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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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The Caravan Moves On
Enid, OK

@ formetoknow - PAYSON, UT - "I am not shocked at all that porn is labeled as a problem and not a symptom......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."

Did you ever stop and consider the possibility that a pornography addiction is one of the reasons those interpersonal relationships are not developed?

formetoknow
PAYSON, UT

@ The Caravan Moves On

Certainly that could be. However, poorly developed interpersonal relationships exist without destructive porn habits? Do destructive porn habits exist without poorly developed interpersonal relationships?

A cold causes a runny nose, not the other way around. I am quite certain that destructive porn habits have harmed more than their fair share of innocents. I am not certain that superficial treatment and poorly labeled addictions will help those innocents.

Netterella
ST. GEORGE, UT

It's very interesting to me to read the comments. The denial I see in some of these comments is not surprising to me. Anyone who is addicted or uses porn is the first to deny there is any problem with it. I am dealing with someone in my life who I KNOW is addicted, yet he is the first to say "there's nothing wrong with it" or "I don't look at it anymore" when I know for a fact that he does. He is constantly trying to hide it. Not addicting? You're going to have to try harder than that to convince me. I see it happening in my own home!

Springvillepoet
Springville, UT

From what I have learned, pornography does not ensnare most of those who view or watch, but for those who do become addicted, it is,along with sex addiction, one of the most difficult addictions to overcome because it is based upon sexuality, which is a key component and part of an otherwise healthy lifestyle. When you ask a meth addict to get over an addiction, that addict doesn't have to live with meth as a part of his or her every day life. However, the sex addict must at some point return to sexuality to live a healthy life. Sex, at some point is supposed to be a healthy part of adult life, but addiction to sex, love, and/or pornography, an additional level, or dimension, is added to the mix. Not only does the sex addict have to overcome the addiction to their drug of choice, they have to re-learn a healthy sexuality and move forward.

J-TX
Allen, TX

@Poet;

You are 100% correct. The cure to other addictions is to shun the substance and find coping mechanisms to avoid it.

For porn / sexual addiction, it is to "re-boot" and re-learn and re-direct sexual behavior in a proper way, while avoiding falling back into the abyss of the damaging. A much harder proposition.

very concerned
Sandy, UT

@Tyler D and @Pragmatic
Meridian, ID
“It's worth noting that the most sexually repressed societies (and states) have the most pornography problems.”

*Sexually repressed societies*, really? Just because we preach - and try to live - abstinence and celibacy outside lawful marriage between a man and a woman, what’s wrong with that? Now it has become a negative thing? It used to be, and in reality still is, one of the highest virtues.

Also, I don’t remember anything in the article, or any studies anywhere that say pornography is worse in Utah. Please cite that source. Perhaps your comment that Utah has such a big problem is because Utahns are making an effort to stop it while some other states may not. Perhaps because we actually speak up about the problem, it appears there are more problems with it here. Most likely is that in other states the problem just is not addressed and it flies under the radar. That would be a shame because of all the negative consequences of pornography addiction on those states.

very concerned
Sandy, UT

I agree that most people who consume, view, or watch (however you want to define it) pornography will use the First Amendment as a club to defend their rights to view it. I most strongly disagree. I believe the Founding Fathers would be shocked at such as inappropriate use of the amendment.

In my view, the Founding Fathers were obviously meaning that amendment to protect mostly political speech, specifically political speech against England. They claimed that freedom to be a God-Given Right. Look at the history behind the 1st Amendment: what they were trying to accomplish regarding the environment of English oppression of free political speech.

In my wildest imagination, I cannot see them as intending to protect pornography. That practice is a misuse of the 1st Amendment if ever I saw one.

And while not all who view pornography may be addicted: A) There are enough to be concerned about, why take the chance?, and B) Even if one is not addicted, the brain chemistry likely is still altered.

