Comments about ‘Ubiquitous assailant: The dangerous unasked questions surrounding pornography’

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Published: Saturday, July 6 2013 12:00 p.m. MDT

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byufootballrocks
Herndon, VA

The tragedy of pornography is the effect on families, the breakup of marriages, as well as the neutralizing of the dreams and success of so many talented people.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a very effective, free addiction recovery program referred to as "LDS 12-Step." Thousands have been truly healed of this addiction through this program. There are miracles week after week. There is hope and complete recovery is possible.

There is not one good thing in pornography. It is a waste of life and human potential. It is a gross offense against women. And men. It is the taking of something sacred and beautiful and reducing it to a vulgar and degrading level.

Imagine the evil specter of greedy charlatans making millions off the destruction of millions of their fellow citizens who have been brought down by this terrible plague on our society.

We should do all it our power to reverse the tide and not act as though this is just the new normal. It is up to us.

We should never accept as part of our culture something so soul-destroying.

DVD
Taylorsville, 00

Another side ( that might be covered later ) is those that participate in producing porn. What are the reasons for involvement? Desperation for resources? High incentives? (It doesn't seem like it, except perhaps by supplying drugs to those that can be inticed that way).

In other words, while there is a demand, what can be done about removing some incentives or life conditions that push one to be the supply?

Austin Coug
Pflugerville, TX

Porn is terribly destructive and corrosive. Marriages, families and careers are all victims. The fact that 67% of men and 49% of women view pornography as acceptable is not a good sign. I feel terrible for the wave of current and future victims who are not aware (yet) of the damage pornography causes.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Most people just don't think of porn day to day. However pervasive it is or isn't in society, it is more so in the Deseret News.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Gonna have to disagree with you, Hutt. (And that doesn't happen very often.) We need more newspapers and all other forms of media to get on board to begin fighting this pernicious threat.

Maybe part of the problem is that most people don't think of porn day to day. Just as most of us don't think of using drugs or gambling our families into bankruptcy or becoming alcoholics. But for those we have trapped via whatever route, it is a very BIG deal.

Those who profit from this filth will claim the First Amendment. Somehow, we MUST find the wisdom to protect that right while still protecting people from the sewage that is porn.

It won't be easy.

From Ted's Head
Orem, UT

I'm always somewhat befuddled by the lack of agreement as to what constitutes "porn" versus erotica or even art. Most articles in the Deseret News seem to imply that porn is watched rather than viewed, indicating perhaps movies/videos more than pics. I believe that the stigma of porn is so offensive that many well-intended people refuse to learn enough to distinguish between an implied nudity picture and an adult movie with full nudity and explicit sexual intercourse. It's easier to just label it all as porn. Then we have those former porn addicts that are the new evangelists, decrying the evils of porn (still undefined) and citing their own sad stories as proof that porn is terrible. Yet, common sense and studies indicate that most porn viewers--much like social drinkers--are not addicts, and while there are certainly good religious reasons not to view porn by any definition, the broad brush implication that everyone is going to be an addict (or alcoholic) merely highlights the hysteria and lack of knowledge of the hand-wringers. Strive to be accurate and please get rid of the broad brush.

Linus
Bountiful, UT

This "from Ted's Head:"
"Yet, common sense and studies indicate that most porn viewers--much like social drinkers--are not addicts. . . ." This kind of "common sense" will try to sell you on the idea that one can be a casual and social meth, crack or heroin user without becoming addicted. This is not the kind of "common sense" that would pass as horse sense. This is the kind of "common sense" one applies while trying to rationalize away an addiction.

I am a father and I have witnessed the tragic grief resulting from teen fascination with porn that led to addiction. It is real. It is relentless. Those who are not personally ready to break from this addiction fear the success of the anti-porn crusade and down-play the seriousness of the problem labeling the crusade as "hysteria and lack of knowledge of the hand-wringers." Clear your head, Ted.

zabivka
Orem, UT

I'm sure that there are some major negative consequences of obsessive viewing of pornography. I, for one, find the vast majority of it to be in such poor taste and over-the-top that it holds little appeal for me. It seemed a lot more attractive when I avoided it for religious reasons as a young man.

I wouldn't put pornography at the top of the list in terms of social problems, but it certainly isn't doing a lot of good in the world, either.

From Ted's Head
Orem, UT

Linus,

I can't imagine the grief you must have personally experienced in relation to the damaging impact of pornography. Yet it doesn't change the fact that individual circumstances differ and in your personal experience and those of some others, the addiction was real and it could be likened more to meth addiction than social drinking. Your reaction highlights my point that presuming that all who drink socially will end up as alcoholics, all who smoke weed end up as meth addicts, all who view Playboy or even Maxim end up as porn addicts is little more than a hollow scare tactic with little value to the majority of people who indulge but are not addicted. Prohibition didn't work and neither will attempts to restrict all opportunity for a teen male to get excited by looking at a depiction of a naked woman. The continued broad brush approach towards porn isn't getting the desired results because it doesn't speak to the typical end user/viewer. Yours is a feel good position that is hard to attack because it seems that one must be defending porn if they disagree with you. Physician, heal thyself.

