You’re right, but you’re also very wrong about porn.

Let me begin by saying this is a needed article and I applaud it. But it also has clear misnomers about porn and teenagers (as well as adults).

What’s Right

The article and author are dead on that there needs to be education and understanding regarding porn and its influence on today’s youth and society. You warn your kids about the dangers of playing in the street or Drano under the sink, so why the hell wouldn’t you educate them about porn? Many faith communities are already doing this by having “Porn Sunday” where they talk in their churches about the very real dangers of consuming porn. I get education is different, but damn… if the American church is beating the school system?

What’s Dead Wrong

  1. “Porn isn’t addictive according to scientific studies.”

This is laughable trying to compare addiction and compulsive behavior. Aren’t compulsive gamblers simply addicts that often attend meetings? Social psychologists and leading research shows that pornography is addictive but just not by the traditional definition drugs and alcohol receive. Studies point to them being “arousal” addictions. Not where you want more of the same, but different. Leading psychologist Philip Zimbardo discusses this in his book “The Demise of Guys” in relation not just to porn, but video gaming as well (which, many young boys cannot go without). Additionally, Cambridge University conducted a study that shows porn users brains show similar activity to alcoholics or drug addicts.

Finally, for the life of me, ask a teenager or adult male who watches porn to give it up for 3 months. Most can’t even do it for a week. If that isn’t the definition of an addict, I don’t know what is.

2. Because a teenage porn user will begin to consume different types of porn over time (arousal addiction), it will most often lead toward sexual aggression.

In a 2012 survey of 1,500 young adult men, 56% said their tastes in porn had become “increasingly extreme or deviant.” Because a porn users taste often evolves into new territory, the whole “MakeLoveNotPorn” is ridiculous. The author aptly points out porn is responsible for increased aggression, but where she could have nailed a touchdown, she aims for a field goal and completely misses the current #MeToo trend and how the two are connected.

The article itself incriminates the young men who believe women are objects or that to behave with increased aggression in the bedroom is normal. Case in point: the Aziz Ansari debacle. Where the hell did he learn to cram two fingers in the shape of a “V” down a chick’s throat and think that’s okay without her permission? You don’t pick that move up from your buddies.

Also, Drew (in the story) knew pretending to choke his girlfriend was wrong and felt awkward even though she asked. If we’re training women to engage in this behavior, the line will get real blurry when charges of sexual assault come up.

While we’d like to believe that if we just made responsible porn (as if that existed and the article shows it clearly doesn’t), this is Economics 101: supply and demand. Porn will continue to be degrading and lead to assault because the demand for that type of porn is high.

In Short…

This piece does a phenomenal job showing how porn is fueling our generation and the ramifications it’s having, but the author (at times) makes it sound like playing with a Grizzly bear as long as you’re responsible is the answer. She is also correct that we need more education about the dangers and the unrealistic expectations it’s creating. Again, I applaud her and think everyone should read this piece, but let’s not forget the very real problems porn brings into our society while insinuating that we can somehow play around with a deadly virus.

Some additional reading/research:

Storyteller | Combat wounded veteran | Metalhead | Designer | Bleeding on a page just makes it more authentic: https://benjaminsledge.com

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