• Shawn
    12.6k
    The other day I saw Jordan Peterson talking about pornography. The statement he made that seemed factual was that a teenager in 15 minutes can see more naked or pornographic women than the richest or most powerful king in ancient days.

    That doesn't seem like a problem; but, there are a myriad effects of pornography on the young mind. Now, I don't know all these effects that are problematic, as I've only heard of a few.

    What are your opinions of whether pornography is problematic?
  • Shawn
    12.6k
    I think the most philosophical problem I can present whist ethical is the objectification of women. Women are portrayed as some tool for men to gratify themselves. I think this is a philosophical problem for the reason that the purpose of a women is skewed towards the idea that their function is to look a certain way and do certain things for men out of a man's desire or lust towards her.

    If that makes sense what else can be mentioned?
  • Shawn
    12.6k
    @unenlightened, what do you think? I'm not much of a psychologist; but, doesn't pornography have negative effects that change our beliefs towards women?

    Are there any ethical detriments you can think of in regards to the young being exposed to pornography?
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    Huge problem. Any child with a digital phone or tablet device, anywhere in the democratic world (and in the absence of parental control software), now has instaneous access to an unlimited array of pornographic media through the same device they're supposed to use for homework. How can that *not* have an effect? There has been a lot of media coverage on the effects this is having on teen sexual problems, expectations of how girls ought to behave during sex, and what sex actually comprises. There are 'no-fap' websites completely populated by people, mainly men but also some women, desperately trying to de-habituate themselves to repetitive behaviours around pornography which frequently results in the inability to really engage in mature erotic relationships. It's all the work of the devil, although criticizing porn on the internet is like criticizing beer in a pub.
  • punos
    321

    Pornography is a kind of supernormal stimulus, since it offers unending sexual novelty, surprise, searching and wanting. This can make real sex seem boring in comparison, as the brain can become accustomed to the exaggerated stimuli of pornography and expect it over real life experiences. Excessive use of pornography can rewire the brain and lead to addiction, as it exposes one to supernormal stimuli which can shape how they view sexual situations. Frequent consumption of pornography can lead to a decrease in sexual desire and arousal, as well as an increased risk of sexual dysfunction. If maintaining the reproductive viability of the species is a moral imperative then it's probably a good idea to reduce the consumption of pornography in society, but that's not happening.

    Supernormal stimulus:


    Sexual imprinting can also become pathological if young children are exposed especially at key developmental stages, disrupting the natural order of the sexual response system extending into adulthood.
  • BC
    11.5k
    Not to me.

    May I observe there are a number of different kinds of pornography. Many people consume interior design material the same way others consume sexually explicit material. There are also sports pornography, military pornography, fashion pornography, ad infinitum.

    Ok, ok, so I realize you are raising the issue of sexually explicit pornography

    One of the problems of a teenager viewing porn is that he will see a lot of unrepresentative body types. In gay porn, at least, an average-looking male is hard to come by. The subjects have uniformly buffed bodies -- every muscle group is at least fairly well defined. (I'm not speaking of bodybuilder models, here.). This is a distorted image of what a large portion of potential sex partners will look like.

    The same probably applies to straight porn, which as a gay man, I've spent very little time viewing. Both representative body types of women and the sexual styles which most women would probably prefer appear to be few and far between.

    I'm an objectifier. I do look at other men as sexual objects -- in addition to looking at other men as multilayered complex beings. However, if someone is thinking about fucking, multilayered complexity isn't the approach they are going to take.

    The sex drive wasn't designed in a feminist sensitivity and diversity workshop. It's pretty basic by itself. When men and women are guided by the sex drive alone, the results are effective, but not necessarily grace filled. We often (but not always) couple our sex drives to our drives for affection, love, nurturing, comfort, and so on.

    Pornography is good at depicting basic sex. That is what it is for. Complex cultural works (film, fiction, drama, poetry, opera, dance, etc.) are capable of capturing the complex human experience above and beyond basic sex.

    One thing about basic sex, though: there is no such thing as meaningless sex.

