December 20, 2012

Lessons learned from my internship – Daniel S.

Morality In Media InternI came to Morality in Media knowing three things about porn: it’s attractive, it’s immoral, and it’s harmful. Attractive in that man came up with it in antiquity and since then it has kept on drawing people into it. Immoral because it drives us away from the God who loves us and wants us to be so happy so created the real thing: sex. Even if you dismiss the God point, consider this: why do people tend to watch porn in secret and then feel guilty and ashamed about it (at least when they start)? Granted, I have not proven conclusively with scientific data that porn is immoral; but science proves that it certainly harms.

A few weeks ago, John Hopkins University published an article explaining the links between porn and sex trafficking. Basically, porn creates a desire to enact what was seen. As Catharine MacKinnon gathered in an eloquent testimony: “Men witness the abuse of women in pornography constantly, and if they can’t engage in that behavior with their wives, girlfriends, or children, they force a whore to do it.” The porn-sex trafficking link also works the other way around: trafficking victims are often forced to produce porn. On December 7, 2011, a federal jury in Miami convicted two men on charges of sex trafficking. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida described the case: After luring aspiring models to South Florida by promising them an opportunity to audition for modeling and later drugging them, one of the defendants had sex with the victims while the other filmed. “The defendants then edited, produced, and sold the footage of the sex acts over the Internet and to pornography stores and businesses all across the country.”

Before coming to MIM I didn’t know about the John Hopkins’ article. But, as I mentioned earlier, I already knew that porn is harmful. How? The same way I learned as a toddler not to touch the hot pot; not through a peer-reviewed scholarly article, but through experience. What scared me the most and helped me stay away from porn as a teenager was its power to make me objectify women. After watching it I would only seem to be interested in a girl’s body. Porn had the same effect on all of my friends who confessed struggling with it. They weren’t concerned about its financial cost. They wanted to stop watching it because they felt it was turning them into “monsters.”

At MIM I learned that pornography harms real people: men, women, teenagers, little girls, and families; most of all, families. I heard parents suffering because their teenage son would not stop watching porn. I heard a father distraught because he knew porn was destroying his family. I heard a testimony of a teenage girl being lured and then used for pornography. Finally, I heard of a 12 year-old girl who regularly went to youth group and at the same time was being forced to prostitute herself for men who wanted to act out what they had seen in porn, and nobody knew about it. All of this happened, and is happening, in America, largely because of porn and its many consequences. And since porn is so attractive, immoral, and harmful to America, I invite you to join and support MIM and its partners in the fight against pornography.

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