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Utah teen shares story of pornography addiction, seeks to help others

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  • Duke Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2012 8:29 p.m.

    I know that some of you might not agree with Mormoncowboy, but whenever I see the name I know there's always going to be an intelligent point being made.

  • EC3 None of Your Business, TN
    May 12, 2012 11:06 a.m.

    Mominthetrenches,

    Try K9 Web Protection--works for most OS on smartphones and it's free.

  • Erika Salem, Utah
    May 11, 2012 12:15 p.m.

    It's important to remember this is a family issue. It's not parents against teens, moms against dads, girls against boys or any other intrafamily conflict. This should be Us against It. Honest, open discussion with kids from early ages continuing forever is critical. Hiding from porn doesn't help because it thrives in the dark. Shedding light on relationship issues, what's healthy and what isn't and what the difference is between real relationships and porn-based self abuse or other abuse keeps porn out better than maintaining places it likes to hide.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    May 10, 2012 1:47 p.m.

    From the article
    [It may not be classified as a listed addiction by the American Psychological Association..]

    I think this is the point everyone is missing. Mainstream psychology does not classify viewing pornography as a problem. It may be used as a paraphilia(a fetish), but so can anything else.

    All the claims of "science" proving pornography as being harmful to any normal, healthy adult or adolescent are simply unfounded. The Deseret News and these message boards continue to perpetuate the claims of fringe "experts" in trying to prove pornography harmful.

    The fact of the matter is that most young adult and teen males have viewed pornography these days, and yet, violent crime is at some of the lowest rates since WWII.

    So claim pornography is bad from religous arguments all you want, but don't bring science in to it, because it won't support your views.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    May 10, 2012 9:30 a.m.

    mark,

    Perhaps you missed the point of my argument. "To think someone is wrong just because they disagree is a hostile position." I imagine that this line is what caused the confusion.

    I didn't argue that no one can claim moral righteousness or virtue and that it isn't moral or just to hold another accountable to your own moral system. I believe there is a true moral system which is self-evident that we are all accountable to.

    What I argued was that the mere existence of disagreement doesn't prove one's own statement of morality correct. "Well I don't agree with you" -this statement doesn't prove me right. It doesn't justify my acting against you, my opinion, or anything really. It's a statement, not an argument. I believe what is moral can be adequately explained, even proven true. But a statement of disagreement doesn't prove you or I correct.

    I argue for something similar to virtue ethics, not Kantian or other more traditional systems- so while my argument may seem to oppose those systems as relativism does, it is only because morality functions very differently in virtue ethics.

  • jfarker Temecula, CA
    May 9, 2012 11:13 p.m.

    Dear Mominthetrenches,

    You need to talk to the administrators of your daughter's school and district. Is your daughter required to have a smart phone in order to attend this class? If so, you need a lawyer. If she is not required to have it, then you should be on the site council or PTA and attending every school board meeting until they hash out an updated technology-use policy. Do NOT take this lying down. If it's merely a peer pressure/popularity situation, then grow a backbone and teach your daughter to do the same. My teens will never own smart phones because I can't think of a better way to get smut into every mind on the planet than to stream it right into their hands. Heaven help us all.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    May 9, 2012 9:38 p.m.

    A voice. . .

    Amazing. You just argued for both sides of the moral relativity question. And you did not make a good argument on either side.

    Mom, 13 year olds need phones, and Internet access on them, for school? That doesn't sound right. But maybe they do nowadays. I'd bring it up with the principle. I can't imagine a school requiring a cell phone. But what do I know? I haven't been in school for awhile. As far as how to keep the phone relatively safe, there should be password controlled parental controls you can activate. At least my phone has that. Of course I don't have then activated (being an adult and all that) so I'm not sure how they work, or how well. Good luck.

    Anyway, about the subject at hand, porn, I'm an adult, I will choose what I deem to be viewable for myself. I would imagine what i define as watchable would be different then others posting. And that's fine. Freedom and such.

    But, yeah, kids shouldn't be exposed to this stuff. Ultra violent cartoons should be the cut off.

  • mominthetrenches South Jordan, Utah
    May 9, 2012 6:47 p.m.

    We have followed the very sensible tips that are suggested (which have been around for years now). We now have a 13 year-old whose jr high teacher regularly asks the kids to use their phones in class and access their Internet. He did this so frequently that we felt like we needed to get her a plan that has the Internet so she wouldn't be behind. My question is how do some of you filter out this stuff on the phones? It's not in the front room where we see it, it is now in her hand. She is a responsible, conscientious student and technology is just a given in today's world, with kids texting back and forth for homework. Any advice?

    Please, no more hyper-sensitive comments--these posts are really being blown out of proportion. I think we can all cite examples of people that we know and love whose lives, marriages and families have been completely destroyed by drugs OR porn, along wtih other evils that are out there. I wouldn't want to choose which one is the worst. Just need to help our children navigate through the sleeze and embrace the good!

