Posts Tagged ‘legalized pornography’

Behavioral Pornographic Contagion: Teenagers

February 24, 2015

Behavioral Pornographic Contagion: Teenagers.

There were once laws against the production of pornography and its distribution in America. This activity was labeled a “vice”. Synonyms for the word vice are: immorality, wrongdoing, wickedness, badness, evil, iniquity, villainy, corruption, misconduct, misdeeds, sin, sinfulness, ungodliness, depravity, degeneracy, dissolution, dissipation, debauchery, decadence, lechery, perversion, crime, turpitude.

These laws were overturned during the 1960’s and were, along with the judgmental words presented above,  fading from existance by the end of the 1970’s.

To be honest, my teen buddies and I would have loved to obtain the explicitly florid and often weird categories of pornography that are now available for free…and just a few clicks away for anyone who “knows how to click”. This, of course,  is exactly why is was once outlawed and described in such condemning (now politically incorrect) terms.

Children have become better at media searches than a great many of their elders. The influences of pornography upon their thinking and actions are now plain to see to anyone who cares to pay attention.

America protected its children and all of its citizens in the 1950’s (and before) from the cultural damages that have been inflicted upon all of us by the legalization and wide-spread distribution of pornography. This form of bad behavioral contagion has catalyzed a host of maladaptive sexual outcomes for children, adults, and families.

If you accept this as true, you must also accept that these results have damaged America’s socioculture at large.

Call me an old fogey if you like, but much more than nostalgia, or bias, has influenced by judgement about this issue. Psychology’s laws and principles have predicted these social outcomes of the legalization of pornography and the subsequent pornofication of our culture.

I am forced, by the evidence, to conclude that America’s earlier generations were fortunate to have been protected from the long-term saturation effects of pornography.

This blog is designed to inform you about why I believe objective evidence supports my conclusion.

Unfortunately, even a single cultural change that has damaged American society cannot be explained in a few sentences. I hope you will spend the time necessary to see why too much freedom, in the form of pornography,  has lead to the sexual chaos that is now damaging America.

The first article below is a blog that I posted about my research findings on the effects of pornography on individuals. This information will help you to see the “big picture” regarding a second recent  news story about kids swapping nude images of themselves and others (“sexting”) on their social media.

https://culturalsurvivalskills.me/2010/03/31/pornography-is-bad-for-america/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/02/21/swapping-nude-images-spells-trouble-teens/23824495/

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 2/22/15

 

 

 

The “Devil” Is In The Details and Delayed Outcomes

December 6, 2012

The “Devil” Is In The Details and Delayed Outcomes

Yes, our thoughts about happiness, freedom, and the right to do what we want, whenever we want,  are pleasant to contemplate. We find it logical that we should be able to do whatever we want with our own bodies, or that of others, so long as they are in consent with what we do together.

We feel so good and excited, immediately, when we act upon such thoughts and plans. Unprincipled politicians who grovel and prostitute themselves are eternally inclined to feed the wants and pleasures of the masses in return for more  votes and personal power .  We construct Political action groups to represent our fondest desires for pleasure and freedom from traditional cultural restraints on our behavior patterns; formerly labeled immoral, unethical, elicit, or vices.

In so many cases, the social sciences have not been able to prove, beyond a shadow of doubt, that such behavior patterns are greatly damaging to society. Our traditional moral values are all we have had to protect us from various deadly temptations. The moral precepts of our religions have lost much of their strength to govern the thoughts, voting preferences and personal actions of America’s population.

And so….as our Democratic Republic mutates more  into a thing guided by base licentiousness, we will find that the “devil” is in the details and the delayed outcomes of our increasingly self-centered behavior patterns. I cannot tell you about hell in the after-life, and I do not need to tell you about hell on earth, because we are all beginning to feel what it is becoming in America.

Of course there are many causes for the many painful socioeconomic changes that we have increasingly suffered in America–escalating since the 1960’s.  I judge that certain of our elective cultural changes have been a significant stimulant to various damaging complex causal chains and outcomes. Such chains of cause and effect interact with each other and then fold back upon themselves in synergistic causal cycles, with each passing generation.

