What causes porn addiction???

Can philosophers help resolve the real problems that people have in their lives?

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RachelAnn
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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by RachelAnn » Tue May 19, 2009 2:26 am

Hi Camus;
I'm "street" in an inner city, and live in a rough part of town. What I see is remnants of porn in abandoned buildings (mattresses, wirings pulled out from video cams, used (ugh) condoms, needles)... none of which indicates porn stars who interview with PhD students. No offense. Sadly, there is a horrifying amount of porn that is not produced in a real studio, with real 'stars.' Wish that it were so... instead of junkies, kids, and so forth. Existential Angst among the shards and the blood and the needles...

Morpheus
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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by Morpheus » Tue May 19, 2009 9:58 am

artisticsolution wrote:
Morpheus wrote: For those who feel they can't live without porn, perhaps there should be a move towards developing a non-violent, non abusive version of erotica involving real-life couples in non-violent and mutually enjoyable scenarios? Maybe this already exists? I don't know as it's just something that comes to mind as I write. There needs to be some form of legislation to guarantee that the participants have not been drugged in order to perform, that the participants are not victims of human trafficking, and such like.
Then we agree? Porn is okay between consenting adults?

Human trafficking is not about consent and should not be legal. Do you believe playboy bunnies are products of human trafficking?
Playboy bunnies? I've always thought they were ludicrous rather than pornographic. So you download pictures of Playboy bunnies over the Internet? You are trying to divert attention from what I'm really talking about. You said you download porn from the Internet for free. Because it's free, that's OK. What baffles me is that you appear not to be concerned about the violence and degradation in porn - I'm talking about the stuff Nisus described. I fail to see how spitting and ejaculating in a woman's face is remotely erotic. In fact in turns my stomach. But that's the limitation of my own mind.

What concerns me most of all is that many people who get involved with the porn industry are deeply disturbed individuals. To talk of consenting adults in this context is part of the abuse. When you download porn over the Internet you have no idea of the background of the individuals involved. Human trafficking aside, not only were many of these individuals sexually abused as children, some have herpes, HIV or other STDs. And yet, you deny this reality by claiming you'd not be concerned at all if your own child, at the age of consent, decided to become a porn actor. So you'd be happy for your son to spit and ejaculate in a woman's face? Not only this, you'd be so proud of his vocation that you'd be happy for your friends to watch him perform. After all, it's only ejaculate and saliva.

I get the feeling that you know in your heart that if you had really considered any of this deeply, then you'd be turned off porn for life. This is why you are irritated by what I'm saying. If not, then you are in denial - or you've become so numbed by hardcore porn that it's become normalised in your mind.

Let's not forget the number of children and young people (I suspect Nisus was one) exposed to violent, misogynistic porn and the detrimental effect it's had on their emotional wellbeing. Whilst such stuff is out there, there's no guarantee that it's safely hidden from the eyes of all children.

I'm sorry AS if you thought I was insulting you earlier. In fact, I thought it was the other way around. That you had insulted me, which was why I was upset. As you know, I was horrified that you had read the absolute opposite meaning into my words. You imagined I was saying that porn actors are soulless and uneducated. You appear to think of me as narrow minded moralist, rather than someone who is deeply concerned about the physical and emotional welfare of my fellow human beings.

I feel we need to educate ourselves about the dark reality of sexual abuse in its many forms. The truth is, we are not exactly like other animals when it comes to our sexuality. Sex for human beings is not as straightforward as basic rutting. Human sexuality carries a lot of mind stuff along with it.

What I suggested earlier about a possible alternative to the violent, psychpathic and misogynistic versons of porn is probably closer to old-fashioned eroticism, which probably wouldn't cut the mustard for those hardened by hard porn. If actual sexual intercourse were involved (albeit, this would be totally unnecessary for someone like me, as my imagination is enough), then it would be best if the performers were real-life monogamous couples (gay or straight). This at least would lower the risk of spreading STDs to all and sundry. Also, the scenarios would not include violence or violation. But, as mentioned, for those hardened to harcore they'd probably laugh at this idea.

