CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

All Children Deserve Protection from Porn

Jun 25, 2007

Prime Minister John Howard’s decision to clamp down on porn and alcohol in aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory to combat high rates of child sexual assault has been overwhelmingly welcomed by the general public. Most Australians rightly believe it is about time that this national disgrace be dealt with, and dealt with quickly and decisively.

Of course the usual suspects objected, but they would, wouldn’t they? John Stanhope, the Labor leader of the ACT, called the plan “racist”! Democrat leader Lyn Allison said it was “an outrageous authoritarian crackdown”. And former PM Malcolm Fraser, who seems to hate everything John Howard says or does, said the plan was “a return to paternalism”.

The NT report, “Little Children Are Sacred,” released two weeks ago, simply confirmed what many people knew for quite some time. Porn is killing our communities, our kids, and our women. Thus it is absolutely essential that action be taken to protect indigenous children from the horrific sexual abuse that has been occurring for so long.

Indeed, this is what one nurse said from first-hand experience, in a letter to the Weekend Australian (June 23-24, 2007):

As a remote area nurse, I treated too many too often

“The outcry from the safe and comfortable about the Howard Government’s new stance on Aboriginal child sexual abuse is both sickening and infuriating.

As they talk of self-determination, children across the nation are being stripped of their self-worth in the violence of rape and its horrific sequel. Too long have I and many others treated and seen the victims of blatant sexual abuse in remote Aboriginal communities and outback towns. My many years as a remote area nurse saw me treat too many too often.

I ask the politically enlightened to give a 5-year-old boy painful penicillin injections for his anal sores caused by syphilis. Why don’t they come and change the colostomy bag on a 6-year-old girl so mutilated by her rape that her genitalia had to be reconstructed? Or let them help us convince an 11-year-old that her rape wasn’t her fault (whilst we are giving her antibiotics for the gonorrhoea she acquired). That’s what those at the coalface deal with on a distressingly regular basis.

Many people, over the decades, have been crying out in the wilderness for these kids. This is not a new issue and it’s not going to go away overnight. It’s a huge step forward that some people with political clout are finally acting. Grandmothers, nurses, teachers and Aboriginal health workers have been assaulted and threatened for speaking out for the abused. Children have died during or after sexual assaults. For the sake of these kids and the families caught up in the tragedy, we must act. Firmly, decisively and immediately.”

(Monica Brown, Hunter Valley, NSW)

But it needs also to be said that all children, not just aboriginal children, should be protected from the ugly effects of porn consumption. While the Prime Minister’s call to action is a great first step, it really needs to be applied across the board. Porn, in the form of X-rated videos and the like, should be restricted throughout Australia.

At the moment it cannot be produced or sold in Australian states, but it can be, and is, in the territories. Thus our nation’s political capital is also our nation’s porn capital. It will do little good to ban X-rated videos in the NT if it can simply be sent in from the ACT. What is really needed is a complete clampdown on this horrible stuff in the first place, and Fyshwick in the ACT is where the attention should be focused.

Yet the civil libertarians will argue, as they always do, that there is no connection whatsoever between porn and sexual assault. But there clearly is, as I have documented elsewhere. Yet the pornophiles will say that this is not so, and that as the availability of porn has increased over the years, rape rates have not always kept up with it. But this is often because of how rape has been redefined and re-legislated. Dr Judith Riesman, an expert in this area, explains:

“In 1950, 18 [US] states authorized the death penalty for rape; most others could impose a life sentence. Following Alfred Kinsey’s ‘scientific’ advice in 1948, many states redefined ‘rape’ so the crime could be plea-bargained down to a misdemeanor like ‘sexual misconduct.’ Missouri redefined rape to mean 11 different crimes for 11 different sentences, magically lowering ‘rape’ rates. Like all states that have trivialized rape, Missouri relied on the Kinsey-based 1955 American Law Institute Model Penal Code. ‘Rape’ was eliminated from New Jersey’s laws and replaced with a variety of terms during a 1978 penal law revision. For example, Dr. Linda Jeffrey notes that the charge to which child-molesting teacher Pamela Diehl-Moore pleaded guilty was reduced to a second-tier crime, ‘sexual assault’ – i.e., sexual contact with a victim under 13, or penetration where the ‘actor’ uses physical force or coercion, but the victim doesn’t suffer severe personal injury, or the victim is 16 or 17, with aggravating circumstances, or the victim is 13 to 15 and the ‘actor’ is at least four years older. (Whew!)”

She offers a small sampling of the evidence. She suggests that the pornophiles should “read reports such as ‘Sex-Related Homicide and Death Investigation’ (2003). Former Lt. Comdr. Vernon Geberth says today’s ‘sex-related cases … are more frequent, vicious and despicable’ than anything he experienced in decades as a homicide cop. In ‘Journey Into Darkness’ (1997), the FBI’s premier serial-rape profiler, John Douglas wrote, ‘[Serial-rape murders are commonly found] with a large pornography collection, either store-bought or homemade. … our [FBI] research does show that certain types of sadomasochistic and bondage-oriented material can fuel the fantasies of those already leaning in that direction’.”

She continues, “In ‘The Evil That Men Do’ (1998), FBI serial-rape-murderer-mutilator profiler Roy Hazelwood quotes one sex killer who tied his victims in ‘a variety of positions’ based on pictures he saw in sex magazines. ‘Thrill Killers, a Study of America’s Most Vicious Murders,’ by Charles Linedecker, reports that 81 percent of these killers rated pornography as their primary sexual interest. Dr. W.L. Marshall, in ‘Criminal Neglect, Why Sex Offenders Go Free’ (1990), says based on the evidence, pornography ‘feeds and legitimizes their deviant sexual tendencies.’ In one study of rapists, Gene Abel of the New York Psychiatric Institute cited, ‘One-third reported that they had used pornography immediately prior to at least one of their crimes.’ In 1984, the U.S. Attorney General’s Task Force on Family Violence reported, ‘Testimony indicates that an alarming number of rape and sexual assault offenders report that they were acting out behavior they had viewed in pornographic materials’.”

She concludes, “More pornography equals more rape of children and women. We need to ask whether Big Government is now selling out to Big Pornography as it did to Big Tobacco for half a century.” Exactly. Now that national attention is turned to the plight of aboriginal children, we need to remind ourselves that all children deserve protection from the ugly results of our porn culture.

www.drjudithreisman.com/archives/2006/09/pornographys_li.html

[1184 words]

63 Responses to All Children Deserve Protection from Porn

  • Thanks Bill, another great piece.

    The interests of the children must always be put above the selfish interests of a group of adults. This is a key argument in support of Christian positions on a wide variety of issues. The issue you raised here is another one. The government has every right to protect the vulnerable, the innocent who cannot defend themselves.

    I agree all children should be protected. Problems such as alcoholism, drug addictions and porn are problems in the wider community and they endanger children.

    Matthew Mulvaney

  • It is so true garbage in will lead to garbage out. Porn is garbage that pollutes the mind and results in vicious attacks on the vulnerable. Children especially from ethnic and deprived communities are targets for abuse. They lack a voice or power to challenge those who are in authority and exercise power over them. It is high time government sets a standard and not allow the decadence in society to water down rape and other crimes to cultural norms. Goverment has the responsibilty to police society at least by setting standards. Without appropriate standards society is bound to regress into a state of immorality and decadence.
    John Mathai

  • You couldn’t persuade John Howard to come to Britain and take over the Conservative party?
    David Skinner, UK

  • Thanks David

    While John Howard is far from perfect, he has been very good on a number of issues. And although I am opposed to human cloning, a case could almost be made to clone Howard and send him around to many troubled nations, including the UK!

    Regards, Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Wouldn’t it be great if the so called intelligensia who oppose these issues could actually confront the actual and not be controlled by theory.
    Jim Sturla

  • Interestingly, although the usual ‘Howard haters’ have come out against this plan, I haven’t noticed anyone directly opposing the measures to ban porn from these remote aboriginal communities. As you say Bill, porn needs to be banned from the wider community also. The lack of opposition to the porn banning measures is perhaps a tacit admission that porn is indeed a large contributing factor to sex abuse.

    As one who resented Howard’s draconian gun laws where he banned large numbers of sporting firearms (including mine), I would like to see the same prohibitions applied to porn which causes more human suffering than do farmers and sporting shooters with their shotguns. I won’t be holding my breath though that we will have a national tax payer funded buy-back for porn!

    Amazingly, one of those voices of opposition to the Howard government’s new measures to combat aboriginal child sex abuse, is the head of Anglicare – the Anglican Church’s welfare arm! Yet another example of the rampant apostasy in our churches.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  • Child abuse emergency is wider than what we see in the NT.

    There is no doubt that Australians should all applaud John Howard’s declaration of a national emergency and his implementation of a plan to solve this tragic situation in the NT. For too long this has been a problem which has been neatly tucked away up in the Top End just out of view of the rest of our prosperous, self-focused population. As a humane society we need to stand up for those weaker members of our society who cannot defend themselves. As John Howard says, we have an “overriding responsibility and duty of care” for the young of this country (Pg 5; AFR 26-6-07).

    We can make two further points about this tragedy. Firstly, as Bill rightly pints out, these precious Aboriginal children deserve protection from the consequences of pornography, but then so does the rest of the nation. Should we as a community accept the sale of pornographic magazines in nearly every corner store in Australia? We rightly condemn the rapists who mistreat women so horridly, but then condone by complacency the widespread promotion of the pornography which causes these men to so mistreat women and devalue humanity.

    Secondly, there is still a silent tragedy occurring daily, and on a larger scale than what is happening in the NT. Australian children, our nation’s offspring, are being mutilated daily on a scale which should sicken the media, the politicians, the medical profession, the general population, but it does not. Instead we continue to turn a blind eye, maybe because this is a tragedy even more neatly tucked away from view that that in the NT. It is seemingly invisible to the majority of Australians, and so we simply ignore it. But the children stolen by the medical procedure we call abortion are still children who cannot defend themselves. Surely we need to stand up and defend them, just as we need to defend these children in the NT.

