Pornography

Anti-Porn Republicans Haven't Gone Anywhere

The porn wars haven't died, they're just packaged differently.

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MEGA / Julien"s Auctions / MEGA / Newscom

There's been a "total abandonment of pornography as a battleground in America's culture war," writes Politico reporter Tim Alberta in "How the GOP Gave Up on Porn." He couldn't be more wrong.

The flashpoints have shifted certainly since the 1970s and '80s, when Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority teamed with second-wave feminists to take on Playboy and Hustler. And social conservatives' embrace of President Donald Trump does present a stark contrast to earlier eras. Alberta notes that while that Falwell sprung to action in response to a Jimmy Carter interview in Playboy ("a salacious, vulgar magazine that did not even deserve the time of his day," the pastor called it), Jerry Falwell Jr. has praised Trump despite the president's vulgarities, even posing with the president in a photo in which Trump's '90s Playboy cover can be seen.

But such hypocrisy should not be mistaken for a radical repositioning of Republican dogma on "obscenity." The dreams of Falwell Sr. and his radfem counterparts are still very much alive in the Republican Party.

"Over a decade spent covering Republican politics," writes Alberta, "I struggle to recall instances of politicians calling attention to pornography. The lone exception: Diane Black, a congresswoman running this year for governor of Tennessee, blamed the rise in school shootings on adolescent porn habits. She was widely ridiculed and ultimately lost the GOP primary. Her comment was a cautionary tale."

Perhaps Alberta should search his memory (or Google) a little harder. After all, it was just two years ago that Republicans added language to their official party platform that declared porn "has become a public health crisis that is destroying the lives of millions."

That same year, 2016, a Utah Republican lawmaker convinced his colleagues in the state legislature to declare porn a public health crisis. Since then, six states—Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Virginia—have passed similar resolutions (something Alberta devotes several paragraphs to near the end of the article, despite his earlier quote about Diane Black standing alone).

In 2015, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), formerly Morality in Media, organized an anti-porn summit on Capitol Hill—picking back up an event it had abandoned in the late '80s. Prominent Sen. Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa) was the summit's honorary sponsor. Since then, NCOSE has celebrated getting Walmart to remove Cosmopolitan from checkout aisles, under the rationale that the magazine is too racy for general audiences.

Last year, Republicans in at least a dozen state legislatures introduced measures to ban porn access for anyone who wouldn't pay a $20 fine, and Utah conservatives called for reappointing a statewide porn watchdog.

This year, the conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat advocated banning porn. And a search on Congress.gov for the 2017-18 legislation mentioning "pornography" turns up 93 results. (Douthat's column has a cameo in Alberta's article; those 93 results do not.)

Ingram Publishing/Newscom

But never mind reality. Fresh from declaring that there's been no recent Republican action against porn because he doesn't personally remember it, Alberta gets right to theorizing about why: The right has "surrendered the fight on many social issues as America has moved left" and the anti-porn movement, like "traditional marriage and supporting prayer in public schools," has been tossed aside. This ignores the fact that anti-porn activism of yore was often a bipartisan cause, with second-wave feminists serving as major drivers of the issue; the fact that many in the academic and feminist left still oppose pornography; and the fact that even in recent years, mainstream liberals have worked with Republicans and on their own on all sorts of anti-porn actions.

In California, a coalition of left and right activists fought to make condom use a requirement in all porn films and to appoint a "porn czar" to monitor for violations; the same activists then turned their sights on Nevada. In Dallas, the city council and Democratic mayor supported banning an adult entertainment expo from its Convention Center.

Around this same time, the FBI was running dozens of its own Dark Web porn sites in a massive (if misguided) attempt to catch people sharing pornographic images of minors.

One could credibly argue that there's been less focus on the horrors of naked ladies per se and more on stopping exploitation. But this shift seems more predicated on limited resources and accepting technological realities than a waning impulse to control the sexual lives of others.