    One other thing: Early and thorough sex education coupled with emotion education would help people a great deal.
  • BC
    11.5k
    If maintaining the reproductive viability of the species is a moral imperative then it's probably a good idea to reduce the consumption of pornography in society, but that's not happening.punos

    The reproductive viability of the species appears to be intact on a global level. Are we to suppose that super-stimulating pornography is the cause of less-than-replacement-reproduction-levels? Or is super-normal economic stimulation perhaps the problem?

    BTW, probably no sensible person thinks it is a good idea for children to spend much time looking at adult pornography.
  • Mikie
    4.4k
    What are your opinions of whether pornography is problematic?Shawn

    I think it is. Like any other dopamine-increasing activity, it becomes addictive and, most importantly, creates unrealistic expectations.

    The porn when I was a kid was tame in comparison to today. Playboys, Cinemax, etc. Now there’s no mystery— it’s like anatomy class. It’s also degrading and gross.

    I feel for younger generations exposed to this shit early. It’s a much more rampant issue than I thought.
  • punos
    321
    The reproductive viability of the species appears to be intact on a global level.BC

    I addressed pornography because it was the topic of the OP, but there is much more that dwarfs the problem of pornography when it comes to the reproductive viability of the species. Here is an earlier post i made that further addresses this issue from a different angle.

    "studies have shown that exposure to microplastics can lead to decreased sperm quality and testosterone levels in mice, as well as lower fertility rates in both men and women. Globally fertility rates have decreased significantly over the last 70 years, starting shortly after plastics began to be mass-produced following the Second World War. Microplastics are considered to be ubiquitous and a widespread contaminant, documented in almost all aquatic habitats, several atmospheric and terrestrial environments, and also in human consumables. Microplastics have even been detected in human placenta."

    BTW, probably no sensible person thinks it is a good idea for children to spend much time looking at adult pornography.BC

    You're probably right, but the problem is not if we think it's a good idea or not, it's that it's impossible to effectively prevent children from being exposed to pornographic content in a media saturated environment like we have today. Parents are busier than ever and are unable to consistently monitor their children's viewing habits, not to mention a lot of parents don't even want to be parents and don't care.

    Culture is also a relevant parameter to consider, Eskimos have sex in front of their children without ill effect, some primitive tribal societies live their entire lives naked and don't even have a concept as to what pornography even is. That's probably a topic for another thread.
  • Vera Mont
    836
    What are your opinions of whether pornography is problematic?Shawn

    Of course it is. In several different ways.
    The most obvious one giving children a badly skewed version of sex, love and relationships. It's not the sight of naked people that's a problem - in fact, that would be healthy, if the naked people were depicted engaging in normal, benign activities. But they're not, and what they're doing is not simply coupling like normal people. There is a lot of kink, fetishism, deviance - and no, I don't mean same sex couples who are both alive and willing - sadism, etc. That's not the way to introduce children to understanding sexual desire or sexual fulfillment.
    Then, there is the issue of respect for self and others. If the most intimate acts are on display as performance by paid participants, what is the child to think of the dignity and value of persons? How is he supposed to respect anyone's privacy? Or curb his own baser impulses? How is he supposed to think about, talk to, show consideration for potential romantic partners? Pornography won't turn all the little boys into rapists and all the little girls into sluts... but it's not doing much for interpersonal relations.

    Then there is the other side of the screen. The making of the videos. The treatment of the "stars". The working conditions, damage to the self-regard and social standing of people who make living in that medium... assuming they do so by choice. But how many are doing it under coercion or manipulation? And is performing for the camera all that they're forced to do? How many are actually slaves? As long as there is a market for something, many will commodify it and many more will make a racket of it. There will be victims.
  • Tzeentch
    2.2k
    Pornography isn't much different from other stimulants. If anything it's more tame than alcohol and other drugs. It should go without saying that you keep those things away from young children, and that it's primarily the parents' responsibility to educate their children on such things when the time comes for experimentation. And experimentation is healthy.

    I think the most philosophical problem I can present whist ethical is the objectification of women.Shawn

    To what degree do you believe it is a problem when consenting adults choose to objectify themselves for money?

