My Brain Made Me Do It

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Over at STATS.org, Rebecca Goldin rips into ABC's incredibly lame coverage of anti-porn activism:

In one of the most biased pieces on pornography we've seen by the mainstream media, ABC says that some activists are "raising funds for high-tech brain research that they hope will fuel lawsuits against porn magnates," and then quotes one activist who says "we'll demonstrate in the not-too-distant future the actual physical harm that pornography causes." They leave this scientific question dangling before the reader, as an assured reality that a link will be found given funding for the high-tech research. The main expert quoted to support the view that "you're damaging your brain" by consuming porn is… (drum roll) an auto executive.

Throughout the ABC piece, activists argue that porn is not only dangerous, but powerfully addictive—so much so that we can't possibly expect men to resist its pull without federal help. The evidence? They're still hashing that out. But as a self-described former porn "addict" explains:

"Sometimes it's not a matter of free will…It's a matter of invasion."

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  1. Does this make Jenna Jameson a terrorist?

  2. Is there a study about the addictive properties of network news? Or at least the obsessive/compulsive beliefs of those that watch them.
    News stations spend millions promoting themselves as the ONE SOURCE YOU NEED TO WATCH. Their viewership drops and porn poularity increases.
    Hmmm.

  3. “Sometimes it’s not a matter of free will…It’s a matter of invasion.”

    So porn stars are aliens?

  4. Porn is highly addictive, and life-altering. Look what happened to the Carpet Humper, once a respected, God-fearing man.

  5. Porn is not addictive.

    I quit at least once every day.

  6. Whenever people say men shouldn’t be left to their own judgment, it’s insulting. …but whether this is more insulting to men or women is an open question, I think. Sure, they’re suggesting that men are completely powerless, but aren’t they also suggesting that female sexuality is inherently evil and destructive?

  7. Porn is not addictive.

    I quit at least once every day.

  8. Sure, they’re suggesting that men are completely powerless, but aren’t they also suggesting that female sexuality is inherently evil and destructive?

    Yes and yes. Funny how all the women’s empowerment people believe in women’s ability to do anything except manage their own sex lives. Objectification ain’t so bad. Personally, I like it when my girlfriend objectifies me.

  9. Yeah, Ken Schultz, it is incredibly insulting to men. Reminds me of that stuff I’ve heard rationalizing that women need to keep themselves covered up, because they emit sexy-rays which cause men to lose control of themselves. It’s like people are being treated as infants. Disgusting.

  10. Someone needs to commission a brainscan study of puritanical prohibitionists to see how their brain chemistry changes when they’re getting up on the soap box about regulating stuff like booze, tobacco, drugs, guns, porn, or fast food.

  11. It’s always fun to see people with a cause and lots of money go ape-shit, but this is really a fight they can’t win. If, somehow, porn production gets banned in the US, it’ll just open up the international market even more.

    But I can’t see someone with as much money and power as Hef get pushed out of business. So the crusaders are just buying a pre-fabricated study. Then all the church pulpits in America will beam the good news, and pick off the weakest-willed.

  12. what is up with comment posting today?

    posting fails or takes many minutes to complete.

  13. “research that they hope will fuel lawsuits against porn magnates”

    Are there any porn magnates these days? My websurfing suggests to me that porn is becoming more and more of a cottage industry.

  14. what is up with comment posting today?

    posting fails or takes many minutes to complete

    Perfectly normal for this forum. The server gets overwhelming quickly. Hence the inside joke about the “Reason Server Squirrels (or hamsters)”.

  15. Err, overwhelmed, not overwhelming.

  16. When Reason Pillow Girl disappears from Hit and Run, the terrorists will have won.

  17. Is porn more or less addicting than Meth?

  18. ‘Are there any porn magnates these days? My websurfing suggests to me that porn is becoming more and more of a cottage industry.”

    *ahem*

  19. Okay, I’m a Mormon. I don’t watch porn (as I once told my wife, I’d rather play hockey than watch it). I don’t want my kids to watch it, either. But I’ve also been in the military, so I do know what real porn is, thank you.