Let's not forget Operation Choke Point, an Obama-era program that covertly pressured banks and payment processors to end relationships with porn actors, sex toy sellers, and others in adult entertainment and novelty industries. The initiative represents one of many ways the federal government has been trying to go after legal sex work and adult industries by choking off their access to digital infrastructure. This year a bipartisan group of legislators took aim at sex workers' access to web hosting and advertising with FOSTA, an act alleged to target sex trafficking that actually ensnares adult advertising of all sorts.

Plenty of porn-adjacent panics have sprung up since the 1990s as well, and plenty of political effort has gone into fighting them. So, yes, we might have fewer federal obscenity prosecutions, but we also have many more federal sex crimes on the books overall and no shortage of activity on their behalf. Since 2000, we've seen an ever-escalating federal war on prostitution, all sorts of panic (and prosecutions) over teen sexting, and dozens of bills introduced (in Congress and statehouses) to bring "revenge porn" and "sextortion" to an end.

For instance, last year the House overwhelmingly voted in favor of a bill that would have subjected teen sexters to a 15-year mandatory minimum prison sentence. Republican Sen. Richard Burr moved to expand FBI data-collection practices used in terrorism and national security matters to include investigations into teen sexting. And underage teens who send racy pictures to one another are routinely threatened and arrested under child pornography laws.

Alberta blames Bill Clinton for the proliferation of porn in the 1990s, but he admits that the Clinton administration intensified efforts to eradicate child pornography as general obscenity charges fell. Many of those efforts wound up problematic in practice, but this conception—that the government should stress less about the erotic activity of consenting adults and instead prioritize preventing the exploitation of underage people—is in line with the direction mainstream America was going in the 1990s and largely continues along today.

Many of those 1970s and 1980s anti-porn crusaders have used this to their advantage in fighting against attempts to decriminalize commercial sex. For going on two decades, efforts to reframe all prostitution as "sex slavery" or "human trafficking" and to inflate instances of underage and forced prostitution have been a bipartisan affair, reinvigorating the old coalition of religious conservatives, sex-negative feminists, law enforcement, and concerned citizens easy to amp up over any cause that invokes The Children.

And invoke the children Alberta does. After ascribing to porn all sorts of negative and at best unproven, at worst thoroughly debunked effects (he says it contributes "to abusive relationships and the fracturing of families" and that it incites "destructive behavior," including violence, misogyny, and child abuse), he turns to fears over Generation Z growing up exposed to so much porn. Lots of experts are very, very afraid, and lots of people feel intuitively that the kids aren't OK.

But data actually supporting all those fears have been scarce to nil. And in the same decades that access to porn has dramatically increased, rates of everything from domestic violence to sexual assault to crimes against children (including sex crimes) have fallen.

So Alberta uses the trick many prohibitionists play when there's no actual evidence to support their claims: Follow vague murmurs about grave harm with concrete statistics about ancillary things. Hence, we get six straight paragraphs on the size and scope of the porn industry, how much money porn makes, how many people claim to consume it, and how many people allege in polls that they disapprove. Alberta concludes that "if ever there were a national dialogue needed about porn—if ever there were a moment for some opportunistic politician to make a cause of it—the time would be now."

With all the legitimately pressing problems facing America today, it's astonishing that anyone could earnestly advocate for more obscenity prosecutions and renewed cultural fighting over pornography. But here we are. Alberta has little clue what's been going on in porn politics this millennium, but he's sure that something more must be done.

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92 responses to “Anti-Porn Republicans Haven't Gone Anywhere

  1. There’s been a “total abandonment of pornography as a battleground in America’s culture war,” writes Politico reporter Tim Alberta in “How the GOP Gave Up on Porn.” He couldn’t be more wrong.

    And just a few minutes ago I left a comment on JD’s post about journalists – if this guy’s a reporter just giving us the facts, how can he be wrong? It sure sounds to me like he’s giving his opinion on the matter, which makes him a pundit rather than a reporter. When you tell me the Browns beat the Falcons 28-16, that’s a fact. When you tell me the Browns beat the Falcons 28-16 because the Falcons suck ass in the red zone offense department and need some serious overhauling on their short game, that’s mixing facts and opinions. It’s a correct opinion, of course, but merely an opinion nonetheless.

