Bernardo M. Villegas
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Combatting Harmful Effects of Pornography (Part 2)

             One of the most harmful effects of pornography is its undermining the very foundation of the society, which is marriage and the family.  The Philippine Constitution is very clear about marriage being an “inviolable institution” and that the family is the very foundation of society.  There is more than ample evidence (American Life League) that proves that pornography degrades marriages.  Pornography users generally view material that shows attractive women performing any type of act with any number of men (or animals, for that matter). The users begin to expect that their wives should also perform acts that are a little more “adventurous” or “experimental” than those they are used to and will become dissatisfied when their non-using partners will not live up to their porn-induced fantasies.  They may even become disillusioned with the physical imperfections of their wives.  In turn, the wives may become disgusted and repelled by the increasingly deviant behavior of their respective husbands.  The end result is that the husbands (or boyfriends) will turn to prostitutes, who are accustomed to handling bizarre requests.  Otherwise harmonious marriages and family lives may end up being disrupted by such corruption of the marriage act that is intrinsically ordered towards the procreation of children.  These aberrations in sexual behavior may explain to some extent the plunging fertility rate in the developed countries of Western Europe and Northeast Asian economies.        

There is much empirical evidence, especially in the United States, that the deleterious effects of pornography, both “soft” and “hard”, are damaging and pervasive.  Respected research teams have performed more than 500 studies upon these effects, and their conclusions are   concrete, consistent and unassailable.  Let us summarize here the evidence-backed conclusions regarding the impacts of pornography, both soft and hard on society.  We summarize here the effects of pornography listed in the study, “Pornography, Its Effects on the Family, Community and Culture authored by David Scott.  The conclusions contained in the study are not the results of single or grouped random studies but of multiple studies.  The conclusions, based on these numerous studies are as follows:  1) Even “soft” porn is harmful to every one; (2) All pornography desentisizes the viewer; (3) Pornography is addictive; (4) Pornography degrades marriage; (5) Pornography increases crime in dangerous offenders; and (6) Pornography encourages  and facilitates other crimes.

Eighteen separate studies have shown that “soft porn”, which involves acts between consenting adults, definitely desentisizes all viewers, and may lead to extremely violent behavior.  Pornography adversely affects every person who views it, not only the dangerous sex offender caricatured in cartoons, but everyone.  It interferes with interpersonal relationships and personal moral development in all persons who view it.    In fact, soft-core porn has been involved in numerous adolescent suicides.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has reported many cases of a young male suspending himself by the neck from a rope and masturbate while holding a soft-core magazine in the hope of attaining an extremely intense orgasm.  Not surprisingly, these deaths (classified as “autoerotic asphyxiation”) are not often made public.  It is estimated that 1,000 such accidental suicides occur in the United States each year.  In many cases, the issue of Hustler magazine that describes how to perform the so-called “orgasm of death” have been found at the feet of the victims.

In many cases, even young kids have unwittingly killed their friends and siblings while following suggestions that have been printed in “soft-core” magazines, proving that it is not only hardened perverts and criminals who are adversely affected by porn.  For example, Zacharian Hurt, 13, read a porn magazine and then carefully wrapped shoelaces around the necks of two boys, his 8-year-old brother, Benjamin, and Todd Pigg, Jr., 7 and pulled them tight, accidentally strangling them.

All pornography, soft, hard, and even “neutral” sex-education materials, desensitize the viewer and allow him to become conditioned to sexual acts violent and non-violent, as an integral part of human behavior.  This conclusion has been reached in 26 separate studies.  Exposure to pornographic materials, whether violent or non-violet, coercive or noncoercive, experimentally increases male aggressive behavior against women, and decreases both male and female sensitivity to rape and the plight of the rape victim.  Both males and females, after viewing this material, judge the female rape victim to be less injured, less worthy, and more responsible for her own plight. 

Quite alarming are findings in the environment of academic institutions like colleges and universities.  The research showed that, after brief exposure to pornography, fully two-thirds of normal male college students would be more willing to force a woman into sexual acts if they could be assured of not being caught or punished.  One-third of the students expressed an increased desire to actually commit rape.  These are frightening changes in attitude, considering that most rape cases are not even reported.  Pornography is particularly effective at desensitizing emotionally disturbed persons.  At least 26 studies have shown definitively that emotionally disturbed individuals and those with a tendency towards violent acts may be desensitized for several weeks after exposure to three hours of violent and/or pornographic films.

            Like drugs, pornography is addictive, habit forming.  Several studies have shown that all persons, normal and unbalanced, who view pornographic materials develop a yearning for ever more deviant materials, just as drug addicts crave stronger and stronger drugs.  All persons fantasize about more deviant acts and materials and many even incorporate them into their sexual relationships.  Many persons are led by pornography to employ more violent methods in their sexual behaviors.  British psychiatrists Martin Roth and Edward Nelson state that “Far from having a cathartic effect, exposure to pornography produces an enhanced interest in sexual deviancy.”  As with drug users, those who use pornography need more and more deviant materials to maintain their previous level of sexual arousal.

            In the Philippines in which teenage pregnancy is in a crisis situation, we have to be forewarned about the findings in the U.S. that more than 65 studies have shown that dangerous offenders (child molesters, killers, rapists, incest fathers) are not only more likely to commit their crimes if they employ pornography, they are likely to precede their violent acts with the extended use of deviant materials.  Male sex offenders soon begin to display addictive and compulsive behavior when using porn.  Their mechanisms for relieving stress soon all become related to deviant sex.  They offend more and more often.  About two million pedophiles, rapists, child molesters, sadists, and those who solicit teenaged or child prostitutes commit more than two million crimes annually in the U.S.  This number accounts only for those incidents that are reported.  The total number is obviously much higher.

            Those naïve individuals who cling to the quaint and outmoded belief that pornography is “victimless” should wake up and look at the facts.  Thousands of persons have been tortured, raped, and murdered by warped human beings as a direct result of pornography.  There are thousands of such cases cramming police crimes all over the nation.  Just to cite one gory example among thousands of cases that have been documented by the police, there is the case of a certain Jeffrey Dahmer, a convicted child molester and confessed homosexual.  Police found massive quantities of hard-core pornographic printed materials and video tapes in his apartment.  He was responsible for luring 17 young men to his apartment, having sex with them and then killing them and dismembering them.  He ate parts of his victim’s bodies, dissolved some parts in acid and stored some of the heads and other body parts in his refrigerator.  Dahmer admitted that he kept one man’s heart “to eat later.”  He was active in “gay rights” organizations and had participated in “gay pride” parades.  For comments, my email address is