An Open Letter to Russell Brand on the Detriments of Pornography
Following the recent release of a video by actor/comedian Russell Brand, which explains many of the harms of pornography use, Dr. Jill C. Manning and Dr. Gary R. Brooks, have written an open letter to Brand “wholeheartedly” thanking him for his shedding light on such an important issue.
Dr. Manning, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in clinical work and research related to pornography, and Dr. Brooks, a licensed clinical psychologist and author who focuses on issues of men and masculinity, were both quoted in Brand’s presentation from their extensive research on the issue.
These researchers praise Brand’s “brilliantly articulated research findings” and “spontaneous and authentic style [that] may be the very antidote needed to help others honestly examine pornography’s destructive influence in their lives.” The video has, unsurprisingly, become very popular and has challenged the way many perceive pornography use. Among several versions with over two million views, clearly, people are interested in this issue.
Read the Full Letter
March 3, 2015
Last week, your Trews video titled 50 Shades – Has Porn Ruined My Chance Of A Happy Marriage? caught our attention. With over two million views and counting among all the versions on YouTube, we are clearly not alone.
In this video, you specifically mentioned our names and referenced our respective research. We must say it was the first time we have been quoted publicly from such an informal setting – and from a shirtless individual at that!
Research often gets stuck in academic and professional circles, but you have succeeded at making several important findings about pornography’s destructive impact palatable and accessible to the very demographic that needs it. By leveraging your celebrity status and bringing attention to a critical public health and Internet safety issue, you have helped countless people.
For this, we wish to wholeheartedly thank you.
You brilliantly articulated research findings that have shown pornography to be associated with an exaggerated perception of sexual activity in society, diminished trust between intimate partners, the abandonment of sexual monogamy as a goal, and the belief that promiscuity is the natural state. Even soft-core pornography, as you well pointed out, contributes to voyeurism, objectification, trophyism, sex as masculinity validation, and fear of true intimacy.
Too many people, and especially high profile individuals, are ashamed to openly acknowledge how pornography has negatively impacted them. Ironically, your spontaneous and authentic style may be the very antidote needed to help others honestly examine pornography’s destructive influence in their lives and ultimately share that wisdom with others.
We urge you to continue your vital work utilizing your unique blend of current events, personal experience, research and comedy to help people understand the long-term effects of pornography use.
We are also delighted to report you have acquired a new fan base amongst those who are engaged in mental health work, research, activism, and public education related to pornography.
Thank you again for bringing attention to how “icebergs of floating filth through every house on Wi-Fi” are affecting millions of youth, adults and relationships.
Your new fans,
Jill C. Manning, PhD
Gary R. Brooks, PhD
Girls Against Porn & Human Trafficking – Girls Against Porn & Human Trafficking is an international action coalition for those against pornography/trafficking. They have led several successful efforts protecting families from obscenity. Follow them on https://www.facebook.com/girlsagainstpornandhumantrafficking or www.girlsagainstporn.com.
Fight the New Drug – Fight the New Drug exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects using science, facts, and personal accounts. www.fightthenewdrug.org
Enough Is Enough – Enough Is Enough is a non-profit organization that has been on the front lines of the fight to make the Internet safer for children and families for over 20 years with a primary focus to prevent the Internet-initiated sexual exploitation of children. http://www.internetsafety101.org
National Center on Sexual Exploitation – National Center on Sexual Exploitation is the leading national organization opposing pornography by highlighting the links to sex trafficking, violence against women, child abuse, addiction and more. NCSE works to expose the seamless connection between all forms of sexual exploitation. endsexualexploitation.org