    Side note: it's not just women who get objectified in porn.
  • T Clark
    10.7k
    I was reading that several states are implementing legal requirements for robust proof of age measures for pornography sites. That makes a lot of sense to me.
  • Hanover
    9.5k
    The statement he made that seemed factual was that a teenager in 15 minutes can see more naked or pornographic women than the richest or most powerful king in ancient days.Shawn

    That statement reveals an interesting perspective, which is that the availability of women for sexual arousal purposes is a commodity and it historically was only affordable by the wealthy. From a capitalistic perspective, it should therefore be no surprise that someone has figured out how to bring this to the regular masses, which then begs the question of whether it's worse now that the vices of yesterday's kings are available to today's pauper.

    There is the polar opposite model as well, where access to nudity and sexuality is readily available to all, as in certain underdeveloped tribal societies.
  • Shawn
    12.6k
    Any child with a digital phone or tablet device, anywhere in the democratic world (and in the absence of parental control software), now has instaneous access to an unlimited array of pornographic media through the same device they're supposed to use for homework. How can that *not* have an effect?Wayfarer

    I agree with the statement that there is some effect, yet this hasn't been proven according to science of the magnitude or degree or what kind of effects it has on teenagers and adults.

    At the present moment, it's hard to exactly measure what kind of effects does pornography produce in the adolescent brain or psychology or behavior.
  • Shawn
    12.6k


    Interesting. I believe you are right about that.
  • Shawn
    12.6k
    I feel for younger generations exposed to this shit early. It’s a much more rampant issue than I thought.Mikie

    Yeah, as I said to Wayfarer, I practically have no idea to what degree is it a negative. It's commonly assumed it's a negative but not many people know by how much...
  • Shawn
    12.6k
    That statement reveals an interesting perspective, which is that the availability of women for sexual arousal purposes is a commodity and it historically was only affordable by the wealthy. From a capitalistic perspective, it should therefore be no surprise that someone has figured out how to bring this to the regular masses, which then begs the question of whether it's worse now that the vices of yesterday's kings are available to today's pauper.Hanover

    It's pretty much a commodity. Just that the amount of it produced is astonishing. There's quite a lot of it awash on the Internet.
  • BC
    11.5k
    Endocrine disruptors of various kinds have become ubiquitous. Very bad. In addition to endocrine disruptors, there are the various chemicals that disrupt genetic expression and development in egg or womb. And then there are the various carcinogens--which doesn't exhaust the list.

    All part of our multidimensional environmental disaster!
  • BC
    11.5k
    grossMikie

    All sorts of normal, common human activities can be presented as "gross", of course. Sometimes the difference between pleasing and disgusting is a matter of minor adjustments in the filming. But some producers do seem to go out of their way to include footage that has to appeal only to a very narrow range of 'taste'.

    The Waters film Pink Flamingoes isn't pornography IMO, but at several points, Waters' usual merely 'bad taste' crossed into 'shocking tastelessness'--just a few seconds worth.
  • punos
    321
    All part of our multidimensional environmental disaster!BC

    There is a silver lining to all this in my view.

    Chinese%20Symbol.jpg
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    ...according to science...Shawn

    How is it a scientific issue? Why are such questions to be arbitrated by scientific methods, and by what criteria?

    And more to the point, I'm certain there are a great many peer-reviewed journal articles from sociology, social psychology and more on the harms and effects of exposure to pornography. I do notice the odd soul-searching kind of article in the Australian media I read, but it's usually counter-balanced by the overall libertarian attitude of Western media for whom all such questions are non-negotiably a matter of individual predeliction.
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    What are your opinions of whether pornography is problematic.Shawn
    Here on the S.S. Climate Change, porn isn't any more "problematic" than masturbatory video games, online gambling, social media, 24/7/365 consumerism, gun-hoarding or binge drinking. What does not kill you, makes you weirder. :vomit: :strong:
  • BC
    11.5k
    One problem I have with children and pornography is that when I was a child (let's say, 12 years old--1958) pornography of any kind was simply not available where I grew up. I had, therefore, no personal, subjective experience with encountering sexual material. What I did do, along with millions of other boys, was mine every possible source -- Sears catalogues, encyclopedias, National Geographic, etc. for any imagery related to sex, however distant, that I could find. Pornography wasn't generally available to me until the last 1960s, early 1970s. By that time I was an adult.

