Religion in Society
Religion in Society

The Brutal, Addictive Nature of Today's Internet Porn

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WASHINGTON -- For 90 minutes yesterday, a standing-room-only crowd attended a briefing at the U.S. Capitol where researchers and a former pornography actress revealed information on the harmful and addictive nature of today's porn, and called on the federal government to prosecute the major producers and distributors of obscene material.

"Our efforts today are not partisan because the protection of children, violence against women, addiction and sexual trafficking are not partisan issues. Nor are we here today to quarrel with Attorney General Holder," said Patrick A. Trueman, former chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, U.S. Department of Justice.

"The Attorney General previously indicated support for the enforcement of obscenity laws. We are asking that the prosecution of obscenity, which seems to be on hold in the Obama Administration, be given a high priority because of the widespread harm we now know that obscene material is causing."

"Statistics show that 7 in 10 kids have accidentally accessed pornography and 1 in 3 intentionally. Internet pornographers are great innovators and use clever and deceptive marketing tactics to push their drug to anyone and everyone," said Donna Rice Hughes, Enough is Enough President. "The majority of porn sites have free teaser images and videos on their home pages and do not require any age verification."

"Howard Stern regularly features pornography on his show, Miley Cyrus, the former Disney star who is a role model to young girls everywhere is photographed for Elle magazine, sprawled on a table wearing S/M gear, and students at Yale University invite pornographers to give talks on campus," said Dr. Grail Dines, professor of sociology and women's studies at Wheelock College in Boston. "These simply illustrate how porn has seeped into our every day world and is fast becoming such a normal part of our lives that it barely warrants a mention."

During Dines' remarks, several members of the audience were noticeably affected by the repulsive, violent, degrading acts she described to demonstrate that today's pornography is not traditional Playboy-style images. Dines, the author of a newly released book, "Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked our Sexuality," described how pornography is the major form of sex education for boys, and as it seeps into mainstream media, for girls as well. 

To underscore the impact of pornography on society, Dr. Mary Anne Layden, Director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program, University of Pennsylvania said, "The American Psychiatric Association has added Hypersexual Disorder to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5 which will include both sexual addiction and pornography addiction. Pornography may be ingested through your eyes but its impact is not just on your genitals but also on your brain, so it fits the addiction definition perfectly."

"Adult pornography normalizes sexual harm and provides children visual examples of lack of emotional commitment, unprotected sexual contact, and visual examples of violent rape in many cases," said forensic pediatrician Dr. Sharon Cooper, University of North Carolina. Former porn actress Shelley Lubben told the audience that, "PORN IS NOT GLAMOROUS. Porn destroys human lives and is destroying our nation. But we can change. We can heal and I am living proof of that."

"Obscene pornography has NEVER been considered protected material by our U.S. Supreme Court and the porn criminals do not have a right to pollute America with such material," said Trueman.

Federal obscenity laws prohibit distribution of hardcore obscene material on the Internet, the majority of the pornographic material that is available on the Internet; on cable/satellite or hotel/motel TV, the pay-per-view porn that most cable/satellite companies and hotels carry; and in sexually oriented businesses, porn shops and other retail shops that trade in hardcore porn.

"The U.S. Department of Justice has a criminal section devoted to the prosecution of obscenity with 93 U.S. Attorneys spread throughout the country whose job is to enforce federal law," said Trueman. "When they enforce obscenity laws, they help establish community standards. The majority of Americans would like to live in a community with high standards."

To view the briefing online, go towww.youtube.com/user/PornHarms. (Files will be uploaded 5/17/10.) For additional research and resource information on pornography, visit www.PornHarms.com,www.obscenitycrimes.org andwww.SocialCostsofPornography.org.