The other day a friend sent me this article from Townhall.com: The Social Costs of Pornography. The article is actually about a new book coming out by the same name (see www.socialcostsofpornograpy.org ). The Witherspoon Institute, "an independent research center that works to enhance public understanding of the moral foundations of free and democratic societies" according to their website, has compiled the findings of a variety of researchers and professionals regarding the social costs of pornography.
Among those findings (from the article):
- Male viewers of porn were more likely to believe that rape victims enjoyed being raped, were more likely to admit to having committed rape and favored less stringent sentences for convicted rapists.
- Married men who used porn were more likely to believe that sex before and outside of marriage was alright and showed less desire for children, including a lower desire for female children.
- Porn use also tended to result in reduced sexual satisfaction among men in a sexual relationship with a woman. These men found their female sexual partners to be less attractive, and sex and affection to be less satisfying.
While none of these conclusions comes as a surprise to me, I have to admit that I was very surprised by some of the comments on the article. One person said that while they agreed that porn was bad, it was time to move on to more pressing matters in society. We've already established that it's bad, so why are we wasting time talking about it more? (I'm paraphrasing, but that was the gist).
With findings like the ones listed above, how can anyone possibly think that pornography is a dead topic? I can only speak for myself, but I think the reason that we need to keep speaking up about this topic is because we have an obligation to do so. Just because a subject isn't popular doesn't mean it's not important or relevant. Talking about a problem is not for our benefit but for the benefit of those who might be listening. Every day boys and girls are entering into adulthood and being met head on with the temptation of easy and anonymous access to porn via the web. For their sake we have a responsibility to share the truth with them about what they are going to encounter and the possibly devastating consequences.
What do you think?