    Craig Manners, Victoria

  • Bill,

    No one can disagree that child abuse is a dreadful crime against children, but I don’t understand how you draw a connection between child abuse and the availability of adult X-rated videos.

    Judith Reisman’s work in this area has been totally discredited, even by the Reagan administration which sponsored her work:
    “It was a scientific disaster, riddled with researcher bias and baseless assumptions. The American University (AU), where Reisman’s study had been academically based, actually refused to publish it when she released it, after their independent academic auditor reported on it. Dr Robert Figlio of the University of Pennsylvania told AU that, ‘The term child used in the aggregate sense in this report is so inclusive and general as to be meaningless.’ Figlio told the press, ‘I wondered what kind of mind would consider the love scene from Romeo and Juliet to be child porn’.”
    – Alfred Regnery, the Reagan-appointee who commissioned the study.

    Perhaps you should also mount a campaign to ban religion, since the incidence of child abuse perpetrated by priests and other religious leaders is far greater than in any other area of society.

    Amanda O’Hara, NSW

  • Thanks Amanda

    But you have your sources wrong. Regnery did not pen those words. I believe Playboy is the source. And the FBI statements, etc., are still to be refuted.

    Any religious leader who engages in such activity is of course to be condemned. But they comprise a tiny minority of all such leaders.

    And why are you defending porn, which is so degrading to women, and to humanity as a whole? Just what is your agenda?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Amanda,

    I agree with Bill. It is extremely strange that you would be supportive of pornography. In fact all women, especially the feminist movement, should be up in arms about it and should seek to stop this material which does nothing but promote depravity, disrespect, distrust, hatred and violence toward women. Leave your mixed up problem with God out if it for a moment and just look at the damage pornography has on how men view and treat women. (But then, come back to your problem with God and try and fix it. That is your only hope).

    Craig Manners, Victoria

  • Dear Craig, there is nothing strange about some folks who simply choose to deny, ignore, twist and lie about the truth. It can be explained quite simply, that is, the reality of another supernatural force who is frantically busy before his time runs out.
    God Bless. Trust in God and keep your powder dry.
    David Skinner, UK

  • Thank you, Bill and Craig.

    In a way, the mildest porn available to adults, Playboy, probably has done the most damage to the way men relate to women sexually. 1) Playboy promotes their airbrushed young beauties no real woman can hope to be like without enduring years of plastic surgery. 2) It promotes the false idea that promiscuity leads to happiness and sexual fulfillment. 3) Playboy promotes the idea that women’s desire for sex is the same as men’s and can be flipped on like a light switch. I wonder just how many women have had less than happy first sexual experiences because their men treated them too roughly. 4) It promotes the idea that a woman is less desirable if her I.Q. is larger than her bra size. It you’ve read the profiles on Hefner’s airbrushed beauties, I doubt you’ve ever seen a nuclear scientist among them during the entire 54 years of Playboy’s publication. 5) It falsely promotes condoms as the fool proof prevention for pregnancy and STDs. Some of the biggest names in the porn industry have died of AIDS. 6) it promotes the idea of promiscuity without consequences. Girlfriend gets pregnant? it’s entirely her fault and she should get an abortion to save you the expense and embarrassment of raising the child. 7) It promotes the idea that the best sex comes without commitment. In fact, studies show that monogamous married people enjoy more sexual satisfaction than those unmarried and living together.

    The porn industry is successful in selling the BIG LIE because it appeals to humanity’s basest desires. It coursens our attitudes towards other human beings, men, women, and even children, so that they become mere objects to be used to satisfy carnal lusts. It’s also sucessful in feeding the increasing numbers of people who become sex addicts, of which there are now untold millions in the U.S. alone. It’s impossible to know more than the approximate numbers of those who attend Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings because they are forced to operate in virtual secrecy. This is due in part to the fact judges often make sex offenders attend S.A.A. meetings as a condition of their parole.

    BTW, Hugh Hefner did not invent porn, he only made it fashionable.

    M.E. Huffmaster

  • Amanda,
    You wrote: “No one can disagree that child abuse is a dreadful crime against children, but I don’t understand how you draw a connection between child abuse and the availability of adult X-rated videos.”

    As far back as 1990, the New Scientist reviewed the research literature and concluded:

    “It would, however, be an equally serious mistake to dismiss research on pornography as inconclusive and so irrelevant. The weight of evidence is accumulating that intensive exposure to soft-core pornography desensitises men’s attitude to rape, increases sexual callousness and shifts their preferences towards hard-core pornography.
    “Similarly, the evidence is now strong that exposure to violent pornography increases men’s acceptance of rape myths and of violence against women. It also increases men’s tendencies to be aggressive towards women and is correlated with the reported incidence of rape. Many sex offenders claim they used pornography to stimulate themselves before committing their crimes” (“The Power of Pornography,” 5 May, 1990, p. 23).

    It sounds as though you are pushing an agenda that wants to deny this link.

    Sincerely, Spencer Gear, Qld.

  • Bill, Spencer and others,

    Nowhere in any of these postings can I see any evidence supporting Bill’s assertion that child abuse is related to the availability of X-rated adult videos. In case none of you are aware, this material is “soft-core”, i.e. normal sex between consenting adults. Anything else is banned by the classification censors.

    So what we’re talking about here is the same kind of sex that all of you (presumably) have with your partners. Are you seriously suggesting that having sex in your own bedroom causes you to want to go out and rape the nearest child, woman or animal?

    I notice that all the correspondents here so far are male, and many of you seem keen to ban adult erotica because you claim it demeans women. But you demean women yourselves by your own patronising stance. I escaped a conservative Christian church because of the atmosphere of insulting paternalism shown by men towards their womenfolk, and the meek acceptance by the women of male “headship”.

    If you truly want to defend and protect women, do so by abandoning your paternalistic attitudes and wowser mentality. Let women speak for themselves if they are offended by adult video material. Not many do, and I think it’s because most women (Christian or otherwise) have a more mature attitude than men on these matters.

    Personally I don’t have a problem if people wish to view this material. It is simply people enjoying consensual sex, and that presents a lot less danger to the world than the macho violence, killing and warmongering that we routinely allow in mainstream movies.

    And Bill, I’ve double-checked my source and I stand by my comments about Reisman. She is an anti-pornography crusader, and that automatically means her conclusions are biased.

    Amanda O’Hara, NSW

  • Thanks again Amanda

    But I am afraid you are wrong on almost every count. First, it seems the truth is, you do not want to see the evidence, not that it is lacking. And the point was that sexual abuse of all types, not just child abuse, can be causally linked to the viewing of pornography. Just who do you refuse to believe here? The FBI? The New Scientist? The New York Psychiatric Institute?

    And many others can be cited. What about Victorian Crown Prosecutor Richard Read: “With the present level of violent crime and violent sexual crime, the onus of proving that there is no significant link between pornography and imitative criminal behaviour, and depicted violence and imitative criminal behaviour, lies squarely with those who assert, contrary to human experience, that there is no such causal link.”

    And what you call “soft core” is nothing of the sort. This is what is currently allowed in Australian X-rated videos: all depictions of sexual acts involving adults (except those of an extreme sexually violent or cruel nature) including explicit penetration, masturbation, ejaculation, fellatio, cunnilingus, insertion of objects into orifices, urolagnia, necrophilia, copraphilia, sadomasochism, and fetishism.

    Most of this is certainly not going on in most bedrooms, and if you are in favour of the lot, you are in need of a morality check in defending the indefensible.

    As to females, ME is a female, as is the nurse who witnessed firsthand the horror of porn- and alcohol-induced sexual child abuse. Do you also accuse them of being biased? And why is male testimony on this issue automatically suspect in your opinion? You might as well argue that men cannot speak against rape, because they are just being patronising and paternalistic.

    As to your rejection of your Christian past: I don’t know anything about your church, but if it was a bad representation of Jesus and the gospel, then the answer is to find one that does more clearly reflect them, not to reject the faith altogether. Also, this sounds like a rationale for your present stance. If so, may I remind you that in the Bible idolatry and immorality often go together. When we reject the living God, we often end up embracing and condoning all sorts of immorality. We seek to justify our sin, in other words.

    To say Reisman is biased because she is “an anti-pornography crusader” is about as helpful as saying you are biased because you are a pro-pornography crusader. Why is it that you are not biased while she is?

    And this is what a former US Department of Justice figure had to say about her: “Dr Reisman is a scientist of outstanding exactitude and courage. . . . While the massive, affluent sex industry has employed nearly every technique in their arsenal, short of violence, to stop Dr Reisman’s work, they have not shown her findings to be incorrect or methodologically flawed – in even the smallest detail.”

    And what is your source? The porn industry? Sounds biased to me, Amanda.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • “I notice that all the correspondents here so far are male, and many of you seem keen to ban adult erotica because you claim it demeans women……Let women speak for themselves if they are offended by adult video material. Not many do, and I think it’s because most women (Christian or otherwise) have a more mature attitude than men on these matters.”
    Amanda,
    Thank you for the invitation to speak for myself. As a woman I am greatly offended by ‘adult video material’ and the manner in which it objectifies women, turning them into a means to satisfy the male sexual instinct. I agree that ‘most women have a more mature attitude than men on these matters’, however, I would argue that this more mature attitude is one of repulsion to porn and the detrimental affect it has on the way in which men percieve women and sexuality, and the destructive influence this has on society. If you truly believe that most women are not opposed to porn I can only conclude that you mix in a peculiar minority. The outcry from women across the globe against X-rated pornography serves as evidence of this. Before making such broad comments regarding women’s attitudes to porn in future, I would encourage you to do a google search on this issue. I would also encourage you to read “Making Sex Work” by Mary Sullivan, and “Not for Sale” by Christine Stark and Rebecca Whisnant. Both these books are available from Spinifex press (one of the two feminist press companies in Australia.) and both these books comment on the detrimental affect any form of porn has on women and society.
    Thanks,
    Catherine Keane, Victoria

  • I’m actually really encouraged by the fact that so many of the posters here who are speaking against pornography are male. Too many men these days see porn use as a right, that is, they think they have a right to use and abuse women’s bodies.