I recognise that an attempt to ban porn altogether wouldn't work. So I advocate an attempt to wean people off the hard stuff, to nurture an interest in non-violent suggestion rather than graphic detail. The first step is to encourage people to think about all the things I've already said and stop buying into hardcore porn (even if viewed for free). If there's a very limited market for such material, the film makers will eventually give up making it.

I've found a recent scientific paper on the emotional and physical health of sex workers involved with adult films. It's not a pretty picture. I've only seen the abstract rather than the full study as the research paper is only available to those willing to pay $35.

http://www.healthpolicy.ucla.edu/pubs/p ... ?pubID=306" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The following paper is free. It's about the need to regulate the adult film industry and control STDs.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articl ... id=1892037" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

P.S. No one has commented on my point about sex with multiple partners: if it's a healthy human behaviour, then why do we develop diseases because of it? This has nothing to do with morals, it's a biological fact. This is another issue about porn - it's OK for porn actors to risk their lives in order to titilate us (indeed, many do not use condoms), but of course we wouldn't do it ourselves. Again, this is how we objecify porn. We don't consider the terrible risks being taken by the performers - mental health risks too. They're only bodies for sale.
Last edited by Morpheus on Tue May 19, 2009 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PeterWes
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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by PeterWes » Tue May 19, 2009 12:01 pm

Morpheus wrote:For those who feel they can't live without porn, perhaps there should be a move towards developing a non-violent, non abusive version of erotica involving real-life couples in non-violent and mutually enjoyable scenarios?
Emotionally healthy people do not need pornography. They are repulsed by the objectivisation (debasement) of others as they would reject the same being done to them.

What is needed for those poor souls who do need it is therapy, although then only so that they might develop a self awareness of the causes of their behavior and limit their impulses. It is unlikely that a cure is possible.

Morpheus
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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by Morpheus » Tue May 19, 2009 1:34 pm

Camus Society wrote:Human trafficking is bad in and of itself - of course it is. But does anyone actually believe that the people working in porn have been 'human trafficked'? Why would any porn producer traffick or drug humans when there is a surplus of people desperate to get into porn? The casting agencies always have more people wanting to be in porn than there are roles to be filled. Taking a strictly business point of view then trafficking humans or drugging them, or in anyway forcing people into porn does make financial sense..
That is true for mainstream porn no doubt. But what about Internet porn sites featuring low budget amateur videos and web cams? How does a viewer know if those sites are legal and legitimate? From what I understand from a TV documentary I watched not long ago, trafficked adult women do end up in porn films. (Of course, this is the main way paedophiles get their victims.) When I find more time to Google, I'll see if I can find a reliable report on this.

But let's not forget that even those who take part in mainstream porn can hardly be described as enjoying a healthy lifestyle, as can be seen from the two surveys I linked to above.

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Nisus
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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by Nisus » Tue May 19, 2009 3:15 pm

Ok, this is my last response in this board for a long time to come.
Morpheus wrote:A question for Nisus: I'd be interested to know how old you were when first exposed to hardcore porn? I ask this question because I'm wondering if it may have shaped your current worldview? In my opinion (no doubt you will correct me if I'm mistaken), it's potentially very destructive indeed for a child or young teenager to be exposed to hardcore pornography. It can have a negative infuence over the way they view women and their own sexuality. I understand that it's now pretty easy for minors to obtain such material over the Intenet. I doubt that all parents are sufficiently vigilant.
This is an interesting question, Morpheus, though you are dead wrong in supposing that my reasonable, rational and coherent worldview is based purely on my negative experiences in life.

