Tag archives: Pornography

Playboy Out of the Porn Business?

by Cathy Ruse

August 11, 2011

This week CBS online reported that Playboy is getting out of the pornography business. According to Jim Edwards of Bnet, the whole commercial porn industry is tanking. He cites Playboys losses of $15 million last year on revenue of just $55 million (down 9 percent from the previous year), as well as the declining revenues of other companies and cable pay-per-view porn.

Wouldnt you just like to gloat? I sure would. That reaction might be misplaced.

As for Playboy, while it will no longer actually make pornography, CEO Scott Flanders says the company is moving into brand management, licensing its name and logos. So it could survive and thrive yet.

And the assumption from every quarter is that the hits to this vile industry are due not to some beneficent cause but to the glut of free porn on the Internet and elsewhere. It could be even worse than that. My friend Donna Rice Hughes, who heads Enough is Enough, believes its not quantity but content: the big industry leaders cant compete with the type of deviant hard-core material that is now available on the Internet.

I hope shes wrong. Whether its big porn syndicates tied in with organized crime or mom and pop amateurs dumping more and more deviant material on the Internet, the heart of the issue is still the same. As Bruce Taylor, the nations most experienced porn prosecutor, told PBS: Its still the same industry. These are a bunch of pimps who make hardcore porn […] by hiring people, turning them into prostitutes, and then distributing illegal obscenity.

The problem is the same, and so is the solution. These people are violating long-standing federal obscenity laws. Prosecute them and convict them. Its deceptively simple. Enforce the law, and the Internet porn industry will decline.

Trafficking and Prostitution of Children in the United States

by Family Research Council

May 19, 2010

Television anchor Dan Rather had an interesting piece in the Huffington Post yesterday drawing much needed attention to the growing problem of child trafficking and prostitution in the United States. He writes that throughout his 60 years of reporting, few stories have been more shocking:

How many children are being peddled on the streets of Portland and in other cities and towns, to say nothing of the Internet?…The most conservative estimates are that at least 10,000 American children are being victimized. Many experts say they believe it’s closer to 30,000 or more.

Rather talks with law enforcement to learn how it could be possible that so many young people are exploited in such an atrocious way.

… many of the children caught up in this are middle class kids from the area…The girls, sometimes as young as 12, often 13-16, are lured by a “front man” in his mid-to-late teens. He becomes her “boyfriend,” taking her to dinner, buying her nice things, sometimes meeting her parents. The girl eventually moves in with him. Then he says they need money to continue being together. First, she’s enticed to sleep with his friends to pay the rent. Soon she’s turning tricks for what police say is an endless supply of older men willing to pay top money for sex with very young girls. Other times convincing the young adolescent girls to sell themselves happens very quickly.

The Anti-Trafficking of Human Persons division at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services describe the various ways that children in the U.S. are exploited:

In the United States, children are subjected to human trafficking in many different sectors. Examples include prostitution on the streets or in a private residence, club, hotel, spa, or massage parlor; online commercial sexual exploitation; exotic dancing/stripping; agricultural, factory, or meatpacking work; construction; domestic labor in a home; restaurant/bar work; illegal drug trade; door-to-door sales, street peddling, or begging; or hair, nail, and beauty salons. Family members, acquaintances, pimps, employers, smugglers, and strangers traffic children. They often prey upon the childrens vulnerabilities their hopes for an education, a job, or a better life in another country and may use psychological intimidation or violence to control the children and gain financial benefits from their exploitation. Trafficked children may show signs of shame or disorientation; be hungry and malnourished; experience traumatic bonding (Stockholm syndrome) and fear government officials, such as police and immigration officers.

This same US government division provides numerous resources for people who might be victim to these crimes. One such resource is a 24-hour hotline that helps victims of trafficking by connecting them with local organizations that can provide help. The number is 1.888.3737.888. See the HHS website for more information on how to assist someone who could be a victim of trafficking or to learn more about this problem.

I am grateful to Dan Rather bringing this dark issue into the media light. Unfortunately, as pointed out by one commenter, the ad for Rathers story on the network’s website was ironically placed below another ad one with young girls in bikinis — for “Girls Gone Wild.” If nothing else, we can all agree that there is a deep need to continue to fight against the oversexualization of young girls and the many atrocious crimes that can accompany such objectification.

