Unsettled arguments

Porn has permanently altered the relationship between men and women in North America.

Jeff is under the impression that research (most of this is non scientific precis) here, here, here, here, here, (showing how public health problems arise from porn familiarization) here, and here, (part of this research is more about how young women are affected by partners’ porn use) and cultural commentary like this is of no consequence.  My observation that men are experiencing sexual dysfunction in eyebrow raising numbers and women are being forced to emulate porn stars just to keep the interest of their partners is dismissed by Jeff as anecdotal.

If it wasn’t for porn, why have stats on word frequency for certain sex acts skyrocketed in the last thirty years?  If it wasn’t for porn, why would Brazilians be so popular?  If it wasn’t for porn why would women and men my kids’ age tell me about how porn and hookup culture have come winnowing through their lives like tornados, leaving busted relationships, shame, sexual dysfunction and very bad vibes in their wakes?  And let’s not forget the contribution of porn to misogyny.  Some poor schmucks watched their way through a lot of contemporary porn, and 90% of the sex acts depicted had the men verbally or physically or sexually abusing the women while the women either stayed blank or appeared to enjoy it.  Young men are often (and yes, anecdotally) surprised when the women they have sex with object to having their faces ejaculated on, or don’t want to have unprotected anal on the first date.  You can say this is poor socialization.  I think it’s porn. Porn changes behaviour.  Monkey see, monkey do.  Monkey do, monkey think.

Let’s get our feet under us, shall we?

I am a pro porn feminist.  I like and consume some forms of porn, and have publicly discussed my porn preferences on this blog, although it was a while back.  There is evidence to suggest that porn availability has dropped the rape stats; that legalization of child pornography decreases child sexual abuse; that pornography can be liberating, enjoyable and a perfectly fun part of whatever the hell it is that passes for a normal sex life in these parlous times.

I do think there is enough evidence to suggest that the inescapability of porn is harming the brains and manners of young people, and that an activity that’s really designed for adult brains is injuring young ones.  I’m not going to try to ban it or bag at the people who make it.  I am going to say that we are, as a culture, participating in a large scale uncontrolled social experiment about the effects of porn, and I predict the long term results for the sexual health of a hefty percentage of Canadians is going to be really, really shitty.

Jeff, given that your contention that porn isn’t a problem for men’s sexual health, would you care to provide the evidence that supports this?

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Allegra

Born 1958. Not dead yet.

3 thoughts on “Unsettled arguments”

  1. Since you seem keen to enter into a public debate about this, I’ll read the references you’ve provided. I’m perfectly ready to be convinced. What about you? Are you willing to admit that you may be wrong? If not, then this debate is already over. (The rest of this comment was deleted for reasons of personal safety.)

  2. Oh my god, I’ve already taken a shellacking from the pro porn feminists on my facebook list. I am perfectly happy to be convinced that a) there’s no such thing as a porn addiction and b) over- or misuse of porn however defined has no net negative impact on men’s sexual health c) over or misuse has no net negative impact on sexual relationships. You’re right that anecdotes are not data, but there be strange things going on out there in the wild right now.

  3. I read all the references you provided and I’m unconvinced. It’s almost all anecdotal or irrelevant. Let me know if you find anything better.

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