My experiences as a professor/researcher and practicing psychologist have given me a perspective that those who work exclusively in these  domains are less likely to gain.

My concerns relate to the following and much more.

No-Fault divorce has wreaked havoc upon the stability of our families and the mental health of our children. From what I can tell, when it comes to marriage, easy out also leads to easy in which leads to more easy outs.

The legalization of pornography has contributed to increasing sexual behavior in our children and youth. It has also contributed to sexual aggression in adults as well as sexually transmitted disease, infidelity in relationships, and  sex crimes against our children.

Closely associated with the deregulation of pornography is the deregulation of profanity and explicit,  florid violence in our entertainment media. Science has clearly demonstrated that flooding a population with violent portrayals will increase rates of violent behavior within that population.

The legalization of gambling has led to a new wave of compulsive/addictive gambling problems.  This has contributed to the instability of families, increasing rates of bankruptcy, the development of compulsive gambling in children, and increasing suicide rates among problem gamblers…as well as many more social woes.

The decision to mix women and men in close combat situations, on ships and in submarines has contributed instability in families, increased separation of primary care-takers from children, and a host of social/sexual problems within our military.

The inclusion of flagrantly homosexual individuals in our military has further increased the number of social/sexual problems with which our military must contend.

Our military must out-perform all other militaries in the world. It must be the very best at killing and intimidating our mortal enemies. Increased energies expended to manage internal family/legal/social/sexual problems is a detriment to our military’s primary mission and our long-term survival.

This nation’s growing welfare programs have directly increased the rate of learned helplessness behavior patterns within our population. This population is increasingly irresponsible, hedonistic, lawless, undereducated, unemployed, and (with few exceptions) shows higher procreation rates than the rest of our population. This segment almost exclusively votes for politicians who will further their useless and socioculturally damaging life-styles. This population of takers will soon outnumber the population of makers.

States are increasingly legalizing marriage between homosexuals. I expect this revolutionary change in humankind’s social structure will significantly increase the costs and stresses upon participating sociocultures. This new practice is likely to increase the rate of homosexual experimentation among our youth.  It must also destroy the core meaning and purpose of marriage (sexual fidelity between husband and wife, procreation and familial stability for children). It will certainly increase the burdens on our legal and court systems with new demands for mediating spousal  abuse, divorces, child custody and visitation disputes. The costs of these problems will be passed on to the population-at-large.

Washington State and Colorado  have recently legalized marijuana. These states look forward to the revenues that they will be able to collect as a result of the new and taxable sales of this addicting substance. With respect to the many problems caused  by the new legal drug, consider this.  The legal drug of alcohol = 1. The legal drug of marijuana= 1. The sum of the damaging effects of these two legal drugs will be greater than 1 + 1 = 2.  The combined damaging effects could well be 4 to 8. The whole of the damage to our socioculture will be greater than the sum of its parts. You can expect increases in polysubstance abuse and dependency; damage to families, children and youth; increased employment, health, industrial problems and transportation accidents; increased demands on law enforcement, jurisprudence, and rehabilitation services and  increased tax money expenditures. The costs of all of this will be passed on to tax paying americans (now only 51-54 percent of the population).

I expect to see legalized prostitution soon. This will bring an increase in its own set of social and economic problems.

The damage from all of  these cultural  changes are catalyzed through the numerous psychological mechanisms of Behavioral Contagion, which I have defined and explained in other blogs under that title. You may wish to look-up Behavioral Contagion in my search window above.

You can be sure that devil is in the details and the damaging delayed consequences of our own behavior.  I fear that America is about to relearn some historically obvious lessons in painful and traumatizing  ways.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Psychology

Health Services Provider in Psychology

Pornography Is Bad For America

March 31, 2010

Pornography Is Bad For America

The following is a copy of a post that I did some time ago. I represent it here because I know that not many of those who view my current posts are likely to search back through my history of postings. I also represent it because a friend and former colleague has asked my opinion  on a matter related to pornography and its effects upon culture.