    1. Sark sucks.
      Whether fact or opinion, it’s truth

    2. Read Alberta’s article. Excellent reporting in there. Of course being political, it mostly reports other people’s opinions, since that’s what politics is about.

  2. I did not know about Obama trying to control the balls against porn actors. That’s fucked up.

  3. Hooray for ENB for providing a supplement and antidote to Tim Alberta’s admirably wide-scoped but prudishly one-sided and fact-challenged piece.

    The socons are now far too weak to do any damage to our freedom except where they find common ground with the ever-stronger churchmarms of the Left. Things are in a bit of disarray now, with such cooperation far more verboten than it was during their last surge of synergy ending in the 1990s. But don’t put it past them; it still happens quietly and without controversy often enough, and it is only growing. Who said bipartisanship is dead? (Check the voice-vote bills–or the very lopsided roll calls–in Congress if you doubt it.)

    1. I’ve noted an odd commiseration as such between SJWs and social conservatives, at least as it applies to comedy, to such an extent I have to verify why they are offended. Granted something like Doug Stanhope’s 60 Inches of AIDS has something for everyone, the ones who get really uptight about it tend to run socially conservative.

      There might be something to Azathoth!! observation below, but this notion of the right as free speech warriors and giving up their old ways thus far has been a complete farce.

  4. Would love to see some data on mental pathologies and porn consumption. We passed the saturation point with this material about 15 years ago, I think.

    1. I’m too lazy to Google it for you, but I have read that way back when (1950s or 1960s), a few Scandinavian nations suddenly went from way anti-porn to porn-legal status. Rapes went down measurably after the change was made…

      1. I’d go further with when said countries starting restricting porn in the 70s, rates of sexual violence increased.

      2. That would make sense; men need an outlet, and even Psychology Today has remarked upon the militant Islamist problem as being due in part to the paucity of sexual opportunities for the vast majority of men in those communities, at least in Middle Eastern nations.

        Separate from the violence, though, I suspect an inundation for adult content would have adverse psychological effects on both men and women, and it’s not as though there is a magic filter that keeps it from seeping down to children.

        1. But you’d have to make the case what specifically about porn has adverse affects that wouldn’t also apply to all media.

          There may be something to media studies, but thus far results have been inconclusive, with the sway towards access (at least by those who want it) of any of the bugbears, from violent video games to aggressive music to porn, having mild or even positive affects.

          Outside of that, the media hasn’t really been studied at all (at least that I’m aware of) short of feminist critiques.

          1. You will never find a conclusive replicable study in the humanities and social sciences. You have to shift to looking at the data in a more qualitative way and look at the outcomes as potentials. Think more in terms of “This technology can enhance/detract from a person’s life if they use it in such and such a way”, rather than “Use of this technology leads to x, y, and z.”

            That’s not a dig against the humanities, just a simple truth. Media studies ain’t rocket science.

      3. That was only until those god fearing Muslims immigrated to Scandinavian nations. The rapes went off the charts.

    2. Good point – I went blind about 15 years ago.

    3. Anecdotally speaking, since Al Gore’s wondrous invention provided a platform for the dissemination of free pornography, I have noticed a disturbing correlation with the growth of hair on my palms. Fortunately I have adapted, and I’m still able to type well enough not only to comment on this development, but also to execute certain search functions on the relevant websites.

      That being said, clearly more research is necessary.

      I’ll get back to you.

      1. Hairy palms are fine you can just shave them. If you start to get warts on your fingers and start going blind so you can’t read braille, then you need to cut back on your porn viewing.

        1. Cut back? That’s certainly counterintuitive.

          And the hairy palms have actually turned out to be convenient, as I’ve lately developed a thing for “hirsute honeys.”

  5. The reprehensible conservative inbreeds can’t help but embrace cultural censorship and artistic repression. They can’t see the good in a backdoor pounding, a three-way finger cuff, or even a park picnic bench gang bang.

