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News Porn to be opt-in only with UK's biggest ISPs

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 11 Oct 2011.

  1. StingLikeABee

    StingLikeABee New Member

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    So LennyRhys, what do you think of / watch / read when you are knocking one out then? Or do you abstain from the five knuckle shuffle?

    That may sound like a silly question, but I think it's a relevant one. The use of porn for sexual stimulation is healthy I think, as long as it's in moderation, and one's hand isn't attached to one's pleasure stick all the time. Why should someone be forced to feel guilty for viewing porn? It sounds like the old roman catholic guilt trip to me.

    I used to read and watch porn once in a flood, as a young lad, and masturbate to it, like almost every other teen. I don't bother nowadays, as my hormones are under control and I have a sex life so porn isn't important. I wasn't addicted to porn nor was it doing me any harm. So I completely fail to see why you are so against porn.
     
  2. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    You can misrepresent my argument all you like - since Nexxo highlighted my restrictive vocabulary I have consistently maintained that porn "can" cause damage, not that it always does; furthermore, I assume the vast majority of BBFC censors are watching porn out of duty rather than as a masturbatory aid to get their fix, in which case it is not the same thing at all. Even so, this woman who is evidently not a user of porn nor an addict, claimed that porn detrimentally affected her mind:

    Jan Woolf believes it might also prevent a relationship getting started. A former special needs teacher, she lasted only six months in the job of BBFC censor in 2001. During this time, she watched hundreds of hours of hardcore videos. At the time, she was single. "If I'd been in the early stages of a relationship, it would have been very difficult, because I'd have been watching what I might have been expected to be doing, except it would never have been like that." She left the job because the porn was starting to make her feel "depressed - I wanted my lively mind back".

    I'm not promoting a political position or agenda (as I have stated several times before) - it makes no difference to me whether internet porn is opt-in or not, and my personal stance on the matter is just that: personal. I don't think for a second that the opt-in scheme might preclude personal liberty... it's just another hoop to jump through to get there, so who cares?

    My personal stance on the matter has nothing to do with the debate - it would lend no credence to my (or any other) position because it is an opinion and a moral position, which I've already said has no bearing here.

    That's fine, but it's all opinion. Believing it to be healthy and showing it to be healthy are worlds apart.

    And the guilt spiel is a common misconception: for some reason people think that this guilt is always brought about by coercion...but that's simply false. There are a myriad of reasons why a person might feel such guilt, some good, some bad. If a parent wants to "force" a child to feel guilty after looking at porn, that's their prerogative, although I wouldn't call it forcing so much as I would call it... parenting. Parents decide what's right and wrong for their children, and guilt is a natural consequence of disobedience - what's the fuss?

    Spoken like a true addict! :D Now before you shoot me down in flames, I'm being facetious, but I'm making an important point: if everybody who masturbates to porn attests that they are free from addiction, does that therefore mean that they are free from addiction? Of course not, lol. Many addicts never acknowledge their addiction, and this goes for alcoholism and drug abuse too (I'm sure Nexxo will corroborate this).

    As far as I know I haven't once claimed to be against porn (if I have, please reference it); the only claims I've made are that porn can be destructive, but that's an observation, not an anti-porn stance. As I have already said, I am not divulging my personal moral stance on porn as it is irrelevant to the discussion.

    Incidentally, many people who also believe porn to be destructive/corruptive still use it regularly... in my mind, they are the realists, not the ones who say "this is lovely and it's good for me." Just sayin' :thumb:
     
  3. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    And we were doing so well! CAN shape sexual perceptions and behaviour.

    Again: if a person consumes porn to such an extent that they become conditioned and desensitised to it, they had a problem to start with. They are trying to scratch an itch that normal, healthy intimate relationships dont seem able to. Dr. Carnes has reason to be concerned, but to blame the Internet ("The devil made me do it!") is an emotive knee-jerk response or a touch of the dramatic. Won't somebody think of the children? Please. They see a lot worse in the day to day behaviour of supposedly responsible adults.

    In any case, Carnes seems to support my view of predisposing pathology:

    Then I think that you are very mistaken.

    See my comments above.

    Rape is not sex; it is aggression. OK, I'll rephrase: sex in itself is not a dirty, shameful thing.
     
    Last edited: 15 Oct 2011
  4. Ayrto

    Ayrto New Member

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    @LennyRhys .
    You keep making the point that you're not in favour of censorship or banning porn, merely an informed debate. But taken as a whole, everything you've said seems to imply your mind is already made up , you think the potential 'harm' outweighs any and all benefits to society.

