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The Effects Of Pornography Before And After Marriage

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INTRODUCTION

The recent times have been confronted with massive explosion of sexual commercialization. The fire ignited by this outburst has been difficult and even impossible to quench. We are constantly bombarded with sexual images in magazines, movies, music, so called home videos, on television, on billboards and most importantly on the internet.

Pathetically, sexual commercialization is adored and celebrated in our society and whooping amount of money is awarded to reality shows with avalanche of and blatant displays of erotic scenes. In the words of Gary Ingrid, "we live in a sex saturated society, self-gratifying society.

Pornography has been mainstreamed and is almost inescapable" (Ingrid 2010). The major avenues through which this commercialization of sex is promoted are what I term two "Ps": Prostitution and Pornography.

In this article, I am going to deal particularly on pornography, delineating its effects on the youths before and after marriage. In discussing the effects of pornography, I shall mention the and negative implications of pornography.

I shall tersely look at the arguments for pornography which some scholars have hinged upon to support and advocate massive production of pornograhic videos and creation of uncountable pornograhic websites.

This write up will also explain in brief arguments against pornography. It is the opinion of this article that the colossal negative effects of pornography call for a serious rational and moral response especially in this technologically advanced society.

WHAT IS PORNOGRAPHY?

From its etymological coinage, pornography is derived from the Greek term (Pornographos), which is a compound word made up of (porne meaning prostitute) and (graphe meaning to write) which then means writing about prostitutes.


Hence, from its etymological dimension, we can notice that the term has evolved so much since its etymology is not a guide to its present usage, that is, it's etymological deduction cannot explain its current usage.


Pornography in a layman's parlance is a material, either pictures or written words that is sexually explicit. However, this definition is not strong in all facets since it will attempt to categorize everything that is sexually explicit like paintings, cultural displays etc. as pornography.


Some contemporary feminists define it as sexually explicit material that depicts women's subordination in such a way to endorse that subordination (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Pornography and Censorship, first published on May 2004 aand revised on Oct. 2012. Assessed on 9th March 2017). But this definition is lacking merit since it tends to say that those sexually explicit materials which do not objectify and subordinate women are not pornography. Pornography is also differentiated from sexually explicit material which is not intended to be sexually arousing, e.g medical textbooks, biology textbooks etc. Based on this, the fact that a material is sexually explicit does not make it pornography.


What then constitutes a proper definition of pornography? Actually there is no universally recognized definition of pornography. However, for the purpose of this article, I accept the following definitions. The Concise Oxford Dictionary (1983) defines pornography as explicit description or exhibition of sexual activity in literature, films, etc., intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic feelings.


This implies that we can categorize as pornography any sexually explicit material which has the function or intention of sexually arousing its audience and was in fact produced for such purpose.


Hence, those sexually explicit materials contained in videos, websites, images etc. which were primarily designed to produce sexual arousal in viewers are termed pornography. The National Coalition for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation in her fact sheet classifies between nonviolent and violent pornography.


Nonviolent porn is defined as sexually explicit materials without any overt coercive content, but which may sometimes imply acts of submission and/or coercion by the positioning of the models, use of prop or displays of unequal power relationships; while violent pornography is defined as sexually explicit materials in which non-consentual, coercive and/or violent sexual relations are explicitly the portrayed.


Further, it maintains that pornographic material itself may range from soft pornography, which produces low level of arousal, to hardcore pornography, which may involve sadistic violence against women, bestiality (sexual intercourse between a person and an animal) and pedophilia (sexual abuse directed towards children). But my use of the term "Pornography" in this write up is limited to adult pornography which is banned and so a legal offense in many countries.


Having known what the term pornography entails, could there be any reason why youths engage in watching pornographic films, sex tapes or visit porn sites? Why do pornographic industries engage in massive production of soft and hardcore pornographies? An attempt to answer this leads us into some arguments proffered in support of pornography.


