Category: pornography

Cell phones create new moral and legal challenges

By Alan Bean

Parents, coaches and administrators at DeMatha Catholic High School in Washington DC are expressing outrage and disbelief after five football players hired local prostitutes the morning after an away game in North Carolina.  According to the story in the Washington Post, chaperons did their level best to avert this kind of behavior.  Bed checks were performed until 1:30 am and motel hallways were monitored until 4:30 am.  But the players waited until 5:00 am to call the prostitutes on their cell phones.

Principal Daniel McMahon assured parents that “The school community is saddened and hurt by the actions of these few who do not reflect the character of the community.”

But what exactly is the character of the community?  Who defines that?

WP columnist, Petula Dvorak isn’t surprised that football players would dial up prostitutes as easily as they could call  out for pizza.

It all begins with internet porn, Dvorak believes.  Back in the day, the natural curiosity of adolescent boys was sporadically sated  by occasionally ogling the skin mags at the local newsstand or convenience store.  Then came the anonymity and convenience of internet porn.  Many parents countered by using filters like Net Nanny, but with the advent of cell phones with internet access all bets were off. Now fourteen year-old boys download hardcore porn on a daily basis.

The ubiquity of porn (sometimes called the “pornification” of America) isn’t just a problem for children, of course, but at least adults have some sense that pornographic images deviate wildly from sexual reality.  With little basis for comparison, adolescents easily assume that porn sex is standard issue eroticism.  The social consequences can be dreadful.

Much has been written in recent years about sexual addiction, an ailment that normally begins with the compulsive consumption of mainstream porn and frequently spins off into violent and degrading fare featuring the intentional humiliation and debasement of women.  These disturbing images have little appeal to the neophyte, many believe, but as the viewer becomes desensitized to standard issue sexual content it takes stronger and stronger stuff to produce the same psychic effect. (more…)

Rape and the death of empathy

By Alan Bean

Just when it appeared that Paul Ryan’s infatuation with Ayn Rand might be garnering the attention it deserves, Todd Akin made his “legitimate rape” remark.  Suddenly the Republican National Committee was desperate to get Akin off the stage so he won’t ruin next week’s big show in Tampa.

But the Rand-Ryan connection may soon be staging a comeback.  People like Paul Ryan didn’t learn to love the free market by reading hard core economists like Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises or even Milton Friedman; they read novels like Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.  Stories are far more captivating than stats and pie charts.  In the relatively repressed 1950s, Ayn Rand was often a young person’s first brush with the pornographic imagination.   (more…)