I’m frothing at the mouth a bit after reading this article, Have the Feds Gone Soft on Porn? There was so much wrong with it, and I decided to re-post my comment on the article (with the relevant excerpts). Please comment at the article; happily, most of the commenters already tend to advocate free speech and diverse sexuality, but every little bit helps.
I’m grateful for the comments here, because I’ve loved Mother Jones magazine for many years and read this article feeling like I’d slipped into another dimension. I agree with most of the comments here about free speech and not deciding that heteronormative sexuality is the ONLY legal sexuality. But a few other things:
Hughes chats with “Justin, 16,” who freely admits to having a porn addiction problem. She asks whether the girls he eventually did have sex with were anything like the ones he saw in the videos. “No, ma’am. The girls in real life are nothing like in pornography,”
Yes, Ms. Hughes, that’s because the porn stars are adults. They are also sexual athletes. I would expect they were different at age 16, too. Or is Ms. Hughes advocating he date older? Or that teen women get better sex positive training?
Lubben described how her porn career left her with incurable herpes, papilloma virus, and ultimately cervical cancer.
I am sorry for the former porn star’s health injuries…but there are some problems with the statements. “Incurable herpes”? As opposed to that curable kind? And papilloma virus is incredibly (and unfortunately) common. According to the CDC it is present in 50% of sexually active people in the U.S. I’m guessing she’s not implying that 50% of the people in the U.S. work for porn companies?
Gag Factor and their ilk, [Gail Dines] added, are now the main source of sex education for boys.
The last point I’ll bring up (though it’s far from the last problem I have with this article) is this statement. IF this statement is true (and I’d really like to see something backing that up) I agree, it’s a problem. But why is the solution to make sites like that illegal? They weren’t intended as sex ed, they were intended as porn. Contrary to Ms. Hughes, they weren’t aimed at boys, either – because boys don’t have the credit cards. Porn is an industry, and the client base is NOT kids, believe it or not.
So why would boys turn to sites like that? Because they’re not given access to better sex education. If you want your kids to be sexually educated, educate them! Support sites like Scarleteen and tell your local school boards that it’s a necessary part. Hey, if you REALLY want to be radical, make sure it’s sex-positive and pleasure-based sex ed, instead of the fear-base that is taught in most schools.
I am speaking both as a parent and a producer and consumer of what some would call “porn.” I agree, there’s a lot wrong with the porn industry – and even more wrong with our cultural sexuality. But articles like this?