'Poor Outcomes' of Pornography

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 3, 2009 | Go to article overview

'Poor Outcomes' of Pornography


Byline: Cheryl Wetzstein, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Second of two parts

If pornography was accurately advertised, it would be touted for its amazing ability to make people feel bad about themselves, develop secret lives, do bizarre sexual things to themselves and others, and eventually lose any interest in making love with an actual person.

These are just a few of the poor outcomes of pornography use that clinicians and researchers are discovering.

Alas for the American public, uproars over pornography, such as the recent one involving the University of Maryland and an X-rated film, usually revolve around the red-herring argument of censorship.

What usually is missing in these dramas is any speech - free or otherwise - about how pornography can warp people. For instance, porn users can:

* Dislike pornography but still crave it.

* Start seeing others through pornographic eyes, i.e., reducing women of all ages to their body parts.

* Be shocked by certain images, develop a tolerance for them and then feel driven to seek out even more shocking images.

* Build such strong pornographic scripts in their minds that they cannot perform sexually without the scripts.

In fact, pornography is an excellent way to unravel real-world love relationships, research finds.

Impossibly beautiful, sexually insatiable female porn stars make many husbands and boyfriends feel dissatisfied with their wives' and girlfriends' appearances and sexual behaviors. This, in turn, disorients the wives and girlfriends - they don't know what to do with their feelings of disgust, despair, betrayal and anger when they see the men they love ogling other women while ignoring them.

Pornography is already implicated in half of divorces, social scientist Patrick Fagan told an Institute for the Psychological Sciences (IPS) event in November.

When pornography use rises to the level of addiction, 40 percent of sex addicts will lose their spouse, 58 percent will suffer severe financial loss and a third will lose their jobs, said Mr. Fagan, who directs the Center for Family and Religion at the Family Research Council. …

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