    Many women do not approve of porn, they feel rejected and degraded, like they don’t measure up to the actresses in porn. At best they tolerate it because of their husbands or partners use of it. This is not the recipe for a healthy relationship.

    Pornography represents the commodification of women’s bodies. In pornography, women are not “consentual partners” they are a means to an end, an object. Women in pornography aren’t good enough as they are, they have to get breast implants and labia surgery. They have to have hot wax spread over their genitals and their pubic hair ripped out. Where do you think “the brazillian” originated? Women are under more pressure than ever to conform to the pornified image their partners have been brought up with.

    A lot of people don’t understand what pornography actually is and mistakenly believe that magazines like Playboy represent the pornography commonly available on the internet. What you were describing Amanda – consentual sex between adults – is known as couples porn and it isn’t all that popular. What is popular includes the following – double penetration which involves both orifices and two men, gang bangs involving many different men, sex with animals, women on the receiving end of men ejaculating on their faces. These sex acts are degrading and often very painful. Some women suffer injuries as a result. Some pornographers don’t even edit out the pained look on their faces and the tears. Why is that? Because this is what “the demand” requires, this is what men want to see and we should be very disturbed about that, that men are aroused by women’s pain. The language on the covers of these videos often refer to women as “sluts” and “whores.” Really what we are witnessing is legalised sexual abuse. This is not the type of sex that “most people” have and I’m personally very glad that my last intimate act didn’t require the use of an enema, muscle relaxants, local anaesthetic and lines of cocaine or shots of booze. But this sort of chemical cocktail is normal for these prostituted women.

    Many will say “well its their choice.” These women are often victims of childhood sexual abuse, drug addiction and prostitution. Their “choice” further degrades them and places them in harms way. They require support, not money from a pornographer. Why on earth would we wish this sort of life on our daughters or our sisters?

    Melinda Liszewski

  • As a woman, I love soft-core porn. Here are some particularly endearing quotes from soft-porn publishers. From MaximOnline we have such gems as: “Not since Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt have we seen a baby this sexy. But at least Yasmin doesn’t **** herself or cry. And what’s better, the Bratz brat can even dress herself…in stripper-chic tube tops and low-rider jeans. This is one baby we don’t want to throw in the dumpster!”

    “If Judy Jetson had a MySpace profile today, it would look like this: “About me: I love boys and shopping and talking on the phone! Who I’d like to meet: Jet Screamer!!! OMG!!!” And then she’d be abducted by a sexual predator claiming to be Jet Screamer. And then we would hide our Jet Screamer costume.”

    Oh, gosh, those boys! *giggle, giggle* Aren’t they funny? Abducted by a sexual predator – ha ha!

    This is my personal favourite: “Babies adore warm loving arms, and what arms could be more loving or warm than that of a 600watt microwave oven?…”

    Oh, where indeed would our society be without the good old sex industry? So nurturing and loving for women and children.

    “The Babysitter” magazine also has some really good stuff: “These babysitters are left ruinned [sic] and quivering wrecks after they have had a seeing to. Totally used and abused, left gaping open, ejaculations, ‘A’s streched [sic], ‘V’ swollen all this for a few quid…”

    Oh, I could go on for hours, but time and space prevent me. There is so much juicy material out there. As a mother of six daughters I cannot understand why women everywhere aren’t leaping to the defense of pornography. I certainly wouldn’t want men looking at them with respect and seeing them as anything other than three holes walking, particularly the children.

    Marie Douglas

  • I’m a 19 year old female and I’m offended by women in porn. I think it is so degrading and very few psychologically healthy women would choose to participate in it if they could make an appropriate income in other ways. Growing up as Generation Y I have seen first hand the effects of over sexualised culture, particularly in those elements of media we wouldn’t technically classify as pornographic. For example, in high school, most girls I knew who refused to give oral sex to guys they had been dating for a few weeks were stigmatised as frigid because the media has told guys that this is what they’re to expect from girls. I think pornography slowly desensitises men and leads them to want more (in fact, if you ask child peodephiles what led them onto this journey, almost all will say that porn increased their appetite for more provocative and unusual sexual satisfaction). I also think it reduces the sexual intimacy between a monogamous couple to be little more than a physical act.
    I’m sorry that you experienced a negative culture in a paternalistic church. Rest assured that not all churches are like that. However there are many Christian women out there who do stand up for the “conservative” side of political issues, such as abortion, pornography, etc. They are not all conservative men.
    Amanda Fairweather

  • Amanda and others,

    Over the past 15 years my husband and I have worked with couples, some of whom have suffered greatly due to the introduction of pornography into their relationship. The acts and people portrayed in porn material are a fantasy and yet they become a false reality to those who are drawn into the addiction of porn.

    We have had couples admit that their own sexual relationship is overtaken by the fantasy of the images they have viewed in pornographic material. They have told us that in their lovemaking, the person they are having sex with is not their partner but the character they have seen in the porn material.

    It is not difficult to imagine that an act viewed between two adults that is imprinted on the brain of the viewer could be acted out on a child because the perpetrator is deluded into believing the fantasy rather than the reality of what actually is real, especially if drugs such as alcohol are involved. It is also obvious that a young child is an easy target as we know how young children love attention.

    Several years ago I moved from one state in Australia to another. At that time I had a heightened awareness of behaviour that was very different, and to my mind not appropriate, in a particular social context. Exposure to this type of behaviour over a period of time has a desensitising effect. What I once thought as inappropriate has become the norm because it is presented as normal. I think the same may be said for sexually explicit material. Once there is more around we are desensitised to accept it and believe that it is okay and normal.

    I think it is time to step back and see why porn is really being promoted. Essentially, I believe the basic reason is that there are some people who make a very good living from peddling this material. Those who support the fantasy of porn whether actively or unknowingly are either making money from it or are deluded and living in a fantasy land themselves.

    Jane Rookes

  • Having seen the devastating effects of pornography within my own circle of acquaintances, I can honestly say, as a women, it disturbs me greatly. One of my girlfriends marriage lasted a less then a year, the break-up resulted because her partner, at her request, had stopped working night shift. This meant she could no longer “have her fun”. She told me that this consisted of viewing Internet porn and time alone, she felt strange having him there, the lure of pornography had already created a void between these two, and an 11 month marriage now destoryed was the result. The problem is pornography strips marriages of intimacy, it creates secrets and has a damaging effect on both parties.

    I also have a relative that has told me, although married to a women, his use of pornography had become so addictive and such a part of him that he would go and look for men to engage in sexual activity with, his addiction in this area has caused everyone close to him pain and their marriage is still suffering.

    I have another relative whose has openly admitted to me that he hates that he uses porn, it has created huge problems with his girlfriend of 5 years. He has even tried to stop, yet because it is so easily accessible, it has made this extremely hard for him.

    Of course viewing “soft porn” a lot of the time doesn’t stay “soft” as pornography in it’s nature is highly addictive the more you view the more you need to get the same level of satisfaction.

    Michael Flood, co-author of the 2003 Youth and Pornography Report in Australia said “men in growing numbers are using porn in ways that are secret, shameful and damaging. It is having a damaging impact on intimacy and sexuality.” It does effect women, and a lot of us see the damage it is causing.

    Elisha Scott

  • It seems that there are a few Amanda’s about!

    To Amanda O’Hara:
    I’m just so glad that men are standing up for what’s right! So that as women championing for respect and dignity we find ourselves backed by men agreeing with us and not arguing against us or looking down on us.

    To have men that will be MEN and take a stand rather then for them to, infuriatingly, just sit quietly and passively, is sooo good! Thankyou Gentlemen.

    Amanda McKay

  • Well Amanda you certainly got a reaction from women when you suggested that it was men only who wanted to control the sexuality of we girls by banning pornography.

    I suppose you believe that those who disagree with you are sexually repressed because we don’t get turned on by watching someone urinate and defecate on their sexual partners while having group sex, often with children, with or without a bit of bondage and bestiality and perhaps even a a tad of necrophilia on the side.

    Pornography appeals to the basest instincts in human nature and those who are turned on by pornography are sexually dysfunctional and need this stimuli to “perform”. Those of us who are not sexually dysfunctional are turned off rather than turned on by this sick stuff.

    You seem to predicate your arguments on academic research and empirical evidence, so how about going back as far as 1984 in a study commissioned by the Attorney General in the US which showed a strong causal relationship between porn and violent sexual crime – for every 2% increase in the availability of porn there was a 1% increase in the incidence of sexual crime.

    Another study commissioned by the FBI found that of the 36 serial sex killers studied, 29 said that pornography played a major role in their lives.

    Further empirical evidence in Hawaii showed that where there was a wider availability of violent pornography, rape increased by a whopping 900% between 1964 and 1974, but the rate decreased when restrictions were imposed. However it rose again when these restirctions were removed.

    Police in Australia will tell you that where there is child sexual violence there will be mountains of pornography found on the premises – not in some cases but in 99% of cases.

    Rape counsellors say that women are often physically and sexually abused because they will not submit to the degrading sex acts their partners have either watched on videos or read in magazines.

    Sexual violence is a form of misogyny – a contempt for women, and when we remove the emotions of love and tenderness from the sex act we denigrate the sex act and demean the human person. Women feel exploited when they are treated as objects for derision and control as is usual in sexually violent pornography.

    For the majority of the community who have not been exposed to hard core pornography, they think porn is of the “bums and boobs” variety and are not too fazed by it – this was once called “masturbatory material” for adolescent boys.

    It is sad that often this so-called “soft porn” is what is used in the first instance with younger children to soften them up to accept inappropriate touching as the preliminary step to what soon escalates into rape.

