Monday, 26 November 2007

Pornographic Time Bomb

Perhaps I'm being overly apocalyptic here, but I feel that the Western world is standing on the brink of a cultural catastrophe. Never before has a society been so exposed to so much explicit sexual imagery. With roughly 250 million pornographic sites on the Internet, free access to the most hardcore content is only a few mouse clicks away. This addictive drug is shaping the minds of a new generation, whether youth or adult, single or married. As Europe looses its identity by which it should face new and significant challenges, we are being exposed to a silent poison that feeds off our deepest desires and insecurities, turning one half of humanity into predators and the other into prey.

The BBC has produced a documentary on teenagers hooked on Internet porn. Not only can you see how it affects the lives of those boys who consider it an affliction, you can see the social consequences it has for those for whom it has become a way of life. The psycho-sexual therapist interviewed in the documentary describes the situation as a time bomb, something unprecedented, the consequences of which can only be destructive.

The documentary is about 40 minutes long.

You can watch it here.
Update: After Existentialism, Light links to video updates from a recent conference held on sexuality in American conferences.


J. K. Gayle said...

Thanks for posting on the internet porn problem. The docu you link to gets right to it. What's the solution? Partly, doing what you're doing and what the filmmakers are doing: keeping us from sticking our heads in the sand about the epidemic.

Personal stuff I do: am part of a church group that works the 12 steps on this addiction and others related; talk about internet porn with my son and my daughters (because it's their generation that's inheriting the thing in full force); with my wife, make sure we're watching out for what is being watching--and discussing with our little family how internet porn viewing as a promiscuous practice softens society (and we see how Sex in the City, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers and Sisters are standard fare on tv prime time. Yes, we see how the mother Nora on Bs & Ss brags about how she loses her virginity to another guy, not her husband who cheated on her much later; and how all the Bros and Sisses brag as well, about both straight and gay promiscuity. There are few practices and ideas today about deferring sexual gratification. So does internet porn reinforce the practice of instant unrestrained sex? of course. Does internet porn encourage aloneness in sex? of course. Does internet porn prevent sexism or misogyny? of course not.)

Here's a few links from others who are doing what you're doing:

Quick Hit: Does Porn Make the Man? from

Chuck Swindoll's Open Letter Concerning the #1 Secret Problem In Your Church

Traffic Control: Internet Pornography
from Adria Battaglia of the Blogora.

Rethinking — and rejecting — an old post about Naomi Wolf, porn, and modesty

Feminism Helps Men: Understanding Porn
from Feminist Allies.

WLBA 5: the context
from Suzanne McCarthy at Better Bibles Blog, where she updates on and links to Dr. Mariottini blogs about pornography.

On Ogling and Appreciation
from Feminist Allies.

Oh, f***ing please
from girlbomb.

Phil Sumpter said...

I think sticking one's head in the sand is the normal procedure for the moment. It's not just about shame, as far as I can see, its the loss of any coherent sexual ethic, such that it's difficult to actually be able to take a stand on such issues. It's probably also connected to the commoditization of everything, including relationships and bodies. I don't know ... I'll check out your very useful set of links and see if they enlighten me (thanks!).

I also appreciate your comments on society being 'softened' by the whole process. It may sound a bit tenuous, but at least here in Europe there is a massive cultural challenge from conservative Islam. One of the products of their world view is strong familial bonds, a sense of identity and purpose, and the willingness to sacrifice for a higher good. Our obession with instant gratification is simply turning us into wimps! Technology and economic power won't be enough to maintain the world as we know it for too long ...

Phil Sumpter said...
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