TEEN SOUL POWER
The Sexploitation of America
The Sexploitation of America
The eruption of the pornography industry is one of the worse evils to ever hit mankind - and especially womankind. It is pure, unadulterated sexism - in a world that abhors sexist, chauvinistic bigotry. It is exploitation of the first degree. It is the final form of slavery where people are treated in a demeaning, sexual manner which negates their true nature as dignified and decently principled individuals.
Since the 1960s, however, pornography has proliferated and spread across America and has invaded virtually every media venue - print, television, movies and the internet. It has also invaded tens-of-millions of homes.
In the 50s and 60s pornography was “soft porn,” perhaps pictures of women in enticing and titillating poses. Hard porn was neither available nor tolerated by society.
Beginning with Hugh Hefner and the development of the Playboy empire, and then Penthouse and Hustler, pornography rapidly became a growth industry. It also became crude, rude and vulgar. It became explicit, graphic, sexist, and exploitive of women. It also became extremely profitable. Since then, pornography has expanded without restraint, and has now become a primary industry of profit in America.
On the internet, the domain name “business.com” sold for a record-breaking $7.5 million, but the domain name “sex.com” was valued at $65 million.
Sometimes Money Is the Root of All Evil
Worldwide, porn is a 97 billion dollar industry. The sad fact is that the United States is a major contributor, being the fourth largest producer of porn in the world. The photograph had been invented in 1839, and it only took 11 years for the word “pornographer” to be listed in the dictionary.
That’s right. Pornography is a major profit industry for America. Pornography has grown into a $10-12 billion business here in the U.S. --- bigger than the NFL, the NBA and Major League Baseball combined - and some of the nation's best-known corporations are quietly sharing the profits.
According to Adult Video News, an estimated 11,000 hard-core porn movies are produced in the United States annually, many of them in California's San Fernando Valley where modern porn was born. It is so bad, that it is known as San Pornando Valley (as an aside, in one study, California, the pornography capital of the world, was ranked as the 43rd “dumbest” state in the country.) Yes, pornography is a growth industry and profitable for corporate America.
Significant Social Costs of Pornography
Compared to the profits, the social costs of porn seem subtle, but the fact is that they are very real and very significant, especially the social costs. Pornography has a negative social impact to individuals, families and the community, and contributes to specific psychological damage.
Research shows that pornography leads to sexual addiction. Several researchers have noted that pornography’s effect on the brain mirrors addiction to heroin or crack cocaine. It is no secret that many corporate executives arrive at work at 9 a.m. each day, log onto Internet porn sites, and don’t log off until 5 p.m. Sexual response is rooted in a biochemical basis, and, as with drugs can be very addicting.
As important though, porn leads to a different psychological dynamic. It leads into a “sexual callousness” that can further lead into self-centeredness and disregard for others. Ultimately, this can lead back into and reinforce "diminished sexual satisfaction."
Pornography may also be a great risk factor for youth. Pornography teaches that sex without responsibility is acceptable and desirable, and because pornography encourages sexual expression without responsibility it endangers children's physical, emotional, and mental health.
Researchers show that porn can have a strong effect on teen sexuality, and may contribute to the high incidence of out-of-wedlock births (nearly four-out-of-ten), and the fact that 25 percent of teen girls and 48 percent of black girls have a sexually transmitted disease.
Pornography also affects the psyche of teens, about their beliefs in marriage, their self-esteem, their self-identity, their character, their values, their relationships, even the duration and quality of their family.
And maybe parents are right! For many years parents spoke of the dangers of masturbation and this was even supported by early medical opinion as well. Health educators today say that simple masturbation for youth is innocuous, and thus, youth dismissed parental and religious objections. New research, however, has demonstrated that frequent and excessive stimulation can result in the over-production of sex hormones and neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, dopamine and serotonin and performs excessive dopamine-norepinephrine conversion and turn the brain and body functions to be extremely sympathetic. In other words, there is a big change of body chemistry when one excessively masturbates and in one report, the effects of this type of masturbation upon the male body were: fatigue and feeling tired all the time; lower back pain; soft or weak erections; premature ejaculation; eye floaters or fuzzy vision; groin and/or testicular pain; and pain or cramps in the pelvic cavity and/or the tail bone. Others experience problems with concentration and memory, and it can lead to absentmindedness, memory loss, and lack of concentration.
Pornography can also have a detrimental effect on adult women. Andrea Dworkin, a feminist and civil rights activist once said, “Pornography is the orchestrated destruction of women's bodies and souls ... it is war on women, serial assaults on dignity, identity, and human worth; it is tyranny. Each woman who has survived knows from the experience of her own life that pornography is captivity.”
And the effects on a marriage partner are often overwhelming. Many recovering porn addicts will tell of how it almost destroyed them - or their marriages. In one survey of Matrimonial Lawyers, more than half of the 350 divorce attorneys interviewed said the Internet played a “significant role” in divorces in the past year, and that online porn contributed to half of these cases.
A Weapon of Mass Destruction?
Pornography has contributed to a shift in the American culture to a promiscuous, free-love culture. This includes a shift to using people for self-gratification, and a prominent shift to the act of sex as a recreational activity.