    Patti Smith

  • Let me add my voice to the chorus of females here. When I was at uni I completed a linguistic analysis of violence towards women inherent in writings in pornographic magazines. Actually I hated doing the project as the magazine Hustler is completely and sickeningly vile. I kept the magazines in a shed outside the house in case I had visitors with little kids who might stumble across them. I also studied a Playboy article. The writings in Hustler were particularly bad, displaying the absolute disdain and disgust beneath the surface of many of the lowlifes who read the magazines but even the Playboy article showed evidence of violence in its terminology (comparing the woman to a bull in a Spanish bullfight, which you might know ends up dying a bloody and gory death). My next step was to compare my own findings with the writings of others on the topic, and believe me, these abound! The women who write on this topic were not religious but feminists exploring the violence which women face in society. The writer Bill has mentioned is just a drop in the bucket. If you go searching, there are many others of the same opinion. I could Google it right now for you but I’m sure you can do it just as well as me.

    I’m sorry you’ve had difficult experiences in the church you attended. I’d like to say all my church experiences were positive but they weren’t. People are human and they, like me, aren’t perfect. I go to church because I know God is real. I don’t expect the people who attend church with me to be infallible. They aren’t God and neither am I. The darker I see this world becoming; the more violence against women and children (and even men and of course, little boys), the more I love my God and the bright moral Light which is Christ and Christianity that shines ever more brightly in the dark. Jesus is the midnight Son.

    Dee Graf

  • Hi Amanda

    Firstly I must apologise to you, my hesitation in joining in this forum has allowed you to assume that women are not as incensed by the demeaning effects of Pornography as men are.

    I am currently active in seeking to have explicit sex videos (R rated) removed from local dvd stores in order to protect the children who have to stand next to the customers selecting them. I can assure you that I have not spoken to a woman in my community yet who is happy that these dvds are readily available … it goes without saying that they would also object to X-rated dvds.

    I don’t know Reisman’s work but can refer you to the work of Dr. Mary Anne Layden of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Layden had been a psychotherapist for 20 years, working specifically with individuals who had been raped, experienced incest and all kinds of sexual violence for 10 of those years. She states quite emphatically that there has not been one case of sexual violence that she has dealt with that didn’t involve pornography. … Apart from pornography, there was no other common factor … here’s a quote:

    “When you look at the issue of sexual violence, you notice that most of the rapists are men – as are most of those who commit incest, go to strip clubs, use prostitutes and pornography. There are some theoreticians who say, “That means those things are fuelled by male innate sexual behaviour”.

    But I don’t agree – because most men don’t rape, or commit incest on their children, or go to prostitutes or strip clubs. If this theory of innate male sexuality is true, how come it doesn’t explain most men?

    But if violent sexual behaviour is not inborn – if males are not rapists by nature – then it must be learned behaviour. So who is teaching them? I started to find out by looking and listening to the individuals with whom I worked in therapy.

    When you spend all day every day talking to rapists, rape victims, paedophiles, incest survivors, prostitutes, strippers, sex addicts, porn addicts and cyber sex addicts, the language can get a little rough in my office. One of the men I was treating told me his basic belief – and his language was a little rough – was this: “Women’s bodies are pieces of sexual meat to be consumed for male entertainment”. Yikes. That’s what he learned and believed, and it seemed to be connected to why he raped.

    … I would say to the men that I treat who are sex addicts – who go to prostitutes and strip clubs and view pornography, “So, would you like your wife to be a prostitute? You want your daughter to be a stripper, your mother or your sister to be porn star?” And one hundred per cent of them would say, “No. No, no, no!”

    And I say, “No. You want somebody else’s wife, somebody else’s daughter, somebody else’s mother or sister to do that. You don’t want the ones you love to be damaged.”

    With regard to the damaging messages of Porn:

    “Pornography distorts true beliefs about sex. According to pornography, sex is not about kindness, vulnerability, responsibility, sweetness, intimacy, communication, commitment, procreation or marriage. You are not going to see any of those in pornography – not even procreation. Nobody gets pregnant and nobody has a baby.

    What is sex about? According to pornography, it is about selfishness, violence, strangers, groups, faeces, objects, children, manipulation, body parts, casual recreation, prostitution, lingerie and using women’s bodies as entertainment.

    What is sex not about? According to pornography, sex is not for bald men, small breasted women, older women, kind men, large women, spiritual women, thin men, disabled women, ugly men. None of those people get to have sex in pornography because there, sex is just for young, physically attractive and atypically constructed people.”

    Bev Holmes-Brown

  • Amanda, when you say ‘I don’t understand’ maybe you are sincere. I have owned 2 national award winning beauty salons so have spoken to 100’s of women. I find women are seeking attention and expect that their looks and compliance to be agreeable to sex will win them the love they seek. Nothing is further from the truth. Child abuse, whether sexual, mental is a serious flaw/dysfunction in character. Respecting your own body will cause you to respect others. Flaunting and flirting excites men that are not stable in character, they will outlet thru any form of abuse they can. I have been the victim of abuse. My child has been in the sex trade. All this was from simple beginnings, an ex-husband who delighted in porn, eg Playboy. My brother, an executive, was shocked when he heard me call Playboy porn. How ignorant the world has become. Disney movies out sell others because people want family values back, safe viewing. Because so much of the ‘other’.. is available even my brother sees it as the norm.
    Women don’t speak up because they have been bullied not to. Women have shed too many tears over so-called loving husbands who lust after what is not theirs to have.
    Children are the most unprotected. I guarantee most streets in Australia hide horror tales, I know they have been my clients.
    Ilona Sturla

  • As a mother and wife I am in agreeance with all crack down on PORN at any level. It is degrading to women and causes many problems in society. As many may not be aware, recent studies show that many men who view porn and have been unfaithful to their wives experience impotence in later life. For more information you can go to http://www.sif.org.au
    In August 2004 I was invovled in the Sexual Integrity Forum held in Parliament House in Canberra. This forum was attended by around 90 men and women from around Australia. Nearly all young women who turn to prostitution have been sexually abused as a child – often by a family member or close family friend. Nearly all perpetrators of these offenses have viewed porn. Porn is as adictive as drugs or alcohol. One young man who spoke at this forum told of how viewing porn almost led to his marriage breaking down. He also told of how his viewing led him to want to want to carry out the beastalities that he had seen.
    Another startling fact that we learnt at the forum was that it only takes the brain 0.25 of a second take a snap shot and file away the view in the memory. This can never be erased and can cause many problems in the person’s life.
    Women whose husbands/partners regularly look at porn often feel betrayed. So don’t tell me that it doesn’t affect whole families.
    We ourselves have fostered children who have been damaged by the effects of pornography. It is disgusting and I don’t know of any women who approves of pornography in any form.
    Children and families need to be protected from this in all areas. I don’t believe that the Federal Government has gone anywhere near far enough with the crack down this week but it is a start.
    Wanda Taylor

  • Bill,

    The list of depictions that you claimed are allowed in the current X18+ video classification is in fact from 1984. The guidelines were drastically changed to a far more restricted classification in the 1990s.

    You’ll find that this material is now just as I stated – nothing you wouldn’t do in your own bedroom.

    Since your article is based on a mistaken understanding of this material, I think you need to retract it.

    Amanda O’Hara, NSW

  • Amanda (O’Hara), You wrote to me: “Nowhere in any of these postings can I see any evidence supporting Bill’s assertion that child abuse is related to the availability of X-rated adult videos. In case none of you are aware, this material is “soft-core”, i.e. normal sex between consenting adults. Anything else is banned by the classification censors.”

    I produced an example of summary research from the New Scientist, but you don’t want to believe that.

    I’m a counselling manager for a large Australian counselling organisation and have been engaged in youth and family counselling for the last 30 years. I cannot confidentially tell you of the men who have raped children and women after watching what you consider is “paternalistic attitudes and wowser mentality.”

    You wrote: ” Personally I don’t have a problem if people wish to view this material. It is simply people enjoying consensual sex, and that presents a lot less danger to the world than the macho violence, killing and warmongering that we routinely allow in mainstream movies.”

    You are dead wrong, Amanda. Those who watch “normal sex between consenting adults” on videos/DVD, like those coming out of Canberra, are raping women and children after being sensually primed by this porn. I do the case studies. With respect, your position is refuted by my case studies and research around the world.

    I’m not a prude or wowser, but it is your kind of attitude to “soft-core” porn that concerns me. You don’t see what stimulation this gives to men who will sexually abuse women and children (and sodomise some men).

    I agree with you that for far too many conservative churches, there is a put down of women and a demeaning view when men are promoted for ministry and women prevented. I object to this view also. See my articles online, “Must women never teach in the church?” and “Women in ministry: An overview of some biblical passages.”

    This kind of statement seems to reveal your naiveté: “Let women speak for themselves if they are offended by adult video material.” I as a male involved in long-term family counselling, have a duty of care to women and children who are abused by men who are sexually primed by what you consider is ” a lot less danger to the world than the macho violence, killing and warmongering that we routinely allow in mainstream movies.”

    I agree that the mainstream violence and killing needs to be opposed. However, you under-estimate the impact of X-rated porn out of Canberra.

    You told Bill that “I’ve double-checked my source and I stand by my comments about Reisman. She is an anti-pornography crusader, and that automatically means her conclusions are biased.” Are you saying that your view on X-rated porn videos coming out of Canberra is unbiased?

    I beg to differ. For the safety of the women and children who are sexually abused by men who have been primed for sexual exploitation by X-rated videos, I will not remain silent. Am I biased? Certainly! But it’s based on the case work from 30 years of family counselling and an examination of the research.

    Sincerely, Spencer Gear, Qld.

  • Gidday Amanda (O’Hara)

    Thanks for taking time to express your thoughts. This is indeed an important issue. it’s good for all of us to really think about what we do believe and why, rather than believing what the media or culture around us pushes us to believe. I appreciate forums like CultureWatch which allow us to dialogue on such significant issues. I must say though, I am somewhat surprised by your statement: “Let women speak for themselves if they are offended by adult video material. Not many do, and I think it’s because most women (Christian or otherwise) have a more mature attitude than men on these matters.”

