A Terrific Article about Pornography

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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 14 Jun 2015, 12:53

Ray DeGraw wrote:DA, again, in total honesty, I just read your last comment, then reread the article just to make sure I wasn't misremembering it, and wondered (truly did wonder) if you actually read the article - or if you skimmed it and only noticed some sentences that, out of the overall context, reinforced your natural assumptions...To lump it together with most things we read and hear in the LDS Church about porn and say it's really not that different and really just reinforces what others have been saying is mind-boggling to me. It really is. I just don't get it.
I never said that the article was the same as what we typically hear about porn in the Church or that it reinforced these ideas. In fact, I already said that it sounded to me like much of the article was actually about trying to counteract some of the potential negative and unhealthy side-effects of popular ideas about porn in the Church such as the shame cycle feeding the compulsion to view porn even more (which is a psychological concept I have never heard about in the Church). I actually agree with most of his individual points except for some of the following comments and I question how realistic it really is to expect people to fight against their natural instincts to the extent it is expected in the Church to begin with, that's all.
I don’t love the way our conservative culture talks about porn, but I am certainly not advocating for it. There are plenty of practical reasons you might choose to avoid porn. The porn industry tends to exploit its performers. It depicts women, in particular, as mere objects for sexual gratification. It distorts reality and wastes time...there are real downsides to pornography as a business. Whether we pay for it or not, watching porn creates demand in the market and perpetuates some pretty damaging dynamics. While you’re deciding if porn aligns with your moral compass, do some research about the way it impacts the people who work in the business.
The way I see it there are certainly understandable reasons why people would think porn isn't a good thing but how practical and strong can these reasons really be when they simply don't prevent men from viewing porn all that well? You can talk about what is supposedly wrong with porn all you want but to some extent I don't see the point if the end result is generally going to be "libido over credo" anyway and something like over 60-70% of men will continue to view porn occasionally. That's why I think the most likely way to actually reduce the overall harm done by porn would be to provide realistic alternatives (less harmful porn/nudity), but of course that's not really an option in the Chruch because it's not about reducing harm as much as the idea that being turned on by anything other than your spouse is a serious sin that is always unacceptable so it could be Playboy, soft-core sex scenes, etc. and it is still forbidden.
"Truth is what works." - William James

Roy
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by Roy » 14 Jun 2015, 13:38

DevilsAdvocate wrote:The way I see it there are certainly understandable reasons why people would think porn isn't a good thing but how practical and strong can these reasons really be when they simply don't prevent men from viewing porn all that well? You can talk about what is supposedly wrong with porn all you want but to some extent I don't see the point if the end result is generally going to be "libido over credo" anyway and something like over 60-70% of men will continue to view porn occasionally.
I saw an expose on the effects of large fast food chains pushing for cheap meat on the meat industry. Essentually creating an environment where the animals and employees are not treated well - just as cogs in a machine. Same with the employees at the store - not living wage jobs with upward career prospects. When it comes down to it I still take my family to McDonalds and I still bemoan when the dollar menu items creep up to higher prices. "Pocket book over credo" it seems to be.

Yet, I cant quite say that the expose was a waste of time. At the very least now I am more aware of some of the ramifications of my choices in an interconnected world.
DevilsAdvocate wrote:That's why I think the most likely way to actually reduce the overall harm done by porn would be to provide realistic alternatives (less harmful porn/nudity), but of course that's not really an option in the Chruch because it's not about reducing harm as much as the idea that being turned on by anything other than your spouse is a serious sin that is always unacceptable so it could be Playboy, soft-core sex scenes, etc. and it is still forbidden.
That is why I love that the focus on the article seems to be about keeping communication lines open. While this is not the same as actually providing soft core porn to my hypothetical teenage son, I hope that we can at least be open to discussing unrealistic / unhealthy notions about sex and sexuality that he might come across on his own. Part of that conversation would be that getting turned on looking at a Victoria Secret catalogue does not make it pornography.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

GBSmith
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by GBSmith » 14 Jun 2015, 14:05

This is a paragraph from this link. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zanthe-ta ... 52398.html I posted it on the thread about swimsuits. No nude images, just a fascinating post by a women and her daughters who attended a birthday party at a Korean spa with gender segregated nudity.
The other group who'd benefit from witnessing this scene -- though it could never happen, for obvious reasons -- are boys and men. I had to suppress a giggle when I started to imagine how males, exposed from an ever-younger age to images of women who look like (or actually are) porn stars, would react to this display of female flesh. Of course they'd imagine it as a great erotic treat, but I wonder how they'd really respond when presented with the female form in all its actual, varied glory. I deeply wish for some kind of counter-programming for boys: how can we teach them that actual women aren't the hairless, emaciated lust bunnies they fantasize about? Of course, for most men, a woman of any shape or size can be a sex object; but these days it can take a while for men to overcome their preference for the kinds of utterly unreal female forms they have been brainwashed to believe in. I would love to replace every centerfold and swimsuit issue with a slideshow of the women I've seen, in the flesh, in the naked room.

