Pornography

Soldiers Saved From a Life Without Porn

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Credit: Flickr

To the relief of soldiers across the country, adult magazines Playboy and Penthouse will still be allowed to be sold on military bases. Frederick Vollrath—assistant secretary of defense for readiness and force management—responding to a letter sent by faith-based organization Morality in Media said, "Based on the totality of each magazine's content, they were not sexually explicit under [the federal law]." MIM had hoped not only to ban the sale of adult magazines on bases under existing laws, but to extend the ban to "prohibit access to pornography by electronic devices on military bases worldwide." 

From The Daily Beast:

The Military Honor and Decency Act, passed in 1996 and upheld by the Supreme Court in 1998, already requires the DOD to remove all sexually explicit materials, porn included, from being sold and rented at exchanges, on ships, and at commissaries.  But the law isn't always implemented—and a wide variety of glossy porn magazines is still available for sale on bases.

MIM's letter, sent to Chuck Hagel on June 3, made the dubious claim that "research overwhelmingly demonstrates a link between pornography consumption and increased sexual violence." The data in this field is anything but overwhelming. As Reason's Ron Bailey has written, much of the evidence points in the opposite direction including a 2006 study which found that "Internet access appears to be a substitute for rape; in particular, the results suggest that a 10 percentage point increase in internet access is associated with a decline in reported rape victimization of around 7.3 percent."

Patrick Trueman, president of Media in Morality, explaining the reasoning behind the complaint said, "Having this material available and actually sold, and therefore sanctioned by the military, sends a signal to the women in the military that the sexually exploitive nature in the military is acceptable."

Morality in Media has been joined in its crusade against porn by the likes of Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) who went so far as to put down an amendment to the 2014 defense budget to enforce the ban on selling pornography at military bases. Senator Wicker justifying his amendment said, "Studies show that these types of materials may be contributing to sexual harassment in the workplace. I fought to include my amendment in the NDAA because I am concerned that the law is not being enforced."

MIM will for now, be unable to add banning Playboy for the troops to it's list of claimed accomplishments, which include organising a boycott of Groupon for selling tours of a porn studio, pushing for the cancellation of NBC series The Playboy Club, and lobbying for a Presidential proclamation recognizing Protection From Pornography Week in 2003.