    I am scratching my head to think if I have actually met a women personally (clearly I have ‘met’ you online now!)- be it in over a decade in the corporate world, in my life as mother, daughter, sister or in a wide range of activities in the community that has ever expressed the firm belief that they are supportive of pornography or that even have seriously tried to argue that it is harmless to the causes of women and children. I certainly appreciate your right to your opinion, but all I can speak of is my own experience with women and iIam simply yet to run across the same opinion personally. So I guess I’ll take your invitation to speak up and state as ‘a woman’ that I am not ok with pornography. I do believe that women are degraded when they are portrayed as sexual objects via any media. There are enough ‘statistics’ (let alone just common sense applied) to show that there is a connection between sexual and violent offences and pornography (no need to repeat what has been stated above by people like Bev, Jane and Patti, etc).

    I have two beautiful daughters (only 2.5 and 4.5 yrs old at this stage). My husband and I actively teach them every day that they are very precious special individuals. Although the culture around them tells them they are sexual objects and their worth is how they ‘look’, we are doing our best to teach them that this is not where their worth comes from but in the fact they are created in the image of the Creator. Their value and dignity is in WHO they are inside.

    Amanda, I am not sure if you have children, or might have them in the future. Can I ask you seriously, honestly… how would you feel about your own daughters being in any kind of pornography – ‘soft’ as you call it, or other?

    Thanks to ANY man or woman who has the guts to stand up to this garbage that is pervading our society.

    Kerryn Zwag

  • Thanks again Amanda

    While the Commonwealth Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 does tone things down a bit, the stories featured here about the horrible experiences of women demonstrates that this rubbish is still widely available and still doing great harm. Thus there is nothing to be retracted. X18+ films would still, on a regular basis, feature women having sex with multiple partners and so on. It is disingenuous at best to suggest that X18+ films are simply movies about couples making love. They portray women as sex objects, pure and simple; as insatiable, available and promiscuous. Why are you in support of such trash, Amanda? What is your real agenda here?

    And the fact that you are not able to gainsay these (female) comments speaks volumes about how ideology is driving you, not the evidence. Just whose interests are you representing here, Amanda?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • If the vast majority of women are opposed to porn (and I hope that is true) along with a significant number of sensible men, then perhaps there is some hope that the tide can be turned back on this flood of pornography.

    We need to overcome this absurd belief that people should be able to ‘watch whatever they want in the privacy of their own homes’.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  • Personally, I have my doubts that this Amanda O’Hara is a woman. She is probably masquerading as one just to stir up argument to which she is not paying any attention to. No offense, Amanda, I just haven’t met you face-to-face, you know what I mean? I’m referring to the extension of porn that lures children on the internet, masquerading as another.

    Or if Amanda O’Hara is for real as a woman, she must have a porn man/male behind her paying her wage. Yes, that’s the sort of denial that I’m in, that any woman can hold the stance that she claims to hold.

    At least the dialogue is valuable and we can hope that teachable people will be taking note of the facts. A lot of bullying to deny the facts happens out there. Like research that won’t get printed because it goes against the “party” line.

    This issue holds more weight with the men we have here who are denouncing porn, because “most” (hyperbole, is it?) men’s brains have been turned to mush watching the stuff. My ex-brother-in-law for one. And of course, he couldn’t just watch it himself; he had to pass it on to the other brother-in-law, and his nepew as a minor, and of course use his company computer to do so during company time. That risks turning the whole company to mush if there are others doing the same. At least his department will suffer for lapses in brain time.

    Rebecca Field

  • Amanda O Hara
    I am afraid that your challenge about women was hard to resist. You argue that Bill is wrong about the type of content in X rated material in Australia. You also insist that is merely depicts the kinds of normal sex we would have in our bedroom with our husband. Amanda, I have had the misfortune to sit through a typical X rated porn flick and to research the catalogue of a prominent retailer in this country. I have also seen some content that has been refused classification in Australia and some extremely distressing depicitons of sexualised violence in R-rated films. Australian law stipulates that to be granted an X classification it must depict consensual adult sexual acts and there must be no violence, sexualised violence or any depicitons of degradation or extreme fetishes that are offensive. Certain fetishes have been specifically ruled out. Under current rules, violence can be symbolised so that depictions of participants slapping themselves is allowed. Some “mild” depicitons of some allowable fetishes are allowed and might include playing with sharp stilletos, or the hinting of bondage with loose ribbons etc. Male participants are frequently depicted holding the heads of women and to me it looked like it was an application of pressure under the pretense of holding the woman’s hair. Women participants are required to work extremely hard physically and to feign arousal for long periods of time.
    This porn is for male consumption and feeds fantasies about women’s constant sexual craving and desire for coerced or casual sex. Go and have a look at the catalogues on adultshop.com’s site and see that 95% of the collection is aimed at men. Look at the promotional language that accompanies each title and you will find that women are not respected by male porn consumers and certainly not by those who make this garbage. Amanda, do you feel that it is good to see women referred to as fresh meat? How about slut? Do you think that you would like to be gangbanged or stuffed, ripped open or left gaping? I am sorry to be so frank but I feel that many of the defenders of porn in this country simply must not know what they are defending. Do you think it is good that mainstream porn purveyors in this country traffick in content that openly encourages men to lust after young teenagers. This is of course just the legal stuff in Australia. This legal trade whets men’s appetites for more perverse stuff and it is easliy obtained now becasue of the internet. Adultshop.com laments that some of its DVD titles have had to be cut slightly to satisfy our censors – you could take that as an affront to liberal values or you could wonder just how bad the content had to be to warrant refusal.
    Out there in the big international porn industry there is a steadily growing market for child porn using trafficked children. There is a growing market for rape films and depicitons of extreme cruelty and actual violence being inflicted on women. Again many of the women in these depictions were trafficked.
    What about the effects of watching porn? Don’t you worry what changes might occur in the attitudes and behaviours of men who watch this kind of extreme material. Law enforcement and mental health workers are concerned about that. There is in fact growing evidence of escalating child sex abuse linked to extreme porn.
    But there are also links to child sex abuse in relation to mainstream X rated material. Some people put little kids in front of it for a laugh, some do it to groom them and some are so addled by drugs and alcohol that they simply dont care whether their kids see this stuff or not. The end result is a worrying upsurge in kids abusing other kids sexually or being abused themselves by adults.
    What about women in the community? Amanda, have a look at a few blogs on the subject and you may get a sense of the growing disquiet in the community about how porn is ripping marriages and relationships apart.
    Men are rendered impotent and incapable relationally and can become addicted. Naomi Wolf recently wrote about how women can no longer compete.
    Some women are talking about how they are pressured to watch porn so that they can mimic the moves and the activities with their partners. Some women talk about increased anger and violence in their relationships becasue pornography.
    There is important research going on about neurobiological changes that are occuring in porn users and it is likely that porn addiction will be recognised as a problem in the near future.
    Amanda, the porn industry is not engaged in philanthropy. They aggressively market their products and push for greater market access and share. Doesnt it disturb you that the internet is full of purveyors trying to suck young boys and teenagers into a porn habit. Doesn’t it worry you that they are not satsified with Australia’s liberal censorship regime.
    In the meantime there is a decent body of reputable research all pointing in the direction of concluding that porn consumption is harmful and that it does shift attitudes in a bad way. Increased propensity to excuse rape, increased propensity to judge harshly rape victims are some of the measured outocmes. Interestingly porn consumers lose their desire to have kids and especially to have daughters. I think I could hazard some guesses as to why.
    Angela Conway

  • Amanda (O’Hara),

    To illustrate the impact of x-video porn coming out of Canberra, I presented this evidence to a Senate committee examining the impact of x-videos in 2000, as one of the worst that one of the counsellors whom I supervised had encountered:

    “One sexual abuse perpetrator would play the kids X videos and then watch the videos—and will you note they are plural?—with them. He tortured the boys, who are aged 10 and 11, into having sex with his wife while he watched the encounters. As he threatened them, he made them use marijuana by blowing marijuana smoke down their throats. He performed bondage on them, threatened to cut out the boys’ genitals if they did not perform sexually with his wife and then he sodomised and molested them himself sexually. It was not only sexual intercourse that he asked the boys to perform; he required them to carry out his kinds of sexual tricks on his wife. He made the children have sex with one another while he watched. And, as I said, he sodomised them. Three girls and two boys in this one family were all sexually abused by one man, and he had intercourse with the girls from eight years and upwards. One of these five children has already sexually abused another child” (available from: http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/senate/commttee/s898.pdf).

    Your misrepresentation of the impact of x-video porn must be challenged.

    Sincerely, Spencer Gear, Qld.

  • Bill and others,

    While my comments seem to have drawn a remarkable number of lurkers into the forum, I still see very little evidence of a link between X-rated videos and child abuse, which was the thesis of Bill’s article. Spencer’s comments today are an exception, but clearly the Senate Committee was not convinced by his submission, since they did not recommended a ban. I have looked up the report of this Committee, and their comments on that matter were:
    “While the Committee was concerned by accounts of the effects of the use of such material, the Committee believes that the restriction of videos would have a minimal effect on such persons. Their behaviour reflects much more serious problems, including a lack of awareness of the consequences of their actions, and apparent indifference to community standards of sexual behaviour and treatment of children.”

    I also note that it is already a criminal offence under state law to show X-rated material to children.

    It is clear that everyone on this list has a religiously-based “moral issue” with X-rated material, so why not be honest and simply state that as the objection from the outset, instead of hiding behind the “protect the children” mantra?

    People commenting here have questioned my morality and have attempted to portray my views as a betrayal of women. However my views are no different from that held by 73% of the population, according to surveys quoted to the Senate Committee, and no different from that of the federal government. To quote again from the Committee report:
    “The issue of access to material must necessarily take into account the preferences of some parts of the community, and the legislation seeks to do so: ‘there are not considered sufficient grounds, as a matter of public policy, to deny adults generally the freedom to access non-violent sexually explicit videos if they so wish.’ [quote from Explanatory Memorandum]. Thus the Government has sought to ‘balance conflicting views and to arrive at an acceptable solution to a difficult issue.’ [quote from Second Reading speech]”.