Arguments for pornography:

Pornography has been defended from various points of view. Let me tersely put down these defenses. According to the so called Economic Argument, it holds that pornography is a huge source of revenue to the government and a means of income to many individuals. John H. Court in his book Pornography: A Christian Critique (pp 16-29), elucidated on some other reasons why people allude to in defense of pornography:


Therapeutic Argument opines that pornography can help overcome various sexual problems. Then, the Social Benefit Argument maintains that tangible social benefits like reduction of sex related crimes can be accomplished by the circulation and legalization of pornography. The Liberation of pornography believes that the needs to be liberated from the restrictions placed on human sexual behaviors as a result of social, cultural and religious norms; and that pornography can serve as a vehicle to overthrow these old suppressive and oppressive norms and sexual conservation.


To cap it up is the Civil Liberties Argument supported by many humanists who defend pornography as part of the issue of the freedom of speech and any attempt by civil authorities to prohibit pornography is suppression of freedom of speech which is a fundamental human right.


Let us now delineate some arguments advanced against the production, proliferation and consumption of pornography.


Arguments against Pornography:

According to Danny Fredrick in his article Defending Pornography, he summarized the arguments against pornography into four major points: The depraved and corrupt argument which contends that the production and consumption of pornography leads to moral depravity of its consumers.


Another is what he calls the harmful-to-others argument. This holds that the production and consumption of pornography, in any of its forms, make those who engage in it more likely to commit sexual offenses. This agrees with Albert Bandura's social learning theory which contends that people act out of what they observe others do. The harmful-to-children argument maintains that:


Firstly, children are harmed by pornographic viewers; and secondly, if children themselves consume and/or are used in this production, they are ruthlessly harmed. The degradation of women argument, which is mainly championed by some feminists, opines that pornography exploits, degrades and oppresses women thereby portraying them as inferior to men and objects for men's sexual gratification. Another argument against pornography which Danny Frederick does not include in his work is what I term Religious Argument which contends that pornography is against the commandment of God. Based on these arguments, one may then say without fear of contradiction that pornography leads to child abuse, rape, violence against women, moral depravity etc.


At this juncture, let me delve into the effects of pornography on the youths before and after marriage.


I shall discuss this under its pros and cons by assessing its positive and negative effects/Health benefits of Pornography:


Some people are of the view that there are some benefits or positive effects accruing from viewing pornography. Proponents of this view argue that rather than regulate pornography which some civil authorities have begun to do, what is needed is education. This is because it is one of the main factors contributing to a remarkable reduction in violent sexual assault over the last two decades. According Anthony D'amato in his paper, Porn Up and Rape Down he concludes statistical evidence that the incidence of rape in the United States has declined 85 percent in the past 25 years while access to pornography has become freely available to teenagers and adults.


Hence, he believes that there is a correlation between increase access to pornography and massive reduction of sexual crimes in the society. This simply means that pornography helps youths to avoid and/or overcome sexual crimes.
More so, some people argue that without pornography, youths would have no means of gaining knowledge about sexual intercourse without actually engaging in sexual intercourse. But pornography serves a means of educating the youths and married couples.


This kind of view contained in the book, Our Conflicting Judgements About Pornography by Kent Greenfield. Furthermore, youths who are unable to observe other's sexual interactions may find themselves thinking that their sexual desires are abnormal. However, pornography helps young people to realize that their desires are not abnormal. Pornography can change the way adolescents learn about sex. For example, instead of having to actually engage in a sexual act to learn about sex and gratify themselves, young people can do these from the safety of their own room through masturbation. This allows them to avoid exposure to sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS, unintended pregnancy, and social stigma of being labeled as prostitutes.


Pornography can be used by adolescents as a sex therapy which helps to bring the couple together and assists the couple to have a better and enjoyable sexual experience. Because of the volume specification of my work, I may not begin to analyze the above mentioned positive effects to see if they stand the test of logical scrutiny. Despite these positive effects of pornography, these are negative effects.


Negative effects of Pornography:

Personally speaking, pornography has posed more perils than gains to humanity. In a research work, Youth and Pornography in Australia: Evidence on the exposure and Likely Effects, carried out by Flood, M and Hamilton, C. in 2013, they discovered that exposure to X-rated videos and clips support male aggression or coercion against women, thereby making men to see women as being sexually subservient to them, sex objects and sexual slaves. This mindset which results from viewing porn is detrimental or inimical to marriage because youths who view pornography regularly have a higher tolerance for abnormal sexual activities like rape, bestiality, lesbianism, sexual promiscuity etc.