Obviously, it's NOT healthy for anyone (even for the ones who participate in the scenes) to watch a hardcore porn scene. The idea of the scene itself is to expose the watcher to the basest, most degrading aspect of human animality, it's to make one feel 'happy' for not being more than a sexual object. That's why I say that a guy who lets his woman, daughter or sister make a scene like this does not deserve to be called 'man'. And the woman who submits herself to such scenes is also not really cognizant of how little value she attributes to her 'life', even though she may believe she is exercising her 'freedom', and is 'responsible' for herself...

How can one talk about 'value', 'respect' when the subject at hand is mere...bestiality?

Like all young Western males I have been exposed to porn and eroticism since I was a child. I have been often told that a 'man' is not a 'man' if he is not always disposed to use all women around him as sexual objects. Like all Western men of today, I have been told that we are all nothing but consumering machines whose sole purpose in life is pleasure, pleasure in all possible forms. But my first contact with porn was through the videos my older brothers used to buy. I think I was 13, 14 when I first saw a video. I watched them when they were not at home. To be honest, even when I watched porn I did not feel very pleasant doing it. After I had 'got' what I wanted, I generally felt very disgusted, and couldn't stand watching it anymore. It's a sensation similar to that we experience when we start masturbating, we feel somewhat ashamed, but don't know exactly ashamed of what. Nowadays I know that I feel ashamed of the manner women are treated in such scenes. Even though I no longer watch porn (and I could do it everyday) I still feel like watching it sometimes, but the disgust always speak louder. When I remember my watching porn I always remember that the guys who do it just follow, like sheep, what their comrades and their socio-cultural environment tell them to do. They act just like toys, finding in porn another form of the manufactured 'happiness' that is for sell everywhere in the capitalist world...

A last message to Camus and Artisticsolution: the message of porn itself is degrading.

It doesn't matter if the actor or actress does not feel 'degraded', the scene is made in a manner to portray woman as a being naturally born to be degraded. Why do the male call his partner names? Why do he spits and cums over her face? Why is she ever ready for the sexual act? When a man calls a woman 'whore', what does he want to say? Does a woman like to be called 'whore' in a normal social situation? No, she doesn't. So one must understand that what I am saying here is not that the people who do porn will necessarily feel debased, it's that the intention of the scene is to bring the 'message' of degradation and bestiality. It's a manner of offering men a means to explore and fix his most primitive, basest inclinations. And in this process, the man generally is not judged or blamed, because everybody thinks that this is the right thing for him to do. Social and cultural blame is always for the women who do it.

Peter Wes,
Peter Wes wrote:Emotionally healthy people do not need pornography. They are repulsed by the objectivisation (debasement) of others as they would reject the same being done to them.

What is needed for those poor souls who do need it is therapy, although then only so that they might develop a self awareness of the causes of their behavior and limit their impulses. It is unlikely that a cure is possible.
nice post, thanks.

Morpheus
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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by Morpheus » Tue May 19, 2009 3:36 pm

Thank you for getting back to this Nisus. I'm not saying that your entire worldview was shaped by porn, only that it may have contributed to your extremely sexist notions about women (as I perceive your notions). I feel that exposure to hardcore porn at the tender age of 12-13 years is potentially very damaging to anyone. But that's my opinion. You have your own opinions about me, which I don't think are always accurate either, so we're quits.

I also respect Peter's viewpoint. I don't need any type of porn either, but I'm only trying to suggest ways to wean the addicts off the hard stuff! I expect it would be a futile attempt. Our Civilization is going the same way as that of ancient Rome, where increasingly sadistic pleasures were craved in order to satisfy increasingly de-sensitised sensibilities.

artisticsolution
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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by artisticsolution » Tue May 19, 2009 6:22 pm

Morpheus wrote:
artisticsolution wrote:
Morpheus wrote: For those who feel they can't live without porn, perhaps there should be a move towards developing a non-violent, non abusive version of erotica involving real-life couples in non-violent and mutually enjoyable scenarios? Maybe this already exists? I don't know as it's just something that comes to mind as I write. There needs to be some form of legislation to guarantee that the participants have not been drugged in order to perform, that the participants are not victims of human trafficking, and such like.
Then we agree? Porn is okay between consenting adults?