    Carry on, clingers.

    1. Anti-porn culture conservatives are the ones with the biggest porn collections, and the biggest collections, also, of mistresses that they have pressured to abort their “love fetuses”.

      1. I started life in an old, cold, rundown fallopian tube…

        Love Fetus: Never Meant to Be?

    2. What about the Armenian Conveyor Belt? Tonto’s Demise? Four-fisted Butt-Coupler? I know a bunch of conservatives back in the day were into the ol’ Double-wide Airport Bathroom Stall Urinal Stance… I wonder what those guys are up to nowadays…

  6. I never understood the whole “sex is shameful and therefore porn is doubly bad” mindset. It seems to me to be a prime example of consenting adults, privacy, etc. and everyone just needs to butt out.

    As for the radfems, as ENB calls them, you would think they would be celebrating porn rather than condemning it. For one thing, the only pay gap that exists there works against the guys. I’m pretty sure a female porn star makes orders of magnitude more than the guys do, with the possible single exception of that fat dude with the mustache who moved into mainstream commercials and music videos. For another thing, it helps eliminate the “slut-shaming” phenomenon and other sexual double standard they used to complain about.

    1. Inigo – it boils down to one thing for a lot of the religious crowd (not all) – “sex is ok put only if you intend to procreate”. All other sex is bad.

      This is what was taught in some church denominations. I experienced it first hand in my Grandmother’s church and in the church my dad went too (grandmother was not his mom). Both different denominations. My dad’s was way over the top in this.

    2. “Radfems” is a term of disparagement, and ENB is an apologist for the white cis-male patriarchy, which perpetrates the shameful exploitation of womyn in totality. These brave, enlightened fourth generation feminists who she slanders so freely, know that pornography, like anything else that gives men pleasure, is therefore ipso facto bad, not to mention highly, highly politically incorrect.

      And those womyn (excepting those of color and those who have penises, who are multiply victimized… it’s complex) who defend anything that gives men pleasure, especially for spurious reasons like individual liberty, are gender traitors. Thus, they are not real womyn at all and might even be secret Republicans. They must be cast out!

      Now, if only this goes viral, maybe I’ll finally have a chance to score!

      1. “like anything else that gives men pleasure, is therefore ipso facto bad, not to mention highly, highly politically incorrect.”

        I’ve known some women who are really into porn. I would even characterize some of them as feminists now although I didn’t realize it at the time. And I’m not talking about the token “For Women” category on PornHub, with the ‘romantic’ shit where a hot husband totally and repeatedly satisfies a hot wife and they cuddle afterwards. Some of these women could give your average 22 year old in-cel a run for the money in porn tastes and consumption.

        But then again, I’ve come to realize that a lot of these feminists operate under the “Do as I say, not as I do” principle. So I mean, you’re not wrong…

  7. If it’s about anti-porn Republicans why include the actions of Democrats like Obama or non-porn issues like prostitution other than to pad the article? GOP condemnation of porn hasn’t completely disappeared as is correctly noted, but it has certainly diminished hugely.

  8. More skewed writing from ENB. The GOP ain’t the only porn crusaders.

    Obama’s Porn Problem With Liberals Who Want Adult Obscenity Fought

    Earlier this month, 42 senators signed a letter urging Attorney General Eric Holder to step up enforcement of federal obscenity laws. Among the cast of mostly Republican signers, one name stood out: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a staunch liberal from California, the de-facto porn capital of America. (Feinstein wasn’t available to comment for this story.)

    1. In other words, both Parties have authoritarian types who want to stifle civil liberties fro the sake of some puritanical notion that porn is bad.

      1. The article includes Obama, radical feminists, and the Clinton admin, but the title only includes Republicans. I think it’s clickbait for the liberaltarians

        1. me too.

        2. The Democrats only appear by the tenth paragraph after excoriating Republicans.

          1. Reason staff M.O.

          2. Which makes sense, because an occurrence in the UT State Senate and proclamations in six states are far worse than the President trying to shut legal businesses off from the banking system.

