Saturday, September 12, 2009

Anti-Porn event - emotional appeals and dangerous misinformation

*I apologize for this post being so long. If you want to read the most humorous parts, scroll down until you get to the quotes from the former porn actress, Shelly. They're the "highlight" of the show.

As many of you know, last night I attended Porn and Popcorn, a Christian anti-pornography event hosted by the Stewart Cooperative, the Purdue Student Union Board, and other various Christian organizations and local businesses (Chick-Fil-A was one, nothing too surprising there). Oddly enough, about 25 other members of the non-theists joined me. At least I had an excuse of "this will make a good blog post," but I think they're all just a bit masochistic. Or in it for the free pop and popcorn, which we received without bursting into flames or being struck with lightening.
Proof I wasted my time going to this thing

We settled down on Slayter Hill, a big open air amphitheater on campus where you just sit on the grass to watch the stage. There were about 600 - 1000 people there (wide range, I know, I'm not good at guestimating crowds). The band was already playing (not well, but playing), and I was amazed that they weren't playing Christian rock. Actually, the fact that they were singing songs I enjoy unnerved me a bit, because I suddenly heard the lyrics from a different perspective (Wait, this is about God and not his girlfriend?!). They even had about 10 female groupies in front of the stage jumping around with their hands in the air. Eventually they had 20 people holding hands and skipping around in a circle, at which point the giggling began.

As we were waiting for the real show to start, they had PowerPoint slides cycling through with what would be the only "scientific" facts of the entire show:
  1. "90% of kids age 8 - 16 have seen porn." What a wide age range. I'd love to see the distribution of that, because I'm sure the vast majority of those numbers come from the older kids. When you have a skew like that, you can't just keep including a lower age for shock tactics.
  2. "True or False: 18-24 year olds are the highest porn users - False. 12-17 use porn the most." Wow, shocking. Maybe that's because 18-24 year olds are actually having sex and are less curious about human sexuality because they've already learned about it? Oh wait, no, we're supposed to be in shock that middle and high schoolers are looking at sexual things. Sorry.
  3. "Women are more likely to act out their sexual urges, like casual sex, multiple partners, or affairs." Um, no. Buss 2006 summarizes the many studies that show men desire casual sex more than women, and both sides would engage in the same amount since they need to be doing it with someone, assuming heterosexual sex. Men and women would on average have the same number of partners, but men desire more. Laumann et al 1994 found that 25% of married men and 15% of married women had an extramarital affair at some point in their marriage. Nice try with the lies to slander women.
The show opened with a nicely produced video set to some hip hop music (dude, they get us) about how horrible sex and porn is. They had some skeevy looking guy taking of advantage of what I have to think was a thirteen year old girl, especially since they had toys and children's drawings everywhere. Afterward the pastor* comes out and tells us this is a reality (*Side note: I just want to make it clear that these are the "good" Christians who say Jesus loves everyone, only God judges, love the sinner hate the sin, yadda yadda). Yeah, sexual abuse of children is a reality, but it has nothing to do with pornography and should not be used as an emotional tool. But that's the only tool they have. The entire two hour presentation contained nothing but emotional arguments and personal stories - those "facts" I listed above were as close as you get to "science." To illustrate my point, here are some of the scare tactics they used at the beginning (bold is their arguments):
  • Senior citizens are the highest porn users. Doesn't that make you want to throw up? Wow, way to marginalize an entire group of people for being sexual. Oh wait, that's the whole point of this presentation.
  • A mother called us saying her 8 year old son stumbled upon a porn site. Yeah, he "accidentally" found it. Rigggghttt.
  • Porn destroys the economy because you're wasting your money on it. This said right after they tell us how porn is a multi-billion dollar institution. Doesn't that mean it would be stimulating the economy? (EDIT: Apparently even Gingrich agrees with me)
  • When this anti-porn Christian group went to a porn convention, everyone their loved and accepted them. Therefor they're doing the right thing. Could you imagine a Christian convention accepting a porn group? Or maybe people at porn conventions are more liberal and open minded, and accepting of people who are different than them?
  • Men feel terrified and guilty that they have to hide porn from their wife. Maybe you shouldn't marry someone who's so uptight and anti-sex that she's not cool with you watching porn. Some great communication you have in your marriage there.
  • Porn is a gateway drug to child porn. What. No.
They then brought out a former porn producer to talk about how he saw the light, quit the porn industry, and became a Good Christian. Every story he told didn't shed any light on the evils of porn - it just showed that he was a giant douche bag. He cheated on his wife multiple times before even getting started in porn. He secretly was a porn producer for 3 years without his wife's knowledge, and then when she found out, she left him. It's not porn that ruined your marriage - it's that you're a lying dick who was duping your wife. He then went on and on about how he ruined all of these women's lives and tricked them into porn, how in between shoots they would curl up in the fetal position and suck their thumb, how they needed surgery to correct the sexual things he made them do. I'm going to call Bull Shit on all of this, but even if it was true, that just further reflects on the guy's character, not porn - he's a giant insensitive ass.

Pastor: What did you think of our group when you first saw it?
Porn Producer: I thought you were a porn site making fun of Christians, and I thought it was a great idea!
Us: *laugh* ...*realize we're the only people laughing, go quiet*

He then went on to tell the story of all his inner turmoil because of porn (no, because you're a jerk) and how he used to be a troll at Christian forums. But they were all so nice and even though they banned him they kept telling him over and over again that they would pray for him. And eventually he prayed that God would give him sign.

Pastor: At some point you need to give up.
Us: ...

His car broke down and while the mechanic told him it was something wrong with the spark plug, he knew it was God. And that's when he stopped being an atheist and accepted Jesus. ...Yeah, buddy, if you're asking God for signs and you're willing to believe events with rational explanations are signs, I'm inclined to believe you weren't an atheist. Stop trying to make us look bad. He then went on to say how he was at peace, which including crying and puking... uh, okay, sounds real peaceful to me.

Porn Producer: There are bad Christians, but not a bad God.
Josh: Because there's no God
Me: *high five*

These sort of emotional, personal stories went on all night: they never presented any scientific studies or even included possible credentials they have (anyone have a degree in Psychology? no?). It even included a video of Pornmobile Confessions where people talk about their porn problems while riding in the backseat of a Mini Cooper at night. Their main argument is that they get people writing them all the time about how porn has ruined their lives. Um, have you heard of sampling bias? You only see the people who have been negatively affected by porn because those are the only people who are contacting you. The vast majority of people have had a neutral or positive experience, but you don't see them because you're not seeking them out. I'm sure some people really have had negative experiences with porn, but they're blowing it way out of proportion.

And with the people who did have bad experiences with porn, those were all caused BECAUSE OF THEIR RELIGION. People feel guilty/scared and hide porn from loved ones, and it ruins their marriage because of bad communication. People feel guilty for being sexual beings or need to turn to porn for their sexual curiosity. You know where this guilt comes from? RELIGION. If conservative Christians didn't beat over your head that sex was so evil to begin with, people wouldn't be having these problems. We'd have comprehensive sex education and open dialog about human sexuality so little kids wouldn't have to turn to the internet for information. We wouldn't feel guilty for engaging in normal sexual activity. We'd be able to talk about sex with our loved ones before marrying them and finding out they have incompatible viewpoints.

It's like Christians have fabricated the problem of sex so they can come down and fix it. And that's the only solution or "reasoning" they give: Jesus. All they repeated is that you need to follow God's plan and be a pure person. "Jesus died and can help you," but they don't say how. They never give a single other reason other than God. What about people who aren't Christians? What's their incentive to stop watching porn? I guess they either forget us non-Christians even exist, they figure we're a lost cause, or they see this as a good method to get us to convert to Christianity. The Religiosity Level was through the roof at this point as they told people to give themselves up to Jesus, and I really expected them to ask people to come up on the spot, but they didn't.

And as an important side note, this whole beginning piece came off as very demeaning towards women. All women were painted as fragile children who couldn't make their own decisions and were duped into porn. I never heard the pastor or the porn producer refer to females as women or ladies - they always called them "girls." Whether you were a helper in their movement, a porn actress, or the producer's wife - you were "Girl." Way to show some respect to adult women.

