Sex and the Sun: Ubiquitous porn can be destructive

Written by: Anna Pryor / Viewpoints Editor

12/03/2013

In 2012 the pornography industry brought in more than $100 billion worldwide and had an enormous profit margin.

Sex really does sell.

Porn was in the $100 billion club with the Fortune 500 behemoths like Exxon-Mobile, Chevron, Volkswagen and Apple. Some porn traders are richer than drug lords, robber barons and corporate raiders.

Some do almost as much damage.

Like heroin, pornography is addictive. Americans, on average, are exposed to porn by age 11. Many teenagers are addicts. Constant voyeurism leads to crippling addiction problems. Occasional viewing is normal, but obsessive watching and viewing women negatively can warp reality.

Husbands can find they are no longer attracted to their wives and they may find they need porn to obtain satisfaction. Females can get trapped, too. Conversely, porn can actually be beneficial to relationships when viewed together in moderation. Like alcohol, a little may be fun, too much is obliterating.

On the other side of the screen are the actors. While most males may appear to be having a fine time and getting paid tremendously to do so, women face hardships and degradation on and off camera.

Many former female porn stars speak out against women going into the business. Women have been beaten and abused in scenes, and forced to do degrading things they did not agree to. Many go into the business for the money, but find the personal cost not worth it.

One famous former performer turned anti-porn advocate is “Deep Throat” star Linda Lovelace. She described an abusive relationship with her husband/director Chuck Traynor that included being forced into pornography at gunpoint. He also got her addicted to drugs and would use them as reward in return for her performing her trademark sex act on various strangers.

Porno can be dangerous for actors. Many have herpes, some have HIV and AIDS. Disease is seldom disclosed prior to filming a scene.

Pornography is also a gateway for drug abuse. Many performers use marijuana, cocaine and heroine as coping mechanisms during stressful and degrading scenes.

Sadly, child pornography has grown with technology. From 1996 to 2005 there was a 2,026 percent increase in cases opened for what they call “innocent images,” according to the FBI. Today, almost 40 percent of all FBI Cyber Division investigations are for innocent images. Children have never been more vulnerable or more damaged.

Interestingly, most viewers in America live in conservative voting states. Leading the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do parade is Utah with the highest amount of porno subscriptions. Deep Red Mississippi has the highest average amount of time spent on porno sites clocking in at 12 minutes per visit. Red state hypocrisy abounds. Porn rules the Bible Belt. Skin fuels the GOP.

Mobile technology field has let the porno genie out of the bottle. American teenagers can often view pornography without permission or control. Young men and women can be influenced negatively by viewing intense, graphic and tasteless images. Views on sex can be distorted.

Pornography is not about loving, interpersonal relationships. It is long on hedonism and short on loyalty, respect and commitment. Sexual education in our secondary schools should include a segment on pornography because nine out of 10 boys are exposed to porn by age 18.

There needs to be a stronger push against the abuse. Industry standards should eliminate abuse against women. Parents can block sights that contain inappropriate content for children. Internet providers should ban viewing of child pornography. Our government should have a better system in place to stop child pornography at its roots. First-time offenders of transporting child pornography face fines and 5-20 years in prison. Increasing the punishment for this serious situation could discourage future offenders.

It is myth, however, that pornography turns men in to raging misogynists. Research shows that people predisposed to a disagreeable or violent attitude interact badly with women with or without porn. A recent study conducted by Clemson University suggested that the increased availability of online pornography may help reduce violent attacks. Rape is down 30 percent and sexual assaults 60 percent.

Pornography can be enjoyed. It should be viewed responsibly, though, and with better understanding.

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