      2. It is only bad for you, for those authoritarian types porn is fine.

    2. As Sevo and other Californians will tell you, Feinstein is like Newsom. She is not really known as a “liberal” in California, nor a “progressive” or “leftist” (she certainly fits your definition, but here we are talking about the traditional nomenclature of California politics–especially back before it became more monolithic), and certainly not a conservative. She is mostly sui generis. Across-the-board authoritarian is the closest she has to a genuine ideological description.

      1. I think quite a few of these politicians are quintessential tyrants who will do nearly anything to retain power.

        Look at the way Feinstein did the Kavanaugh thing. There are rules and customs for investigations of nominees and she thought she was above that.

  9. Interesting how you slipped from ‘resolutions about porn being a public health crisis’ to the actual actions taken by the previous administration that hurt actual people and treated them as if they are one thing.

    They’re not.

    Anti-porn crusaders come in one flavor– ‘social’ with several varieties. Social conservatives, social progressives, social justice warriors.

    All offshoots of the social gospel.

    They all think they know better than you what’s best for you.

    The difference is that those who promulgate this idiocy under the name ‘social conservative’ are just a touch less likely to run first to the state to get you to stop. They’ll hit their god first. If he doesn’t make them stop they try shame, and if that doesn’t work THEN they try legislature.

    The others go straight to the state–because they want people punished AND they use shame AND they go to their ‘gods’ and, and, and.

  10. Nice example of burying the lede. Anti-porn efforts have always been a bipartisan due to the beliefs of various subgroups of the GOP and Democrat coalitions, but it is the GOP who are ENB’s bogeymen.

    1. Our lives would improve if both sides played more golf

      1. Or they were part-time politicians.

        1. Or if they were always defeated every time they ran for re-election.

          1. I am not against single term politicians. I am also not 100% for it. I am not convinced that a single term is the answer to bloated government, outrageous Gov spending, and corruption in government. It probably doesnt hurt, especially after we get back to tiny and limited government.

            I am definitely pro term limits.

  11. This year, the conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat

    *snicker*

    Conservative columnist. Sure.

  12. Let’s not forget Operation Choke Point, an Obama-era

    Noted anti-porn Republican Barack Obama.

    1. How do the Obama administrations actions support the headline: “Anti-Porn Republicans Haven’t Gone Anywhere”

      Geez, ENB, you are loosing it.

      1. It’s possible that an editor besides ENB actually wrote the headline. If so, it’s clearly their fault.

        1. The editor must have only read the first nine paragraphs.

        2. I thought all Reason articles are individual gifts to us peons without any collective input from editors, owners, or other writers?

      2. The headline comes from the title of the Politico article that ENB is critiquing.

        1. How the GOP Gave Up on Porn
          Once, the fight against pornography was the beating heart of the American culture war. Now porn is a ballooning industry ? and maybe a harmful one ?with no real opponents. What happened?

          By TIM ALBERTA
          November/December 2018

          This is the title of the article.

    2. As always, what’s most important is that we don’t hurt any Republican feelings.

      Wouldn’t want to distract them from their half century of being absolutely useless.

      1. Only had to drag Democrats over to not trying to slaughter blacks en masse kicking and screaming/

        1. Dude, you never go full loveconstitution1789, I’ve told you.

          1. Tony, the history is there. You can deny it all you wish or proclaim some fantasy “THE PARTIES SWITCHED!!!” nonsense…but reality is simply not on your side.

            1. Yeah, the history of Southern whites being vicious racists is there, whatever political party they happened to be in during any given decade. They were not, in fact, too happy about the civil rights legislation, and Republicans, who have no morals, welcomed them with open arms.

              1. Name white democrats that switched to the GOP after 1965.

                Lets see how many you can get.

        2. Tony has gone full Buttpugger.

          1. He uses pugs now? I guess he’s outgrown hamsters.

  13. Banning porn is a dumb idea, of course. Government should not attempt to control this behavior to such a degree.

    With that said, “public health crisis” sounds about right, when it comes to the situation of unfettered broadband highways of smut beaming into the hands and homes of every minor across the country. There are two reforms that should take place.