Human trafficking is not about consent and should not be legal. Do you believe playboy bunnies are products of human trafficking?
M:Playboy bunnies? I've always thought they were ludicrous rather than pornographic. So you download pictures of Playboy bunnies over the Internet? You are trying to divert attention from what I'm really talking about.

AS:I can assure you I am not trying to divert attention from anything you are saying. I am simply asking you if you think playboy is human trafficking or if it is porn that is ok. I am trying to cooperate here. I will agree that human trafficking is wrong. It is wrong because it is not consensual. All consensual sex had by adults is no one's business. Sex acts are a personal preference.

M:You said you download porn from the Internet for free. Because it's free, that's OK. What baffles me is that you appear not to be concerned about the violence and degradation in porn - I'm talking about the stuff Nisus described.

AS:I never said I download porn from the internet for free. I said I look at porn on the internet. I download nothing as it usually gives my computer a virus and then hubby has to fix it...poor hubby! I try not to overwork him. He laughs at me and calls me porno girl...but bottom line. He is not into it and I am...I try to respect him and have willingly made an effort to stop watching porn. Not because I think it is wrong...but because I want to please my husband.

I will say one thing though...I will agree with Duncan, Nisus, RU, Satyr...My husband is the patriarch of my family. I made him that when I realized he was a good man who I loved more than life (like most women do when they are in love.) But, the men I listed (with perhaps a few exceptions...I don't wish to categorize...because I don't really know them...maybe they are just trying to make a point and really love women...who am I to say) have taken that knowledge and twisted it into some type of sick hatred of women in general . The reason I think this is (and mind you...it is only a theory of mine) Is because society has portrayed woman's sexuality as sinful. Society teaches that there are good girls and bad. The good girls have vanilla sex and the bad girls allow themselves to be degraded. The conflict comes into play when these men go out into the real world with the notion that good girls don't. When they realize that the girls they thought were 'good' actually do enjoy sex other than vanilla sex...they start to believe that there are no "good" women. And so they lose respect for ALL women.

I believe that sexuality is normal...good. This does not mean I believe that human trafficking/slavery is good. You yourself said you would like to see porn regulated. Well so would I. I would like to see the stars of porn get compensated fairly...like actors and actresses. I would like to see human sexuality be accepted...both for men and for women.
Nisus said this:

"To be honest, even when I watched porn I did not feel very pleasant doing it. After I had 'got' what I wanted, I generally felt very disgusted, and couldn't stand watching it anymore. It's a sensation similar to that we experience when we start masturbating, we feel somewhat ashamed, but don't know exactly ashamed of what. Nowadays I know that I feel ashamed of the manner women are treated in such scenes. Even though I no longer watch porn (and I could do it everyday) I still feel like watching it sometimes, but the disgust always speak louder."


His shame comes from the fact he was told masturbation was wrong and that good girls don't. He sees sex as something men "do" to women. He does not understand that women desire sex the same way men desire sex. He places women who are not ashamed of their sexuality into groups and label them whores. He admits to becoming bored with the "good" girls and he is disgusted by the bad 'girls.' Is it no wonder he is miserable and depressed? How scary that must be for him...how hopeless. He will never be able to find the woman of his dreams because she doesn't exist. That is what is shameful...that society has made a pleasurable thing like sex out to be something shameful. It hurts my heart.

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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by Morpheus » Tue May 19, 2009 8:37 pm

AS wrote: His shame comes from the fact he was told masturbation was wrong and that good girls don't. He sees sex as something men "do" to women. He does not understand that women desire sex the same way men desire sex. He places women who are not ashamed of their sexuality into groups and label them whores. He admits to becoming bored with the "good" girls and he is disgusted by the bad 'girls.' Is it no wonder he is miserable and depressed? How scary that must be for him...how hopeless. He will never be able to find the woman of his dreams because she doesn't exist. That is what is shameful...that society has made a pleasurable thing like sex out to be something shameful. It hurts my heart.

