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Ethics & Religion
Column #1,877
August 17, 2017
Porn Harms Children & Marriage
By Mike McManus

The Utah Legislature declared that "Pornography is a Public Health Hazard," inspiring South Dakota, Arkansas and Tennessee to make similar declarations.

Utah's resolution cited 45 pieces of evidence documenting the harm of pornography. For example, it noted that "Most teens are sexting- either on the receiving or sending end of sexually explicit images of themselves or their friends!"

Utah also reported "The average age of exposure to hardcore pornography is now 11 to 12 years of age. This early exposure is leading to low self-esteem and an increased desire among adolescents to engage in risky behavior."

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported that 56% of all divorces involved one party having an obsessive interest in pornographic websites. Men who use porn are also 300 times more likely to have an affair!

An article in JAMA Psychiatry reports an equally alarming - and widely unknown phenomenon - that "pornography consumption is associated with decreased brain volume in the right striatum, decreased left striatum activation and lower functional connectivity to the prefrontal cortex."

"Decreased brain volume?" Wow! More than half of all divorces?

Patrick Trueman, President of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, correctly asserts that "Pornography is now a public health crisis and every family in America has been harmed by it, or is concerned about the potential."

I asked him what laws he recommends to protect Americans from porn's harm.

"We don't need any new laws," Trueman replied. "We need enforcement of existing laws that prohibit the distribution of hard core pornography on cable and satellite. These are felonies."

Yet he charges that not one case was prosecuted during the Obama Administration. Nor were any cases prosecuted during the George W. Bush Administration.

Trueman would know. From 1988 to 1993, he was in charge of prosecution obscenity cases for the Justice Department. During the Reagan Administration, the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography issued a report in 1988 that concluded by a narrow 6-5 margin that "Pornography is both causal and symptomatic of immorality and corruption."

However, in its next to last meeting, only three of the 11 Commissioners appointed by Attorney General Meese concluded that the most widely available pornography was "predominantly harmful."

Penthouse could not believe it. "What on earth?" asked Penthouse. "The Meese Commission - conceived by prosecutors and ordained by the legions of decency - had just voted that pornography could actually help families."

I was stunned and was the only reporter covering the Commission's meetings who did not work for pornographers. I wrote a column which charged, "The Commission could not agree if it was harmful, for example, for films to depict graphic portrayals of fornication, of orgies involving a number of men and women, or homosexuals doing fellatio on one another, or a man performing oral sex on a woman, or incest involving adults!"

I provided the names and addresses of the "libertarians" and suggested that readers ask them to explain the facts that Alaska and Nevada residents buy five times as many pornographic magazines per capita as North Dakota, and have a rape rate that is six times higher. "Mere coincidence?" I asked.

"An FBI study of 37 murderers confessing multiple killings, found 29 used soft core pornography to fuel their anticipatory fantasy," I wrote.

My columns sparked about 1,000 letters. One of the liberals, Dr. Park Dietz, studied a sample of them and shifted from a liberal to a conservative position. He told the Commission that "I have spent my life with assassins, rapists and have little contact with...the day to day concerns of ordinary people. But in the citizen mail, the concerns were overwhelmingly in the direction of asking us to `do something about the problem.' And I was moved by the witnesses who came before us as victims, and by the law enforcement people who were almost unanimous in citing a link between porn and crime.

Dietz persuaded two others to join with conservatives on porn's harm, creating the 6 -5 majority.

Result? Trueman and his staff prosecuted the two dozen largest pornographers in America and put them in jail!

Trueman is now gathering a cross-section of America's most prominent Christians to meet with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to urge him to once again begin prosecuting the law.

However, he may not be successful. Therefore I urge all readers and parents to install a block on all computers and I-phones in the home to sexual images - at no cost. To learn how, write Steve Ensley, (sensley@afomail.net) who has helped 74,000 families protect themselves from porn harm.
___________________________________
Copyright (c) 2017 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. For previous columns go to  www.ethicsandreligion.org. Hit Search for any topic.

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