LVIS
Salt Lake City, UT

Ted's Head: "Yet, common sense and studies indicate that most porn viewers--much like social drinkers--are not addicts,..."

No, common sense does not indicate that. And please--cite the studies that indicate most porn viewers are not addicts.

jeanie
orem, UT

Porn is NOT like drinking or gambling or any other addiction. Porn turns people into objects upon which others satisfy their lusts. It in and of itself is degrading. Whether or not someone is "addicted" is not the whole problem. The grains and grapes are not offended when people abuse them in their construction as alcohol. Money is not degraded when it is used for gambling. Human beings are degraded when viewed by others as objects.

It was one thing when you had to go to a specific type of store or order magazines to get your kicks. It is quite another when innocent kids stumble accross it with the push of a button, no matter how many safeguards diligent parents use. This industry prays upon the weak and innocent and traps kids who would otherwise not be involved. The results are heartbreaking.

I echo Linus's comments, and I know so many other parents in the same struggle. There is nothing purely recreational or redeeming about porn. Those who view it and rationalize it as just a harmless pastime or hobby are blind.

Heidi T.
Farmington, UT

First time I have heard about an "annual Adult Video Network Adult Entertainment Expo, the largest pornography industry trade show in the US that draws between 20,000 and 30,000 people each January." So now porn is a big business, huge destructive money-making business. As far as the "broad brush" is concerned, that would be the responsibility of the affects on the individual. I know of cases where a person becomes addicted after their first-time indulgence in porn just like a family member who has a family with a propensity for alcoholism become addicted after one or two drinks of alcohol. Our children need to be our top concern because they are unable to process such sexually potent experiences. Why aren't we protecting quality education to combat such base, indulgent, selfish entertainment--so many good books to read, movies to see, baseball games, etc. I hate porn, I hate what it does to people's brains causing drastic inabilities to have honest, loving relationships. I have experienced the damages of others in my life who have turned to porn rather than love, service, and God.

srw
Riverton, UT

I find it interesting that at least 20% of men believe viewing pornography is unacceptable but use it anyway. I guess they lack integrity or they are no longer able to choose.

Also a technical comment: two thumbs down for the pie charts in the first graphic. It's appropriate to use a pie chart to show the breakdown of exclusive results that add up to 100% by definition, for example, 87% of men use pornography and 13% do not. It makes no sense to use one pie chart to show the percentages of men and women that use pornography. Those two percentages are obviously not guaranteed to add up to 100, and indeed they don't.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

It's worth noting that the most sexually repressed societies (and states) have the most pornography problems.

The fact that this is ubiquitous in the country settled by Puritans simply demonstrates that Newton's 3rd law of motion is not just applicable to physics.

Pragmatic
Salt Lake City, UT

I honestly wasn't aware of the prolific pornography problem until I moved to Utah. It has been here (in Utah) that I have become aware of the many people with this problem. Undoubtedly the problem is worse here than in other places. I believe I have seen facts that support this assertion. Another thing that I have become aware of since I have lived in Utah is the number of people with depression. Is there a link between depression and pornography?

runnerguy50
Virginia Beach, Va

This reporting on this subject is very important. Porn destroys families and is one of the big lies of the world.

jzer
Haworth, OK

Zabivka
When we get the harvest of the hardcore porn viewing currently being done by young adults and teens, you will see that it is a top social problem. Guaranteed.

Floyd Johnson
Broken Arrow, OK

While I concur with the premise of the article, I reject Wilson's anecdotal observations as sound science. It is disappointing that the Deseret News presented the biased opinion of an individual, and promoted it as fact. His opinion is of no interest to science, and of no interest to me. If there is no sound research on the effects of pornography, simply present the statistics and allow the readers to develop their own conclusions.

formetoknow
PAYSON, UT

I am not shocked at all that porn is labeled as a problem and not a symptom. I dream of a world where people will recognize the underlying issues behind abusive porn habits or video game playing. I don't pretend to know what is going on in each person's head, but I do know that as a subculture we have made porn into the boggy man. Is porn bad? Probably. Is porn the problem? Most definitely not.

If I had to stab in the dark at one of the overriding problems I would say underdeveloped interpersonal relationships. Another might be overly stigmatizing nature. One might be preexisting chemical imbalances. I don't think there is only one answer, I don't think there is only one problem.

The Caravan Moves On
Enid, OK

Article quote: "Not everyone buys the idea of a pornography addiction or its consequences, mostly because it's not in the DSM — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — published by the American Psychiatric Association."

Ahhh.....the DSM. The 'Bible' of psychiatry. The only problem with the DSM is that it is flawed. Case in point is that the DSM no longer considers homosexual activity "abnormal". It was recently removed from the DSM as a negative, damaging behavior.

It's a tough road to hoe, fighting against the DSM, but fight it we must.

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