    The problem I'd guess many would have with your position is you know full well those who do hold the desire to censor and ban can jump on this stuff as evidence of the need to act. Much like if someone wanted an informed debate on possible racial genetic inferiorities it would be grabbed by far right groups and others with bad intentions as evidence of racial superiority. In this context you're either being naive or deliberately misleading, which is it?
     
  5. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    I was referring to Gallop's experience, through which it is demonstrated that porn did have (as opposed to might have had) an affect on these men. In general terms, the "can" is still the optimal word, but in specific cases, porn either did or didn't have an affect. Get my drift?

    Your opinion - Carnes argues that repeated use of porn is what brings about desensitisation, not an underlying problem; furthermore his research corroborates this. You keep saying that porn cannot by itself desensitise, but never substantiate your claim.

    As far as Carnes is concerned, they are trying to scratch an itch that is created by repeated use of pornography...the itch is a healthy sex drive to begin with and it is slowly corrupted and skewed. Perhaps you should familiarise yourself with his work before blindly critiquing it, although judging by what you said, you have already made your mind up about him:

    Dr. Carnes is a noted psychologist and, as I said before, the US's foremost expert in the field of sex addiction. He has a Ph. D in counsellor education and has been awarded for his contributions to the field of sexual mdeicine; an award (Carnes Award) is bestowed every year in his honour. Suffice to say, appealing to an alleged "poor understanding of the pathology" is a poor excuse for a rebuttal... I'm happy to assume he knows his cheese, even if you aren't.

    Sad but oh so very true. :(

    A little nitpicky (and by the by), but it is - rape is non consensual sexual intercourse. The definition of rape that is "to take by violent force" is archaic and has been abandoned; the sexual connotation of rape is the norm now.

    Do I? Source?

    Take a chill pill, Jim. I have no agenda (deja vu here) and "this context" that you dreamed up doesn't actually exist. I should hope that if porn was to be banned altogether, there would be scientifically irrefutable evidence that would support that such a decision is beneficial to society.

    Alternatively, I'm quite happy to have you regard me as naive (as well as angry, repressive, and prudish) . :)
     
    Last edited: 15 Oct 2011
  6. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    You are right of course, and I decided to check up on him. I edited my above post accordingly before I noticed yours. He is quoted to quite clearly suggest a predisposing psychopathology (a sense of profound worthlessness which prevents the person from establishing intimacy, because it is perceived as threatening and unobtainable) which (s)he then tries to cope with by using sex as an emotional regulator and a "safe relationship". That certainly chimes with how I see it --not because I'm some sort of authority on sex addiction, but because theories of various addictions all basically say the same thing, and have been doing so for quite a while. Porn distorts the mind that is open to it --for which it has a function and fulfills a need. All addictions do.

    I mean, kind of stands to reason, no? Think about it. Healthy sex drives are not interested in depictions of violent, degrading sex. If anything, it should be a turn-off, not a turn-on. If that sort of stuff actually turns you on, you have issues to start with.

    Which makes your quote, which was the basis for my initial impression about him (hey, I trusted it to be representative, my bad) sound kind of "out of character", so to speak. Perhaps it is editorial licence on the part of the source you quote from (wouldn't be a first, if it is news media rather than a scientific journal).

    And rape is an act of domination. This is why heterosexual men rape other men, why soldiers rape their victims on the battlefield, why people rape victims which are not even remotely sexually attractive (e.g. elderly as much as young women).
     
    Last edited: 15 Oct 2011
  7. Ayrto

    Ayrto New Member

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    Ok, you may well be none of those things , I take it back. I probably was a little presumptuous in response, you may well have no axe to grind on this topic at all.

    But as you'll know, politicians pursuing what they view as traditional religious and family-based notions of sexual morality, most definitely do have an axe to grind. As a result Britain has been, in terms of its laws, the most censored, sexually restricted country in europe. Precisely because there are so many who do think other peoples sexual morality is their business. Their right to pontificate and ultimately legislate on, this, together with a shitty FPTP(winner take all) voting system, that allows a party a dominant mandate based on 36% support . This is the context here. So you can understand why people act with instinctive suspicion and defensiveness, when someone says the equivalent of , "will someone please think of the adults".

    If we'd lived under a PR derived parliament( PR systems producing coalition govts that are inherently less reactionary in nature ) with Dutch laws , with the more sensible Dutch attitudes to sex . A debate on porn's merits or otherwise may then be sensible too. But in a country where many politicians( mainly on the Tory right) are on record as saying that they'd love to tighten the present laws on porn and further, that the only hindrance to them doing so is Article 10 of the ECHR(which incidentally the Tories wish to scrap, surprise, surprise). Debates about the definition of, or the rights and wrongs, seem like noises off.
     