Then the night took drove right past Religiousville and took a right into Bizarroland. They brought out Shelly, a former porn actress who talked so nonsensically that the whole audience (not just us) was murmuring in confusion and convinced that she was either high or that her brain was permanently warped from years of drug abuse (which she later admitted to). Her talk was not only rambling, but incredibly sexist and racist, which was even more ironic coming from a black female. It was so rambling that I can't form coherent paragraphs about what she was saying, so here, have some lovely statements:

  • "Women were created as helpers." Isn't it lovely how Christianity can brainwash you into subordination? Why do women take this shit?
  • "Chosen virginity" Apparently those times you lose your virginity when you were a confused heathen don't count. You get to start over when you're Christian again!
  • "Once you start having sex, God's plan doesn't want you to stop." Or maybe you don't want to stop because you realize how nice sex is. What does that have to do with God's plan? If he doesn't want you to have premarital sex, why would he keep you going unless his plan is flawed?
  • "If he can't pay for the movie, he can't pay for the rent! You don't want him!" What the fuck? So that's all women want in a man - support? I rarely have had guys pay for dinner because we usually split, but if he does, I'll usually pay for dinner sometimes to. I can't imagine the idea of a boyfriend paying my rent. My parents raised me to be able to take care of myself without a man, thank you very much.
  • She was introduced to masturbation by her African Studies Professor, who said it was the best way to have an orgasm. She also supposed he was sleeping with half of the students. First of all, what is the purpose of pointing out he was an African Studies Professor? Second of all, since when is it okay to make wild libelous claims that you give absolutely no proof of?
  • "Think of a clean glass of water. Now imagine greasy finger prints all over it, like I was just eating fried chicken. That's what masturbation is." ...I don't know what's more disturbing here, the fried chicken comment, or the fact that masturbation is considered dirty.
  • Many women like masturbation more than sex, and that ruins their sex life. Therefore masturbation is bad. Or maybe their lack of communication ruins their sex life because they're too ashamed to tell their partner what they enjoy.
  • "Women were created to receive." ...Feminist rage in 3...2...
  • God created sex so you could be one with your partner. Every time you have sex, you're creating oneness with that new person, so you're fracturing your soul into pieces. OMG SEX CREATES HORCRUXES. That's really how Voldemort was doing it, but Rowling had to keep the book rated PG-13. Man, so does that mean when I reach 7 sex partners I'll become all powerful? Sign me up!
  • Do any of you watch soap operas? *looks at audience* A DUDE watches soap operas? Man, we're going to need to have a talk. Yes, because you're not conforming to your gender stereotypes! Oh, she then went on to say soap operas were evil, which I guess I'll agree with to an extent.
  • "Non-married sex is fake, it's counterfeit. The devil came up with it." ...Yeah, around this point she started invoking the devil. I have to admit this made me really uncomfortable. I mean, I've heard a lot of ridiculous religious things before, but just something about someone going on about the devil's influences and truly believing he exists unnerves me. It's such a convenient excuse for all the bad things you do that it absolutely absolves you of personal responsibility or control.
  • I had four abortions because my friend told me they were an option. Yes, blame your friend for your irresponsibility. Four, really? I mean, I'm pro-choice, but at a certain point you have to learn to be responsible. Maybe if she had proper sex education she would have known how to properly use contraception.
  • I had such bad self esteem that I would sleep with any guy who complimented me to thank him. Yeah, how is this porn's fault and not some serious issues you have? Go see a Psychologist, not Jesus.
  • I was sleeping with this gangsta guy who was had seven girlfriends at once. Again, what does this have to do with porn? This just shows that you made really poor life choices and have bad self control when it comes to sex.
  • I was a wedding planner for my best friend, and I slept with the groom. Okay, what are all of these stories illustrating other than you're uneducated about sex, out of control, have severe psychological problems, and are a horrible friend? Oh, that's right, they're setting you up to be incredibly hypocritical:
  • To connect with an unbeliever is to connect with the devil. and "If he can't be a faithful to God, he can't be faithful to you." Yep, can't go a whole Christian event without bashing the atheists. This quote made me fume. I just listened to a bunch of Christians go on about how they cheated, had promiscuous sex, kept giant secrets from their spouses, got STDs, did drugs, had abortions, etc etc - but that's all okay because they found Jesus. But those atheists? They have no morals, so they're all going to cheat on you. What a bunch of fucking shit. Our whole group was sitting their in awe of how morally bankrupt these people were, because we're actually good, honest people, and then they go and say we're the cheaters. Or as my agnostic friend said, "My current girlfriend (atheist) is the first one to not cheat on me, compared to all the Christians I dated." PSUB is going to get quite a few unhappy emails about how they're sponsoring events that slander non-believers with unfounded lies. I yet again had the wonderful feeling of being an outcast; that if I introduced myself to random people at Purdue and they found out I was an atheist, the vast majority would instantly not like me. But if you can believe it, that wasn't the quote that upset me the most that night:
  • "Protective sex is a joke." Wow. I can't think of a more horrible thing to be telling a crowd of 18-25 year olds. This is just plain irresponsible and dangerous. Again, I can't believe PSUB would sponsor an event that could have a severe detrimental affect on the health of students at Purdue. I...I'm really left without words.

After they basically had to kick Shelly off the stage because she ran over her time and refused to stop talking, they went right back into the Christian rock band. That's right, no time for questions. But you know what, it doesn't really surprise me. This type of religion isn't about asking questions or thinking for yourself. The event was to give you a biased view (no one pro-porn there) and to tell you what to do and how to think or else God will be very disappointed in you. I guess I was naive to assume they would encourage any intellectual discussion.

We then left and went to Qdoba to eat food and rant, and I'm sure some of the arguments we came up there were far more intelligent than the things I have just said. But I'm getting to the point where thinking about this depresses me, so I'm going to leave the rest of the insightful comments to you guys, and give you some funny highlights from the event:

Pastor: What better truth than the Bible?!
Non-Theists: *giggle*

Pastor: God wants to come inside you!
Friend: Woah, kinky

Shelly: *first comment* Sex outside of God's intention is desicration.
Me: ... *feeling insane at this point, lays down, covers face with notebook, and has a stifled tear-producing giggle fit, which in turn makes all the other members giggle inappropriately*
Friend: Jen's down! Jen's down! Monya [Treasurer], you're our first in command now!

Shelly: How many of you are virgins?
Audience: *some people put hands up*
Shelly: I mean a real virgin. Oral sex and anal sex and masturbation count.
Audience: *everyone puts hands down*

Shelly: What's that one guy's name with the long flowing hair?
Me: (from all the way in the back) FABIO!
Shelly: Yeah, Fabio! He's used as a sex symbol -
Non-theist females: Ewwwww Fabio

Shelly: Any of you ever want to admit to having a roach in your apartment?
Me: *only person in audience who raises hand*
Shelly: Yeah, you live it up, girl!
Me: ...Wait...IS SHE TALKING ABOUT MARIJUANA? I MEAN THE INSECT! *horrified, lays down in grass dying laughing along with all the other Non-Theists*
Minutes later
Friend: Jen! Now she's talking about bugs! Either she was always talking about cockroaches or she just got confused mid metaphor.
Me: Knowing her, it's the latter.

Shelly: How many of you girls have asked a guy what his life goals are before dating him?
Non-Theist girls: *raise hands*
Shelly: Only you four? You go girls! (Yeah, those evil, corrupt atheists...)

Shelly: How many of you have had one of those crazy drama girlfriends?
Some Non-Theist girls: *raise hands*
Angry Christian nearby: Faggots

Yeah, that last one wasn't funny - just wanted to illustrate what we're dealing with at Purdue.

170 comments:

  1. "Yeah, sexual abuse of children is a reality, but it has nothing to do with pornography"

    That's an incredible statement. I wish you had given the citation to back it up. Every guy that I've worked with, who was in jail for sexually abused anyone, children or adults has put porn at the top of the list of things that got them all jacked up to the point that they went hunting. Every single one.

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  2. Watching vanilla heterosexual porn between two consenting adults made your friends want to go molest children? Really? Why don't you go show me the study that supports that?

    Now if you mean watching child porn encouraged them, then yes, that could possibly be true. I can see how seeing something repeatedly would make some people want to go have it - key word, some people. Plenty of people have fantasies that they would never act out because they either don't want to or have self control. When your friends blame porn for their own actions, it's a cop out.

    And the idea that porn is a gateway drug to child porn is just laughable. If you're surfing for porn and find something hideously unappealing to you, do you keep watching? No, you close the window. If you're watching kiddy porn it's not because you stumbled upon it, it's because you had a predisposition towards it to begin with.

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  3. If anything, God would want people to screw as much as possible. It's natural reproductive urges!

    Don't forget! "Sex is like being at the right gate but the wrong door!"

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  4. @Makarios
    But Pornography didn't turn them into the sexual abusers that they are. They use porn, porn didn't create them.

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  5. Excellent post, Jen.

    What I don't get is, if these people really think pornography is evil and detrimental, why can't they just come up with some evidence rather than simply spouting off about religion and using biased anecdotes?

    I'm in a bit of an interesting position here in that I don't personally approve of porn for the most part, but that's a personal aesthetic judgment and I wouldn't want to prevent people from enjoying it if they do. I could almost sympathize with these people, if they weren't such bloody overbearing religious fanatics and if they weren't trying to ram their worldview down people's throats.

    What I'm curious about is, how did the majority of (non-non-theistic) students react to this presentation? I'm optimistic enough to hope they also saw through it... after all, these are university students we're talking about here.

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  6. mcbender, I totally understand. There are definitely some aspects of porn that aren't the greatest. But to make sweeping generalizations about *all* porn with religious conviction and no actual evidence... That's not so good.

    And I'm fairly certain most of the non-theists thought it was equally ridiculous, since most of us took part in a giant rant-fest afterward and the quiet people looked more naturally shy than offended or anything.

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  7. To establish causation of pornography to child molester, you have to go the other way around. It could be that child molesters like pornography, not pornography that causes people to molest children.

    Additionally, your experience is anecdotal which, scientifically speaking, is worthless. It's a great place to form hypothesis (as it's pretty much the only place), but it doesn't establish causal relations.

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  8. @Makarios: What Jaki said. Porn is a tool for child molesters, not a cause.

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  9. How is it possible for 12-17 year-olds AND senior citizens to be the highest porn users at the same time? They can't even keep their stats straight.

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  10. Very interesting. I'm not surprised by what went on at this thing. I wouldn't expect anything less than lying and hate filled lectures from these people. It was a fun read. I'm glad I wasn't there though. I would've been fuming.

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  11. GREAT post. I wonder if Kelsey or Tom from the Facebook wall were satisfied with this event. Probably not quite what they were expecting.

