Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.


July 2, 2010

The Destructivenes of Porn

This is a subject I've been wary to approach on The Magdalene Sisters, but I think it needs to be broached anyway. Porn is, alas, incredibly pervasive in our culture. We'd be naive to think that the "destructiveness" of porn does not affect our own lives as single catholic women, but it certainly does, and if we are spared this temptation, then we will almost surely have to confront this issue in someone we love at some point in our lives.

For some reading on the topic I highly recommend Mary Eberstadt's amazing article in the June/July issue of First Things: The Weight of Smut
...No one reasonable would doubt that there is a connection between watching sex acts and trying out what one sees—especially for adolescents, who rather famously and instantly ape the other influences on their lives, from fashion to drug use and more, as has also been copiously studied.

And this list is just one possible way of starting a conversation about the consequences of today’s novel sexual obesity. There is also the question of what the same material does to adults—about which another empirical record is also being amassed, and about which more will be said later in this essay. Pornography today, in short, is much like obesity was yesterday—a social problem increasing over time, with especially worrisome results among its youngest consumers, and one whose harms are only beginning to be studied with the seriousness they clearly deserve.


Other sources:
+ Barbara Hollingworth in the Washington Examiner
+ The Witherspoon Insitute's The Social Cost of Pornography

2 comments:

Joe (Defend Us In Battle) said...

I am glad to see women blogging about this.

For the most part in the Catholic realm, this has been a topic covered mostly by male bloggers...

If we have any hope in fighting this battle, women need to step up and talk about it too. Even if it isn't a vice and sin that they are pulled into, they need to be on the front lines. It affects them too!

The blame game is pointless, but if women step into the discussion, blame can be distributed correctly, and responsible adults can move forward in productive ways.

Aaron said...

I am indebted to John Lenczowski for pointing out that one of the huge problems here is the "pornographization" of our society. Thus, it is no longer a binary question: whether one does, or does not, view pornography. Billboards, clothing ads and television shows, if not pornographic in a strict sense, are often dangerously close; the internet brings not only pornography websites but also salacious celebrity pictures and gossip just a click away.

Women have three key roles to play in the battle against pornography in the lives of the men around them:

(1) Women should cut men no slack. Lowering standards or keeping quiet about this plague does no one any good. Men need to be called out. Good men who struggle want to be called out. Their brothers have a key role to play in this regard, but women can help as well.

(2) Women need to be supportive and not simply irate. The addiction to pornography is a long and lingering one. Men who fall here have to pick themselves up again and again. At times it can seem futile. Men need the encouragement of women in their lives.

(3) Women can lend support by helping men have full and fulfilled relationships. Men who are lonely, frustrated or isolated are far more susceptible to pornography. Men who are fulfilled in their relationships are more likely to have the courage and the confidence to face down temptation.

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