    Some here have accused me of promoting pornography, which is simply untrue. All I have said was that I don’t have a problem with other adults viewing this material. To further clarify my position, I don’t have any interest personally in this material, but that doesn’t mean I should support a campaign to stop others from accessing it.

    I find it curious that Bill and others here often proclaim their support for a culture that is free from government interference, and conservative Christian groups are known to oppose gun control. These views seem at odds with the current call for the government to increase its already restrictive censorship regime.

    The current classification laws recognise that different age groups need to be shielded from various types of content. Sexual references in various media therefore allow progressively more explicit depictions from MA15+ to R18+ to X18+. These classifications have arisen out of many years of government inquiries and community consultation, and the end result is that Australia now has one of the most restrictive censorship systems in the Western world. Yet it is still not enough for any of you. Do you want to take us to the extreme laws about sexual activity that exists in many Islamic countries? Perhaps our women should all be required to wear the burqa so that Bill is not offended by the shapely bosoms of television newsreaders.

    Criticisms about the portrayal of casual sex and promiscuity could equally be applied to the lower film classifications. And I maintain that it is hypocritical to say little or nothing about explicit violence and murder, i.e. criminal acts, that are routinely depicted on our TV screens, yet to get worked up about sex between consenting adults. Sometimes I wonder if some of you want sex outside marriage to be criminalised.

    Further to my comments about Reisman, Bill asks “Why is it that you are not biased while she is?”. Well of course I’m biased, as is everyone here. But Bill, you quoted Reisman as a source of research to support your own biased viewpoint. My response was simply affirming that if you want to convince anyone that your subjective opinion is supported by facts, those facts need to be based on independent objective research. Your quoting of Richard Read’s statement is also questionable, since those words were published in 1992, long before the film classifications were overhauled in 1995 and again in 2000. They therefore apply to material that is no longer legally available here.

    Finally, comments have been made here suggesting I have a problem with God. All I said was that I left a conservative Christian church. I haven’t said anything here about my beliefs, but I will say that I am most definitely not a fundamentalist. I presume that means that some will say that I am not a “real Christian”. My retort would be that making harsh judgments about others you don’t know is not the act of a “real Christian” either.

    Amanda O’Hara, NSW

  • Thanks Amanda

    You have made two main points throughout: lack of evidence, and bias on our part.

    As to the evidence, there has been a truckload of it just in the comments on this post alone, both empirical evidence and anecdotal evidence. Yet it is clear you have chosen to reject the evidence because of your ideological agenda. It is clear you have made up your mind on this issue, and no amount of truth or evidence will sway you. So why should anyone bother listening to you?

    As to bias, two things: it is clear you are biased on this, since you suppress the truth to justify your pornophilia. Second, why does religion disqualify one from making objective statements on this issue? Given that you are hinting at being religious yourself, are you not disqualified as well, according to your own take on this? In which case, why do you keep going on and on, since yours is therefore just a lot of opinionated hot air?

    And your furphies about gun control and the like are just that: furphies, red herrings and straw men. Because you cannot come up with any evidence to support your case, you have to go off on silly tangents which have nothing to do with the discussion.

    Your comments have simply been one long pro-pornography crusade, and you still hide from us your real motives, your real agenda, and perhaps even your real paymaster. You claim we are making statements about someone we don’t know, but that is simply because you have been so good at hiding your real agenda, and why it is you are so beholden to the sex industry’s propaganda.

    Every time you raise an objection, to which we provide solid answers, you do not acknowledge that you were wrong, but simply persist in your refusal to face the truth or deal with the facts. It is one thing to discuss issues with an honest enquirer, but something else to deal with someone who is simply pushing an agenda, and closed to the truth.

    We are happy to discuss these issues with any one who is genuinely open and seeking. It is up to you to decide whether you fall into that camp or not.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Well done Bill!

    What fascinates me is that, in the case in question of mistreatment of aboriginal children, action is being taken against porn because the corollary is so obvious.

    Yet, as you point out so well, the corollary is no-less obvious in the general community. Why no action here?

    It is probably fair to say that the problems as evidenced in the inquiry into the plight of aboriginal children has highlighted an offence-rate well above that of the Australian community in general. While this has prompted a justifiable and immediate response from the government, I cannot accept the PM’s reasoning (or lack of) that the ban on porn should not be extended to the whole community.

    Offences of this type to any child’s innocence and dignity cannot be tolerated. We cannot say that we want to protect one part of the community and not another. Indeed, this could give rise, at some point, to a suit based on lack of due care. We could well see an abused child lay claim that his or her right to be protected (as demonstrated in aboriginal communities) was neglected through inconsistent government policy.

    Paul Russell, SA

  • Dear Amanda O’Hara,

    It does seem clear that you really are not at all interested in listening. You are decided on your pro-pornography stance which causes such damage in our society, including to children (despite your remarkable attempts to deny any link), and I am sure we will not change your mind. You can try and justify this disgusting material all you like, but if you allowed your conscience to take a breath you would know immediately that you are being dishonest with yourself, and with your Creator. Ultimately you only fool yourself.

    Can I suggest to the genuine, honest and sensible contributors to this forum that we as a community make some sort of a stand against pornography. The situation will only get worse if we do nothing. One possibility (apart from prayer and to keep writing to the politicians), could be to boycott your local corner stores and video stores if they sell pornography (most of them do).

    If we all wrote a letter, or spoke to them, stating politely that we will not be frequenting their stores again until they withdraw all their pornographic material maybe some will listen. If not, we have at least tried, which is something we owe to God, to our children, and to society.

    Craig Manners, Victoria

    ps Good point Paul. This NT disgrace requires that we as a community press the authorities to extend a ban on pornography to the whole community. The link has now officially been made between pornography and child abuse, so the government surely must act nationally.

  • I think that the fundamentalist religious wowsers who seem to dominate this thread need to come clean with the fact that married religious people are, on average, wealthier, have higher sexual satisfaction, better education, better general health, etc than any other group – and that numerous studies have documented this over centuries. So are you trying to say that we would be better off in all respects if we value marriage, religion and freedom from porn?
    Peter Newland

  • It is SO disappointing to hear the ATSIC and other howlers trying so hard to demonize Howard. Honestly, if THEY are not culpably inept and negligent, then who is?

    ATSIC, the NT government and other agencies have had plenty of time (and funding) to address these issues and it’s completely reasonable that the Federal Government should now (and finally) step in.

    After all the screaming and yelling is over, how does ATSIC, some of the church groups, the NT Government and others explain their dismal failure?! Come on!

    Alister Cameron, Bayswater VIC

  • We could always look at this another way. Amanda is quite rightly concerned that television and videos portraying violence have an impact on the viewer – it desensitizes people for sure. So if this is true – why wouldn’t pornography have an affect too since it is not about loving consensual sex between couples, but about domination and control of one gender over another and the commodification of women’s surgically altered bodies.

    Pornography evokes a strong sexual reaction in the viewer, sometimes even in people who are strongly morally opposed to pornography. It is designed to evoke this reaction. As already demonstrated by people on this forum, the more violent and misogynistic pornography are the types that are most popular. What is this combination of sex and violence teaching men about women? Are we to believe that a man who picks up a copy of “meat holes” is then going to look at his wife or girlfriend with utmost respect? I had read of one study that demonstrated that porn viewers were most likely to be less sympathetic to rape victims than non porn viewers.

    Considering that there is a lot of porn that depicts adult women as teenagers or even children, one would assume that this is also what sells. Why would a man want to be aroused by someone who looks like a child? What does this say about his attitude to children?

    We certainly are being desensitised as a community, judges are being more and more sympathetic to pedophiles. I found this article today, Bill I hope you don’t mind me posting it:

    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,21989078-5003402,00.html

    Another article I read recently was about a judge who let a man off from having sex with a 10 year old girl because she was wearing “provocative” clothing. What more evidence do we need? If porn isn’t causing the increase in abuse of women and children, what is? Do the pornophiles also deny a link between smoking and lung cancer?

    Melinda Liszewski

  • Thanks Bill for your comments. Just thought I should say something about the situation here. I live in an aboriginal community in Arnhem Land (north Australia). A question someone asked me was….If we weren’t Aboriginals, if it were a different minority group, would the Government be sending police? Or welfare workers? An interesting question. Having said that, many are welcoming the arrival of police (they have been asking for it for years) – but are afraid that their children will be taken away from them. But where will they put the extra police? Our community like many is overcrowded with little housing – 3-4 families in a house (ripe for some family member to be involved in child abuse). We have to get a policeman from Manigreda to come to our community – and although we have had airplane fuel stolen for the past 2 years – they only arrived once: this December when 17 houses were broken into (young people looking for alcohol!). In one community it was reported has 200 people and only 17 houses! The aboriginals don’t like the removal of the permit system as it is the only way they can have control over what Balanda (white men) come. The adage that the white people in these communities are either ‘missionaries, misfits, or mercenaries’ is very true. It is so difficult to keep nurses beyond 6 months, and teachers beyond a year as they are here to get the big salary so they can go home and buy a house. And the misfits don’t cope anywhere else to these communities are lumped with them. Although there is an alcohol ban, it is often the whites bringing in the alchol for their own usage – then their house gets broken into because of the grog and the whole community suffers. Communities can kick these people out by simply revoking their permit – whereas they need proof that the person in bringing in alcohol or marajuana etc. All the Government has to do is to say that Govenrment personel have exemptions from the permit system – don’t open up these communities too wide – they are already being exploited by carpetbag tourists, drug/alchohol runners! More police might help. But most importantly, talking with the communities and seeing what they want/need. And about the porno – it comes from the ACT! With the alcohol and porno – people may know it is banned in these communities but because it isnt ‘totally illegal’ as such, business send them to the communities anyway to make a profit.
    Catharine Carpenter

  • To add to above comment:The short of everything i’ve said is that – The Government throws a lot of money into these communities to provide services but a lot of it is wasted as most government plans/policies here are short-sighted and only last 1-2 years (whether the plan works or not). The fundamental thing missing in many services is the use of an interpreter to ensure everyone understand what is going on and avoid misunderstandings. An example was yesterday – a medical personel flew specially to the community to teach first aid. The person spoke in English, with no interpreter, and extremely fast. Even an English-speaker would have had trouble understanding him! And what was taught was not tailored to the community – ie., get the person to hospital here would mean to ring up the Aeromed plane and hope they come quickly. But yes, the Government did provide the service (medical). The same goes with the teaching programs at school – no long term funding to equip Aboriginals to become teachers. Programs here are not conducted in the way people can best understand – and are very open for misunderstandings.
    Catharine Carpenter

  • Dear Amanda (O’Hara),

    Thank you for your detailed response. You stated: “It is clear that everyone on this list has a religiously-based ‘moral issue’ with X-rated material, so why not be honest and simply state that as the objection from the outset, instead of hiding behind the ‘protect the children’ mantra?”