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  12. Hearing it from you, this sounds like one of those events I wish I could’ve attended, with something to drink, to eat, and an iTouch (heehee) with which to send dozens of quick tweets to a private Twitter account as notes for what to mention later on when I got home and started writing one long, furious blog post …

    Great and well-thought-out post as usual, Jen. No wonder I follow you. (Blog-wise. Stop looking over your shoulder now.) ;-)

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  13. I don't disagree with you at all, and I hope I didn't give you that impression in my prior comment.

    However, I think you misinterpreted my question, though. I wasn't concerned with the non-theists, but the non-non-theists who were also present (it wasn't a typo, but maybe I should just have said theists instead). I was curious as to what you saw of the reactions of the other students there who weren't members of your group.

    Did you get any immpression of what the general, overall reaction was?

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  14. Oh, I didn't think you were really disagreeing with me, just wanted to clarify how I felt about the issue.

    And I totally mentally ignored one of your "non"s, ha. Well, there were some Christian folk nearby who were giggling occasionally, and while there was applause where gaps allowed, it wasn't really thunderous...just polite. Other than that, I can't really judge what people thought. Most stayed for the movie, so I didn't hear people talking on the way out or anything.

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  15. Makarios, Take a look at all the people who use porn in the US. It is a huge number. Do all of them abuse children? Obviously not. You are confusing correlation with causation.

    RobsterFCD / Robert B

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  16. Those people need to listen to Sasha Grey talking about stuff. She's some smart lady. I usually only see like the first five minutes of her videos because unfortunately that's the time she uses to spend talking before she gets into it. She even used the word "psychosomatic" once.

    I'm sure she would get those chaste people sold on anything.

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  17. From the linked Facebook page:

    XXXChurch (leading expert on pornography) will present from 9:30-11:30

    "Honey, what are you doing on the computer?"
    "Err, um, 'Research'. You know, for work. We have to be experts."

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  18. Wow. As a university student in Canada, I cannot possibly imagine a presentation like this happening on our campus. The nominally religious people would find it nearly as insane as you do, and even the very few hardcore religious people we have up here would probably find it over the top.

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  19. Thanks for the report. I'm actually a little surprised to say that my state (Maryland), which isn't really all that progressive, recently had some controversy involving porn where my school actually came down on the right side of things. That is, the legislature was threatening to cut $400 million in funding to UMCP because they were showing porn in the student center, in a nonacademic setting, and sponsoring at least 2 debates featuring Ron Jeremy.

    Here's the link: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1889921,00.html

    Although the screening was officially canceled since the funding cut would likely go through, I'm pretty proud of the reaction it engendered on campus; students, professors, and administrators alike. I'm pretty sure you had to present ID to get in to their informal showing. It cost $5 for a ticket, so they were screening people anyway; it wasn't an open-air gathering like yours.

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  20. A horrifying view of humanity. What were the racist elements in the talk? There were a few subtler ones in your report but I thought since you mentioned it explicitly there might have been more.

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  21. Just like Butch Hancock says, Christianity teaches you that sex is the most filthy, awful thing that can be imagined, and that you should save it for someone you love.

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  22. I feel so filthy after reading this story. is this intellectual porn?

    Can you imagine yourself saying one day: "When I was young, I went through horrible things to please my blog readers. I went to a Creation theme park, a Christian anti-sex ranting event and much more, just because my readers complimented me into it,"

    Of course not, you're a sane, responsible adult. ;)

    Thank you for this dirty job.

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  23. "If conservative Christians didn't beat over your head"

    I think you may have just inadvertedly invented a whole new genre there.

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  24. Well done on another great post!

    I don't particularly see what Christians have against porn, and from the scanty pseudo-science they came up with (child molestation related to porn - WTF!?) this just goes on to further that argument! They know their argument of "the bible says porn is wrong" or something vague like "watching porn is a sin" does not stand on its own, and they clearly have to associate it with things like child abuse just to get people to pay some attention. It seems that once they have the attention of people they can then start on the bible bashing. There's something fundamentally wrong with that.

    Also, I'd really like to congratulate you on bringing up the point that some "born again" Christians have been real arseholes before they converted, but when they do convert everything is different for them and their now ‘the good’. As you more or less pointed out, most atheists have never done anything as bad as that (for example: taking drugs, breaking up people's marriages, even murder!) but we, the atheists, are still the evil ones? *despair*

    In Britain we'd probably never get anything like that rally; although, on The Big Questions today (BBC) they asked: "Is there too much sex on television" and one Christian woman stated that children/young people didn't need to see "rape, incest, fornication and homosexuality" on the TV. *gasp* Yesh sir, she actually got away with grouping homosexuality with rape and incest. Anyhow, that's a different argument for a different day!

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  25. Since science isn't the god that theists worship, I wouldn't be so quick to judge their exploration of the negative affects of porn as a complete flop. Some of us believe that scientific discovery is limited enough to not be completely trusted.

    It's true that XXXchurch did not present the solution to porn very clearly. I believe that the purpose of the event was more to explore the negative effects rather than present the gospel. Maybe that was a bad move on their part. However, if you truly want to know more about how Jesus changes lives, I'm game for an intellectual discussion--complete with honest questions on both sides.

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  26. Nate, If there were anything remotely intellectual about Jesus/god/any other deity, I might consider your offer. I think we're all familiar with the wondrous magic of jesus.

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  27. @SamanthaBella:

    "The Big Questions" is a very strange program. I've only seen the two episodes that Richard Dawkins was on (you can find them at richarddawkins.net), and it was rather disheartening to see him as the only person saying anything remotely sane (although his reaction at one point was hilarious, when a man on the show said "of course the devil exists!"). I can't imagine what it would be like watching it without him there.

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  28. wow, I just learned something new.

    Senior citizens are 12-17 years old!!

    (correlating their two "highest using" groups)
    roflol

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  29. Thanks for taking one for the team! I think you should take this information and turn it back on them with an event of your own.

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  30. That was hilarious and informative. I salute you for your journalism efforts.

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  31. Holy heck, Jen, prepare the bastions: PZ's just linked to you once again. =P

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  32. "Some of us believe that scientific discovery is limited enough to not be completely trusted."

    The problem is that merely believing something doesn't make it real. My youngest believes in the Tooth Fairy but that doesn't mean he's got a valid alternative to modern dentistry.

    If you want to explore something like the impact of porn then, I'm sorry, there is simply no reasonable alternative to the methods of science. (And certainly not "My pastor says...")

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  33. "This type of religion isn't about asking questions or thinking for yourself."

    There are types that aren't?

    "That's an incredible statement. I wish you had given the citation to back it up. Every guy that I've worked with, who was in jail for sexually abused anyone, children or adults has put porn at the top of the list of things that got them all jacked up to the point that they went hunting. Every single one."

    Right, because we all know people who commit heinous crimes are always scrupulously honest about their motivations and never try to make excuses (especially those that social prejudices incline others to believe) to try and deny responsibility for their actions.

    [EDIT]WHY THE BLOODY FUCKING HELL DOESN'T BLOCKQUOTE WORK?!

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  34. @Azkyroth:
    Because this is Blogger. =(

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  35. About the porn-child abuse thing:
    The points about correlation not being causation are good, but you also want to note how many men watch porn and DON"T abuse children. When an activity is fairly common in a population, it will be fairly common in most, maybe all subgroups of that population. I bet men who abuse children wear socks and drink coffee in the morning too. Will there be an anti-sock and coffee group emerging soon?
    Also, if a person is accused of child sexual abuse (or any other sexual assault, for that matter) and the evidence is solid, he is going to sing any song that will minimize his penalty and what better song than "Porn made me do it!!".

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  36. Those really are some bad arguments. I don't even agree that porn is bad in general and can think of them... if you're going to build an argument out of ancedotes, why not find an example of trafficed women (I'd be surprised if organized crime wasn't involved in porn, if not in the US, then elsewhere).

    And where's the OCSA regulations? I always wondered about this. The only thing regulating the porn industry is the porn industry currently.

    Porn has pleny of problems and issues, its amazing they did such a bad job of arguing againist it. I suppose its because porn is viewed as a moral issue, so the more down-to-earth issues are ignored (health and crimes againist women). So to them relating it to child abuse makes sense, it all part of immorality.

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  37. His car broke down and while the mechanic told him it was something wrong with the spark plug, he knew it was God.
    So...this is his god?
    Epiphany via the combustion engine. Just when I thought I've heard it all.

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  38. "Yeah, sexual abuse of children is a reality, but it has nothing to do with pornography and should not be used as a emotional too. But that's the only tool they have"

    I have to disagree with you there, that pastor sounds like a massive tool. (do you guys use that expression in America?)

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  39. Excellent post - thanks for the insight into the extremely disturbing way that some people view their own humanity and natural curiosity, desires, and impulses.

    I thought you brought up a very important issue - when people feel guilty for using porn, it is not because porn is inherently wrong; it is because they have been told (usually by their church) that porn is immoral and evil. There's a striking similarity here with how Christians argue that abortion is harmful to women. A common anti-abortion argument is that women who have had abortions feel very guilty about them. It is beyond ridiculous that conservative Christians can say this with a straight face, when it is clearly their unrelenting shouts of "abortion is murder!" that would make women feel guilty in the first place! Creating a problem and then claiming to solve it seems to be a common tactic for these people.

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  40. I have to say the Horcrux comment had me laughing out loud for five consecutive minutes. My neighbors likely think I am insane... or a mad scientist, and its all your fault! :P

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  41. You sound like a goddamn jew. I hate you liberal kikes, hope you burn in a car fire!!

