How to Escape Pornography?

Article excerpt

Byline: Cheryl Wetzstein, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

What should people do if they don't like having pornography thrust in their faces - or their children's faces?

They certainly have tried to push it away. They have used parental controls, the V-chip, anti-pornography filtering software and restrictions on family members' time online and/or have set computers in public places in the house. One mother I know solves her Internet problem by unhooking the router, sticking it in her purse and taking it with her whenever she leaves home.

But how does a vigilant parent unplug an iPod? Or filter the Xbox or the kids' cell phones with Internet access (and camera)? Thanks to open Wi-Fi, uncensored library computers and unfiltered Internet at friends' homes, pornographic images can pop up virtually anywhere, anytime.

So I ask again, what are people to do if they don't like having pornography thrust in their faces?

Here is a laundry list of solutions released recently by the Witherspoon Institute, an independent research center in Princeton, N.J. More than 50 academics signed the report, The Social Costs of Pornography: A Statement of Findings and Recommendations.

Some of the institute's proposals, by professional category, are:

For therapists:

* Become familiar with the burgeoning research on the negative effects of pornography use, especially Internet pornography. Resist the idea that looking at pornography is anodyne entertainment - mind-numbing and pleasurable but harmless - like watching TV.

* Stop using pornography as a marital aid in therapy. In light of evidence about pornography's destructiveness to personal relationships, using pornography in couples' therapy is like the Red Cross passing out cigarettes to benefit the troops.

For educators:

* Teach a session or two on the sex industry as part of sex education so young people can see the underpinnings and implications of the commercialization of sex.

For media:

* Examine the links between human trafficking and the pornography industry. …