    Since I have provided you with evidence from my counselling experience and because I am a committed Christian, you state that my evidence is invalid because my world-and-life-view is “religiously-based” and is a “moral issue.” In your statement against those with “a religiously-based ‘moral issue'”, you have committed a genetic logical fallacy. You do not want to accept the evidence of those of us who are Christian and come from a moral base because it is “religiously-based.” We cannot have a logical discussion about this issue when you commit this type of logical fallacy.

    Whether I am Christian or atheistic is irrelevant to this discussions. Where does the evidence lead? Research and anecdotal evidence lead to a link between exposure to pornography and sexual abuse. Therefore, I urge you not to use any logical fallacy when attempting to build your argument.

    You quote again from the Committee report: “The issue of access to material must necessarily take into account the preferences of some parts of the community, and the legislation seeks to do so” . . . This is a fallacious argument because it founders on the “preferences of some parts of the community.” If the consensus grows to support paedophilia, to be consistent, the government should support paedophilia because of the “preferences of some parts of the community.”

    This is a classical example of what happens when human generated preferences are allowed to dictate terms against absolutes. If the government were serious about eliminating sexual abuse against all people and not just indigenous children in the Northern Territory, it would take the evidence seriously and ban x-videos and provide hefty fines for those who import it. I admit that it would be a challenge to control such with the influence of the www.

    You wrote: “Some here have accused me of promoting pornography, which is simply untrue. All I have said was that I don’t have a problem with other adults viewing this material.”

    Whether I were an atheistic or Christian counsellor, I would have major problems with adults viewing this x-material because my counselling experience shows that there is a clear link between viewing x-videos and raping children. Of course, my Christian world-and-life-view reinforces the problems associated with sexual immorality in one’s thinking processes, as well as in physical action.

    I urge you to quit your use of a genetic logical fallacy so that we can have a rational discussion based on the evidence.

    Sincerely, Spencer Gear, Qld.

  • To the embattled Amanda,

    I will grant your wish and admit that my objection to porn is firstly based upon my Christian beliefs. No doubt your own approval of porn is based upon your own religious beliefs – so what is the difference then? Is it just one subjective opinion versus another? Not at all. Unlike your view, the Christian view happens to be consistent with reality – that wide-spread consumption of porn leads to a dysfunctional society. There is no other credible conclusion.

    And you are wrong in claiming that conservative Christian groups “often proclaim their support for a culture that is free from government interference”. We never say that. That would be anarchy. What we do say is that governments should not go beyond their biblical mandate which is to restrain evil (Romans 13). So as far as it is practical for a government to do so, evil or wrongdoing should be punished and good rewarded. Unfortunately what we often find today is governments doing the reverse – rewarding evil as in legalising and funding abortion, and punishing good as in penalising those who actively try to stop it (e.g. Graham Preston).

    And to answer your other question – do “some of you want sex outside marriage to be criminalised”? I would answer yes in some cases. We had such laws in the past and I think our society would be a healthier one if we still had them.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  • Readers may be interested in a CMI article on the aboriginal child sex abuse issue:
    National emergency in Australia

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  • Amanda O’Hara,

    Your point is valid: “Criticisms about the portrayal of casual sex and promiscuity could equally be applied to the lower film classifications.” My experience as a youth and family counsellor provides extensive evidence of the damage done to the internals of human beings (whether one wants to call it the psyche or the soul) by casual and promiscuous sex.

    I have often spoken out about the damage done to individuals and relationships by promiscuity. Surely in this day and age the prevalence of HIV-AIDS, hepatitis C, and sexually transmitted diseases, should be antidotes of prevention against loose sexual relationships. They aren’t. Thank you for the reminder that we need to be more active in our highlighting the damage done to individuals by “casual sex and promiscuity” portrayed in films.

    Again, you are correct when you “maintain that it is hypocritical to say little or nothing about explicit violence and murder, i.e. criminal acts, that are routinely depicted on our TV screens.” I cannot speak for others, but I have been active down through the years in speaking out against the violence and criminal acts portrayed on film and TV.

    However, you commit another logical fallacy by erecting a straw man when you state: “. . . yet to get worked up about sex between consenting adults.” The issue that Bill raised is not simply about “sex between consenting adults,” but such sex portrayed in x-videos and used to stimulate adults to commit illegal acts (rape, sexual abuse) against women and children.

    You stated: “Sometimes I wonder if some of you want sex outside marriage to be criminalised.” What evidence has been stated in this thread that leads you to wonder in this way? I have not been stating this.

    Sincerely, Spencer Gear, Qld.

  • Bill, Spencer and others,

    I wish you wouldn’t read meanings into my words that aren’t there. Regarding Spencer’s claims of “genetic logical fallacy”, I did not state that religiously motivated moral viewpoints disqualify anyone from having an opinion. I said that all of the correspondents here had “moral issues” with pornography in general, based on their religious belief. My point was, and I thought I had explained it clearly enough, that most of the writers here want X-rated videos banned because they object to the sexual content, not because they have any evidence of an association with child abuse. That is a perfectly legitimate opinion to hold, and so is mine.

    If you go back to Bill’s article, he is claiming an association between X18+ videos and child abuse in the general community, yet he has shown that he didn’t have the faintest idea what kind of material is currently permitted in this classification. And Bill, the so-called “evidence” you have presented is not valid because it does not relate to the restricted content that is permitted in Australian X18+ videos.

    Furthermore many of the arguments presented here are based on hearsay and claimed personal anecdotes. This kind of argument wouldn’t stand up in a junior high school debate. Have you ever participated in a live debate Bill? I don’t think you’d last 5 minutes because your argument style is based on arrogant and opinionated rhetoric rather than logic and reason. How about arguing your case on its merits instead of engaging in ad hominem attacks on me?

    As for Peter’s claim that “married religious people are, on average, wealthier, have higher sexual satisfaction, better education, better general health, etc than any other group”, I’d like to see the evidence. Google searches that I have done reveal independent studies showing the exact opposite, particularly among fundamentalists.

    Finally, my objection to the arguments presented here is one that I have with fundamentalism in general. Conservative religion is far too concerned with the private behaviour of others and trying to force society at large to comply with your opinion. I prefer the “live and let live” approach in such matters, in the absence of independent evidence of harm. Numerous inquiries over many years by both conservative and Labor governments have also failed to produce such evidence.

    Amanda O’Hara, NSW

  • You are wrong Amanda O’Hara.

    I believe that a cow is a cow because it is a cow. I believe that a pig is a pig because it is a pig. I believe that media that encourage men to use and abuse their babysitters and leave them ruined wrecks is a social ill. I believe that anybody that has to have this explained to them is not very bright.
    Marie Douglas

  • Amanda O’Hara, at the very least, you simply presume way too much about the political and religious views of those contributing to this debate. But you also ignore, in the interests of trying to box contributors, the range of nuances, experiences and sensibilities they are bringing to this discussion. I have raised quite a number of facts about pornography and I think it is fair to say that I would have done so whether I was Christian or athiest. Indeed, my presentation on the realities of porn reflects my feminist sensibilities.
    Surely you must be aware of an extensive and long running Feminist critique of pornography mostly conducted by women who are athiests or agnostics? Or perhaps you would just prefer to remain appallingly ignorant?
    I think that you must know very little about the range of views and schools of thought within Christianity about a range of issues. But perhaps it is simply convenient to keep you eyes tight shut.

    Amanda, are you aware that this Pope and the last has indicated on numerous occasions that they can not see how the current Iraq War can be accomodated within the Catholic Church’s teaching on Just (or moral) War? DId you know that the Catholic Church has an extensive series of encyclicals setting out Catholic Social Principles (ie. what principles ought to underpin social, economic and political structures). Are you aware that in this Social Teaching Tradition, both Communism and Radical Capitalism have been condemend for treating human beings as merely pawns available for exploitation for other people’s ends.
    Anyone who knows anything should know that there might be a range of views on gun control in such a forum- but after all that wasnt the topic and I could hazard a guess that most here would feel that porn is a far more serious issue.
    Back to porn.
    As I said before, porn prodcers and sellers are not benevolent institutions. Instead it is better to understand them as ambitious for increasing profits and market share. They are behaving much like tobacco companies have done over the last 50 years. mindset. On the one hand we have advocates of porn who usually use language about freedom and liberalism and if their is a market then we should let it flourish. Essentially they are operating out of radical laissez faire and small l liberal sensibilities.
    One the other hand, many who want to do something about porn, recognise that legal restrictions and better social policy ought to be employed to reduce the harm.
    Angela Conway

  • Hi,
    As a child I was sexually abused by another (slightly older) child because of pornography left lying around. This necessitated years (on and off) of counselling for the effects of it and an unhealthy addiction in the past for porn. Thank God, the addiction has now gone but I can attest that women, like myself, can easily become caught up in viewing porn, just like men because of sexual abuse in their childhood.
    For me it was the result of a porn magazine being left around the house which led to a child seeing those images and wanting to try and enact what they had seen with me.
    Pornography is not just consentual sex between adults, it has a domino effect which leaves a negative impact on all lives which cross its lascivious path.
    Sarah Chapmaness

  • Thanks Amanda

    You simply confirm your credentials as an agent of the sleaze industry. You ignore the evidence, bury your head in the sand, and do not give a rip about the harmful effects of smut on children, women, men and the community as a whole.