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  42. Wow, doesn't even have the fucking balls to put a name with the ignorant hatred. Typical.

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  43. I have a quibble with the end of your post. You talk about Perdue "allowing" such an event, impressionable 18-25 year old etc. As someone in that age range (as I'm sure you are), let me point out that we're adults. Let's pretend that adults make their own decisions. At a university, even a private university, there is an obligation to permit students access to the expression of ideas of all stripes. No matter how deluded.

    I think you drastically overestimated the size of the crowd. I wasn't there, couldn't know. However, I've gotten fairly good at estimating the size of crowds (protests, etc.) and based on the fact that someone in the back could be heard outdoors, I'd set 600 as maybe the upper-limit. I know you admitted to slight inability there, but I couldn't let it pass uncommented upon. Ah, catharsis.

    Other than that- right on! The poverty of their scholarship is unsurprising, though I felt more pity than scorn for Shelly. I believe peoople deserve second, third, and even fourth chances for their mistakes and it sounds like Shelly is wrapped up in yet another one.

    I'm with you that the taboo of pornography no doubt causes more harm than good. Although there is room for talk about thinking critically about pornography and the role it plays in misogyny without going completely against it and becoming sex-negative prudes.

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  44. this is an amazing post - makes a ton of great points, and the horcrux comment had me literally rofling. Thanks for taking one for the team.

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  45. By the way, I hate this "gateway drug" argument applied to anything anyone finds remotely objectionable. Let's assume (for a moment) that porn is a "gateway" towards child porn-seeking. The number of factors that go into that include such things as predisposition, the independent decision to defy the law, etc., etc., etc. Once you take all such things into acccount, it becomes immediately apparent that the fact that the person has genitalia and reptile brain is a greater factor. Geez, the Spaniards were raping and selling 9 and 10 year old American Aboriginals as slaves before the mass proliferation of pornography.

    Life itself is the original goddamn gateway drug. When will that be verboten?

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  46. Wait a minute, here.

    Purdue is a public university. That means it is predominantly funded by public means the federal government. The Purdue Student Union Board is an official department of the Purdue Memorial Union.

    I'm pretty sure that means that this event was at least partially funded by public tax dollars.

    How is this legal?

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  47. Chemist,

    I didn't realize I may have come off that way, but I in no way believe this event should have been banned or something. I fully support free speech even when it's something I disagree with. I didn't protest the event or try to have it stopped - I sat in the back and listened (with occasional giggling and groans).

    I guess my main beef was that PSUB helped sponsor it. I don't like the idea that a group that's supposed to be educating students and supporting diversity is effectively doing the opposite. It just seems against their mission.

    And I swear there were a ton of people there - I tried to use the size of my 25 person crowd to estimate, but who knows - I should have taken a photo.

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  48. predominantly funded by public means *through* the federal government. egh.

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  49. I graduated from Purdue in '01. I new it was conservative but not tight-assed racist conservative. This is a little depressing.

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  50. Pastor: God wants to come inside you!
    Well, if that's God's approach that could explain why He's only gotten laid once in 6000 years.

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  51. It's clear that you had some serious rational concerns about the presentation you went to. But this is very much a rant. Not unlike a lot of ranting I hear from Christians against atheists and atheists and agnostics against Christians. I'm not trying to discount what you said, but it's a little hypocritical that your main concern was that these people gave an emotionally charged presentation low on facts and focus and you in turn make an emotionally charged rant that is mostly just opinion. It's a blog, that's what blogs are, I get it.

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  52. wait. quiet. I hear something rumbling. shhhh? what is that? oh, yeah, I can tell what it is now. ::::BIG HUGE F*CKING APPLAUSE!!!!!!::::

    That post f*cking rocked. Bravo chica bravo!

    It is just so awesome to see a strong thinking educated woman speaking out like you are. You inspire me!

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  53. @mcbender: "What I don't get is, if these people really think pornography is evil and detrimental, why can't they just come up with some evidence rather than simply spouting off about religion and using biased anecdotes?"

    Because religious adherents are self-selected for not really understanding the concepts of "evidence" or "proof" in any meaningful way, and then further discouraged from thinking along those lines once they are members of the religion. Whatever facility for rational thinking they might have had when they joined soon atrophies from lack of use, if not deliberate corrosive attack.

    Recently I ran across two websites sparked by the "Probably No God" bus ads where visitors are encouraged to post why they believe god does or does not exist. The atheist site was full of the rational arguments we all know, whereas the religionist site was full of "proofs" of the existence of god like this: "God exists because he made all things and takes a personal interest in us all."

    You can't have a rational discussion about proof and truth with someone with whom you have no common frame of reference for those terms. They probably are just as puzzled by us, the way we always keep insisting on rational logical steps when they "know" that "truth" has nothing to do with that.

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  54. @miketheinfidel

    I know for a fact, having been part of the leadership of a student religious group at one point that they are eligible for funds like any other on-campus group... provided they are not exclusionary. That is, if Atheists can join and attend events as well as make decisions within the body politic of the group, then the group is entitled to funds. This usually makes student groups uneasy and they don't apply for funding, unless they know they can't be co-opted by sheer plurality of vote.

    That said, no one can decide independently what groups and ideas can or can't be considered academic, and if the Atheists can get funding, so can the Baptists etc. This is not really an establishment of religion, unless you want to eliminate the funding for student groups altogether.

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  55. @anon. Her post may have been emotional but the difference here is, is that her post is full of facts and rational thinking. The rally that she posted about was all emotion and fear based and based nothing in facts or rational thinking. You are comparing apples to oranges.

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  56. I don't think it's illegal, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a poor choice on the part of PSUB, at least for PR reasons.

    Wow, that was probably the most horribly written sentence in existence...I apologize.

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  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  58. Whoops, didn't catch Chemist's well-thought-out bit about non-exclusionary events. I'm still going to check up carefully on the protocol for these kinds of events, because I'm very curious to see what is and isn't okay.

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  59. @dwasifar:

    "You can't have a rational discussion about proof and truth with someone with whom you have no common frame of reference for those terms. They probably are just as puzzled by us, the way we always keep insisting on rational logical steps when they "know" that "truth" has nothing to do with that."

    I agree with that completely; it's entirely consistent with my experience of these people.

    The question, then, should become 'how ought we to get through to them?'. Unfortunately, I haven't the foggiest.

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  60. Ack, I should clarify my last comment on several counts. I'm not at Perdue, and am in an entirely different state institution, though I imagine much of the legal thinking and policies are the same or similar. Also, I meant to also point out not that the groups are of academic value, but that many are not. Who's to say that a film club should be funded, but not a religious or ideological group. Students usually pay for such things through fees out of pocket as well, rather than through the grants given to the university.

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  61. Purdue actually doesn't have a student activity fee. Student organizations don't get any automatic funding, you have to apply for small little grants or raise your own money (mostly the latter). Student Government has tried to pass a fee multiple times, but the student body always votes it down...and even then, the fee includes a clause where no political or religious groups would receive money.

    Ok, now I'm rambling about Purdue politics and making my own thread go off topic. Bad Jen.

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  62. I have to say I am amased that Purdue funded any part of this xtian porn event. Jen, have you actually made enquirers as to the funding sources and who at Purdue green flagged the event?

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  63. "12-17 use porn the most." and "Senior citizens are the highest porn users." These are not necessarily conflicting statements. I understand that many senior citizens have an extensive daily pharmacological regimen, so porn use while under the influence shouldn't be too surprising.

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  64. I personally do NOT like porn, but it's not because I don't like sex. Rather, in my experience, the current juztaposition of the ready availability of the crudest types of porn with the societal taboo on sex is leading to ridiculous expectations of sex in which the woman has to put up with anything and everything the man wants and not say a word of complaint.

    In our current society, porn is ruining sex, because boys and girls are being exposed to videos in which women (and men) are little more than a few holes to drill. Sad to say, my current boyfriend is the first of six to not have sexual expectation derived almost entirely from watching porn videos in which the woman just does what the man wants. Me saying no to things was a shock to even those who had previously had a girlfriend or two because the guys had learned to expect to be given whatever they wanted and their previous girlfriends had learned that doing so was what SHOULD be happening.

    Still, none of that would be half the concern it is now if sex and sexuality were a topic that parents felt they could discuss with their children and older siblings, cousins and neighbours could discuss with their younger companions. Even just opening up the possibility for healthy, safe and positive experimentation would be useful. No need to force those who aren't interested in sex yet into having it, but those who are having it should be given the knowledge necessary to make it a good experience for all parties involved, including contraception and an understanding of sex that goes beyond the massive power imbalance common in porn.

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  65. I have to ask the anonymous poster who says that porn is ruining society if they feel the quality of life in Europe is better or worse than USNA'S?

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  66. I like your blog and I like your write-up on this event for the most part...but I happen to be staunchly anti-porn. This surprises most people who know me because I'm a liberal individual and a sexy artist-type (also because my sweetie told his buddies I'm the closest thing to a true nymphomaniac he's ever met).

    The thing is that I just find porn to be so demeaning to sex. It's not animalistic--it's mechanical at best.

    Also, it makes guys pretty bad in bed, from my experience. No, douchebag, I don't want you to cum on my forehead. That's not one of my feel-good places. Take a real anatomy class and don't be afraid to ask me questions. No, "Can I cum on your forehead?" is not the kind of question I mean.

    Don't get me wrong, I love good depictions of sex (I'm thinking HBO's "Rome"), but the porn industry produces demeaning crap.