  8. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    Flattery gets you nowhere :D

    I would disagree: he starts out by saying "addicts do not perceive themselves as worthwhile persons." There is nothing to suggest that this perception of worthlessness is a precursor to addiction; it is the addict who perceives himself (or herself) as worthless, not the pre-addict or person who is predisposed to addiction but not [yet] addicted to anything. I suppose your view can be inferred, but it is extremely tenuous IMO.

    Agree wholeheartedly with the first two claims, but the last claim not so much. First, I would say that such a view of sex (which points to "issues" as you say) cannot be a starting point; having issues to start with doesn't explain why a person is turned on by violent or degrading sex, whereas regular use of hardcore pornography certainly explains it...but that's not an issue; that's just porn. Second, I would say that there is a difference between being "turned on" by something lurid and actually "needing" that turn-on (ergo, dependence/addiction) - again, this is consistent with Carnes' research which shows the progressive nature of addiction to internet pornography and the need for a stronger fix, which for the porn addict is something increasingly dirty.

    @Ayrto, no harm done. Perhaps I do have an axe to grind, but this is not the time nor the place - I am trying my utmost to keep an open mind, clearly distinguishing between presuppositions and facts, and keeping the debate interesting. More than anything, this simply interests me, because IMO the vast majority of opinion from pro-porn-ists is entirely coloured by infatuation with it. Sticky mess!
     
  9. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    Not flattery; I'm capable of admitting when I'm wrong.

    I think you read what you want to read. Let's ask Dr. Carnes to be a bit more specific:

    A bit rambling, but you get the idea: pre-existing psychological issues are at the root of sex addiction.

    Another summary of predisposing factors can be found here summarises Carnes' research too:

    This is all from my iPhone. When I get on my PC I'll crack open Google Scholar.

    EDIT: from my main rig (30" of screen estate goodness cheesecake):

    In his book Contrary to Love: Helping the Sexual Addict Dr. Carnes describes how "extreme" types of family systems in the addict's family of origin help create the climate for sexual addiction to develop (using Olson's elaborate Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems). In his book: Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction he barely makes it to the fifth page of the first chapter (the first 3 being a case description) before he mentions core beliefs which contain "powerful family messages". He also states the strong parallels with other forms of addiction such as alcoholism and food addiction, and notes that people with sex addiction often have other addictive behaviours as well.

    In Don't call it love: Recovery from Sexual Addiction. Carnes' survey of about 900 addicts revealed that 82% had been sexually abused in childhood. Among the male addicts, 3% were forced to have sex by their fathers and 11% by their mothers. 41% were abused by neighbors, business associates of their parents, or strangers, while 8% were molested by other adults in authority.

    Your gateway drug hypothesis (which is what it essentially is) does not explain why people move on to using hardcore pornography. You argue that they start with the milder stuff and get desensitised and need ever harder stuff. But why would they engage so much with mild pornography in the first place that they become desensitised to it and need harder stuff? Your example of Jan Woolf shows what happens if an ordinary person is exposed to a deluge of porn --they do not start looking for harder stuff; they get sick of it and want to get away from it altogether. The gateway drug hypothesis has been discredited by hard evidence in other fields. I don't think it works here either, given that, as Dr. Carnes appears to agree, the same basic psychological processes of addiction are at work.

    Having pre-existing psychological issues explains --and predicts-- sex addiction quite well. I could elaborate using well-established and above all proven psychological models of attachment theory, developmental psychology, behavioural learning and addiction. If you're curious to understand it just let me know and I'll try and put it in a relatively succinct post.

    However I wonder if you have a strong investment in just blaming porn rather than accepting that people are complicated beings with complicated, sometimes quite ****ed-up lives and backgrounds but ultimately autonomous (if not-so-wise) agents. The latter would not only reveal an unpleasant reality that most people would rather stay in denial of, but it also faces us with ultimate personal accountability for our own actions. The devoted family man who was seduced by the **** is not a helpless victim, but for personal reasons of his own choosing to be a cheating dog. The man who compulsively seeks his thrills in hardcore porn is not a healthy, stable adult passively traumatised by some graphic pictures, but a damaged individual who seeks validation of his broken worldview, responsible for his own addiction. The devil doesn't make us do it like God doesn't save us. We are our own angels and demons, created in the personal paradise or hell of our childhood but living as autonomous beings in the real world, and ultimately sit in judgement over ourselves.
     
