By Mary Eberstadt and Mary Anne Layden
FINDING ONE Unlike at any other time in history, pornography is now available and consumed widely in our society, due in large part to the internet. No one remains untouched by it.
FINDING TWO There is abundant empirical evidence that this pornography is qualitatively different from any that has gone before, in several ways: its ubiquity, the use of increasingly realistic streaming images, and the increasingly “hard-core” character of what is consumed.
FINDING THREE Today’s consumption of internet pornography can harm women in particular.
--Women typically feel betrayal, loss, mistrust,devastation, and anger as a result of the discovery of a partner’s pornography use and/or online sexual activity.
--A markedly increased likelihood of divorce and break-up
--Heightened health risks as a result of the increased likelihood of the consumer’s exposure to other partners.
FINDING FOUR Today’s consumption of internet pornography can harm children in particular.
FINDING FIVE Today’s consumption of internet pornography can harm people not immediately connected to consumers of pornography.
--HARM TO VICTIMS OF SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
--HARM TO FEMALE ADOLESCENTS
--HARM TO ALL OF SOCIETY RESULTING FROM THE BREAKDOWN OF FAMILIES
FINDING SIX The consumption of internet pornography can harm its consumers.
--PORNOGRAPHY USE UNDERMINES MARITAL AND OTHER INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS.
--PORNOGRAPHY USE CAN MAKE MEN SEXUALLY INCOMPETENT WITH A REAL PARTNER.
--PORNOGRAPHY USE APPEARS TO BE FOR SOME A SLIPPERY SLOPE UPON WHICH THE CONSUMER FINDS HIMSELF ULTIMATELY DRAWN TO INCREASINGLY “EDGY” MATERIAL.
--PORNOGRAPHY USE IS GENERATING A SERIES OF COTTAGE INDUSTRIES AS SOME USERS ATTEMPT TO CURTAIL OR CEASE THEIR CONSUMPTION. THESE INDUSTRIES PROVE THAT SOME USERS PERCEIVE THEMSELVES TO BE HARMED BY SUCH CONSUMPTION.
FINDING SEVEN Pornography consumption is philosophically and morally problematic.
FINDING EIGHT The fact that not everyone is harmed by pornography does not entail that pornography should not be regulated.