To Porn or not to Porn?
That is the Question
Pornography is pervasive in our society. All a
teenager has to do to see some naked bodies is browse
the Internet. Many e-mail boxes are bombarded with
smut-filled messages. There are also many pornographic
magazines, videos, movies rated “R” and “X”, jokes,
phone sex and other materials that are sexually
explicit and intended to arouse sexual excitement.
Chances are, while watching television you have come
across channels offering some form of pornography.
Even newspapers and magazines have ads offering phone
sex or escort services. And, according to statistics,
there is likely to be someone in your home viewing,
possibly even addicted to, pornography.
Recently U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
created an anti-obscenity squad to combat pornography.
There are many opponents to porn, but is pornography
bad? Does it have any benefits?
Marne Martin, a certified sex therapist, is not in
favor of making pornography illegal because she does
not favor censorship. She also says that pornography
has some benefits. “I think pornography definitely can
be used to enhance and increase sexual desire and
enhance sexual creativity,” Martin said.
Other benefits of pornography are that teenagers might
be abstinent longer if they have access to
pornography, decreasing the risk of sexually
transmitted diseases including AIDS.
Some critics of porn think it might encourage sexual
assault. But a commission created by president Lyndon
B. Johnson in 1970 found no relationship between
pornography and rape or sexual assault for adults or
Martin said that pornography is not bad, but it
depends on the person watching it. Different teenagers
mature at different ages, so the effects of
pornography depend on the maturity level of the person
watching it. “When people talk about pornography they
usually generalize and paint with a broad brush,”
Martin said. “We need to talk about what it means and
how that person takes pornography in and processes it.
Do they process it as: this is what sexuality is?”
The downsides of porn are that people might not have
realistic views of sexuality.
“Pornography gives a person unrealistic perspectives
of bodies and sexual performance,” Martin said. “If
people don’t realize pornography is just acting, then
people hold unrealistic standards of sexuality”.
My advice is that if teens watch porn, they should be
aware of the effects it may have. I think teens will
always be curious about porn, and there isn’t a right
age to view it, but each individual matures at a
different pace. You will know when you want to be
exposed to porn, but as a life experience, don’t leave
the magazines lying around.