    1. Just as we sequester strip clubs and smut shops into appropriate geographic territories in our local communities through zoning laws, rather than allowing them to set up across from an elementary school, we should likewise sequester the digital peddlers of such content into appropriate digital territories and domain extensions, so that it is very easy to prevent access by minors or any other user of a terminal where the owner of such terminal doesn’t intend it to be used for this purpose.

    2. Just as we require strip clubs and smut shops to check ID to ensure minors are not entering their places of business, and same for buying alcohol or cigarettes, we should likewise require that digital purveyors ensure their customers are of age before they are allowed to consume their products.

    1. Who decides what is ” bad”? You? Some government toady? Piss off.

      1. What you talking about? Sexually oriented business are defined in every zoning ordinance across the country. Wake up.

  14. Nice piece but the headline doesn’t match the facts. The “anti-porn” crusade is bipartisan.

    1. Which part of the Democratic Party platform declares porn a God-mocking menace and national emergency?

      Which Democratic federal prosecutor convicted a citizen — on obscenity charges — for writing a book?

      Republicans have claimed the prudish, authoritarian scold category.

      1. The judge who conducted the Karen Fletcher trial, and chided prosecutors for not seeking incarceration as a penalty in a case involving printed words, is a Republican, too.

        Some people might (claim to) believe this is mere coincidence.

      2. It’s not the Democratic party that declares porn a menace, it’s fucking Science.

        *drops microphone*

        1. Can anyone point me to a libertarian site?

          Or to any site not overrun by disaffected right-wing incels?

          Thank you.

          1. Why? Do you want to infect their comments section as well?

    2. Yes, but the article she was reviewing was entitled “How the GOP Gave Up on Porn.”

      She pretty much shows that the article is wrong in that not only have Republicans not “given up” on porn but that they didn’t have a monopoly on anti-porn in the first place.

      1. Except she wasn’t. She’s casting all anti-porn initiatives as Republican regardless of actual actors or her article title is just a partisan lie.

        1. It is not “her article title”. “How the GOP Gave Up on Porn” was the name of a Politico article by reporter Tim Alberta. It’s in the first paragraph.

          She is merely critiquing that article.

          It would be one thing if you criticised the article on its merits, it is another thing to attribute to her things she did not say.

          1. ENB titled her article: “Anti-Porn Republicans Haven’t Gone Anywhere”

            That maybe true, but it only describes the first part of the article. Hence, it’s a Lie by omission.

            1. Commenter Isaac Bartram Is Not a Total and Complete Fucking Jerk would likewise be an acceptable title to Isaac Bartram.

  15. >>>six states?Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Virginia

    explicitly (R) states?

  16. That same year, 2016, a Utah Republican lawmaker convinced his colleagues in the state legislature to declare porn a public health crisis.

    Where was it that I read Trump wasn’t popular in Utah?

    1. Wasn’t there a study in the early 2000s that Utah was the largest consumer of porn in the US by far?

  17. Here I thought it was just paranoia when 8 hours into my meth induced tranny porn binge my phone started acting weird, police sirens sounded near by and I could hear police helicopters flying overhead.

  18. Would say that while the quantity and availability of porn is much greater today, the quality is much less.

    1. In the past, naked people with dead eyes mouthed poorly written dialogue as they feigned orgasm using positions crafted more for viewfinders than eroticism.

      They only had one direction to go.

      1. Well, I guess you could say the new ones don’t even try to fake it. The actresses were generally much hotter then too.

  19. Since then, NCOSE has celebrated getting Walmart to remove Cosmopolitan from checkout aisles, under the rationale that the magazine is too racy for general audiences.

    So Lizzy wants the government to step in and force Walmart to display Cosmopolitan in checkout aisles and the children’s literature section?

    The cause of liberty needs a smaller tent.

  20. Fittingly, at the moment I brought this article up, there were 69 comments.

  21. “porn-adjacent” was my nickname in college.