This I where I do agree with you. Where I disagree is that hardcore porn involving violence and humilation is anything other than harmful to a young mind. (Apologies if you do agree with me on this too. I'm not quite clear!) I firmly believe that Nisus' shame about sex and his unbalanced opinion about women in general is largely the direct result of having been exposed to hardcore porn in adolescence. I'm very concerned to hear from Nisus that virtually all youngsters nowadays are exposed to violent hardcore porn. This is shocking and may well be the reason for the huge increase in cases of rape and other violent crimes worldwide.

Light Relief: Hey AS, allowing your hubby to be the Patriarch is hilarious! Presumably you're the Matriarch? You gotta have both together, otherwise it's an unbalanced power structure! Mr Butlin, think on mate... :P

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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by artisticsolution » Tue May 19, 2009 10:22 pm

Hi Morph,

M: Where I disagree is that hardcore porn involving violence and humilation is anything other than harmful to a young mind.(Apologies if you do agree with me on this too. I'm not quite clear!)

AS: I apologize too, I probably came to a few wrong conclusions as well! Yes, I believe hardcore porn is harmful to a young mind. However, adults are a different thing. Still, I don't believe that hardcore porn should involve human trafficking. If consenting adults wish to post porn online and other consenting adults look at that porn...hardcore or soft...is perfectly acceptable imo. I don't see any shame in it.

M: I firmly believe that Nisus' shame about sex and his unbalanced opinion about women in general is largely the direct result of having been exposed to hardcore porn in adolescence.

AS:I feel it is a combination of the 2...being told that sex is shameful...and then becoming aroused by such sexual acts. It is a horrible contradiction that leaves people feeling confused, ashamed and angry. It sets up people to be disillusioned time and time again by the people they thought were 'good' but only end up being human. Imagine how terrifying it would be attracted to the opposite sex but then not trust any of them. Imagine what it would be like to think you are doomed to a life of being sexually attracted to a woman who you considered a whore. It would be impossible to love anyone.

M:I'm very concerned to hear from Nisus that virtually all youngsters nowadays are exposed to violent hardcore porn. This is shocking and may well be the reason for the huge increase in cases of rape and other violent crimes worldwide.

AS: But this can be changed. And the way we change it is not trying to hide sexuality from young adults, but to explain to them it is a natural act that encompasses a wide variety of preferences. To teach them to not be ashamed of their sexuality but at the same time teach them that there is only shame in hateful thoughts towards others....that people are not going to be perfect because they are human...but with luck one might find the person who is perfect for them. Teach them that even they will disappoint themselves and others in their lifetime and it's not the end of the world. Especially if they learn why compassion, empathy and forgiveness is important to show to all people and not just the 'good' people.

M: Hey AS, allowing your hubby to be the Patriarch is hilarious! Presumably you're the Matriarch? You gotta have both together, otherwise it's an unbalanced power structure! Mr Butlin, think on mate...

AS: Yes...I think maybe you've got it right...lol. I never thought of myself as the matriarch before but it makes sense. As for Duncan, I think he believes in a balance of power...he has always said that women are stronger in some ways than men. He speaks certain truths about men and women...he just confused the facts on the woman side. He comes to the wrong conclusions as to what we are thinking. He certainly doesn't understand women very well though but you can't fault him for that...most men don't. Poor dears...they have absolutely no idea what goes through our pretty little heads! One good thing is the invention of the internet. It gives us all a place to get to know each other intimately. I think you will start seeing a whole new world because of the internet. It is a place where men can hear what a woman is really saying...without being distracted by her presence.