As for porn itself and how to define it, I’m not sure how to do that, but I know it when I see it.

argencute
san antonio, TX

is funny that the writter say about some statistics that show that porn have this and that percent in this and that type of population, but it didn't mention at all, that the state that most consume porn in the whole US is ... YES! UTAH!!! it seems that the aproach of demonizing porn even more than it really is it didn't work, and most of the people in that state needs to hide in their computers and watch what they say (from the mouth out) that they hate so much. Also, the red states (the most conservative religious) are the ones that most porn consume.
We should try to build the character of a person, and not try to put a law prohibiting everything and don't letting people try to make their own decitions. I think when we want to force people to do the right, we get exactly the opposite, maybe that's why God liked Jesus plan better than Lucifer, because Lucifer wanted to force all of us to be good and perfect without free will, just my humbold opinion

Vince Ballard
South Ogden, UT

One of the problems with internet porn is the huge propaganda machine that supports it. They would have you think it is harmless, that everyone views it and that those who oppose it are moral cranks. This is not some '60's "girlie" magazine. It IS addictive, and if so-called proof doesn't exist, it is because the porn industry and its supporters repudiate anything that those who know better say. This is one reason the problem is advancing. Of course those who support a multi billion dollar industry are going to promote it and disparage its critics. Of course they are going to manufacture their own "facts" and half truths. Has it ever been any different with vices? By the time the psychological community finds out the truth, much damage will have been done.

Contrarius
mid-state, TN

@very concerned --

"Please cite that source."

Here ya go --

"Red Light States: Who Buys Online Adult Entertainment?" in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, written by Harvard lawyer Bed Edelman.

"The biggest consumers of online adult entertainment live in the great state of Utah. An average of 5.47 people per 1000 broadband subscribers pay for porn...Utah also leads in porn consumption among the general population and dial-up users. [....] Close behind Utah with just over five porn subscribers per thousand is Sarah Palin's Alaska....Overall, eight of Edelman's top 10 porn-consuming states voted for McCain last fall, while six of the least smut-crazed states went for Obama."

"[....]subscriptions are also more prevalent in states where surveys indicate conservative positions on religion, gender roles, and sexuality. In states where more people agree that "Even today miracles are performed by the power of God" and "I never doubt the existence of God," there are more subscriptions to this service. Subscriptions are also more prevalent in states where more people agree that "I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage" and "AIDS might be God's punishment for immoral sexual behavior."

I hope this helps! ;-)

jeanie
orem, UT

When a society expects its members to elevate themselves higher than our natural instincts there will invariably be more difficulties. It is not easy to practice sexual discipline. It is much easier to give into physical appetites than it is to elevate ourselves above animals, especially when it is promoted so heavily in our popular culture. Yes there are hypocrites, but there are also many who achieve this discipline with wonderful and happy success.

There is nothing inherently wrong with expecting people to discipline themselves considering the enormous benefits. Imagine the dramatic decrease in broken homes and hearts.

When society at large sees the benefits of sexual discipline and views porn and promiscuity like it does smoking, as socially unacceptable, maybe it will get much easier for weak people to have more success.

PLM
Kaysville, UT

Thank you for discussing this assault on the individual and family. Pornography should carry this message...

WARNING: Use of this material may be detrimental to your health. Use may cause the breakup of your marriage and destruction of your home. It may cause you to lose your employment and house. It may plunge your children into financial, social and emotional poverty. It might destroy your sons' dreams of pursuing careers in sports or attaining higher education (and send them into the military, considering it their only option; making them targets for terrorists.) It may deprive your daughters of your protection and guidance and make them sexual targets for pedophiles and men who want to use and discard them. It may take away the power you possess to do good in the world and make a difference. It may take away your future on earth and your place in heaven. Pornography will harm your family for three to four generations.

My family experienced these outcomes from my former husband's involvement in pornography. I love the military and am proud of my soldier son but wish he had felt he had more choices. Pornography use victimless? Not on your life.

Walt Nicholes
Orem, UT

Newlyweds have a deserved reputation for frequent intimate moments. Surely novelty is a factor (or should be) but the sheer pleasure factor shouldn't be ignored. I look forward to the research that answers the question of whether the addictive factor is as active in such a newlywed couple as it would be for a peruser of pornography satisfying himself.

Physiologically there shouldn't seem to be much difference.