Similarly, pornography promotes sexual permissiveness and coercion whose aftermath is very perturbing. Moore and co. in an article, Coerced First Sex among Adolescent Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa: Prevalence and Context published in African Journal of Reproduction Health in 2007 argues that there is no undeniable correlation between coerced sex and a range of negative reproductive outcomes. Some of these reproductive and emotional health risks associated with sexual coercion which mainly results from watching porn include STIs like HIV/AIDS, infertility, unintended pregnancy which can probably lead to insecure abortion and mortality.


Furthermore, some psychological therapists hold that those addicted to pornography face difficulty in becoming sexually aroused without it. That is, they become fixated to it that no normal sexual advances can arouse them except porn. Hence, they lose interest and engage in little or no sexual experiences with their married partner. This causes numerous marriage problems in our society today. Also, studies prove that pornography leads to addiction and produces the same effect on the brain as alcohol and drug addictions. That is why pornography addicts will need to engage in the same difficult recovery process a drug or alcohol addict go through.


In addition, I wish to delineate at this juncture why it is difficult, but no impossible, for porn addicts, just like other addictions, to stop. Neuroscientists have discovered that watching porn, just like taking hard drugs, causes dopamine to be released in the part of the brain responsible for emotions, learning etc. Dopamine is a chemical in one's brain that affects one's emotions, movements, memory, sensations of pleasure and pain etc. Now, when watches pornography (soft porn) for the first time, maybe to escape from boredom, depression or frustration, the levels of dopamine rises in response to this because erotic imagery generates more dopamine than sex with a familiar partner. With time, the brain begins to change as one habitually views pornography to the point that the brain becomes desensitized to the effects of dopamine thereby making the person not to be satisfied with soft born again.


Thus, the person gets to another level, the hardcore. This is because the brain at this point need more dopamine each time time in order for the viewer to have the same effect he/she had the first time. This, according to Gary Wilson in his TEDx talk on his topic provokes the viewer to seek more intense porn. By so doing, the brain chemistry is altered and addiction to pornography occurs.


Pornography causes a whole lot of damage. Exposure to pornography causes depression, low self-esteem, erectile dysfunction, concentration problem and negative perception of oneself. Pornography when used by married people can lead to infidelity, decrease of trust due to dishonesty, desire for certain objectionable sexual activities like anal sex, so called blow job etc, feeling sexually unsatisfied by normal sexual experience. With pornography, sex is no longer an amazing source of bond between married couples ; rather, it becomes a commodity used to disguise needs that should be met through human relationship.


Any response to Pornography?

Many civil authorities and religious affiliations have provided many responses to the uncontrollable escalation of pornography in our society. The catholic church is strong in its anti-pornography crusades. She maintains that pornography simply undermines human dignity. Pornography and sadistic violence debase sexuality, corrode human relationships, exploit individuals especially women and young people, undermine marriage and family life, foster anti-social behavior and weaken the moral fibre of society itself.


Conclusion:

Our technologically advanced society has made access to pornography easier and many of our youths, the future of tomorrow, have been enslaved by pornography despite its multifaceted negative effects to their emotional, social, cognitive and psycho-sexual development. From the above discussion, we have seen both arguments for and against pornography together with the positive and negative effects it has on the youths.


The question that remains is what measures can the youth take to avoid being a victim of pornography and what steps can one already addicted to it take?


Firstly, for those adolescents who have not experimented on pornography, kudos and never attempt to experiment on it because it will eat you up if you do.


Secondly, those who are already victims should seek the help of a psychologist. But the following practical steps can help:

  • Identify those things that trigger you to porn
  • Dig out the root by examining how it all started
  • Imbibe self control
  • Have good friends who are not addicts
  • Install anti-porn apps in your phones and laptops
  • Pray continually
  • Be determined to succeed
  • Be patient with yourself as you make effort to free yourself from porn
Finally, always remember that freeing oneself from pornography is a gradual process.


1 comment:

  1. that is really some effect, for the porn fans.........lol

    ReplyDelete

DISCLAIMER: Comments are of the opinions of the person who commented; John-King hand no dey.

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