My last, deep and comprehensive, analysis of the research literature on the effects of pornography was published 12 years ago. I spent two years on this project, almost exclusively and will not be able to match that effort again at this time. I am certain that there are new findings that will support and that will not support my conclusions. I am also certain that, as in my previous analysis of the data available, the philosophy and politics of many readers will bias their views of my own .

As a psychologist, my own assessment is not just based upon the research findings, however. It was, and remains, based upon the principles/laws that underlay the Social Learning Theory, Operant Conditioning and Respondent Conditioning of humans and other animals. These principles, laws, and learning mechanisms predict that certain response tendencies will emerge from repeatedly pairing orgasms with a particular class of  stimuli. Within this process new patterns of sexual arousal can be learned, new thoughts and images can become very frequent, new patterns of behavior can be fantasized, and new patterns of sexual behavior will become more likely. The conditionability of the consumer of pornography is especially heightened during puberty, but is also present in adulthood.

The depictions in modern pornography include, children and young teens ( simulated or real), homosexuals, groups, aggression, torture, disfiguration, feces and urine, and animals, to name only a few categories.

Given what I have learned about human conditioning and learning over the past 47 years of study and observation (36 years as a professor and  a concurrent 30 years as a psychotherapist), there is no way that flooding a population (children included) with the vivid pornographic depictions listed above will not produce an increased rate of human sexual actions that are harmful to a large number of individuals involved, in many different ways, and to their socioculture.

I have added an interesting article (following my own) from another source, to update my own post with more current observations of the many ways that problems produced by the porn industry can affect peoples lives.

Yes, there is research and opinion to suggest no-harm from the infusion of pornography into various cultures. I simply do not believe it.

My original posting follows:

It is so popular and comfortable to say that “whatever consenting adults choose to do is okay”. But there are consequences beyond what consenting adults choose to do, when they do “it” publicly. The same can also be said about some of the things that consenting adults do in private.

The hard reality is that many of our newly granted sexual freedoms (illegal less than one life-time ago) are severely damaging everyone, especially our young adults and children. These new sexual freedoms must therefore damaging our culture: How could it be otherwise?

As a psychologist,  I have frequently witnessed the devastating effects of  the scientifically flawed conclusions of  President Johnson’s Committee on Pornography which recommended the legalization of pornography in 1970.

In 1986 President Reagan’s Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography concluded that the earlier Commission’s findings of no relation between pornography and antisocial behavior was “starkly obsolete”. We now know much more about the effects of pornographic sexual stimulation upon humans than we did in 1970. What has been learned explains much of our sex-related human suffering and loss brought by a series of ignorant and irresponsible Court decisions mandating a nation-wide torrent of dramatically explicit pornography.

The following is a brief summary of scientific research findings about the effects of pornography viewing upon human thoughts, emotions, and behavior that I previously published [Mawhinney, V.T. (1998). “Behavior and Social Issues”, 8,  2, 159-193].

1. Violent portrayals of sex can increase sexual aggression in the viewer. Graphic sexual violence is common in XXX and R-rated films rented by adults and teens from neighborhood video rental stores.
2. Much of  pornography depicts women in grossly disrespected, exploited, and/ or sexually  abused rolls. I am stunned by the absence of outrage among Women’s Liberation organizations.
3. The millions who masturbate while viewing the deviant sexual displays that flood the internet (teens and kids, urine and defecation, pain and torture, and sex with animals, etc.)  are auto-erotically conditioning their own increased appetite for such portrayals. The same is true of any genre of pornography.
4. Both violent and nonviolent sexual portrayals can increase aggression in men when some other impulse-control impairing event is added such as drugs, alcohol, or frustration.
5. Commonly depicted rape scenes in which females finally acquiesce, and enjoy the sex,  perpetuates the idea that female pleasure is a common outcome of forced sex.
6. Viewing rape depictions can reduce the estimated seriousness of such assaults for both men and woman and the severity of the punishment that they recommend for the rapist.
7. Viewing pornography can cause the viewer to overestimate the commonality of the sexual activities observed. It can also increase the viewers expectations that such behavior will occur in their own relationships with others and that others will probably be willing participants.
8. Viewing pornography “primes” the observer to think about sex more often and this increases the probability of sexual behavior.
9. Watching attractive male and female sexual models in pornography can reduce the viewer’s judgement of the attractiveness of their own mate,  increasing dissatisfaction.
10. Pornography was a very small industry in the early 1960’s. By the mid-1990’s its revenues had grown to over 10 billion dollars per year. One recent estimate places this nation’s annual “mainstreamed” pornography earnings at about 56 billion dollars. The legalization of pornography has stimulated monumental new business growth and very substantial new revenues for our predatory government.

