I put this? The terms you are using are still loaded in a way I don't agree with. "Surrender" and "must view": these grant the subject with terrible significance. It was that point of view that I found to be counterprodutive. Viewing pornography as something to either be defeated or surrendered to was not helpful to me.

Right now I'm happy to let pornography be part of my life, pretty much exactly the way some people are happy to eat more corn-fed beef than they should, or watch TV shows that they know are superficial and dumb, and exploit people's emotions, like "The Bachelor". It's not a "surrender", it's an indulgence of (relatively) small moral significance. It's something that I recognize might not be ideal in various ways, but doesn't define my life, doesn't destroy my relationships, doesn't stop or discourage me from being a good person.

I've already acknowledged that compulsive sexual behavior can be extremely damaging, even "life ruining", and there's no reason to minimize the importance of that fact. (Take note, budding sexaholics. It's bad to have obsessions and compulsions that dominate your life.) But equating "regular indulgence" and "compulsivity" doesn't work, and "not bothering to try to stop" and "surrender" have a slightly fuzzier but still important distinction.

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MightyCow
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
I imagine that most of the people who are opposed to pornography, myself included, are also against the lascivious manner in which sex is generally portrayed in the media.

You're free to avoid those portrayals.

Isn't sex lascivious by definition? I'm not sure why anyone would want to portray sex in a non-sexual way? I would argue that sterilizing sex and making it seem wrong or deciding arbitrarily that only certain emotions are allowed, or only certain acts are clean is really the problem.

Besides, if some people can have porn-sex and be perfectly happy doing so, then it follows that porn certainly isn't harmful to them. Maybe some people can't handle it, and they should stay away, but it doesn't make it dangerous to the rest of us.

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MightyCow
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
But I do believe that pornography is abused more than it is utilized for good, so much so I can see why it seems reasonable to believe all porn should just be destroyed...

I do have strong negative feelings directed towards porn for my own reasons...

After reading the tread, it seems like this is at the root of a lot of the discussions. Someone has a personal problem with porn, for whatever reason, and then makes the unfounded assumption that because they have personally seen porn be destructive, it must be that way for everyone.

It seems to be a natural way of human though. I like the way this church makes me feel, so it must be The Right Church. I like this team, so all other teams suck. I find porn destructive, so it must be destructive for all people.

It's really not the case, no mater how appealing it may be to fall to that sort of thinking.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
... I suppose in a world where David Duchovny admits to having a porn addiction and is simply laughed at ...

For the record, AFAIK, I believe that this refers to:
quote:
Duchovny's announcement on Thursday that he was voluntarily going into rehab for sex addiction after years of denying he had a problem, threw a spotlight on a disorder that few celebrities, and even fewer ordinary men and women, admit to.

Often likened to alcoholism, drug addiction or gambling, sex addiction is a form of compulsive behavior which is sending growing numbers of people into therapy but which is not formally recognized as a "diagnosable disorder" by the American Psychiatric Association.

"The concept of sexual addiction is a controversial one and that's because it is difficult to define," said Dr. Steve Eichel, an addiction specialist who works in Delaware.

"There are a lot of people who are critical of the concept because we live in a society that tends to over medicalize and which makes every behavior, which deviates from the norm, an addiction or a disorder," Eichel said.

Sexual health experts estimate that about 3-5 percent of Americans have the disorder, including women.

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms range from rampant promiscuity to spending hours looking at pornography and using sex to escape from problems such as depression or stress. It is often accompanied by secrecy and shame, and sufferers have difficulties with emotional intimacy.

"The Internet has provided a level of access (to pornography) that was previously unavailable. So many people have this problem and the Internet has driven that," said Rob Weiss, executive director of the Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles.

http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSN2835847820080829
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Chris Bridges
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It didn't help that Duchovny was (is) starring in a funny show wherein he plays a man who has sex with an awful lot of different women. When I heard about his sex addiction my very first thought was that it was a publicity stunt for the second season of "Californication."
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
But I do believe that pornography is abused more than it is utilized for good, so much so I can see why it seems reasonable to believe all porn should just be destroyed...

I do have strong negative feelings directed towards porn for my own reasons...

After reading the tread, it seems like this is at the root of a lot of the discussions. Someone has a personal problem with porn, for whatever reason, and then makes the unfounded assumption that because they have personally seen porn be destructive, it must be that way for everyone.

It seems to be a natural way of human though. I like the way this church makes me feel, so it must be The Right Church. I like this team, so all other teams suck. I find porn destructive, so it must be destructive for all people.

It's really not the case, no mater how appealing it may be to fall to that sort of thinking.

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt because my post was not particularly clear on the point you responded to. When I said "I can see why it seems reasonable..." I was not saying, "I think it's reasonable..." I was saying, "I can see why some think it's reasonable..." I was not condoning the destruction of all pornography. I don't think I've ever made the statement that whatever is good or bad for BlackBlade must be that way for everyone else. Now that I've done my best to clear that up for you I'll thank you to not make that that accusation in the future unless I go out of my way to say the opposite of what I say in this post.

Furthermore we've discussed feelings and spirituality in other threads, if you came away with the conclusion that BlackBlade believes whatever makes him feel good, you'd do well to read those threads again, because I do not feel that way. I do not feel this way because if somebody injected heroin into me and I was unawares then I would be in the unfortunate position of believing heroin to be a righteous thing until I started suffering withdrawal in which case I would apostatize. That would be a pretty silly way to live.

By all means live your life how you see fit, if you feel porn makes you a more well rounded and attractive individual good for you. For me it does no such thing, nor do I believe that if I just used it healthily that it would provide me some unique benefit of which I am in need of. Until I see something that leads me to believe otherwise that is how I see things.

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MightyCow
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You can see why some think it's reasonable to destroy all porn, and so can I. I just happen to believe that the reason some people think it's reasonable to destroy all porn is nothing but personal bias taken to the extreme.

I'm not saying porn is the second coming of Jesus, but it's patently absurd for anyone to think that it is at all "reasonable" to want it all destroyed. In fact, that's about as far from reasonable as if someone said that it should be required reading in Jr. High.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
You can see why some think it's reasonable to destroy all porn, and so can I. I just happen to believe that the reason some people think it's reasonable to destroy all porn is nothing but personal bias taken to the extreme.

I'm not saying porn is the second coming of Jesus, but it's patently absurd for anyone to think that it is at all "reasonable" to want it all destroyed. In fact, that's about as far from reasonable as if someone said that it should be required reading in Jr. High.

I'm surprised that I can agree with your entire post, I'd be happy if that happened more often.
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