    In summation: equivocating sex and pornography is inaccurate. I'm a sexpot, and I hate porn. It has nothing to do with my comfort level with my own sexuality and everything to do with my love and respect for sex itself.

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  67. @mcbender: Unfortunately I am forced to agree with you. There is no way to communicate without a meeting of the minds.

    I do think this is one reason why religionists' attempts to talk science ("Intelligent Design," Christian apologetics) sound so comical. They're trying to speak our language, but they're not native speakers, so it comes out as sort of a pidgin. They know the words but not the music.

    We probably sound the same to them when we try to discredit scripture by quoting scripture. We don't speak their language very well either. Our mindset can't be expressed in their dialect any better than theirs can be expressed in ours.

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  68. I fully support the idea of Christians not having sex.

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  69. Anon - the anti-porn post (wish these were numbered).

    I think by saying that porn is mechanical at best you are unfairly labelling all porn. Not all porn is the generic crap that floods the market. There are lots of production companies that know what their audiences want and provide very hot sex, if you happen to be into what they do.

    I agree that lots of men have strange ideas about pleasing their partner but I also have to say that perhaps that means they are just not sexually compatable. Some women actually do like cum shots on various parts of their bodies. Some women like being degraded, some men like the same thing. Some people are kinky, some are not.

    What I am trying to get at is that some of your complaint about porn seems to be more about personal preferencs about sex, or, and I hope this is not the case, a judgement on what other people's preferences are. I find it hard to say that one depiction is "good" and another is "bad" because what is good or bad is such a personal choice. Many would dislike much of what I do in my sex life, they would be very unhappy with it, it would be bad sex if I was their partner, but with a like minded person we have lots and lots of fun, and we seem to agree it is good.

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  70. Makarios said...

    I live in South Africa, which has the highest rape stats in the world. Child abuse is an epidemic and our law enforcement is a joke. I also happen to work as a reporter - which can mean knowing the seamier side of life.

    I don't know a representative sampling of rapists or peadophiles, so I have to ask the following: Who the heck you are hanging out with, and shouldn't you maybe find new friends?

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  71. To those that think porn is mechanical, maybe you should check out http://www.ifeelmyself.com/public/main.php.

    Or maybe you shouldn't.

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  72. @ "In our society, porn is ruining sex ...."

    Perhaps porn is ruining sex the same way "junk food" is ruining diets. Consuming constant junk food will lead to inappropriate attitudes towards food. A sex education based upon nothing but porn will lead to a distorted view of sex.

    Don't blame porn for bad lovers. Blame whoever suppressed the knowledge of how to be a good lover.

    Solution: balance. Keep junk food in moderation in a healthy diet. Keep porn in moderation in a healthy environment of open sexual communication.

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  73. "OMG SEX CREATES HORCRUXES."

    Best line in the entire post.

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  74. That lovely anonymous bit of hate halfway up the top of the comments is suspiciously lacking in caps lock and typos.

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  75. Lol I don't see what's wrong with porn really. Porn is actually quite diverse in what it offers up to it's audience. It surprises me that I am seeing some general statements about pornography being, over all, demeaning to women. I agree that it can be, but any one who watches porn knows that there are these things called categories. I can easily find porn that is pretty egalitarian in the treatment of the sexes, or even porn where the woman dominates. And then there is this whole thing about what is considered demeaning to begin with. Many times people cite depictions of men ejaculating on their partners faces as being demeaning to women. Well, let me ask this: is it demeaning to a man if a woman cums on his face? I think it's a matter of preference, this area is highly subjective and lets think about it before we make sweeping generalizations about an entire industry by citing our mere taste as evidence. btw cum shots ftw

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  76. Btw, yes that was my post above, and yes I am a woman. ;) I just can't figure out how to use my blog name :P

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  77. Not sure if this is gonna show up anonymous or not...

    Um, Hi. I lurk on PZ's blog; got sent here by his link.

    Awesome post!

    I am confused that Porn is a gateway drug to Child Porn. For me, it was a gateway to the BDSM community, where I found people that accept me for me, share my kinks and believe strongly in communicating about every aspect of sex. Clearly, I took a wrong turn.

    Porn is a good way to find out what turns your crank. Curious about something? Watch someone else do it! It saves on humiliation, embarassment and the possibility that you won't be into it half way through. So yeah, I guess in that manner, Porn can lead you to all sorts of shenanigans... but you had to be curious about it in the first place.

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  78. Just a technicality here, but:

    and both sides would engage in the same amount since they need to be doing it with someone, assuming heterosexual sex.

    Well, not quite. Assume a population of 50 men and 50 women, all paired in monogamous relationships (just to make the math easy). Suppose 49 of the men are faithful, and the last man has had sex at least once with all 50 of the women. In that case, I suppose one could assert that woman were "more likely" to diverge from the monogamous relationship in that quite strange population.

    Of course, the "statistic" you are disputing is wrong for other reasons, but it didn't "have to be" wrong because of the reason quoted above. Just a nit. :)

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  79. You (original author) think that because of the wide age range (8-16) "the vast majority of those numbers come from the older kids." Mathematically, with as high a participation rate as 90%, that's just not possible.

    If 90% of the population between 8-16 has seen porn, and if the ages are equally distributed (the same number of 8, 9, 10, etc year olds) then at a minimum 55% of 8-9 year olds have seen porn -- assuming ALL 10-16 year olds have. And, at a minimum, 77.5% of 8-11 year olds have seen porn -- again assuming ALL 12-16 years old have. This is just simple math.

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  80. Anonymous,

    I would like to see where they got the numbers in the first place. Since they couldn't keep their stats straight with what they presented. First it was teenagers that used the most porn then senior citizens.

    I think they pulled the 90% of 8-16 from the same place as most of their stats, from their ass.

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  81. BeamStalk: That's a sensible criticism. The criticism made in the original post was not.

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  82. Wow. As an agnostic Purdue student, I am somewhat sorry I missed out.

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  83. To the anonymous commenter talking about the percentages: You're totally right. Skew was just my initial reaction and I didn't actually calculate it out. But I still think 100 percent of older kids versus 55% of younger kids is a significant difference to be hiding, if said difference did exist.

    But like BeamStalk said, I would like to know where they got that data from, what the sample size for each age group was, etc...

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  84. I started at Purdue in 1964. The M/F ratio was 7:1. Porn was about all we had, especially if we were nurdy freshmen, without cars and (in my case) pretty much without a clue. I used to hitchhike down to Bloomington to complete my education.
    I'm glad Purdue men don't have to commute so far today; it's the green, responsible thing to do.
    Found you on Pharyngula. Glad to be here.
    Joe

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  85. It is unfortunate that children are viewing porn. Not because its morally wrong, but because that's where some kids are getting their sex education. One million years ago, as a boy, I had access to the Joy of Sex, which I read throughly leaving me with a good, but somewhat dated knowledge of sexuality (and an unnatural appreciation of 70s style haircuts). I can't imagine how hard it would be to have a healthy sex life as a young person when all of your knowledge of human sexual comes from a Ron Jeremy movie.

    Religion keeps people in the fold by making them require absolution. What better way to produce guilt than to vilify sexuality, a basic human desire. I would guess that religious people consume just as much porn as non-theists; they just feel worse about it.

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  86. Lightening? Seriously?

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  87. "SEX CREATES HORCRUXES"

    Awesome.

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  88. > How is it possible for 12-17 year-olds AND senior citizens to be the highest porn users at the same time?

    It's perfectly possible if you're counting in dog years. Hence I conclude that dogs are the biggest users of porn.

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  89. @Matt:
    Gives “dirty dog” a whole new meaning, dunnit?

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  90. Excellent post! I never comment but this was exceptional. The horocrux comment had me laughing for a good 20 minutes. We should be friends.

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  91. To the Anonymous saying that porn ruins sex because it gives men a false image of women: Does watching anime ruin Japan because it gives you a false image of the country? No. We KNOW it's fiction. This is a ridiculous argument.

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  92. What? Women who don't want their dudes to watch porn are 'anti-sex' now?

    Ever think that maybe some women porn disturbing for non jesus reasons? I sure as hell do. An ex worked at a porn store so I saw a whole lot of it, and a lot of the women in the movies are obviously high on drugs or really drunk when they are making movies. I am sure a lot of the ones who weren't high right then had drug problems and could not support their habit without having sex for money.

    I know what everyone is going to say next- "oh, but its not all of them". There isn't any way to tell. You might be beating off to sexual coercion or someone so fucked up that it borders on rape, or someone who has a psychological problem that is being exploited. or hey, you might not, because not *all* of it is bad, right? what other luxury item would people EVER feel ok about using when those are the stakes involved? supporting sexual abuses and exploitation of vunerable individuals? Street prostitutes and trafficked women are not excluded from pornography (ever wonder how some nasty dudes start a production company? thats cheap labor).

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  93. @miketheinfidel

    seriously?

    http://www.apa.org/pi/wpo/sexualizationsum.html

    there you go. that is how it is different than anime. This is seriously hurting people. If americans watching anime is hurting japanese people then yes, that is a problem. Not to mention the countless people uploading amateur pornography of themselves with people they know irl in porn style. People are copying what they see exactly. It is really really disturbing. The post you were replying to was talking about kids also, so I am really skeptical that they "know it is a fantasy". They are learning from it, could be their first exposure to sex.

    I really resent having the way that someone might personally disrespect me sexually (because they got their sexual education from pornography) to people not understanding japan when they will most likely NEVER GO THERE. Most people have sex at some point in time so it is a bit more important for people to understand it. Even virgin dudes could get the idea that it is ok to sexually harrass women from what porn contains.