America’s Other Weight Problem

by Jared Bridges

May 18, 2010

Mary Eberstadt’s must-read essay in this month’s First Things, “The Weight of Smut,” covers the far-reaching effects that pornography has on American life:

The notion for starters that those in the industry itself are not being harmed by what they do cannot survive even the briefest reading of testimonials to the contrary by those who have turned their backs on it, among them Playboy bunnies (including Izabella St. James, author of Bunny Tales). It is a world rife with everything one would want any genuinely loved one to avoid like the plague: drugs, exploitation, physical harm, AIDS.

Nor can that defense survive the extremely troublingor what ought to be extremely troublingconnections between pornography and prostitution. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has notably taken the lead in investigating and throwing light on the sordid phenomenon of sex trafficking, both here and abroad. Yet trafficking, as the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have both noted, is often associated with pornographyfor example, via cameras and film equipment found when trafficking circles are broken up. Plainly, the reality of the human beings behind many of those images on the Internet is poorer, dirtier, druggierand youngerthan pious appeals to consenting adults can withstand. Is this world really what the libertarian defenders of pornography want to subsidize?

Once again, who even needs all that social science? Perhaps the most telling response to the pictures defense is rhetorical. Ask even the most committed user whether he wants his own daughter or son in that line of workand then ask why its all right to have other peoples daughters and sons making it instead.

Read the whole thing for a good perspective on just how burdensome the porn epidemic has become. Eberstadt quotes my colleague Cathy Ruse on the vitriol that defenders of pornography have against its critics.

For more, read the report of another colleague, Patrick Fagan, who has studied in-depth the effects of pornography on individuals, marriage, family, community.

FRC Releases Major New Study On How Pornography Threatens Marriages, Children, Communities, and Individuals

by JP Duffy

December 2, 2009

Washington D.C.- Family Research Council (FRC) released a new study today that comprehensively details the effects of pornography on marriages, children, communities and individuals. Pat Fagan, Ph.D. authored the study and serves as FRC’s Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Research on Marriage and Religion.

Dr. Fagan made the following comments:

This is a ground-breaking review of what pornography costs families trying to create a life together. Men, women and sometimes even children are saturated by sexual content, and more significantly, are told that it has no real effect. It’s just a little amusement.

Pornography corrodes the conscience, promotes distrust between husbands and wives and debases untold thousands of young women. It is not harmless escapism but relational and emotional poison.

The fact that marriage rates are dropping steadily is well known. But the impact of pornography use and its correlation to fractured families has been little discussed. The data show that as pornography sales increase, the marriage rate drops.

As this academic review reveals, pornography is creating a debt of the spirit and a cost in the lives of family members that rivals any deficit the federal government is producing.

The science is clear: children from families without married parents have much higher poverty rates as well as poorer health and other socio-economic difficulties. Nations with low marriage rates suffer the same fates. And underlying the social trends is the impact of pornography on family formation. It’s a quiet family killer.”

Among the study’s findings:

Men who view pornography regularly have a higher tolerance for abnormal sexuality, including rape, sexual aggression, and sexual promiscuity.

Married men who are involved in pornography feel less satisfied with their conjugal relations and less emotionally attached to their wives. Wives notice and are upset by the difference.

Pornography engenders greater sexual permissiveness, which in turn leads to a greater risk of out-of-wedlock births and STDs, which in turn lead to still more weaknesses and debilities.

The presence of sexually oriented businesses significantly harms the surrounding community, leading to increases in crime and decreases in property values.

Child-sex offenders are more likely to view pornography regularly or to be involved in its distribution.

Pornography eliminates the warmth of affectionate family life, which is the natural social nutrient for the growing child.

Click here to download the full study.

-30-

Maybe There Is Hope: Most Americans Still Think Viewing Porn is Immoral

by Cathy Ruse

October 30, 2009

A recent survey of 1,000 adults by Harris Interactive found that 76% of Americans disagree with the proposition that viewing hardcore adult pornography on the Internet is morally acceptable and 74% disagree that it is harmless entertainment. The survey was commissioned by Morality in Media in connection with the White Ribbon Against Pornography week this week.

There is a perception held by many that hardcore adult pornography has become acceptable in American society. But the perception is false, according to Robert Peters, President of Morality in Media. This is evidence that, what primarily fuels the market is sexual addiction, not casual viewing, said Peters in a press release. For full survey results and more information about WRAP week, contact Bob Peters at Morality in Media.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

October 7, 2009

Here’s some articles of interest for today.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

October 6, 2009

Here’s some articles of interest for your morning.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

September 30, 2009

Here’s some articles of interest.

Archives