    The first encounter I did have was exhilarating. Seeing several pictures of naked men in print was intensely exciting, not because I hadn't seen naked men before, but because this was a 'product for sale' which meant that there was a market of other men who liked this. If, at that time, I could have gone on line and seen 10,000 pictures of naked men and men having sex, I can not imagine how that would have affected my psychosocial development.

    It certainly was the case that in the isolation of Podunk Village, USA I was yearning for exactly this information.

    One thing though, is that there were plenty of articles about straight sex in popular media which were very available. As a young teenager, the content of these articles wasn't very healthy or helpful because it was out of context. I was trying to draw conclusions from stories about adult sexual relationship problems which had no bearing on my life (at that age). Some of my conclusions were just plain weird.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    I'm sure every teen in me stretch of the neighborhood has watched porn, but when I talk to them, they seem like normal, good people. As far as I can tell, a (young) person who's porn-literate is no different than one who's not.
  • Changeling
    1.4k
    The other day I saw Jordan Peterson talking about pornography.Shawn

    *instantly leaves thread*
  • Vera Mont
    836
    There is the polar opposite model as well, where access to nudity and sexuality is readily available to all, as in certain underdeveloped tribal societies.Hanover


    So, in one society, you have children told to dress properly and that they have souls and that they're free, proud, righteous citizens of a great civilization, under the rule of law, where human beings are considered priceless. At the same time, they're shown that people's bodies can be bought or rented for sexual practices, not necessarily of the reproductive kind, and displayed as a consumer item.
    in the other
    Nudity is commonplace. Sexuality is strictly regulated by taboos. Commodification and objectification are unknown. The young are taught by word and example to obey the laws of their tribe.
    Which child will grow up saner?
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    I first saw actual hardcore aged, I think, 19, when an incredibly vulgar full-page photo was printed in a student newspaper in defiance of obscenity laws. I regret to say I was electrified by it, although at that time (early 70’s) it was still impossible to get hold of. Then I went to Amsterdam, awash with porn stores, followed by Copenhagen, in 1973 and saw Deep Throat which was - how to say - something you can’t un-see. I don’t want to go too deeply into personal experience other than to acknowledge that I instantly became habituated, and that I regret it and think that I would have been a better man had I not become so.
  • Outlander
    1.6k
    Anything can be a problem. Without belief in a Higher Power or sacredness what is love? A symbiotic exchange of communication and resources to prolong an otherwise purposeless series of chemical reactions in efforts to strengthen or add resilience to a societal group and promote its advancement and longevity over that of another. How romantic. I'll light the candles.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    The other day I saw Jordan Peterson talking about pornography.
    — Shawn

    *instantly leaves thread*
    Changeling

    :lol:
  • Hanover
    9.5k
    , in one society, you have children told to dress properly and that they have souls and that they're free, proud, righteous citizens of a great civilization, under the rule of law, where human beings are considered priceless. At the same time, they're shown that people's bodies can be bought or rented for sexual practices, not necessarily of the reproductive kind, and displayed as a consumer item.Vera Mont

    Your attempt to draw a nexus between the rule of law, freedom, and the sanctity of life on the one hand with an adherence to traditional sexual mores on the other skips too many steps to logically follow. That is, it's entirely possibly to place a great value on human life and still treat sex as a commodity. Individual autonomy is more associated with freedom than are sexual prohibitions.

    It's also false to suggest sexual behavior is for the purpose of procreation, as the vast majority of sexual behavior is not for that purpose.

    the other
    Nudity is commonplace. Sexuality is strictly regulated by taboos. Commodification and objectification are unknown. The young are taught by word and example to obey the laws of their tribe.
    Which child will grow up saner?
    Vera Mont

    Your term "saner" has no decipherable meaning here. Are we evaluating each society's children for mental illness?
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