Sometimes an issue will surface around me and I'm never sure at first what it means. The issue lately has been pornography. I've found this interesting because it's not an issue that's been high on my radar screen. I'm beginning to see it hasn't been very high on my radar screen because it's so pervasive. It's almost like pornography has become so much an accepted part of the American scene that it's mostly overlooked and there for it's consequences are overlooked. It might be time we stopped overlooking it. Of the things I've learned this one blows me away:
"The pornography industry is larger than the revenues of the top technology companies combined: Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix and EarthLink."
Porn revenues bury the mainstream film industry. In 2006 porn revenue in the US exceeded the combined revenues of ABC, NBC, and CBS. Porn then, is by far, our largest entertainment industry and medium. What in the world is this doing to our collective consciousness?
But it isn't just the United States. The US is actually 4th in porn revenue at 13.33 billion dollars which is almost 45 dollars per person. The leader is China at 27.4 billion followed by South Korea at 25.73 billion and Japan at 19.98 billion. South Korea's per person expense is 527 dollars. That's a lot of food.
If you look at some of the other statistics at the linked web page another stat jumps out at you.
There is a column based on key words which are entered into search engines. When the key words porn and free porn were used, 96% and 93% of the time it was a male. When the key word sex was used it was a 50-50 split. It does appear that the Vatican has it right. Lust is the top problem for men.
Given all we know about the consequences of frequent use of porn and it's detrimental effects on ones attitudes towards sex and sexual partners, maybe it's time this wasn't such an under the radar issue. Porn may be an unstated reason so many marriages are breaking up and the younger generations are avoiding long term relationships. In any event it's a lot of exploitative sexual energy polluting the body politic. It's not encouraging a mature sexual attitude in our men and it implicitly exploits men every bit as much as it explicitly exploits women and children.
About ten years ago I worked a part time job with a guy whose main job was distributing porn for a friend of his. We had quite the chat about porn. He conceded the point about the exploitation of children and didn't agree with that. Besides he said, it wasn't a big enough audience to interest him and his partner. They were interested in adults, specifically the untapped female population. The problem with women was you actually had to have a story which developed a relationship and that made things prohibitively more expensive. They wanted to try it but they didn't know if it would be profitable. In the meantime there was the good ole reliable lusty guy and a growing population of couples. He and his wife enjoyed porn together. In fact most of the time it was the only way they could get sexually aroused. For them it was a great marriage tool......and it was also one they hadn't needed until they started using it.
For a much longer analysis of the morality of the porn problem try this link. I disagreed with some of Mr. Reilly's analysis he makes some great points. There is also a heart wrenching comment at the end of the article explaining the effects of secret porn use on one marriage.
This link will take you to Anti Porn Feminists who just posted an interesting research study conducted at Princeton on the effects of porn dampening the part of the male brain which constrains violence towards other humans. (Which conjurs up a nightmare scenario for South Korea.)