    Last edited: 16 Oct 2011
  10. 3lusive

    3lusive New Member

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    Pretty much what the man himself says here (sorry to butt in again, I have been following the thread though).

     
  11. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    ^^^ Good stuff-- he even manages to link in developmental neuropsychology.
     
  12. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    I read precisely what was there - that you needed a more specific citation supports my response: lo and behold, the clearer passage states very plainly that there are problems before addiction is ever on the cards, something which the first passage did not state.

    As before, the distinction must be made between merely "being exposed to" porn and acutally using it for sexual gratification. I have never argued that porn can desensitise the casual viewer, even though it may well do; I have always maintained that porn can desensitise, warp, and influence specifically when it is used as a sexual stimulus (which, let's be honest, is generally what it's intended to be).

    Ayrto already accused me of having agenda and that is simply not the case; I'm not blindly blaming porn for anything - what you are perceiving as a strong investment against porn is merely lack of information and understanding on my part, which I openly admit to. One thing that is now very clear to me is that I mistakenly accused "porn by itself" of things which I should have acknowledged were in fact a combination of "porn and the user" or "the way in which porn is used," which, as you say, makes things a lot more complicated.

    Any stance totally and wholly against porn must be a moral one, and I have deliberately left any moral arguments out of this debate as they are totally irrelevant.

    Perhaps to understand my claims better you need to understand what they were originally made in response to: the entirely biased "Porn is good for society" article, and in particular the spurious claim that "porn keeps many marriages going."

    My original response was to balance out that very one-sided claim with the counter-claim that porn can and does destroy relationships. We have since ascertained that this is loosely true, as long as we accept that the use of porn is at the centre of a sex addiction. That's good enough for me, because at the verly least my position is more cogent than the tripe in that ridiculous article, which essentially claims that porn is always beneficial, healthy, and entirely harmless. ********. :)

    I don't know whether or not you would agree with this, but my conclusion from this debate is that - from a purely scientific and empirical standpoint - it must be argued that pornography by itself is neutral: where it causes damage, the user had pre-existing issues; and where it is alleged to promote health and benefits etc., there is no real scientific research to corroborate this. Or is there.... ? :)

    Nevertheless, interesting stuff. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: 16 Oct 2011
  13. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    My point all along has been that if a person uses porn for gratification to the extent that they get desensitised and need a harder fix, they have issues to start with.

    You mean like your starting argument that porn is always harmful? ;) Well, it looks like at least we both got across what we wanted. :p

    Actually I share many of your concerns about hard-core porn, because I know just how many damaged people there are in the world. I just think that we need to address the problem of people growing up damaged rather than people being exposed to porn. To a certain extent the relationship gets complex and reiterative, but I always think it is better to teach people how to live well rather than just taking away the means by which they live badly.

    As for the positive effects of porn: I would be looking towards erotica. But I'm typing this from my iPhone (again) so I'll have to get back to you. But here is something to get on with in the mean time: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-sunny-side-of-smut
     
    Last edited: 17 Oct 2011
  14. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    I jumped the gun and perhaps misrepresented my own position, but yes that position is fallacious, and I should always have clearly maintained that porn can be harmful...but if I'd said that, we wouldn't have had our profitable debate LOL. :D

    Agree 100% - people need to learn to control their behaviour rather than have no choice to misbehave.

    It's a very interesting article, and (compared to the nonsense article) it is honest and impartial, identifying associations between statistics as just that - associations, not direct links. The last paragraph is very, very intriguing:

    The findings suggest that suppressing the desire to view pornography, for example, for moral or religious reasons, might actually strengthen the urge for it and exacerbate sexual problems. It’s all about “personal views and personal values,” Twohig says. In other words, the effects of pornography—positive or negative—have little to do with the medium itself and everything to do with the person viewing it.

    This really intrigues me - isn't it true that suppressing the desire to view anything "wrong" that you really want to (or are tempted to) view makes the desire stronger? Anyway, the final claim supports my view that scientifically pornography is neutral, and the viewer or user qualifies it as either harmful or beneficial depending on the effect that it has upon them.

    I have really only one gripe about the article: it seems to have high regard for the "scientific method" of public survey, which as I demonstrated with StingLikeABee is not an impartial scientific test in this arena. People answer surveys about themselves with opinions, not facts - the addict who is "not addicted" being a perfect example. I am suspicious that much of the time when "scientific research" is quoted to hold that pornography is beneficial (or harmless), the so-called research amounts to the opinions of people who use pornography. Not very scientific, eh?!

    But, alas, I await the findings of your 30" monitor. :naughty:
     
    Last edited: 17 Oct 2011
  15. Claire Green

    Claire Green New Member

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