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An End To Porn???

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Model, actress and unwitting porn star Pamela Anderson and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach are saying exactly that in a Wall Street Journal piece entitled, “Take the Pledge: No More Indulging Porn.”

If anyone still had doubts about the addictive dangers of pornography, Anthony Weiner should have put paid to them with his repeated, self-sabotaging sexting.

And if anyone still doubted the devastation that porn addiction wreaks on those closest to the addict, behold the now-shattered marriage of Mr. Weiner and Huma Abedin….

[W]e are a guinea-pig generation for an experiment in mass debasement that few of us would have ever consented to, and whose full nefarious impact may not be known for years. How many families will suffer? How many marriages will implode? How many talented men will scrap their most important relationships and careers for a brief onanistic thrill? How many children will propel, warp-speed, into the dark side of adult sexuality by forced exposure to their fathers’ profanations?

Nine percent of porn users said they had tried unsuccessfully to stop—an indication of addiction that is all the more startling when you consider that the dependency rate among people who try marijuana is the same—9%—and not much higher among those who try cocaine (15%), according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

But it is a fair guess that whereas drug-dependency data are mostly stable, the incidence of porn addiction will only spiral as the children now being raised in an environment of wall-to-wall, digitized sexual images become adults inured to intimacy and in need of even greater graphic stimulation. They are the crack babies of porn.

Weiner is a pretty poor example, since his marriage to Hillary Clinton’s special aide Huma Abedin was obviously a sham marriage in my view for reasons I’ve already discussed elsewhere. I feel no need to veer off topic and repeat them here. But the question Pamela Anderson and Rabbi Boteach ask is worth a look.

We are now looking at the first generation to come to adulthood exposed to the total immersion of easily available porn on the internet and as a side effect, more blatant and ever more explicit sexual imagery in non-porn programming and film, advertising, what have you. Are the results of this inadvertent social experiment harmful, or no big deal?

The ready availability of porn started with the proliferation of cable TV and VCRs, but it really took off when the Internet did. All of a sudden, there was no need to shop for a certain kind of magazine or video cassette. It was available 24-7 to anyone with a computer and an ISP. And mainstream companies were like Disney were quick to react to this new source of revenue and put out and market their own product.

The upside of all this is that people who for whatever reason wanted to enjoy porn were able to do that in the comfort and privacy of their own homes and from an economic standpoint, it created a huge and industry and source of employment. Porn industry sources say the business grosses as much as $14 billion annually. Forbes estimates it at more like $4 billion, and the truth is probably somewhere in between, depending on what you’re counting.

What are the downsides? Consenting adults is one thing. But I think there have been some decidedly negative effects from the inundation of porn and what I’ll call borderline porn programming and advertising on children who grow up with it in such easy reach.

For one thing, it gives both young males and those young females who watch a decidedly skewed idea of what sex in the real world actually is, to the point where they can be shocked and disappointed when they try the antics they saw on their computer monitor in the real world. It also takes the mystique of sex away and teaches sex and instant gratification as machine ends in themselves rather than the fruit of an actual loving relationship between two people, which encourages serial promiscuity as an end in itself. The hook up culture we now see so prevalent is a direct result.

Second, porn actually discourages romantic relationships. Why bother when you can get off at home with no effort on your part and no interaction with a bothersome human being who actually might expect to be more than a sperm toilet or a meat dildo??

Watching porn can also actually become an addiction. And the real kicker for males…many studies show that frequent viewing of porn can actually result in erectile dysfunction! There are even indications that those women who consume porn regularly have more difficulty reaching orgasm than those who do not.

An additional drawback might well be a reduced U.S. birthrate. Birthrate is notably higher among groups like Mormons, Orthodox Jews, religious Christians and other groups where, at least officially, consumption of porn is discouraged and mostly observed.

So with all that, should porn be banned?

I see no upside in doing that, with one exception I’ll get to. Aside from the putting a lot of people out of work and decimating a profitable industry, it sets a very bad precedent for the idea of freedom of choice and freedom on the Internet. And given that there are folks willing to pay for it and others willing to provide it, it would merely drive things underground again. Prohibition usually does.

The one exception I’d make is banning non-U.S. providers, simply because there’s ample evidence that a number of the ‘actresses’ on some of those outlets are actually being bullied and coerced into porn rather than choosing it freely as employment.

Another way to lose the downsides I mentioned (and you have to admit, they’re substantial) it to legislate mandatory ‘family filters’ on all computers and anything else capable of connecting to the internet. These would be far stronger than the usual search engine preferences and devices containing them  should be set up not to work unless an adult goes to the filter and sets preferences, which could include a number of per-arranged search terms with a password needed to access the filter and change preferences. Or even better, sites that deal in porn could be required to apply for an ‘adult programming’ license that would allow a device to be set to so as to recognize sites with that adult programming license, and not to allow access if the filter was set that way.

Dealing with the problem of how public education encourages certain attitudes on sex in children is another vital part of eliminating a part of sexualizing young children, but a separate issue to be dealt with. For now, homeschooling and/or private religious and parochial education remain viable options to forestall that problem.

The interesting thing is that porn as we now know it is likely to become mostly extinct in the very near future. Sex robots ofboth sexes are already here and are becoming more and more realistic all the time. As the technology and manufacturing techniques improve and competition sets in, prices will lower and a fairly tactile and realistic sex robot, complete with programmable moods could very well replace merely visual porn in many homes.

Talk about being in the closet…literally!

Authored By J O S H U A P U N D I T