Mormon Inquiry

Mormon Inquiry


A nice little chat about porn

posted by Dave Banack

By Common Consent rushes in where angels fear to tread, with a lengthy roundtable conversation about porn (in three posts) between anonymized permabloggers. The conversation is in response to a recent paper that’s been in the news lately, asserting an undefined link between conservative politics or religion and porn consumption (see discussion at this Get Religion post and at this T&S post). I know you’ll find the BCC discussion interesting. Below are links to the three parts, with a short quote from each.

50 Conversations About One Thing, Part 1. Quote from paragraph 6:

It’s obvious that our current approach [to combatting the consumption of porn] isn’t working, and in some cases at least, I think I know why. Repentance is an optimistic act or process that is only undertaken by people who feel supported and who have hope. See the BoM. People who experience intense shame are emotionally crippled and unable to move forward. Our current approach seems designed to maximize shame and isolation, and they’re both really destructive.

50 Conversations About One Thing, Part 2. Quote from paragraph 27, related to the LDS convention of equating porn with addiction:

If we take a utilitarian view of addiction, and judge it on its outcome, then in individual cases being hooked on World of Warcraft might be more immoral than porn, and vice versa. But the Church’s point seems to be that porn is per se immoral, even if it does you no demonstrable harm. In this case, are we just playing the Jesus Card — lust after a woman = adultery? If so, why do we play this card and not others?

50 Conversations About One Thing, Part 3. Quote from paragraph 34:

I agree that there is often a complete failure to understand what is going on. Part of it is because most males are either incapable of putting their feelings into words, or are afraid to. And with many LDS women thinking that porn use is almost automatic grounds for a divorce, that fear is not misplaced.

Based on the conversations I’ve had with my spouse, I will say that she sees no female equivalent of porn use or male internet fixation, and that nothing even comes close. Edward and Twilight and bodice ripper romances are harmless diversions. A man who spends 4-5 hrs/day on World of Warcraft is a bum, but a woman who spends 4-5 hrs/day mommyblogging or scrapbooking is A-OK. There is a divide, and it is huge.

Note: BCC did not open comments on these posts. After reviewing the comments at the T&S post, I decided to follow BCC’s lead.



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