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    May 9, 2012 5:04 p.m.

    Mr Whim, and LValfre,

    You both suggested relativism in your comments.

    Whim- Are you a relativist? Would you say that "it's only wrong if you believe it is." That argument is a lot less able to substantiate than someone arguing against porn. Saying "it is wrong" can hold its ground. Whereas a relativist can't justify disagreeing with Hitler. That's basic philosophy 101.

    LValfre- "To call pornography evil is just wrong in my opinion." Respectfully, to call porn anything but evil is just wrong in my opinion. Neither statement gets us anywhere. It is either wrong or it isn't. To think someone is wrong just because they disagree is a hostile position. The mere holding of an opinion isn't a wrongful act. If it is to you, then a world with more than one person isn't a place you can live in peace.

    Unless I misunderstood either of you, that is what I gather from your comments. I'd be happy to hear another explanation for your comments if I misunderstood them.

    Cheers.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    May 9, 2012 3:19 p.m.

    To call pornography evil is just wrong in my opinion.

    Did you ever see the pornography found in the Pompeii ruins? Those same artistic depictions of human sexuality have been expressed in every culture throughout history.

    Everyone is affected by these things differently. In my youth I had experimented with most drugs and I did see a few pornographic videos. I'm fine. I'm healthy, I'm a good person, I have a great career, a lovely girlfriend and family, and I'm still here standing on my own two feet. To infer that I'm evil or have partaked in pure evil is very insulting. I'm well known for my good deeds and love for everyone.

    Drugs didn't change me. Pornography didn't change me. And it didn't to my friends either.

    But I have seen those who take off with drugs and it ruins their lives ... only a few but it is a risk. Again, everyone is affected by these things differently.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    May 9, 2012 3:17 p.m.

    Idablu:

    "If you look at perpetrators of sexual violence and pedophilia, almost without exception, their inclinations began with viewing pornography."

    You just pulled this out of the air. There is very little effective study on where the "inclinations arose from". The only real examples we have for this kind of thing are the Ted Bundy interview, which needs to be viewed very skeptically. Long story short, Bundy was not remorseful, but was instead playing to Dobson's needs. Had he been truly remorseful he would have finally been forthcoming on the victims. He played an act, and Dobson wanted to hear that pornography was the cause, so Bundy gave it to him.

    The neuroscience argument is a weak grasp by non-neuroscientists to pursue an agenda. What the good "scientists" advocating the neuroscience argument against pornography have failed to do, is distinguish the the neurological effects between pornography stimulation and real sexual stimulation. In other words, the same "lights" go on for both normal sexual behavior and pornography use.

    Stick to the scriptural justifications against pornography, they are for more compelling than bad science arguments. And this isn't a defense for pornography.

  • Joe Moe Logan, UT
    May 9, 2012 2:21 p.m.

    mattrick78, you are right to clarify that my statement that "As a parent, if I had to pick, I might honestly rather find out my kid is experimenting with drugs as pornography" should not be construed to mean that it is the "worst thing ever" (superlatives in general are almost always wrong). But nor was my comment merely hyperbole. I honestly feel that way, I was not just saying it for effect. And I am not merely speaking hypothetically, either; I have some experience in this area.

    But I think the end of my comment needs to be recognized as the qualifier it is: the effect drugs and pornography each of any given individual varies quite a bit, so it's not possible to say that one is actually worse than the other. For one person cocaine might be the stronger, more debilitating addiction; for another person, pornography might be. Bottom line: avoid both like the dangerous things that they are. Human potential is too great to be hamstrung by such stupidity.

  • rogerdpack2 Orem, UT
    May 9, 2012 2:08 p.m.

    wow took some guts for that guy to speak out about it, I'm sure.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    May 9, 2012 1:56 p.m.

    @ Mormoncowboy:
    "Pornography is more of a social stigma than anything, and at worst harms normal social development. The effects of drug use are in fact physiological, and documentably far worse than anything pornography could aspire to."

    I strongly disagree. If you look at perpetrators of sexual violence and pedophilia, almost without exception, their inclinations began with viewing pornography. Families and marriages are torn apart by porn addictions. Several studies have shown that there is indeed neurophysiological aspect to porn addiction.

    Although drug addiction can also be very socially destructive, to assume that porn addiction is essentially benign is either burying your head in the sand or just plain naive.

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    May 9, 2012 12:57 p.m.

    "Where I am lost by the overzealousness to demonize pornography is when it stray's into the argument that pornography is the absolute worst evil thing ever."

    A person who says that they would rather their kid experiments with drugs than pornography is just making a hyperbole not that they believe that it is the "worst evil thing ever." Of course it isn't the worst thing, but it can potentially lead to the worst things ever.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    May 9, 2012 12:36 p.m.

