Pornography is an affliction for young men. And it's been mainstreamed.

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Bert Perry's picture

I hate to say it, but I've never seen an article against pornography that actually defines what we're talking about.  I'm not arguing in favor of X rated moves, Playboy, or even looking too long at a lady, but it strikes me that when we talk to young men (or old men for that matter ) about the matter, we might as well define it.  

Perhaps we could define a spectrum starting with immodesty--where the chest and pelvic areas are on display or hinted at through tight/not covering/wrongly patterned clothing, but are not directly visible--continuing on to artistic nudity (private areas uncovered but not completely blatantly sexual), soft core porn (nudity but sexualized), and graphic depictions of sex acts/hard core.  And granted, the line between artistic nudity and soft core porn is rather vague, as artistic nudity since classic times centers on the eromenos (adored by the "boy-lovers" of Greece) and Aphrodite/Venus/Eros.  Arguing a picture of Venus and Eros isn't erotic is a crime against logic, not to mention etamology.

And we would then suggest that there ought to be a range of results for the casual or intensive use of these genre.  Per Matthew 5:27-28, we would assume the user first assumes the "picture is there for his uses", and then the next step of degradation would be he would start to assume that more and more people would be "available for his uses", and then in proportion to the ways he sees in the pictures.  

In other words, a bit more specificity ought to be used, if only to help young men understand the difference between seeing an inappropriately dressed woman at the mall or church and opening up a copy of Playboy or Hustler, or hunting down things on the Internet.  The reality, and harms, are very different, and it's important to let people know how much they've been harmed, too.

Yeah, this is one area where we can go very, very wrong by listening too much to Thomas Bowdler.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

The Star-Tribune is a little late to the party on this, I think.  But it's nice to see non-Christians noticing and pointing this out as well.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Bert Perry's picture

...per Jim's comment, two major format changes in about a year mean that Hefner's baby is circling the drain.  Ironically, the free dissemination of "smut" that he pioneered may be destroying the business model for a lot of participants.  

Strange to think, though, that airbrushed pictures of surgically enhanced women after long makeup sessions and with detailed attention paid to props, lighting, and the rest somehow qualify as "au naturel."  If that's "au naturel", Froot Loops are health food.

Seriously, the author's comment about maturation stopping when certain factors like drug use and porn start is well taken, and I would dare suggest that to various degrees, other factors have about the same effect as porn; substitution of fornication for marriage and family life.

For example, for kids who grow up with Uncle Sam (welfare) paying the bills, marriage doesn't even enter their minds.  My wife and I were helping at VBS, and a delightful little girl from the poor side of town asked my wife if I was her boyfriend.  "Well, yes", she said, "but this boyfriend is permanent and I call him my husband."   And what would we think will happen when girls learn about relationships from soap operas--described by a pastor friend as "porn for women"?

Not that emphasis on porn is entirely misplaced, but if we keep our minds on the real harm of pornography, I think we'll see it's the tip of the iceberg.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.