Ubiquitous assailant: The dangerous unasked questions surrounding pornography

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  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    Someone here is "befuddled by the lack of agreement as to what constitutes "porn" versus erotica or even art."

    I doubt if the uptake of "porn" usage by college students is attributed to their interest in nude sculptures.

    Aug. 1, 2013 8:10 p.m.

    This article was expertly written and researched!

    Thank you, from this mom to you!

    It is very difficult to read the comments of those who take some perverse delight in the plight of those who consume pornogrophy-wherever they live. At least those in Utah who view it, know with a greater degree of certainty that it's WRONG! and they have a guilty conscience about viewing it!...Compared to those who sit in their tower and just point fingers at those who struggle with a porn addiction. Having a guilty conscience is a better than NO conscience at all, which is where our society is headed.

    God Bless those who struggle with sin, who feel helpless to stop. You are not alone...Reach out for help. You CAN DO IT! Reach out now!

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 1, 2013 10:48 a.m.

    I completely agree that pornography should not be bought, sold or participated in. I agree that pornography, if sold at all, should carry a warning label about possible marital problems and divorce arising.

    I also believe the same can be said, and the same warnings might be made, about soap operas that glamorize adultery but have I ever seen an article about that in this or any newspaper? Not that I can remember.

    Why are women almost immune from criticism these days? Women, collectively not individually, kill their own babies by the million and are by far the most instigators of divorce. I have heard more real sexual chauvinism from women in the last few decades than from men by a factor of ten at least.

    Not all women are like this of course; by making this disclaimer I wish to set a good example to those who condemn all men because some men are bad.

    Let's put an end to the double standards; Deseret News does alright but it could be more of an equal opportunity critic of bad practices and behavior.

  • Mrs T Coalville, UT
    July 27, 2013 6:03 p.m.

    I would be so grateful if someone could tell us how to help a young wife from the damage porn has caused her to her self image and self esteem.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    July 20, 2013 11:55 a.m.

    There are many opinions about nudity and the "properness" of it. As a Christian woman I find nothing objectionable about statues or paintings that show the majesty of the human body. I don't think the distinction is so black and white as some would make it - in either camp.

    A large statue of a nude boy holding a frog or a nude reclining woman (that visitors to the Getty in LA are first greeted with) are different from erotic pictures depicting or suggesting sexual acts.

    Just because it is tricky to agree where the line between art and porn is doesn't mean no line should be drawn.

    "Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere." G. K. Chesterton

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    July 18, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    In today's Los Angeles Times Calendar Section last page,there is an Ad for the TV show Project Runway. There are Five Naked Women and 3 Naked Men in the Ad. Is the ad Pornographic? That is debatable. Likewise are the Nude Statuary in L.A's Getty Museum from the Classical Greek and Roman Period Pornographic? Either the Human body is utterly depraved or it is the acme of God's Creation. Which God is the rub. It gets complicated from here; The Pagan God's would say its the latter, while the Christian God's followers would opine it is the former.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    July 18, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    To newly married religious couples, please understand that porn is not a how-to instruction manual for successful and fulfilling intimacy. If you have questions (and most do) there are books available at many religious book stores that handle the subject with grace and respect.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    July 18, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    Interesting article, but your numbers are all over the place:

    "87% of men use pornography."
    "40 million Americans look at pornography at least once a month."
    "25 percent of all search engine requests in the U.S. are for porn."
    "10 percent [of college students] said they viewed pornography online from five to 20 hours a week."
    "62 percent [of college students] said they watched Internet pornography at least once a week."
    "21 percent of all college students said they watch porn 'every day or almost every day.'"
    Over 37 percent of divorces (2/3 x 56%) are caused by porn.

    Obviously, when you take a look at all the stats that were thrown into this article, the numbers don't add up. 40 million Americans represents a little over 10% of the U.S. population...not the 90% (of men) figure the DesNews used in further articles.

    And 20,000 to 30,000 people attending a porn convention does not mean it's now mainstream.

    Creating a crisis? Perhaps. Is there a crisis? Not sure.

    And you didn't define porn. Is it a picture or movie of a naked person or people having sex? Even the DesNews advertises such media.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    July 16, 2013 12:41 a.m.

    It is well documented and understood that Utah does have a large porn viewership. Per capita, our state is atop the nation. I don't read all the porn articles on the Desnews, but I have yet to see this mentioned.

