A new permissiveness and tolerance for sex in the media has erupted in America and it's dangerous, because some people can become addicted to pornography, according to a University of Utah professor.
Victor Cline, professor of psychology, said recent claims by Ted Bundy that pornography led him to become a serial murderer demonstrate the danger society faces."We are really in a revolution of values. We are witnessing a new permissiveness in the media. There is a kind of benevolent tolerance for this increased openness (about sexuality)," Cline said.
"It seems to me that in a democratic society we can draw the line somewhere. We can constitutionally say, `No, that's going too far.' Pornography is not a protected form of speech."
Cline spoke recently to a group of Brigham Young University students after appearing on the nationally syndicated Oprah Winfrey Show. He has treated a number of patients he believes were actually addicted to pornography, as Bundy claimed to be.
Anyone who believes moral education can have an effect on a person's life shouldn't find it hard to understand that books and films can corrupt people, Cline said.
"In my own judgment, I believe what Bundy said. I believe pornography did play a role in what he did," he said. "Almost all of the patients I've treated started their problems when, at 14 or 15, they got into soft porn and got addicted to it. Bundy was a compulsive sexual addict and he would have kept it up if someone hadn't stopped it."
Cline said people who aren't addicted to pornography can't fully understand how completely it controls those who are. Pornography addicts must get a fix just as any drug addict must.
"They (pornography addicts) hate what they do and yet they can't stop. When you get into this world, it's like alcohol. It's like crack; it grabs the guy," he said. "Eventually, when you fill your head with these fantasies, you begin to act out the things in your mind. There's no evidence that this comes from innate sexual deviation. It's all accidental conditioning."
Violent pornography is especially harmful, because it conditions those who see it to associate sexual arousal with violent acts toward women, he said.
"There is no way you can look at that without having some conditioning occur. I don't care how religious you are, if you use pornography you're running the risk of probable addiction."
STEPS OF ADDICTION
Victor Cline says these steps often occur when people are repeatedly exposed to pornography.
*They develop an addiction to it.
*They become desensitized.
*Their desire to see it escalates and they seek "harder" material.
*They act out the fantasies brought on by the material.