At a recent press conference at the National Press Club, scholars from Princeton’s Witherspoon Institute sounded an alarm telling the nation that pornography is more prevalent and more harmful than most people realize. Their findings contradict the current attitude that pornography is harmless entertainment. They also exposed the fact that pornography has moved out of the sleazy dives into our homes through 24-hours-a-day, easy Internet access. Actually, the data shows that porn has taken over much of the nation’s entertainment; it is addictive, it’s pervasive and it’s harmful.
• Americans rent 800 million pornographic videos every year — that’s one in five of all video rentals.
• One in four women worry that their partner’s pornography habit is “out of control.”
• More than two-thirds (66 percent) of men ages 18 to 34 years of age visit one or more of the 40,000-plus pornography websites every month.
• The pornography industry produces 11,000 new porn movies annually — far more than Hollywood’s annual output of 400 mainstream movies.
These movies are more than the “skin flicks” of old; they are far more violent with hard-core degradation and sexual exploitation. There is a total absence of sexual and/or emotional attachment; instead there is a sad and often horrific objectification of girls and women. Mary Ann Layden, psychologist and scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, described a client who she said is typical of the hundreds of porn addicts that she counsels: “He had a beautiful and eager wife waiting in bed for him; but instead of a ‘real’ sex partner, he preferred to go online.” Dr. Layden cited studies indicating that men who consume porn typically find real women less attractive and often become impotent or less satisfied with their partners than those who avoid pornography. She said that the more porn a man watches, the less satisfied he is in the bedroom.
Pamela Paul, author of Pornified: How Pornography is Damaging our Lives, Our Relationships and Our Families, explained the effect on men who consume pornography, “Pornography touches all aspects of their existence. Their work days become interrupted, their hobbies were tossed aside, and their family lives were disrupted. Some men even lost their jobs, their wives, and their children.” Dr. Layden added, “The marriage relationship is traumatically damaged and decreased in terms of the emotional intimacy, which is actually the cornerstone of the marriage.”
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