    As for kids being exposed "when 11 years old" (many in their own homes). Look get your kids their own kid browsers where they can have freedom using the internet without running into inappropriate material or infecting your computer. Having our computer in the central base of our home (dining room) has been very healthy for us.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    July 10, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    @From Ted's Head --

    "the whole "Utah views more porn" tends to lose its significance."

    Oh, I'm not trying to argue anything about the *significance* of that study.

    Somebody asked for the citation and the general findings, so I posted them. That's all.

    Tear the study up as much as you like. Won't bother me a bit. ;-)

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    July 10, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    @ Contrarius - Have you actually read the details of the study you cite? The author used the credit card records of one of the larger pay-to-view porn sites. The details show a breakdown by zip code and when you realize that the difference per 1000 households with broadband access could be skewed by a cluster of college students, the whole "Utah views more porn" tends to lose its significance. His was not a true randomized study and the potential confounding variables take the teeth out it other than for sensationalized news. As it turns out, Utah County was pretty low in his study, while some SLC zip codes showed more porn subscribers, as did some of the less populous counties where broadband access at the time would have been more limited. It's very likely that in these outlying counties access to porn was the reason they sought out broadband service and the whole state--with its highly LDS populace--gets labelled as worst in the country, the implication being that those freaky Mormon folks have issues with porn. Who pays for porn today anyway? Maybe just the addicts. Too much is available for free to the casual viewer.

  • Alfred Pheonix, AZ
    July 9, 2013 5:20 p.m.

    "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).

  • Mr. Bean Pheonix, AZ
    July 9, 2013 4:47 p.m.

    "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.

  • Miss Piggie Pheonix, AZ
    July 9, 2013 4:25 p.m.

    "...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.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    July 9, 2013 4:03 p.m.

    @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.


  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 9, 2013 3:00 p.m.

    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.

  • Harley Rider Small Town, CT
    July 9, 2013 2:47 p.m.

    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

  • argencute san antonio, TX
    July 9, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    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!

  • Walt Nicholes Orem, UT
    July 8, 2013 10:13 p.m.

    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.

  • PLM Kaysville, UT
    July 8, 2013 6:28 p.m.

    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.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    July 8, 2013 5:57 p.m.

    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.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    July 8, 2013 3:12 p.m.

    @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! ;-)

  • Vince Ballard South Ogden, UT
    July 8, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    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.

  • argencute san antonio, TX
    July 8, 2013 12:51 p.m.

    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

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    July 8, 2013 11:56 a.m.

    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.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    July 8, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    @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.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    July 8, 2013 9:15 a.m.


    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.

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    July 8, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    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.

  • Netterella ST. GEORGE, UT
    July 8, 2013 6:43 a.m.

    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!

  • formetoknow PAYSON, UT
    July 7, 2013 10:36 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    July 7, 2013 9:55 p.m.

    @ 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?

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    July 7, 2013 9:47 p.m.

    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.

  • formetoknow PAYSON, UT
    July 7, 2013 8:00 p.m.

    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.

  • Floyd Johnson Broken Arrow, OK
    July 7, 2013 7:31 p.m.

    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.

  • jzer Haworth, OK
    July 7, 2013 7:26 p.m.

    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.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    July 7, 2013 7:06 p.m.

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

  • Pragmatic Salt Lake City, UT
    July 7, 2013 5:45 p.m.

    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?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 7, 2013 4:07 p.m.

    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.

  • srw Riverton, UT
    July 7, 2013 3:37 p.m.

    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.

  • Heidi T. Farmington, UT
    July 7, 2013 1:31 p.m.

    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.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    July 7, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    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.

  • LVIS Salt Lake City, UT
    July 7, 2013 7:30 a.m.

    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.

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    July 7, 2013 4:38 a.m.


    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.

  • zabivka Orem, UT
    July 6, 2013 11:32 p.m.

    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.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    July 6, 2013 10:41 p.m.

    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.

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    July 6, 2013 9:54 p.m.

    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.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    July 6, 2013 8:35 p.m.

    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.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 6, 2013 6:48 p.m.

    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.

  • Austin Coug Pflugerville, TX
    July 6, 2013 4:35 p.m.

    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.

  • DVD Taylorsville, 00
    July 6, 2013 4:35 p.m.

    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?

  • byufootballrocks Herndon, VA
    July 6, 2013 1:58 p.m.

    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.