Can we Bare it?
Porn rentals and sales are worth many multiple billions a year in the USA
For example, for some time now Americans have been spending more on hard core pornography in its various forms than they do on going to the movies.
Those who monitor Australia's penchant to follow in the footsteps of American trends are tipping a similar development, albeit on a smaller scale.
“Those who claim pornography is harmless entertainment, benign sexual expression, or a marital aid, have clearly never sat in a therapist’s office with individuals, couples, or families who are reeling from the devastating effects of this material.”
J. C. Manning, “The Impact of Pornography on Women: Social Science Findings and Clinical Observations,” in The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers (Princeton, N.J.: Witherspoon Institute, 2010)
Only a few years ago it was woman, albeit mostly feminists —at least, they were the loudest— all up in arms about the debasing of their gender via the porn industry. In a few short years their voice has been drowned out by the ‘modern woman’ demanding male porn.
Did it become ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’?
Some are asking 'Is this a step forward or backward?'
Listen to any popular FM radio station long enough and you'll no doubt hear the invitation to a flesh-fest. Now-a-days, however, the invitation’s as likely for girls to view some stripping stud-muffins as it is for guys to see the bare-all babes.
The local News Agency is also reflecting society's conversion to a fetish for porn, an ever-increasing amount of publications, for guys and girls, offering the titillating glimpse of bare breast or buttock to its subscribers. A good sales tactic, or a sad sign of the times?
Even the art houses have joined the throng. A word once used disdainfully in reference to Call Girl corners and erotica printing houses, pornography is now a term associated with art; a means of expressing oneself; an assertion of sensuality for the young and aesthetic reminisce for the life-weary.
But the question is being asked, 'what is pornography doing to our society?' Could it, as American author Matt Adams says, be 'considered sexually healthy', a harmless means of expression. Is it meeting a need in our community or just throwing a log on the flames of degradation?
The indicators all show that sensual indulgence is becoming a central focus of our societies thinking — the changing views toward the sex industry proof of this. And although little Australian research has been done into the effects of pornography on society, considerable US and Canadian research has; the results showing that, like Australia, these countries also are obsessed with pornography.
In the US alone, porn rentals and sales in 1998 reached $4.2 billion, that's 14% of all video transactions and more than a quarter of the home-video industry's revenues. By 2006 that figure had risen to $13.3 billion. Americans spend more on hard-core pornography, telephone sex and strip clubs than they do going to the movies. Strip clubs alone generating more revenue than all other forms of live entertainment combined.
- The Psychopharmacology of Pictorial Pornography Restructuring Brain, Mind & Memory & Subvert
In this 2003 report, there is overwhelming evidence that repeated exposure to pornography alters the brain, affects emotional maturity, and increases viole
That Australians have become increasingly de-sensitised to pornography is evidenced by the growing proliferation of sexually hard-core magazines, and the unchallenged boldness of retailers to place them in ever more prominent locations.
A few years ago in Canada, Penthouse magazine began removing the black dots from the cover. Explicit photos showing vaginal and anal penetration, oral sex -and more- are now visible to the general public without even turning a page.
Surprisingly, despite this effort to push the limits of Canada's obscenity laws, the public reaction was muted.
What would Australia's reaction be?
Many doubt it would be any different.
As feminist, author and porn opponent, Andrea Dworkin says. 'People don't seem to have a sense of outrage that women are hurt [by pornography], they don't seem to care.'
But there are people who do care and believe pornography is a danger to society, maybe not as blatant as the destructiveness of violence, but, they say, just as damaging in a far more subtle way.
One such advocate is Dr. Phil Fernandes, who says the dangers of pornography are many.
Dr Fernandes believes pornography encourages a low level of respect for women, distorts a man's view of women to see only a sex object, rather than a human being. He says he is convinced that the high rate of sexual harassment, divorce, unwed mothers, and rape can be traced to a low view of women.
He attacks pornography, saying that it arouses a person's sexual appetite without satisfying it. 'Once sexually aroused by pornography, how will the customer satisfy his or her sexual desires?'
'At best, pornography helps to produce a sexually promiscuous and irresponsible society. At worst, in extreme, though not rare cases, pornography has led some of its customers to rape and murder others in an attempt to quench their uncontrollable sexual thirsts.' He adds.
According to Dr Fernandez, pornography also supports organised crime. Crime families from Chicago, New York, New Jersey, and Florida control and oversee the pбrnography business in Los Angeles. As far back as1975, organised crime controlled 80% of America's pornography industry.
Do you know anyone negatively affected by porn?
Today, law enforcement experts believe that organised crime controls well over 90% of this industry throughout the world.
Pornography is also addictive, says Fernandez, emphasising this as its chief danger.
Dolina Smith, president of Canada's anti-pбrnography group Canadians Addressing Sexual Exploitation (CASE), says, 'We're starting to hear more and more people talking about sexual addictions… If pornography is known for what it is, how addictive and damaging it is, maybe we'll start to have changes take place.' She says.
The addictiveness of pornography is cause for some concern, for like any addiction the ever-increasing cravings require ever-increasing amounts of stimulation to satisfy.
Pornography damages children
- Jamie is 13 and hasn't even kissed a girl. But he's now on the Sex Offender Register after online po
An eminent child therapist, who treats youngsters hooked on hardcore sites, reveals how it poisons their lives forever.
A 1988 study by Queen's University psychologist Dr. William Marshall found that 86% of convicted rapists and 77% of convicted child molesters admitted to being regular or habitual users of pornography.
One Paul Bernardo, convicted in 1995 of kidnapping, torturing and brutally murdering two teenage girls in Ontario, one journalist said 'the most frightening realisation' was the appetite he had developed for hard-core pornography as a teenager, to the point that he eventually graduated 'from using it to doing it.' 'Bernardo's trial was, in part,' she concluded, 'a trial about pornography.'
And as Smith also warns, 'There has to be a whole cultural shift in our thinking.' If not, then child pornography could soon end up being as socially acceptable as adult pornography. And that, she said, would be intolerable.
So far, Australia has followed the trend of its Westernised neighbours in satisfying its thirst for porn. Yet, one may ask, is this trend one we really want to encourage?
History is pockmarked with examples of ruined nations that, because the people were willing to sacrifice the greater good for baser lusts, fell into barbarism. Anti-porn campaigners advocate we learn from history, before we find it repeating itself.
What do you think?
Do you think the problem with pornography
- Pink Cross Foundation
public charity dedicated to reaching out to adult industry workers offering emotional, financial and transitional support. We largely focus on reaching out to the adult film industry offering education and resources to victims of sєx trafficking and
- Understanding Why Pornography Addiction is a Brain D...
Until the general public becomes more informed about the reality of how pбrnography affects the human brain it will continue to be looked at as a moral weakness or a form of mere entertainment rather than a true chemical addiction.
© 2010 Richard Parr