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SilentDawning
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by SilentDawning » 14 Jun 2015, 14:29

Reminds me of a statement Geraldo made that got him into hot water...someone asks what a woman brings to a marriage, and he replied:

"her youth".

Sounds like he has that idealized vision of what a naked woman should look like...
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

JAC
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by JAC » 27 Jul 2015, 15:24

I have the nasty habit of jumping onto a thread late and then killing it. So here I go...

I've seen this article posted on facebook and other forums. For the most part I agree with the main point the author is trying to make that shaming is harmful.

I consumed porn regularly between the ages of 10 and 33, and I know that shaming did nothing but destroy my self esteem and made turning to it even easier. However, I do not think shame is the enemy.

Unbridled lust is most certainly the enemy. Looking at women (or men) as sexual objects is the enemy. We live in a culture that tells us if it feels good, do it so long as it doesn't hurt anyone. With that paradigm it is easy for us to write off porn and masturbation as benign. The truth is, porn is a cancer. It's negative effects are not always apparent, but it will eventually rot your mind and soul. It's true.

I thought my porn use was justified and under control. I even stopped feeling bad about telling my bishop and stake presidency that I lived the law of chastity. Yet, after 23 years my world finally came crashing down. Certainly did - It always does. Even with using porn and masturbation at a modest rate I stopped loving my wife. The spark was gone. The romance was dead. She couldn't arouse me like she used to. After 10 years our marriage was practically dead.

Fortunately I recognized this before things got worse and before she caught me in my secret lude acts. I was able to reveal my problem to her on my own terms, and get the help I needed. Two years have passed since my turn around and I have fallen completely head over heals in love with my wife again. Seriously, our relationship is better than when we were dating, or even newlyweds. I know without a doubt that this would not be the case if I was lusting after other women (which I have chosen not to).

Looking at anyone (besides your spouse) with the intention of getting aroused is most certainly wrong. I differ with the author completely on this point - Extending the term pornography to cover women in bikinis is entirely appropriate. Maybe it's just a disagreement in semantics, but when I hear people in anyway justify this stuff it makes me sick. *Sigh* However, I have patience with them knowing I once had that same paradigm.

"But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." - Jesus

Look, I know all to well the beast that the human sex drive is to bridal. It's really tough! However, I have found peace and a renewed love for my wife as I have abstained from porn, masturbation, lustful thinking, and anything like unto it.

I should point out that it is only tough at first. Once the beast is tamed it is really easy.

I'm nothing special; I know everyone is capable of doing it. When we turn our lives over to God completely He can make it so.

Roy
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by Roy » 27 Jul 2015, 16:35

Hi JAC,

Let me first say that I respect your experience. What I would most quibble with is in applying that experience to others.

Hormones are powerful things and being a pubescent young man is a confusing time. If we assume that everyone that has looked at a woman with lust has de facto committed adultery and is now an immoral deviant with a rotted "mind and soul," then who is there left to run the church?

I completely agree that there are potential dangers with sex related issues. I agree that there should be appropriate cautions, guiding principles, and even guardrails for our youth on this subject.

I do not believe that we cannot just tell everyone not to look "at anyone (besides your spouse) with the intention of getting aroused." That thinking, in my mind, when taken to the extreme can be the basis for a religious police state (think Sharia Law) that I would find truly frightening.

I am so glad that it is working for you and I rejoice at the great place that you have come to in your marriage. I would just caution against applying your experience wholesale to the situation of others.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

GBSmith
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by GBSmith » 27 Jul 2015, 16:40

Roy wrote:
I do not believe that we cannot just tell everyone not to look "at anyone (besides your spouse) with the intention of getting aroused." That thinking, in my mind, when taken to the extreme can be the basis for a religious police state (think Sharia Law) that I would find truly frightening.