  22. Another good article from one of the more serious Reason writers. Part of the problem is the paucity of online text from the Comstock laws passed during voter suppression in the Grant Administration. Modest example… https://preview.tinyurl.com/ybf2ctxe
    True, the communists were singled out for mistreatment under the “disloyal” specification in the twenties. But Margaret Sanger pleaded in vain for the right to mail birth control info to women when Herbert Hoover was president. This Puritan coercion still existed in the sixties, before the LP wrote the Roe v Wade decision. And even today, f’rinstance, the Sinfest.net webcomic has–possibly by pressure on the cartoonist, who knows?–capitulated from funny to preachy in a churchly, Republican-book-burning sort of way that is eerily discomfiting.

    1. I’m a regular reader of Sinfest, and I can tell you that it’s more of a radfem-book-burning sort of way than Republican. The cartoonist went all in on the cause, going anti-porn and anti-prostitution, and champions the anti-free-market “Nordic Model” of only criminalizing the customer but not the seller. The notion that completely legalizing prostitution will drive up the human-trafficking trade (which the Nordic Model supposedly drives down) seems misguided to me.

      Tatsuya had a couple of old-school forums going – one for the comic in general and one only for the radfem fans – but both have mysteriously disappeared.

  23. Ms. Brown, did you read the article? Several of the very things at the top of yours that you thought Mr. Alberta had missed were in his article.

  24. Not only that, but I think you’ve entirely mischaracterized the article. It’s a good one. Yours is not. The only difference is, he’s looking at it from the perspective of bad news, while you had the opp’ty to look at it as good, but didn’t.

    This is good nx: the GOP is no longer effectively anti-porn. Good for them.

  25. the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), formerly Morality in Media

    That’s called “rebranding.” Instead of labeling porn “immoral” they label it “exploitation,” jumping on the current bandwagon. Censorship is still the cure.

    It’s like the former gun control groups that are now campaigning for gun safety, which we can have by passing the same old gun control laws.

  26. Porn is for losers, grow the hell up and be a man. Not for any laws against it but get a new hobby.

  27. I can totally buy that access to porn may reduce rapes or something like that. And obviously it should be legal.

    But to think it hasn’t had any psychological effects on people that have cumulatively added up to making a difference… That’s just BS. Supposedly Millennials, and to an even greater extent with Gen Z, are actually having less sex that previous generations and at later ages… There’s a correlation that to me doesn’t seem to hard to at least anecdotally connect with increased porn use.

    That then might lead to fewer proper relationships for people, inferior relationship skills, fewer marriages, fewer kids… Etc.

    Not to mention how it warps young peoples perceptions of how things are supposed to be. Real sex is rarely like porn sex.

    1. Then there’s the fact that there ARE a number of seemingly legit studies that linked earlier exposure to sexual stuff causing an increase in sexual partners, dramatically lowers age of losing virginity, unstable relationships, other psychological problems etc.

      This is at odds with the idea above that people are getting around less, but perhaps it’s a question of both being true for different sections of the population. Stats show clearly that those who get jiggy wit it at an early age and have a lot of partners, especially with women as men seem to be wired better for being whores, basically can’t form long term bonds ever in their entire life. Like ever. Divorce rates for women after 3-5 sexual partners skyrocket versus those that only had 1-3 before marriage.

      It’s all such a big jumble nobody will ever be able to prove anything scientifically 100%… All I’m saying is there are a lot of fairly obvious “common sense” type guesses at things that could very easily be true. As with most things in life there may be pros and cons, like less rape but more dysfunctional relationships and expectations from people.

  28. “With all the legitimately pressing problems facing America today, it’s astonishing that anyone could earnestly advocate for more obscenity prosecutions and renewed cultural fighting over pornography. But here we are.”

    One could as easily say that with all the legitimately pressing problems facing America today, it’s astonishing that Reason sees any value in publishing articles ridiculing those who profess problems with the pervasiveness of pornography in America today. But here we are. Glad to see Reason remains on the cutting edge.

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