It is the old story of whether it is more harmful to satisfy one's self than it is to be similarly satisfied by one's spouse in exactly the same manner.

There has to be more than physiology here, but as long as we talk about dopamine and addiction, I hope someone can produce data that will distinguish between the two.

argencute
san antonio, TX

funny that the author, that knows that much about statistics, doesn't use the statistics about Utah being one of the states that watches more porn online. Represive religious people are the ones that get "addicted" to porn, and then, rather than try to solve their own problem, start pushing to make it a law to force everyone else to be punished and controlled about the things that are a real problem for them. People: use your religion to try to better yourself and your and help your family to better themselves, and stop trying to force the others with your morals!!!! Show by example!

Harley Rider
Small Town, CT

Most porn is between consenting adults -of the opposite sex- and if used properly can be beneficial for a mature couple to watch together. Now same sex porn , bizarre , weird stuff etc has no place anywhere .

I see an awful lot of over reaction here - I mean our government no longer follows the Constitution as the law of the land , our civil liberties are rapidly disappearing , our Government is spying on all of it's citizens , our kids are being feed poisoned GMO foods , drinking poisoned Fluoride laden water , being over injected with all of these required vaccinations , war with Iran is becoming a very real reality (keep your eye on what happens in Syria), the reality tv shows on tv are beyond disgusting , but guess what they are on every channel and why is that ? I could go on and on but no more words allowed

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

It's not just the internet or movies or magazines... Go to your local gym and notice (not too much though) how the girls are dressed and the cosmetic surgery they all seem to show off. For those who just want to go and have a vigorous work out and then go home ...it is hard to have to train your eyes not to wander at all the other distractions. Girls just need to be more modest!! Take your son to a ball game ...especially football or basketball at the professional level... and better be prepared to distract them away from the so-called dancers or cheer leaders who look like Las Vegas strippers. Sexual exploitation is everywhere now days ...no more brown paper bags or smokey pool rooms..it is right there in the Wallmart check out isle.

Contrarius
mid-state, TN

@Harley Rider --

"Now same sex porn , bizarre , weird stuff etc has no place anywhere ."

I can't resist pointing out here that gay porn (specifically male-male porn) does not employ any women to be victimized, and therefore could easily be seen as less harmful than straight porn.

;-)

Miss Piggie
Pheonix, AZ

"...but you cannot walk away from those images unchanged."

That's exactly right. Porn teaches how sex between a man and a women really works on an explicit level... which is vitally important before marriage takes place. If folks wait til after marriage, there's a great chance that one or the other partner will be disillusioned about what each in the relationship wants/needs... which leads to defugalties, difficulties and often separation and divorce. Not good.

If there is a downside as the 'experts' tell us, it arises not because of porn itself but because of almost universal condemnation. You can condemn shaking hands with friends and it will create angst, anxiety, guilt and self-condemnation. Not because hand-shaking is bad but because it's condemned.

Mr. Bean
Pheonix, AZ

@DVD:
"Another side (that might be covered later) is those that participate in producing porn."

You mean women? Without women agreeing to participate there's no porn. Rarely do men (who statistics show are the biggest porn consumer) sit in front of their computers viewing other men.

@one old man:
"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."

There is only one way to protect the First Amendment... that is to allow any and all porn that people want to make and consume. If you would have the production of porn stopped in it's shoes... you need to get to the women who are removing their clothing and allowing others to snap pics of them. Perhaps, as a suggestion, you could adopt the requirements of a certain Mideast religion where the women are required to cover from head to toe... including the face save for the eyes. If you'll hold on a bit, you may find that Shariah will solve the problem of widespread porn consumption.

Alfred
Pheonix, AZ

@Pragmatic:
"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."

Perhaps that's because of the explicit teachings of the dominant church. The stronger the preaching against something, the more people seem to indulge in that which is being condemned.

"Another thing that I have become aware of since I have lived in Utah is the number of people with depression."

Same comment as above.

"Is there a link between depression and pornography?"

No. The problem is the ever sinking feeling that you don't/can't ever quite measure up to expectations... mainly because those expectations are beyond reach (i.e., perfection is the goal but alas, in actuality we're all sinners).

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