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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by Camus Society » Tue May 19, 2009 10:57 pm

RachelAnn wrote:Hi Camus;
I'm "street" in an inner city, and live in a rough part of town. What I see is remnants of porn in abandoned buildings (mattresses, wirings pulled out from video cams, used (ugh) condoms, needles)... none of which indicates porn stars who interview with PhD students. No offense. Sadly, there is a horrifying amount of porn that is not produced in a real studio, with real 'stars.' Wish that it were so... instead of junkies, kids, and so forth. Existential Angst among the shards and the blood and the needles...
No offense taken RachelAnn. Your comment suggests that there are (at least) two types of porn. One made in professional studios, with real stars that would interview with PhD students. One made in abandoned buildings with actors that wouldn't. In your comment you compare one type of porn with another - the 'bad' in this particular case lies in the abandoned buildings, old mattresses, used condoms and discarded needles rather than in making porn. This isn't a case against porn but against a particular way of making porn. One could contrast rape with loving and consensual intercourse but that wouldn't be a comment against sex but a particular and nasty type of sex.

It would be an interesting debate if someone argued for all porn currently legal in the US (the law in the UK is too complicated) to be morally acceptable - this includes porn self-defined as degrading sex. Most of us seem to agree that at least some legal porn is wrong.
Peter wrote:Emotionally healthy people do not need pornography. They are repulsed by the objectivisation (debasement) of others as they would reject the same being done to them.
ALL sexual fantasy involves the objectivisation of others. When you have a sexual fantasy you never take the other person(s) interests into account. The idea of this person is used solely for the pleasure of the fantasist. In any sexual fantasy, you are the only thinking being all other characters exist as 'objects' to make your imagined scenerios work. No-one fantasizes about someone but in that fantasy this person declines to have sex or has any thoughts of her own. In fact, when someone chooses to take part in porn, they tacitly accept to be used in another person's sexual fantasy. Anyone else, someone at work for example that you see and fantasize about, has given no such permission at all. So arguably it is morally worse to fantasize about someone purely in your imagination.

You also need to make the case that it is the objectifying of a person in porn is what makes porn wrong. People are objectified in advertisements, films, and theatre. If you want to use this line you need an argument for the special case of sexuality. This includes, of course, the objectification of actual living people in non-sexual fantasies (such as fantasizing about being promoted at work, or winning an Oscar, or having magical powers).

If you want to make a special case for the treatment of people in porn as opposed to any other work environment, the charge of 'objectification' does not work.

______________________________________________________________

A final note about the special status of sexuality. Once we have all decided that porn is always morally bad, why stop there. We will have to look at violent and degrading films, music, books and so on. Rousseau argued that the theatre was morally wrong because it encouraged the audience to side with morally wrong characters. While I don't agree that the theatre/films is necessarily moral wrong because of this, it is often true that morally wrong acts and the people that do them are often portrayed sympathetically.

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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by RachelAnn » Wed May 20, 2009 12:12 am

This isn't a case against porn but against a particular way of making porn.
Correct. And one is necessary to the other (porn and its form of production). Back round to the old question of "does form follow function or does function follow form?"
Sex can be dirty, degrading, and rough - and all the better for it(!!); or, it can be dirty, degrading, and rough because it is a manifestation of abuse/exploitation.
Need my Vienna roast now... and, I do like reading your posts, Camus Society.

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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by Morpheus » Wed May 20, 2009 8:38 am

A final note about the special status of sexuality. Once we have all decided that porn is always morally bad, why stop there. We will have to look at violent and degrading films, music, books and so on. Rousseau argued that the theatre was morally wrong because it encouraged the audience to side with morally wrong characters. While I don't agree that the theatre/films is necessarily moral wrong because of this, it is often true that morally wrong acts and the people that do them are often portrayed sympathetically.