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  94. They call his (Jesus) followers sheep for a reason.... Sheep are STUPID! Baaaaaa means Duuuuhhhh.

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  95. "OMG SEX CREATES HORCRUXES."

    Oh, yeah. I'm subscribing.

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  96. Vainglorious:
    @ "Perhaps porn is ruining sex in the same way that junk food is ruining diets... blame whoever supressed the knowledge of how to be a good lover"

    If you'd read my entire comment, especially the last paragraph, you'd see that I said that porn wouldn't be the issue it is now if discussions of sex even between parents and children weren't a huge taboo. Porn is ruining sex because it's all that most children are able to find on the subject of sex and the easiest stuff to find is the mass-produced stuff that treats women as holes, not the artsy stuff that shows an actual loving relationship.

    Miketheinfidel:
    @ "we know it's FICTION".
    Actually, most boys who are looking at porn don't know how much fiction it is. We know anime and manga is fiction because there are discussions about what life is actually like in Japan. Even then, how many 13-16 year old boys and girls do you know that speak almost entirely in manga-ese (kawaii, doku doku, yaoi, yuri, etc) and while they don't think that giant robots or tentacle monsters invade Japan on a regular basis, they do want to move to Japan to be "free" and be like one of the manga characters? I know at least a few in that age-range and even a few in the 16-20 range. And this is WITH the fact that if you want to find out a bit about Japan, you can ask a teacher or parent. Sexuality is so supressed in most of our society that most teens and young adults have porn as their sole source of information on what sex is like. Sure, they recognize that it's an exaggeration, but just like kids who think that kids their age in Japan are just running wild all over the place, kids who are watching porn have a really hard time drawing the line where the "fiction" ends and what sex is really like begins. Most simply don't realize that the woman (or submissive partner) can say no, that she (yes, or he) isn't always pleased by being pounded into and then given a cum-shot and that sex can be about emotional love as much as the physical act. None of this is evident in the most easily-accesible porn. Does this mean that porn is bad across the board? Of course not... but it does mean that unless or until we start to realize the importance of educating children about healthy sexual relationships, the average porn is damaging to our youth's sexual culture. Doesn't mean that porn should be banned, though... I just wish the big porn producers did a few movies where sex is explored rather than just had and until they do, I won't support them.

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  97. I don't suppose the name of the ex-porn guy was Donny Pauling, was it? He's an anti-porn "crusader" who does various speaking events. He also trolled Pharyngula a while back, which is how I found out about him.

    Never heard him speak, but his blog talks about his porn career and all the horrible things he'd done as a producer. As if that went with the territory and was not simply a sign of a bad character.

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  98. Anonymous, do you have any actual studies on sexuality in Japanese teenagers? You are making a lot of assertions here.

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  99. The only thing I can find is a report from Times in 1993 that pointed out about 25% of US female students age 15 have had sex and 33% of US males the same age have had sex. In comparison to 4% of Japanese female students age 15 and 6% of Japanese male students age 15 have had sex.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,978575,00.html

    Albeit this was a quick search by me and the study is old.

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  100. I don't suppose the name of the ex-porn guy was Donny Pauling, was it? He's an anti-porn "crusader" who does various speaking events. He also trolled Pharyngula a while back, which is how I found out about him.

    I was wondering if it was Donny too. Gettin' his Jesus on has given him a new career...

    You might be able to find the threads on gofuckyourself.com (adult web industry Forums) where Donny "came out" about finding Jesus. Needless to say, it's fairly entertaining.

    I find these people (Donny, Craig Gross from xxxchurch) who go from being pornslingers to selling salvation, beyond abominable. They made all their money capitalizing on "sin" and now they're using their marketing skills AND the idea that they're doing their thing now as some sort of atonement in order to get new members.

    Pieces of shit!

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  101. Heh. http://xxxchurch.com/blogs/theindustry/allowmetointroducemyself.html

    "Almost every abuse report involves religion" has a good question and point:

    One question: Why is this particular religious group so obsessed with porn? If you don't like it, leave it.

    I bet that hypocrite ugly red haired victim of inbreed beats his meat to gay porn and started this piece of shit cult to compensate his dirty little secret, as all religious figures.

    Congrats on moving from an honest business to a dirty cult, Donny. Great move. See the link above my post what kind of world it really is.

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  102. Hi Jen! (yeah, I'm pretending we're on a first name basis here) :)

    I'm another drifter from PZ's blog - and am also a liberal/geeky/perverted/etc. atheist from the Midwest (South Bend, IN - sadly). I just want you to know that you have seriously endangered my atheist marriage in this post! Not by promoting porn, of course, which my wife and I both enjoy and take advantage of...but by writing the following:

    "OMG SEX CREATES HORCRUXES."

    After taking that in and abating my laughter, I informed my wife that I simply MUST leave her and seek out this "Jen" from Blah Hag and seduce her. And, in light of the horcrux line, she has agreed wholeheartedly. :)

    Thanks for being so awesome - I'm bookmarking this blog and will pass the link along to others!

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  103. Thanks so much for such a complete overview. I go to Purdue and I'm on the Nontheist club's mailing list and I REALLY wanted to join up to see it. Unfortunately, I showed up a little late and couldn't find anyone.

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  104. nails and anonymous:

    If you think porn is bad because it portrays a false image of sexuality, you'd better be against soap operas and romance novels as well.

    This is just silly.

    If the porn INDUSTRY harms people, that's a bad thing. But people WATCHING porn does not cause the harm. And your argument was that watching porn harms the WATCHER and ruins THEIR sexual enjoyment, which is KOOKY.

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  105. Way to go son. We're all real proud of ya. You had the courage and stanima to sit through that and then write about it. I believe you are worthy of the New Athiest Medal of Valor. I must admit though you do have your critics. They say that on the one hand you hammer the xtians for unscientific statements about the troubles porn breeds and on the other, religion is your boogy man and his regard for fidelity is what's really mess'n us up. Don't worry though I'm on your side.

    Superstition

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  106. You know they never defined what they view as porn...

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  107. Jen, a lot of anger in your post about Christian's stereotyping atheists as morally bankrupt, etc… and I guess I can understand that. As a Christian, some of the stereotypes sadden me too… like the one expressed frequently that Christians consider sex to be evil. If that's the message events like this communicate, that is so sad. I actually thought you made some good points when you said:

    "If conservative Christians didn't beat over your head that sex was so evil to begin with, people wouldn't be having these problems. We'd have comprehensive sex education and open dialog about human sexuality so little kids wouldn't have to turn to the internet for information. We wouldn't feel guilty for engaging in normal sexual activity. We'd be able to talk about sex with our loved ones before marrying them and finding out they have incompatible viewpoints."

    At least in this I think we can agree… Our sexual nature cannot be ignored or totally suppressed. We have to learn to talk about it in healthy ways, and channel it in healthy directions. Now you and I might disagree about what is healthy, but we should be able to talk about it openly and honestly.

    As a Christian, I believe in the God who invented sex — every part of it! The erect penis, engorged vulva, hardened nipples, the sensations, smells, tastes, the amazing pleasure that rushes through your whole body during orgasm… God invented all of this — and it's good!!! Most Christians don't even realize that one of the books in the Bible talks about all of this in very passionate metaphorical language. I believe this powerful experience is supposed to be a profound expression of love that unites two people together for life — not something you share with a multitude of different people as they pass in and out of your life. We may disagree on that point, but at least we can agree that Christians should talk about sex HONESTLY.

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  108. There exists porn that I like.
    There exists porn that I dislike.
    And, then, there exists porn that I repudiate as impossible to consciously and informatively decide upon whether it may me desirable for one to participate in.

    "90% of kids age 8 - 16 have seen porn."
    Whether skewed, or misread, or misrepresented or not.

    Please, don't think that atheists think that it's okay for pre-pubescent kids to even remotely be exposed to material that would engage somebody's sick projection of their latent sexuality.

    Please, acknowledge that we do have common ground, common enemies, and the existence or non-existence of a god is fairly academic.

    We do have common enemies ( don't we?)
    Let's work on those.
    Let's talk about those>

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  109. I take it Anonymous is not going to back up their assertions of the sex life of Japanese teenagers. I am shocked.

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  110. I think this is an anti porn event went wrong. The intention was right but the outcome disastrous.

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  111. This is brilliant. It made my day. Thank you!

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  112. Sent the board an email letting them know my thoughts and got a form letter essentially saying that "the info they gave us before the event met our guidelines." Not sure if that means that after the event they agree it shouldn't have been what it was, or that, more likely, they don't really care what they put their name behind to keep interested groups (money) coming in.

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  113. You know "science" point #3? That women are more likely to act out on their sexual urges? As you say, it's a total fallacy, and a perplexing one at that. I mean, how can anyone plausibly deny that men are more sex crazed than women? It's the testosterone, people.

    Anyway, I was recently reading about Malleus Maleficarum, the treatise on witches first published in 1487. As most here probably know, women were the ones most often persucuted as witches, because, as the authors write: "all witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which is insatiable in women."

    So this blatant lie that women are more sexual than men has a looooooooooong history in Christianity. But let me guess, the organizers of this event claim to only want to protect women, right? From their own wild sexual natures, it would seem.

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  114. I think it's quite an assumption to suggest porn actresses are being coerced. I'm sure there must be some that are. But I also personally know a few, and they actually like their jobs. Nice intelligent people can also work in porn you know.

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  115. Some of the horribly inaccurate parts of this column are pointed out in the comments section on Jen's later post here.