    Nice of you to inform us of where you are coming from: a libertarian antinominian worldview which denies truth and fact in order to justify a pornophile agenda.

    It seems that you have made up your mind on this issue, and will not let your prejudices be swayed by the evidence. In which case, there is not much reason to keep this debate going. It has been all one-way traffic thus far.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Amanda O’Hara,

    You take me to task: “Regarding Spencer’s claims of ‘genetic logical fallacy’, I did not state that religiously motivated moral viewpoints disqualify anyone from having an opinion. I said that all of the correspondents here had ‘moral issues’ with pornography in general, based on their religious belief.”

    Let’s examine your statement here, “I did not state that religiously motivated moral viewpoints disqualify anyone from having an opinion.” Agreed! But you were not objecting to their having an opinion. You were objecting to the origin of their views.

    You don’t like the idea that I associated your earlier statements with a genetic logical fallacy. You were dismissing the arguments that many on this Forum were giving you, not based on what the statements actually stated (protecting people from the effects of x-videos), but based on something that you didn’t like about that person’s views. A genetic fallacy is perpetrated when the origin of a belief or idea is presented as grounds to accept or reject the idea.

    From your statement again: ‘I said that all of the correspondents here had ‘moral issues’ with pornography in general, based on their religious belief.” However, you went beyond that to reject their views because of the origin.

    Let’s go back to your earlier post from which I assessed that you were using a genetic logical fallacy. You stated: “It is clear that everyone on this list has a religiously-based ‘moral issue’ with X-rated material, so why not be honest and simply state that as the objection from the outset, instead of hiding behind the ‘protect the children’ mantra?”

    You do not want us to present the evidence of the link between x-rated material and sexual abuse of children because we come from a position of a religiously-based, moral issue. You are discounting our present evidence because you object to our religiously-based, moral world-and-life view.

    I say it again, and you don’t like it, you don’t want to accept the empirical evidence and anecdotal evidence that I presented to protect children, because you object to the origins of my belief. You have committed a genetic fallacy and you don’t like being called to account over what you have done.

    “The Genetic Fallacy is the most general fallacy of irrelevancy involving the origins or history of an idea. It is fallacious to either endorse or condemn an idea based on its past—rather than on its present—merits or demerits, unless its past in some way affects its present value. For instance, the origin of evidence can be quite relevant to its evaluation, especially in historical investigations. The origin of testimony—whether first hand, hearsay, or rumor—carries weight in evaluating it” (Fallacy Files at: http://www.fallacyfiles.org/genefall.html ).

    Sincerely,
    Spencer Gear, Qld.

  • “that most of the writers here want X-rated videos banned because they object to the sexual content, not because they have any evidence of an association with child abuse.”

    The sexual content is abusive, unnatural and degrading, this has an impact on the viewer and therefore society in general who then tend to normalise such abusive and unnatural behaviour at the expense of women – that is a problem. Are rapes and sexual assaults increasing or decreasing? Is porn use and acceptance increasing or decreasing? I’m sure you can guess the answer to that one.

    I don’t understand why something being a “moral issue” lessens the viewpoint of the person with the “issue.” I personally have a moral issue with rape and with child sexual abuse. X rated videos depict or skirt around the edges of both. I most certainly do object to the sexual content of x-rated videos because said sexual content depicts – not consentual intercourse between loving couples – but domination, control and abusive and degrading scenarios. As I have said earlier, if you look at the testimony of former adult stars they will talk about the need for muscle relaxants, local anaesthetics and lines of cocaine to cope with the demands of the scene.

    Amanda you have repeatedly said that x rated depicts consentual sex between adults – do many people need to take drugs before they engage in consentual sex with their partners? Saying that pornography = sex is like hitting someone over the head with a frypan and calling it cooking. Porn is not about sex, it is about people obtaining gratification from the domination and humiliation of another human being.

    “Conservative religion is far too concerned with the private behaviour of others and trying to force society at large to comply with your opinion.”

    “Private” is irrelevant. The fact that we are concerned with child sexual abuse and online child porn (both “private”) shows that not only is it normal to be concerned about “private” sexual behaviour, but completely necessary. If men are abusing their wives in the ways depicted in porn, to the point where their wives need narcotics to cope with it then we should be very concerned and willing to take action. There are numerous studies demonstrating a link between pornography and sexual assault available online. The question that should be asked is not “is this having an impact on children” but “what sort of impact is this having on children.” I would argue that it is child abuse in itself to put children at risk of accessing porn. Don’t they deserve a childhood?

    To ignore the evidence, anecdotal or otherwise is simply to put your head in the sand and pander to the interests of those that wish to see women abused, degraded and disposed of. Why do we want to protect sleazebags and their interests more than we do children?

    Melinda Liszewski

  • Whether invoking Jesus Christ is legitimate of not, the question is, “Are his words true?” For when, in Matt.15:19, he said “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” he was saying that our actions are a consequence of our inner disposition. From our own experience, we know this to be true. The Ten Commandments, as Christ said, were to do with controlling the heart rather than our actions; they were not designed to limit our freedom but to protect us from our own selfish and self-destructive natures. When, as has happened over the last half century, justice and righteousness are no longer informed by these Ten Commandments there has to be put in their place millions of often oppressive, unbalanced and conflicting regulations, that deal not with our hearts but our actions – just so as to keep the whole creaking show on the road. Pornography, from the softest to the hardest, is a continuum; it is like Uluru, a slippery slope, down which one bounces at an ever-increasing speed. It reduces human beings to lumps of meat. It is feeding one’s sexual appetites at someone else’s expense. The reality, irrespective of how and why, is that society, no longer controlled by God’s spirit of love, joy, peace, gentleness, patience and self-control has come under bondage to a darker, disintegrate and more brutish task master. When I hear of individuals, who were respected, often married and without any previous criminal record – not even a speeding fine- suddenly appearing in the dock, accused of some terrible sexual crime, I think “There but by the grace of God go I.”
    David Skinner, UK

  • Bill, Spencer, Melinda,

    I’m still only seeing rhetoric and opinion, not evidence. If there is any evidence of a connection between these videos and child abuse, why is it that successive Senate inquires have not found it? I have children, and I’m as concerned about child abuse as any parent, but I don’t see any evidence for the proposition. And I am talking specifically about the Australian X18+ classification, which is very mild compared with what other countries allow.

    Spencer, I don’t know you from Adam. Your anecdotes don’t constitute “evidence” unless independently verified in a proper study. Has that been done, and if so, where is it published?

    And if you are all really concerned about the abuse of children, why are none of you speaking out about the mental abuse involved in brainwashing children with the religious views of their parents? I assume the answer is that you are so convinced that you have the truth that you claim the right to impose your belief on your children. Do you therefore affirm that Muslim parents have that same right, and Jews, and atheists? Or should all children be educated about the claims of all religions, and left to decide for themselves once they reach their late teens?
    I certainly subscribe to the latter view.

    Amanda O’Hara, NSW

    P.S. Bill, I suggest you don’t use big words like “antinominian” unless you know how to spell them.

  • Amanda, even by your own “live and let live” approach you should be opposed to porn because of the damage it is clearly doing to those who consume it and to the victims of those consumers.

    And I remind you that your view is also a “religiously motivated moral viewpoint”. Prove otherwise.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  • Thanks Amanda

    But your prejudices are again showing. It is clear for all to see that you won’t allow the facts to interfere with your pro-sleaze agenda. Thus as per my commenting rules, it seems pointless to continue with someone who has made up her mind and won’t let the evidence get in the way.

    And the term which you are obviously unfamiliar with has a long heritage, being around since the Protestant Reformation, with Luther the first to employ it. And it does nicely describe where you are coming from.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Amanda, in answer to your question: “why are none of you speaking out about the mental abuse involved in brainwashing children with the religious views of their parents?” I often do this specifically regarding the brainwashing of our school children with the myth of evolution. I agree with you when you say that “all children [should] be educated about the claims of all religions”, but I presume you would excise your own religion from this, since most evolutionary humanists are ignorant of the fact that their view is as religious (even more so) than those Christians who are the primary targets of their wrath.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  • Amanda O’Hara,

    Of my input you wrote: “Spencer, I don’t know you from Adam. Your anecdotes don’t constitute ‘evidence’ unless independently verified in a proper study. Has that been done, and if so, where is it published?”

    Would you please recommend an ethics committee at any Australian university that would agree to a student conducting empirical research with a control group that addresses this research proposal: “Investigate the impact on a group of 50 adult males who are exposed to 100 hours of viewing x-rated videos out of Canberra and freely available to all adults, as to their rate of sexually abusing children, youth and adults.”

    The methodology would involve placing those men in a group for these 100 hours of viewing. There would be a control group of 50 men who had never ever viewed x-videos or any other pornography, and their rate of sexually abusing children, youth and adults.

    Follow-up studies would be needed to confirm the results or otherwise.

    Which Australian universities would give me permission to conduct this research with this kind of risk involved?

    Of course, you don’t know me. This is a blog site. Here you are pressing the genetic logical fallacy again. What has knowledge of me to do with the information I am presenting? You are correct in identifying this issue because knowing my character (honesty, integrity) is an important issue in accepting or rejecting my evidence. Thanks for reminding me of this.

    The same applies with my lack of knowledge of you and your character.

    Sincerely, Spencer Gear, Queensland

  • Dear Spencer, scientific experiments were carried out and chillingly written up by Alfred Kinsey. We merely return full circle to Bill’s original source for this article, Judith Reisman, and for whom Amanda displays as much implacable hatred, as darkness hates the light. Keep shining Spencer.
    David Skinner, UK

  • Here is a non-christian reference to the link between porn and anti-woman attitudes.

    http://www.oneangrygirl.net/myth3.html

    Melinda Liszewski

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