In the 1970s there was a Values Clarification exercise with teenagers designed to explore and reinforce values. A facilitator would ask “Would you ever take off you clothes if you were offered a nude movie role?” Virtually unanimously, girls—and boys too—replied “No.” They understood the ramifications, and they respected their dignity. Years ago a girl would have been ashamed to be seen in public with too little on.
Now a woman is proud to be one of Hefner’s playmates. In interviews with playmates, they are always asked the same question, and watch their answers: “What did your parents say about you posing nude?” The reply is classic: “At first they didn’t like it, but now they are proud of me.” On occasion, the same question has been poised to the parent, and as often the father lies when he says, “We are very proud of her.”
Porn in the Media
Television, movies, the internet, and pop music—including music videos and video games, have all become venues for sensuality, sex appeal, and both soft porn and hardcore pornography. One cannot watch TV, even during family hour, without some degree of sexual innuendo, and shows after the 8:00 p.m. hour are an embarrassment to parents who watch television with their children.
There is no “safe” family time anymore, the Federal Communications Commission has fully abdicated their responsibility, and television censors— once a pride of the majesty of the real television networks—have also fallen to the perversions of the new networks and cable stations. The real problem is that the media portrays sex as a given, and unhealthy sex as a constant. They manipulate it—encourage and applaud it beyond norms of reality, and they feature it as a form of recreation that is without risk or responsibility.
Research has consistently demonstrated the degree to which television has been contaminated by sex. One study demonstrated that two-thirds of all shows, some 64%, contains some degree of sexual content, from anywhere from flirting to intercourse. Of course, ninety percent of afternoon soap operas have sexual content. Soaps are followed by movies (with 87% sexual content), comedies (73%), dramas (71%), talk shows (65%), news magazines (53%) and reality shows (28% ). Seventy percent (70%) of teens’ top twenty favorite shows contain sexual content, and almost half of them depicted sexual behavior.
Overall, two-thirds of the shows on TV include talk about sex, and more than a third actually depict sexual acts. Approximately half of the sexual behaviors shown on TV was passionate kissing. Physical flirting, intimate touching and “implied” intercourse, albeit graphic with a “discretionary clause due to partial nudity,” also accounted for sexual behaviors.
Interestingly, in another study, scenes that portrayed a theme of sexual “patience” and voluntary avoidance or refusal of sex, were found in just one percent (1%) of the total of all shows showing sexual behaviors.
Again, if 99 percent of television shows expresses sex and only 1 percent voluntary avoidance and refusal of sex, what are we teaching and role modeling to our young?
Other Problems with Pornography:
This problem is very real in that parents want to protect their children from the real world—a world which uses and abuses people. Yet, this pop culture places parents at a distinct disadvantage, and one where parents and children are diametrically opposed. The result is only too predictable: Parents are “old fashioned,” and “out of touch.”
Children are attuned to what’s happening, and become impatient and rebellious. This creates an artificial tension in the household, i.e., a tension caused by an outside influence, yet becomes a tension which contaminates the relationship with parents and spills over into other dynamics and issues. It is a no-win situation for parents and children.
Today, pornography is pervasive, is spammed free and unsolicited to anyone with an e-mail address, is passed on to children doing legitimate research and homework on the Internet, and has reached a level which is more vulgar and profane than ever. Pornography, strip clubs, lap dances and prostitutes have all furthered the spirit of lust in America.
Other issues to be considered with sex are the objectification of people, whereby people—and especially women—are seen as mere objects or body parts (especially the sex organs), rather than as sacred, dignified beings. The byproduct of this type of sex is that it is seen not as something to be controlled and safeguarded, but rather something to be unleashed and used - a mere instinctual fulfillment of an animalistic urge.
The quality of relationships is devalued rather than valued, and society values quantity not quality of sexual expressions so that the one-night stand and a multitude of sexual partners become life’s norm.
And through the distorting perspective of pornography, a woman in particular loses what was once secret and sacred and now becomes exposed and available for all.
Through pornography, a woman is in large part no longer looked upon with love and awe but with lust and desire, and she is reduced to being a sexual thing - made for sex... everything that feminists have fought for so long to overcome.
With sexual liberation there are the countless health problems, and both emotional problems and relationship problems that uninhibited sex will cause.
Also, but not finally, with pornography there is a growing trend both with "sexual dissatisfaction", as well a growing trend with "adultery." With these, we continue to see a gradual erosion of the family unit—the cornerstone of a civilized society.
Pornography lends to sex as uninhibited, liberated, free, promiscuous, unrestrained and without boundaries. It is not a disaster waiting to happen…it has happened and continues to gain speed and destruction.
Still, there is some good news. One study shows that internet users are spending far less time searching for sex and pornography than they were years ago. In 1997, about twenty percent of all internet searching was sex-related, and now it’s about 5%.
At the very least pornography has had a slow corrosive effect on all of society... to the individual, to the couple, to all of culture. It is the unseen risk factor, especially for this present generation.
America Needs to Reboot
So, maybe America needs to rethink a serious question. Does America really need pornography, or is it really a weapon of mass destruction?