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  116. Ever think that maybe some women porn disturbing for non jesus reasons? I sure as hell do. An ex worked at a porn store so I saw a whole lot of it, and a lot of the women in the movies are obviously high on drugs or really drunk when they are making movies. I am sure a lot of the ones who weren't high right then had drug problems and could not support their habit without having sex for money.

    I know what everyone is going to say next- "oh, but its not all of them". There isn't any way to tell. You might be beating off to sexual coercion or someone so fucked up that it borders on rape, or someone who has a psychological problem that is being exploited. or hey, you might not, because not *all* of it is bad, right? what other luxury item would people EVER feel ok about using when those are the stakes involved? supporting sexual abuses and exploitation of vunerable individuals? Street prostitutes and trafficked women are not excluded from pornography (ever wonder how some nasty dudes start a production company? thats cheap labor).


    Had you attended this event you might have noticed this is EXACTLY what my points were. The author had an agenda long before attending (read the articles leading up to her attendance) or she'd likely have taking note of such.

    After recruiting more than 500 first time models into the porn business I can tell you that not one of them ever came back and thanked me. I watched the lights go out in their eyes. I watched normal college girls become hopeless drug users to deal with the pain.

    I was slick: we'd start them off with softcore projects, get them used to making easy money, and lead them down a path. It was very easy to do, especially with today's attitudes towards porn (just look at the comments here: it's all perfectly okay, right?)

    It's really too bad Jen didn't come with open ears, instead of an agenda motivated by the "awesome blog post" she envisioned writing.

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  117. Excellent points Donny. It was good to read your comments on the other post too and get the 'other side' of the story.

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  118. Annoyed by girls who immediately say "porn is bad" when they date some jerk who is too goddamn stupid to have empathy for her and expects her to let him "cum on her forehead" or whatever other kinky act without consideration for her wants.

    Find a different boyfriend. It isn't porn's fault that you dated FIVE GUYS who didn't jive with you. It's the fault of their parents for not raising them to be empathetic and socially aware, for not teaching them that to give is to receive.

    My boyfriend didn't grow up watching a ton of porn. He might *hope* for some more out-there things but he sure as fuck doesn't expect me to deliver, or think it's his right to get to replay his favorite scenes. Why? Because he was raised with empathy and intelligence.

    In short: a guy (or girl) who is just being an asshole is going to be an asshole whether he likes porn or not. We're sorry it's ruined it for you, but you should maybe rethink your reasoning.

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  119. Also?

    Donny -- you're a fucking predator. For those of us who don't believe in god, your claim that you've been saved doesn't change anything. You're still a fucking skeev.

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  120. Donnie, you spend a lot of time in the other thread accusing people of putting words in your mouth. Pot meet kettle.

    She doesn't believe your stories, you don't present any proof, and it smells like BS to her. Then you come in here and say "OH YOU DIDN'T LISTEN TO MY POINTS". No it sounds like she heard you and doesn't believe you.

    We get it Donnie, you were a real asshole in those days and now you found Jesus and are a model person. Now you're mad because someone doubts your story?

    -Andy

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  121. And Just to clarify, here's what Jen said about you.

    They then brought out a former porn producer to talk about how he saw the light, quit the porn industry, and became a Good Christian. Every story he told didn't shed any light on the evils of porn - it just showed that he was a giant douche bag. He cheated on his wife multiple times before even getting started in porn. He secretly was a porn producer for 3 years without his wife's knowledge, and then when she found out, she left him. It's not porn that ruined your marriage - it's that you're a lying dick who was duping your wife. He then went on and on about how he ruined all of these women's lives and tricked them into porn, how in between shoots they would curl up in the fetal position and suck their thumb, how they needed surgery to correct the sexual things he made them do. I'm going to call Bull Shit on all of this, but even if it was true, that just further reflects on the guy's character, not porn - he's a giant insensitive ass.

    Ok, so she says that you made a big story about how much of how big a jerk you were. And here's what you say:

    After recruiting more than 500 first time models into the porn business I can tell you that not one of them ever came back and thanked me. I watched the lights go out in their eyes. I watched normal college girls become hopeless drug users to deal with the pain.

    I was slick: we'd start them off with softcore projects, get them used to making easy money, and lead them down a path. It was very easy to do, especially with today's attitudes towards porn (just look at the comments here: it's all perfectly okay, right?)


    You say you were a huge douche, you reflect on your own actions, but not others (your story about your ex in the porn store is pure speculation).

    Your representations don't contradict eachother. Jen heard you talking about being slimey and said it sounded like BS. You talk about being slimey and get mad that she questions it.

    -Andy

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  122. You guys have so much anger over one man admitting he was wrong and trying to make right! I find it incredible really. Stop and ask yourselves where all this anger is coming from… Could it be that you don't like the implications of his insight into the porn industry? Perhaps you just don't want your conscience troubled by knowing that your next orgasm could come at the expense of someone else's suffering??

    I haven't been reading this blog for long, but it's obvious Jen has a particular dislike of ignorant religious zealotry… Ironic then how the worshipers of porn seem to all block their ears when someone from the industry actually breaks through the fantasy with a few unpleasant realities.

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  123. Oh this is a fantastic post! I provide counselling and support to guys who struggle with porn, and I often come up against moralising nonsense like this.

    The trouble is, if you start searching Google for support and answers to your unwanted porn habit, Christian sites and forums rank very highly due to evangelical support networks. Some have blatant Christian overtones (such as XXXChurch) but others don't introduce the preaching factor until you have signed up to their course or joined the group. For non-Christians legitimately seeking advice, this can be very demotivating.

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  124. Excellent. You had me in fits at the Horcruxes thing, it was just oh so unexpected. And man I really want to go to one of those things at my Uni, if they are really that hilarious, I will have to start an atheist group, cept isn't that huge a deal in aus, but I have noticed flyers for the porn/christian ditty. XO

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  125. Please stop porn and prostitution now. Porn leads to prostitution in many cases for money. Most of the women are surgically altered. Some are fixed that makes them look thinner than normal women. They are fake. Porn also leads to child sexual abuse, relationship problems, child prostitution, murder, some porn heads are killers and it leads to more problems in our already fake society. All of the women in fashion magazines are airbrushed. We need real women and quality magazines. Just say no to porn it ruins lives!! Thanks so much for your cause. God bless you. Save the nuclear family now. Prostitutes carry flesh eating bacteria that is incureable. They also are charged by the state and federal government where all thier assets are eventually seized so they never really get to keep the money. Spread the word world wide now.

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  126. … Either Anonymous above is going for the greatest Poe ever, or he/she must’ve spent hours dredging up every canard and silly claim ever used against porn in history.

    Such an effort is almost commendable.

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  127. This is true. We did church ministry to the hookers in jail via us postal mail. They all had the same stories. Stop the insanity America. Save yourselves now.

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  128. The porn industry is organized crime. Anony 1 is correct.

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  129. Dude, you’re totally turning this thread into a perversion of nature. Mind sloughing off? kthxbai

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  130. See, Jen, this is why Blogger comments sucks and IntenseDebate (or, at the limit, Disqus) rules. Site-wide moderation, insta-delete, people have to give a name before commenting (no more “Anonymous”) unless they specifically write it in), plus banning options. Sweeter than sugar pie.

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  131. And therefore, in conclusion, it is neither one side nor the other that will win or lose this debate. Both will be suffocated by the mental vacuum present in the previous 14 Anonymous comments. Que sera sera, and the world turns ever on.

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  132. I don't understand what you're trying to get at, Mr. Anonymous. If you're trying to prove that you're a prick, that's fine and good, but if you have a legitimate point to make I've yet to see it.

    Either stop being vulgar and contribute something to the discussion, or get lost.

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  133. Dear Jen, I dunno if you’ve noticed, but you got a bit of a spam-troll infestation, here. Get out the flamethrower, I’ll deal with the oil.

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  134. As well as the Horcrux thing, I really loved the "Life is a gateway drug" line. Which I propose to steal, fence, invest offshore and generally exploit to the best of my ability.

    In my misspent youth I used to be a religionist, and can confirm from inside knowledge that crusading speakers just make stuff up. Including but not limited to how naughty they used to be. Is it not the case that both porn producers and preachers are producing for a market, both have to give the punters what they want? Public repentance might thus be what an entrepreneur and showman does when too old for porn, or after a business failure? A man's gotta eat.

    I, by the way, am a friend of Dwasifar and followed the link from his page.

    FYI: Every time I've posted (a little on some other threads, I get the following message in red: "Your request could not be processed. Please try again". So I do, and it works the second time.

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  135. @Hugo Grinebiter:
    I assume you operate from the sad realms of Internet Explorer? The “request could not be processed” glitch is inherent to those who comment on Blogger from IE. Used to do it to me all the time, yet since changing to Firefox (which you have no good reason not to), hasn’t done it once since.

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  136. @Joé: Not guilty, Your Honour -- I'm on Safari 4.

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  137. No thanks porn fags. Your dick is too small, it smells funny from fucking too many used up diseased infested whores and kids. You suck. You have no teeth from fucking Mexican kids. You smell and have diseases. Go fuck eachother up the asshole. Fugly losers. That is all you could get. Die now.

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  138. You Loser GAGS. Got teeth??

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  139. http://theokporn.blogspot.com/

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  140. Porn is evil? Cool! I'm evil now! :D

    Come over to teh darksideh~~ We haev cookies >:3

    Oh yeah one more thing; Everyone knows that Opera owns all the other browsers hahahahah XD

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  141. Got curious as to how fucking Mexican kids makes you lose teeth...