    Having said all that, I am speechless when I read crap like this. For cryin’ out loud, if you don’t want to watch porn, then don’t do it. It’s not like you don’t have any choice in the matter. These people are just as silly as the cigarette smokers who claim they “didn’t know” tobacco was addictive or hazardous to your health.

  20. I could say something crude and topical relating to the server squirrels, but I’ll refrain… I’m sure people on this board can fill in the gaps anyway.

  21. Many women beam their sexy-rays at me.
    I do not avoid them.
    But I deny them my essence.

  22. Uh, yeah. If porn were all that addictive, no American male would be able to get away from teh interwebs for very long.

    Posting inane crap on H&R is more addictive for me.

  23. In a book on Picasso’s obsession with drawing porn in his late period (_The Artist, His Model, Her Image, His Gaze_), Karen L. Kleinfelder notes that the drawings all stopped abruptly one day in his 80s, Picasso having come to terms with his mortality, in her theory.

    My own theory, call it the guy theory, is that some neuron stopped firing.

  24. Despite the fact that the fundraisers are claiming a forgone conclusion, I’d be interested to see the results of this study.

    Sex is another area that people are just starting to study using brain imaging. One of my favorites was the “orgasm affect the brain in the same was a coke” study. The research methodology was the most fascinating part of the whole thing. I think this is the one. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/112136884/ABSTRACT?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

    Oh, it doesn’t look like you can get the whole article. It was done in the Netherlands, and IIRC they hired prostitutes to do the penile stimulation while they were scanning. I’m just trying to picture that situation!

  25. It was done in the Netherlands, and IIRC they hired prostitutes to do the penile stimulation while they were scanning. I’m just trying to picture that situation!

    Heck, there’s probably a webpage where you can download the video…

  26. Um, ok . . . my name is Incredulous and I’m an addict.

    Anyway, let’s run with their premise for a minute. Benefit of the doubt. Say they do eventually “prove” the “addictiveness” of porn.

    At the least, wouldn’t a porn manufacturer only be legally liable for actions taken after they were on actual notice of that proof(not retroactively)?

  27. the “orgasm affect the brain in the same was a coke” study

    Yeah, I have trouble with grammar when I’m having an orgasm, too. ­čśŤ

  28. “But I deny them my essence.”

    Yeah, well, try telling that to the Skexis, pal.

  29. If female consumers of porn are not helplessly addicted as the supposed male consumers, the why should they be denied?

  30. I would post an intelligent comment…..

    But I’m too busy masturbating, because I’m hopelessly addicted to porn.

  31. I quit at least once every day

    Studies show that most people quit after 15 minutes. I can’t say why…

  32. This begs the question – if it were proven that porn was addictive, would we be any less inclined to go and watch it?

  33. A para-quote from the T.V. show scrubs…

    “if you got rid of all the porn from the internet, there will only be one site left, bringbacktheporn.com” – Dr. Cox

    Classic, because it’s accurate.

    The real thrust here is… If it’s addictive it’s bad, therefor if we can prove porn is addictive it’ll have to be stopped.

    It starts with the porn, and then …. my coffee. Starbucks understands this, it’s why they have the naked girl on the cup.

  34. Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but aren’t we suppose to be “addicted” (whatever the hell that means) to sex? Aren’t we supposed to want to look (and look, and look…) at what we find desirous and fuck it like when we are given access to it? It’s sort of important to the propagation of the species, and so forth.

    The anti-porn zealots (be they raving Christian fundies or perpetually angry feminists)are the worst kind of human scum; they wish to deprive humanity of it’s sexuality and the pleasures that come from it and sex into a dry, joyless, mechanistic, act solely for procreation (if that).

    The prigs love to tell us how porn “dehumanizes” or “objectifies” people. They’ve got it ass backwards. It’s they who wish to strip us of that part of humanity that comes from eroticism.

  35. EDIT: …and turn sex into…

  36. * If porn is addictive and harmful, it’s still my personal choice to view or not. It doesn’t seem to be my choice to avoid the prohibitionists.

