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Is There Proof That Pornography Is Harmful? YES!

by JoAnn Hibbert Hamilton

Our youth need to know the answer to this question because they will hear people say, "There is no harm in looking at this magazine. It's just pictures. There's no real proof that pornography is harmful." That belief is not true. Let me give you some information to help you answer this question.

Dr. Victor Cline, Professor of Psychology, noted researcher and counselor in the area of the effects of pornography states: "In the scientific world the question of pornography effects is no longer a hot issue. It's really not debated any more. The scientists and professionals are no longer 'pretending not to know.' The new pornography commission is almost redundant. (1986) Everybody knows that pornography can cause harm, it can also change people's sexual appetites, values and behavior. . . . It's a power form of education. It can also condition people into deviancy. It can also addict. There are too many articles in the scientific journals as well as current books reviewing research attesting to this for anybody to deny its effects anymore." (Pornogrpahy: A Report - An In-depth Look At The Effects or Pornography, American Family Association, P.O. Drawer 2440, Tupelo, MS 38803 p. 11)

This report is full of documented evidence. I will include here a few comments from that documented report.

"Portrayals of sex, rather than violence, leads viewers to lose respect for women and trivialize the crime of rape, a study on pornography concludes. James Weaver, a University of Kentucky communications professor who conducted the study, said his conclusions are supported by a review of research by other U.S. scholars…." according to a report by Deborah Wilson, (Ibid. 2). "Prof. Weaver was assisted in his research by Indiana University professor Dolf Zillman, an authority on the impact of pornography. Previous studies by Prof. Zillmann and Prof. Jennings Bryant of the University of Houston found that both men and women considered rape a less violent act after they were exposed to non-violent pornography, and men became more callous toward women."

"A 1984 study by Dolf Zillmann of the University of Indiana and Jennings Bryant of the University of Houston found evidence that shows an exposure to non-violent pornography leads to an increased interest in violent porn." It also creates a taste for porn that portrays less commonly practiced sexual activities, including those involving the infliction of pain." In Zillman and Bryant's research featured in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology (Vol. 18, 1988) it revealed that repeated exposure to pornography results in a decreased satisfaction with one's sexual partner, with the partner's sexuality, with the partner's sexual curiosity, a decrease in the valuation of faithfulness, and a major increase in the importance of sex without attachment." (Ibid.)

Facts surfaced in a carefully researched l983 study by sociologists Murray Straus and Larry Baron at the University of New Hampshire, that there is "an unusually high correlation between sex magazine readership and the rape rate."

Dr. Jennings Bryant, head of the radio-television school of communication at the University of Houston said that exposure to so-called "soft" pornography (that which is found on the covers of magazines in many stores) has greater effects than most people realize. He states on p. 3 of this report: "We're finding proof that this (less violent) stuff is doing harm, and something has to be done about it." Dr. Bryant's study finds that men and women who are exposed to non-violent pornography have altered views about the roles of family, marriage and morals in society.

This report states that Chicago police have found an even stronger link between sexual abuse and child pornography. James B. Check, a professor at the University of York in Ontario, Canada, found in 1985 that youth between the ages of 12 and 17 had the highest interest in pornographic material and were its prime viewers. Sellers of pornography target them because, as Mark Kastleman states in his book, The Drug of the New Millennium, youth have 20 times the testosterone of an adult and so they are much more quickly affected as they see sexual images.

This report also illustrates how rape decreases when porn is removed.

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