    I can be persuaded by the "porn is evil" mantra up to a point. For example, Joe Moe says:

    "Our sexuality is so pervasive in our human nature, that anything that messes with it in such a substantial way as pornography does, is logically going to have a huge impact.

    I actually agree with this comment. Particularly as it relates to child development. There is a good research showing that, particularly when children, access pornography they develop unhealthy attitudes and expectations about women and sex. To that end, I am persuaded that pornography is "harmful".

    Where I am lost by the overzealousness to demonize pornography is when it stray's into the argument that pornography is the absolute worst evil thing ever. For example, nothwithstanding my agreement with the comment above, I am completely astonished at Joe Moe's next comment:

    "As a parent, if I had to pick, I might honestly rather find out my kid is experimenting with drugs as pornography."

    Pornography is more of a social stigma than anything, and at worst harms normal social development. The effects of drug use are in fact physiological, and documentably far worse than anything pornography could aspire to.

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    May 9, 2012 11:51 a.m.

    "People have food addictions. Is food evil and demonic? Should we avoid it?"

    No one is making that comparison. Addiction to pornography is evil. Sex is not. Food is not evil. But if someone is addicted to food in harmful ways then it is. Addiction is considered evil to some. Even in the humanistic sense, addiction is debilitating.

  • Mr. Whim Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 9, 2012 9:46 a.m.

    Aggielove, not all of us believe in demons, a Below, or Pride with a capital P. (seriously, why are those capitalized?)

    Apart from that, there is science that shows the mind reacts when viewing sexually explicit material. It's an instinct for the sake of reproduction of the species. When one is too young to fully understand those urges, they can be damaging to mental health. Children might not understand exactly why they want to view such things, but their brain chemistry compels them.

    But the chemicals released in this process are supposed to lead to something else. With today's accessibility, it's much easier to start the process than finish it. It is important for parents to not only take steps to keep minors from accessing pornography, (which includes the less savvy learning how a computer works), but to explain to those who have already been exposed the reasons for what they're feeling. Whether the explanation is scientific or evangelic, they need to be made to understand that viewing material is starting a process in their mind which they will feel compelled to finish.

  • Joe Moe Logan, UT
    May 9, 2012 9:31 a.m.

    LValfre. Simply expressing your opinion means little. There are a plethora of psychologists, therapists, and pornography users who agree that there are substantial parallels between pornography addiction and drug addiction. You offer no support to your statement, you argue against expert opinions, you ignore people who have walked the path (like the kid featured in the article), and you speak subjectively.

    While religious people certainly see connections with religion and spirituality, this is undeniably a psychological and physiological issue that affects people and communities regardless of religious thought. Our sexuality is so pervasive in our human nature, that anything that messes with it in such a substantial way as pornography does, is logically going to have a huge impact.

    As a parent, if I had to pick, I might honestly rather find out my kid is experimenting with drugs as pornography. The former is simpler, if not less dangerous, in my mind. But it is also evident that drugs as well as pornography have different impacts on different people, depending on their physiology, their psyche, their support systems, etc. It is not a simple picture, but this IS a critical issue for our society and for our families.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    May 9, 2012 9:21 a.m.

    So porn addiction is a demon. I agree. But porn isn't. Just like drugs aren't, coffee isn't, etc.

    Addiction is the problem, not the substance(s) themselves whether they be porn, alcohol, tea, or what have you.

    People have food addictions. Is food evil and demonic? Should we avoid it?

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    May 9, 2012 9:10 a.m.

    Lvalfre, addiction is addiction.
    It's all driven by the demons Below.
    Let's not let Pride and science convince us differently.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    May 9, 2012 8:06 a.m.

    Comparing porn to cocaine, demons, and physical drugs is ludicrous.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    May 9, 2012 7:44 a.m.

    Parents. Let's open our eyes. It's the cocaine of the new century.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 8, 2012 10:54 p.m.

    Pornography. It's about time it has become the deomon of the day.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    May 8, 2012 10:52 p.m.

    Despite what critics of the LDS Church will likely post on this comment section, porn is dangerous. It can be said a thousand times and users will try to justify it to themselves and others to evade guilt- but we all know that addiction isn't part of the path to happiness.

    ---

    From the article- "Learn how to search the Internet history and make it a family rule not to clear the history on the computer"

    Making it a "rule" doesn't necessarily mean people will follow it. While password protected filtering programs are useful, there are plugins for browsers and programs that will actually allow password protecting windows/browser settings as well. I would suggest people learn everything they can, from filters, DNS options like OpenDNS, password protecting settings, and software that restricts searching to "safe searching" modes only- to the extent of locking out unwanted content is as effective as possible.

    The more we know is directly related to our ability to keep our homes as clean ans safe as possible. Without knowledge, dirt will most certainly be explored or find its way in the home, on the computer, or on other internet-accessible devices.