    * Perhaps porn helps make men’s sexual appetites more complex such that women can’t simply lay there like a wet rag anymore while the man gets off. ;-P

    * I’m sure the anti-porn zealots will be doing a lot of “research”.

    * Any change in the brains of viewer will be construed/spun as “damage” a la “This is your brain…this is your brain on … and we have scientifically authoritative-looking pictures to prove it.”

    “But I deny them my essence.”

    The fluoride impurities in your bodily fluids would contaminate others’ who partake in them.

    I don’t watch porn (as I once told my wife, I’d rather play hockey than watch it).

    One must still watch some hockey before participating however, even if one can just go hit a puck with a stick.

    The real thrust here is… If it’s addictive it’s bad, therefor if we can prove porn is addictive it’ll have to be stopped.

    I wish we could use those people to test if air is addictive.

    At the least, wouldn’t a porn manufacturer only be legally liable for actions taken after they were on actual notice of that proof(not retroactively)?

    They knew it all along and were keeping it from their customers while putting in additives to make their product more addictive– things like breast implants and more girl-on-girl action.

  37. And what about this whole “Sexual Exploitation of Children over the Internet: What Parents, Kids and Congress Need to Know about Child Predators” in the The House Energy and Commerce Subcmte. on Oversight and Investigations stuff?

    I caught something being said about the kid who was testifying says that he got around all the blocking software when running his own porn cam site at 13. I suppose the lept-to conclusion could be that only government intervention can stop all the “exploitation”. Never mind that he exploited himself.

  38. whenever anyone uses the “same brain chemicals as heroin/coke” argument remember so do puppies and chocolate cake.

  39. Porn is *not* the root of the problem. Sans porn, most men would still be addicted to attractive women. Attacking porn is merely treating a *symptom* of the larger problem. We must go after the central, root problem if we want to save men from this harmful addiction to women. Once we cure men of this addiction, they will be able to focus on what’s really important in life – toil. We’ll have a super-race of cured men who can toil away…

    When we achieve this, I guess I’ll have to suffer with my oppressive addiction, alone, with only a long line of women to satiate my damaging, mental failing:(

  40. hit it and run?

  41. hit it and run?

  42. M’Tuklavier wrote: “One must still watch some hockey before participating however, even if one can just go hit a puck with a stick.”

    I think this analogy has run its course.

  43. Andy,
    Thanks for that one!

  44. Jack,

    I don’t get it.
    Analogy?

  45. Any asshole who says they are ‘addicted’ to porn should go get a chastity belt made at a leather shop. Then he could no doubt survive the ‘invasion’ intact.

  46. Sans porn, most men would still be addicted to attractive women. Attacking porn is merely treating a *symptom* of the larger problem. We must go after the central, root problem if we want to save men from this harmful addiction to women.

    Oddly, the cultures that have attempted to do just this, by stuffing women into burlap bags, not allowing them out in public, etc., seem to have the most dysfunction (sexual and otherwise).

    Quite the quandary, no?

  47. I think that’s a damn good idea, mediageek. We’ll probably find out that their sadistic little minds are alight with endorphins while regulating other people’s lives.

  48. And from an expert on internet behavior, we have the ?estimate? that ?up to ten percent? porn viewers stop having sex with their wives…

    Hmmm… I wonder if you’ll find some correlation if you check those “statistics” with the rate of wives who let themselves become fat, flabby, unattractive, and un-fuckable frumps

  49. EDIT: …with the number of wives…

  50. And from an expert on internet behavior, we have the ?estimate? that ?up to ten percent? porn viewers stop having sex with their wives…

    A non-scientific survey of married men who have children reveals that… it is the wives who stop having sex with their husbands. Porn or no-porn, flab or no-flab the husbands generally tend to agree, they’ll have sex with their wives if the wives are willing. What women report is that the husbands stop trying to have sex with them, which is a different problem altogether. Since husbands eventually tire of a fruitless chase, and porn is so available.

  51. You mean that these people are willing to watch porn until their brains turn to mush?

    Some people will stop at nothing to serve their fellow man.

    Now, if they were to watch soap operas….

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