I for one have certainly not said that porn is morally bad. I'm saying that performers are in a high risk industry and are frequently emotionally damaged people. There's quite a lot of 'objective' (as far as this humanly possible) research material available to back up what I say. An emotionally damaged person is not making an emotinally intelligent decision when they choose to participate in hardcore porn. They are victims of their unhealthy life experiences. Indeed, who in their right mind would risk death and degradation to earn a pittance? If you read the report on the sexual and mental health of porn actors, it's far from a healthy and happy picture. We also know that children and young teenagers are getting hold of hardcore porn to the detriment of their long-term mental wellbeing.

To argue that fantasy objectifies someone in exactly the same way as literally acting out is just another way society condones destructive behaviours. A sexual fantasy all in the head is not harming anyone in the flesh. In the head is the best place to enjoy one's fantasies - that is to say, if such fantasies would be harmful in reality. Similarly, Agatha Christy had a good imagination, but she didn't live out her fantasies in real-life by murdering anyone for real at the Vicarage.

When we are talking about human lives, logic is flawed if it's devoid of emotional intelligence and empathy. Often the only time this message comes home to people is when it affects their own family, close friends and relatives. Only then does the theory and 'objectivity' fly out of the window. At that point, the only concern is for the welfare of their loved ones.

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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by Camus Society » Wed May 20, 2009 11:49 pm

Morpheus wrote:To argue that fantasy objectifies someone in exactly the same way as literally acting out is just another way society condones destructive behaviours.


No-one has argued that a fantasy objectifies someone in exactly the same way as literally action it out. The argument is that fantasy objectifies someone in a different way (and for some it is worse). The point is the objectifying a person isn't always morally wrong (if it were then all fantasy involving other people is morally wrong). Therefore, it is not 'objectification of people' that makes porn - in particular - wrong.

Some fantasies are destructive. I would imagine that most people wouldn't consider fantasies of child sex not destuctive as long as they never become reality - and even less condone publishing books of pedophile fantasy.

In a similar way people are suspicious of others who have violent and racist thoughts but claim they never act on them. We are suspicious that these thoughts will, perhaps without them being conscious of it, influence their behaviour in negative and destructive ways.

The argument against violent films and music (and games) is that this media get viewers to have violent thoughts on a regular basis - and that this will influence their attitude and behaviour towards others.

If we don't make a special argument for the sexual content of porn then all the arguments against it (such as objectification of people) must apply to non-sexual media. Of course, even if we can make a special case for sex then we need to look at all sexuality not just porn. There are arguments about degradation, objectification and so on leveled against all sex outside of marriage. Some radical feminists have claimed that all sex between men and women is rape since it necessarily takes place within a violently sexist environment.

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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by Morpheus » Thu May 21, 2009 10:43 am

Camus, whilst I agree with much of what you say, I'm not quite sure if you understand exactly where I'm coming from. I'll try to explain it again. If this still doesn't make sense, then I don't know how else to explain it! Or maybe you do know what I'm saying and I'm misunderstanding your own view :?: It may simply be that you disagree with some of the things I put forward. I might well change my viewpoint in due course. For now, however, this is how I see it.

Call it 'morals' if you wish, though personally I don't need a religious moralistic code to guide me. Some people do, and that's fine by me. This is infinitely better than inhumanity - the inability to empathise with suffering in its many guises. I'm speaking from an humanitarian perspective, from the humane instinct.

The objectification I've been talking about is the way in which many people view violent porn. The only reason reasonable people can watch it at all, and find it arousing, is precisely because the viewer distances themselves from the real human beings they are viewing. This ability is extremely difficult for a child or young person exposed to hardcore porn during their formative years. Indeed, they will take it to heart. After the initial shock wears off, repeated exposure results in desensitisation. And thus, violent sex or sadism has become 'normalised' in their minds.

Not everyone who has viewed hardcore porn during their formative years will grow up emotionally damaged because of it. Nevertheless, all caring parents will do their utmost to protect their children from such images. They don't need to be a psychologist to know of its potential harm; they know this from their deepest instincts.