I am so glad that it is working for you and I rejoice at the great place that you have come to in your marriage. I would just caution against applying your experience wholesale to the situation of others.
Let the church say amen.

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LookingHard
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by LookingHard » 27 Jul 2015, 20:37

I found it very interesting on another LDS site where a woman that had hormonal issues was taking hormones under the direction of the doctor. The doc made a mistake and shot this middle-aged woman's testosterone up to a teenage boy. She said she went back to the Doctor because she knew he must have messed up because she was obsessed with sex ALL THE TIME. She said she could hardly function. When the doctor told her what her testosterone level was like a teenage boy, she said, "How do boys make it to be men without screwing everything around them?" She said she had a real respect for what boys and men go through.

I am glad that you have found peace and comfort in your marriage.

I would certainly agree that porn is bad and can mess you up.

I would also comment that I found the way to combat it was to stop fighting it. If I see a good looking woman and I have a thought, I just think "hmm. my mind likes the thought of that" and don't label it as bad and in just a second the thought is gone. I found fighting it kicked in so much shame that I downwardly spiraled.

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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by Roy » 28 Jul 2015, 14:02

Interesting study about porn addiction being a misnomer and possibly not being a proper addiction in the medical sense (Of course more research needs to be done to confirm the findings).

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... -real.html
“Labeling a person’s attempt to control urges a ‘sexual addiction’ may interfere with therapy approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) that can reduce distressing sexual behaviors,” said co-author and Idaho State University psychologist Cameron Stanley.
In contrast to an addiction recovery approach—which seeks to end problematic behavior—Prause tells The Daily Beast that an ACT approach might involve “reducing viewing over time, not necessarily eliminating it.”
“ACT also supports finding ways to be comfortable with negative feelings associated with viewing sex films, which ultimately might make a person enjoy lower consumption rates,” she says.
There has already been preliminary research from Utah State University (PDF) suggesting that ACT could be an effective way to help those who claim to have an “Internet pornography addiction.”
In the experiment, researchers treated six men with eight 90-minute sessions of ACT. Three months later, the men had experienced an 85 percent reduction in viewing along with increased quality of life.
Sex and porn “addictions” may not be real but, whatever they are, it’s likely they can still be treated. The catch? We might have to stop calling them “addictions” first.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 29 Jul 2015, 07:51

Roy wrote:Interesting study about porn addiction being a misnomer and possibly not being a proper addiction in the medical sense (Of course more research needs to be done to confirm the findings).
“Labeling a person’s attempt to control urges a ‘sexual addiction’ may interfere with therapy approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) that can reduce distressing sexual behaviors,” said co-author and Idaho State University psychologist Cameron Stanley.
In contrast to an addiction recovery approach—which seeks to end problematic behavior—Prause tells The Daily Beast that an ACT approach might involve “reducing viewing over time, not necessarily eliminating it.”...In the experiment, researchers treated six men with eight 90-minute sessions of ACT. Three months later, the men had experienced an 85 percent reduction in viewing along with increased quality of life...Sex and porn “addictions” may not be real but, whatever they are, it’s likely they can still be treated. The catch? We might have to stop calling them “addictions” first.
I guess some of it is mostly a matter of semantics. They are basically saying that the brain activity of people that view porn even to the point that it has become a problem for them bears no resemblance to actual drug addicts which sounds like a direct contradiction to some of the hype I have repeatedly heard and the article also points out that the American Psychiatric Association rejected officially recognizing "sex addiction" for lack of sufficient evidence. Personally I could still see it making some sense to call people that view porn at work, spend a lot of time or money on it, don't want to have sex with their wife or girlfriend as a direct result, etc. "addicts" regardless of what medical professionals want to call it.

However, what makes no sense to me at all is calling people that aren't experiencing any tangible negative consequences "addicts" just because they don't want to (or haven't) stopped completely viewing porn/nudity once and for all. For example, there are reports that 70% of active men in the Church are supposedly porn "addicts" now. Well if most of them continue to go about their business without any obvious problems then how bad could porn "addiction" really be? And based on the same criteria why aren't people that don't want to stop masturbating and don't see any good reasons why they should or women that like to read romance novels and don't want to stop called addicts to nearly the same extent, if ever? To me it looks like the Church and other anti-porn crusaders are simply using pseudoscience as yet another way to pile on the guilt, fear, and shame and try to browbeat men that don't want to stop viewing porn/nudity into submission.
"Truth is what works." - William James

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