    I've actually never liked porn. Not because it's evil, rather because I rank it among them soaps and strange romantic movies that create a fiction I can never have in life. You know the kind were princess meets smelly beggar and lives happily ever after?

    Good article though. I may disagree with some of your conclusions (and agree with others) but it is a nice read.

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  142. Fuck everybody. Go have plastic surgery act and look like a porn star. Watch porn and jack off. Fucking losers.

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  143. No fuck you fake ass Barbie bitch u aint even real dumb bitch we luvs kids u go be a pile of shit. We aint gonna be dumb ass.

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  144. ya fuck u plastic drunk bleached out old whore. Take your business to hell with you. Sleazy old plastic bitch freak.

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  145. I'd also like to point out that the notion that pornography causes men to rape children is a typical EXCUSE made by people to cover up issues. There may be some pre-existing mental condition or tendency, but nothing, I repeat, NOTHING makes a person commit a crime. The decision to do something is in their hands, not in the hands of anybody else. Stop making up excuses for those who knowingly break the law. It is sad to see that even our supposed great legal system believes this bullshit.

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  146. There is no excuse for rape but, porn can get them aroused and they may not be able to find a cure so they commit a crime. That does not make it ok for them to do so.

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  147. Unable to find a cure? The meme that "Real Men don't wank" has a lot to answer for.

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  148. Fuck you Huhoe jump a cliff fag. Airbrush your balls and take a photo for your gay lover to put on your tombstone jack off.

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  149. Apropos of NothingJanuary 30, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    Excuse me. I am looking for an online Mensa blog meeting. Is this the right thread?

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  150. Fuck this shit. Porn is made by fucktard fags. Real women have smaller twats and look way better. Porn is just trash like the people that put it out sluts. Real hot sex is better with real people fags.

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  151. Hey porn fucks fuck you you fucking fucks. We hate your sleezy asses.

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  152. Die porn fags. Real women don't look like your shitty trash.

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  153. I am sorry that you believe that woman who oppose porn are anti-sex or "uptight". This is a lie perpetuated by men to silence women. Apparently you fell for it, I am surprised to see that you have labeled yourself a feminist. I am also an atheist, and a feminist, I believe the Christian anti-porn movement is harmful in many ways, but the anti-porn movement is not. There are many educated, strong, non-christian, pro-sex individuals who oppose pornography on valid grounds. There was a time when people criticized those that objected to slavery too. It takes a very strong woman to take a stand against something so normalized by our culture. I am anti-porn and I love sex. Porn is not sex. It is filmed prostitution. There is nothing sexual about it. I encourage you to further educate yourself on this issue. Instead of going to silly Christian events full of propaganda, try reading actual studies and books such as "In Harm's Way" this book documents The Pornography Civil Rights Hearings. You have an obligation as a woman touting the title feminist to educate yourself.

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  154. It is prostitution. I am a man and I hate that filthy shit.

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  155. Thank you. I think it is important that more men, as well as women come forward, and speak out against it.

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  156. You seem to be having some problems with making up your own definitions for words and the assuming that we should use your definitions rather than the correct ones. Prostitution is sex. Porn is sex (Or at least pretend sex, or random pictures of people you find attractive, or written depictions of erotically charged situations, etc.).

    Why don't you provide a complete, all-encompassing definition for porn, and then explain how your definition doesn't include your own memories of the sexual acts you claim to enjoy. It will be entertaining to see you move the goalposts for that one.

    I also highly doubt that you truly enjoy sex, since you clearly seem to think that all depictions of sexual acts are immoral. But then, you're a religious fanatic, like all of the second-wave (ie. ignorable) feminists.

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  157. The BEST THING about this comment thread is how many people are posting as "Anonymous". It makes it seem like one random person having the mother of all arguments with themself!

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  158. If poser there agrees with cheap porn than it should go buy it. We are not. Who wants to look at a bunch of fixed lezbos? If you like to do that or want manly women have fun jacking off. They will never give you any fag. Oh and you suck.

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  159. Wow. We anons have managed to put a lot of spelling mistakes in that last comment.

    As for porn. Anything that turns you on is porn. That includes the love letter your significant other sent you the other day, your memories of things you've done with them, any pictures you might have (Whether or not they are sexual or even explicit). Any written material describing romantic/sexual situations, any pictures of any attractive person. Any erotic artwork. The kinds and varieties of porn that fill the world is a wonderful thing, and it adds up to greatly increase the overall happiness in the world.

    Humans are visual creatures, and to suggest that you don't enjoy the sight of two people having sex basically implies that you don't enjoy watching yourself have sex. And if that's the case, then I feel extremely, horribly sorry for you.

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  160. "to suggest that you don't enjoy the sight of two people having sex basically implies that you don't enjoy watching yourself have sex"

    But how many of us watch ourselves having sex from a few feet away? I've done it with ceiling mirrors and stuff, but without my glasses it's wasted on me. Videoed self. never. And I don't think I would want to watch myself in that sense. Is there porn featuring unattractive middle-aged men? Didn't think so.

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  161. Hughoe see why you are nuts. Porn is fake. How can that be attractive? If they are going to do it it should be real or not at all. The world is at stake. You must be a porn dude. What gives?

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  162. Interesting read. I agree that most condemnation of pornography is on very shaky ground. I do feel that your point about the porn producer's character at fault for his actions rather than his job or erstwhile convictions hypocritical, given your behavior at the event. Also, claiming he was not a real Atheist is known as a No True Scotsman Fallacy. The behavior you and your friends exhibited at the event was very rude, even if the goings on were absurd. Was your behavior the result of character deficiency, a lack of home training, or your own beliefs?

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  163. I am really enjoying reading your well written articles. I think your blog posts looks unique and informative.I recommend everybody to read this post.
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  164. Since VexedDuck took two years to ask you a question, I think you should wait at least two years before you reply.

    Awesome post.

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  165. Your post was unbelievably funny and reassuring.  One thing- I do know people whose marriages have been ruined by porn and not involved Jesus.  Both were about the men actually being more interested in watching porn than fucking their wives.  In both cases, they secretly watched porn (both wives were OK with porn, as long as they were getting laid, too) but in both cases the men had gotten so much satisfaction from porn before ever having sex that they were intimidated by actual women and couldn't get it up for the fear of not being able to do what they saw in the films. 

    I have another girlfriend whose ex had to watch female wrestling while they did the deed.  He couldn't get it up without that.  That would be annoying after a while.

    I'm not anti-porn across the board, but it seems to be addictive and bad for some people.

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  166. Interesting reading.  Heck, I'm a Christian and I would have been driven mental going through that seminar.  Porn is often looked at as one of the greatest evils in the church.  But I'm not convinced it is.   I've viewed it, and masturbated to it, and a) my penis hasn't fallen off, and b) I can still see, c) my palms are hair-free.  
    That being said, I'm not convinced it is a good thing, either.  From a Christian perspective, the bible doesn't have anything to say about it, period, as porn didn't exist when the constituent books were written.  It doesn't say sex is dirty, either.  This is a human construction that came out of a less enlightened time for political and social reasons.  Actually, the bible has lots of super things to say about sex - read Song of Solomon, etc. Even an atheist would find the writing poetic. If science is to be a guide, then have a look at what seems to be emerging from neuroscience about brain plasticity and addictive behaviour.  Pretty interesting stuff.    As an analogy, orphaned Canada geese can imprint onto the human that rescued and raised them.  So it can go with people who "reprogramme" their brains to seek pornography when the sex-impulse triggers instead of seeking their wife or girlfriend.  It's not too difficult to see how it can be bad for a relationship.  Even the pinnacle of Righteousness, Howard Stern is claiming it's bad for relationships.  

    But porn is not a guaranteed pathway to an addictive behaviour.  Like food, alcohol, and so forth, moderate use and regular heavy use are very different things and have very different results, no?   Personality, temperment, and quite possibly genetic factors influence the outcomes, do they not?On another aspect of your post I'd like to address, I'm very concerned about the increasing anger, ridicule and hatred being displayed towards Christians.  True, there is a movement within Christianity that wants to politicize everything, particularly in America, and I attribute much of the angst to a reaction against this.  

    But most Christians I know and meet day to day are not part of the "echo chamber" that is the GOP sponsored mess that Fox, et al put on the news every night.

    Christians, for the most part, are intelligent, reasonable people.  We have a desire to reach out, to care for others, to encourage growth both spiritually and emotionally, to be charitable and forgiving.   I believe these to be superior approaches to life over a "me-first" selfishness that seems to be common today, and even proselytised in philosophies such as Objectivism, etc.  

    I would encourage you, as an Atheist, to make your peace with Christians, and stop the ridicule and mockery.  It is part of your Humanist Declaration, is it not, to support free inquiry?  Isn't ridicule and mockery a form of the bigotry you seek to avoid by being a Humanist?  Isn't religious freedom a part of this first declaration?

    I was born and raised without religion.  I found it of my own free will and inquiry into the Bible, without persuasion from anyone else.  

    As a Christian, I have benefitted immensely and have grown as a human being.  My life is richer for it.  

    As a Christian, I have sought after Truth.  As an Atheist, you seek after truth, do you not?

    We share common ground.

    I wish you well.

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  167. If you didn't have such ridiculous beliefs then people would not ridicule you.

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  168. μολὼν λαβέAugust 24, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Meanwhile, while you fight with each other, America is (still) being looted by professional money laundering mafias

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