Porn consumers need to consider that most (possibly all?) the participants of hardcore porn are emotionally damaged in some way. Often they are victims of child sexual abuse, often they are on prescription drugs or so-called recreational drugs in order to bring themselves to perform. Moroever, some have herpes or even HIV - and thus, all are risking their lives in order to satisfy the lust of the porn viewer. Most of all, this is satisfying the financial lust of those at the top who make huge profits out of porn.

Many porn actors have died of AIDS and many (according to the report I linked to earlier) continue to have mental health issues for years after their involvement with porn. Additionally, viewers need to consider what it would be like to view their own child, mother, father, brother, sister participating in a hardcore movie. How would they feel then?

Whilst watching violent porn with the aforementioned in mind, rather than touching the genitals, such realisations would touch the hearts of those capable of empathy. At the very least, it would be deflating for some viewers. This is what I mean by learning not to objectify porn. It's about encouraging people to connect with the essential human being behind the image. By encouraging porn viewers to think in this way, perhaps it can even be helpful to the porn addict? Or is this a naive assumption?

So I'm not talking about superficial morals; I'm talking about the innate humane instinct. Incidentally, as for violence in general, I'm a pacifist so I abhor violence in its many forms. Also, I started a thread some months ago about the psychopathology of warfare and the way in which society normalises mass murder. But we're talking about porn here, so I'd better confine myself to the topic!

Regarding human trafficking: aside from the fact that some victims are filmed whilst being raped by 'clients', here is a report about the link between hardcore porn and human trafficking. According to this report, human trafficking is increasing at an horrendous rate. This is mainly because of a shortage of 'voluntary' prostitutes willing to act out the violent and sadistic things viewers of hardcore porn have started to crave in the real world due to their desensitisation.

P.S. I grin to myself that the following link is the organisation founded by the religious moralistic campaigner Mary Whitehouse (RIP)! Even though I'm not looking at this issue from her religious frame of reference, nevertheless I recognise aspects of truth in most worldviews.

http://www.mediawatchuk.org.uk/index.ph ... Itemid=124" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Here's an abstract on the issue published by Social Science Research Network, 2006. The full paper/book is probably only available for purchase.

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... _id=885389" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Richard Baron
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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by Richard Baron » Thu May 21, 2009 1:00 pm

Morpheus wrote:P.S. I grin to myself that the following link is the organisation founded by the religious moralistic campaigner Mary Whitehouse (RIP)! Even though I'm not looking at this issue from her religious frame of reference, nevertheless I recognise aspects of truth in most worldviews.

http://www.mediawatchuk.org.uk/index.ph ... Itemid=124" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Here's an abstract on the issue published by Social Science Research Network, 2006. The full paper/book is probably only available for purchase.

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... _id=885389" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
There is more on the conference here (links to numbered pages at the bottom of this page):

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_q ... ntent;col1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I do regard anything from Mediawatch with some suspicion, because of their strongly pro-censorship agenda. In fact I find their willingness to dictate to the rest of us repulsive. That does not of course prove that what they say is mistaken, but it is a reason for scepticism. (For those who would prefer an opposing view, I recommend the anti-censorship site http://www.melonfarmers.co.uk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; )

Turning to the conference, I have not checked all of the material, but a random selection does raise a concern. There seems to be a great deal of emphasis on setting out a conceptual map that will allow certain conclusions to be reached. There is for example a lot of argument against seeing pornography, prostitution and trafficking as separate. There is also argument for a conceptual schema that would not leave room for the existence of genuinely free prostitution, in which someone chooses to make a living in that way. I do not see that a good case for such a conceptual map, strong enough to command the agreement of the unprejudiced, has been made. It is for example quite clear to me that there is such a thing as free prostitution, and that you can only deny that by denying, implausibly, that people's choices of how to make a living were in general free.

What I did not find was empirical evidence that would justify action even if one did not accept the proposed re-drawing of the conceptual map, for example a demonstration that certain types of porn, or all porn, has a causal role in encouraging trafficking.

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