The longer-term consequences of  our incompetent sexual experiment are unprecedented personal and financial costs for increased illegitimate births, sexually transmitted diseases, rapes, child molestations, sexual infidelity in relationships and increased divorce rates. The flood of pornography is a significant partial determinant of all of these painful events. I submit that this is not “new found freedom”,  it is a deadly form of social chaos.

And what about our local strip clubs? The mixture of sexual stimulation, tension,  alcohol, and  frustration in a testosterone “saturated” local strip club frequently ends in physical brutality, violence, and death. Only the naive are surprised and shocked.

Do you really think a community gains more from these sex clubs than it loses? The costs to a city’s reputation are incalculable. The financial losses will be enormous. Consider the costs to law enforcement, emergency medical services, hospitals, and to our judicial and penal system. This “little object lesson” is an example of bad behavioral contagion. It is the spread of damaging behavior patterns within our lives, in large part, caused by the drug and sex practices that are encouraged by our own socioculture.

Of course one can make the First Amendment argument. But our founding fathers could never have dreamed that the meaning of “freedom of expression” would be so distorted as  to inflict an avalanche of vivid pornography upon this nation. Many of us, born and raised in the 1940’s and 1950’s, felt very free indeed: We enjoyed freedom from the culture-wide pornography related human misery that now, directly or indirectly, enslaves us all to its consequences.

What do our children learn from all of this? And how many of us care anymore? It saddens me to say this, but each generation appears to be breeding a next generation that is increasingly more troubled than the one before. Our addiction to pornography is a large part of this problem.  If you think that this culture’s sex, drugs, violence, and other impulse-control problems are bad now—just wait. There is much worse to come.

What can be done? The mark of emotionally healthy individuals and cultures is their ability to deny immediate gratification to achieve long-term rewards. All across this great nation, good citizens and their good governments must do all that they can to reverse our cultural sexual addiction contagion— and we must do it very soon. Eliminating the recreational sex industry within your own communities is a step in the right direction.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.   11/08/09

This is a slight revision of an article that I published in the South Bend (Indiana) Tribune approximately 9 years ago.

Check out some additional information that will augment and animate my own:

http://dannimoss.wordpress.com/2008/05/19/statistics-on-pornography-sexual-addiction-and-online-perpetrators/

VTM,     3/31/10

Our Community “Strip Joints” and Beyond

November 9, 2009

Our Community “Strip Joints” and Beyond.

It is so popular and comfortable to say that “whatever consenting adults choose to do is okay”. But there are consequences beyond what consenting adults choose to do, when they do “it” publicly. The same can also be said about some of the things that consenting adults do in private.

The hard reality is that many of our newly granted sexual freedoms (illegal less than one life-time ago) are severely damaging everyone, especially our young adults and children. These new sexual freedoms must therefore damaging our culture: How could it be otherwise?

As a psychologist,  I have frequently witnessed the devastating effects of  the scientifically flawed conclusions of  President Johnson’s Committee on Pornography which recommended the legalization of pornography in 1970. In 1986 President Reagan’s Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography concluded that the earlier Commission’s findings of no relation between pornography and antisocial behavior was “starkly obsolete”. We now know much more about the effects of pornographic sexual stimulation upon humans than we did in 1970. What has been learned explains much of our sex-related human suffering and loss brought by a series of ignorant and irresponsible Court decisions mandating a nation-wide torrent of dramatically explicit pornography.

The following is a brief summary of scientific research findings about the effects of pornography viewing upon human thoughts, emotions, and behavior that I have previously published [Mawhinney, V.T. (1998). Behavior and Social Issues, 8,  2, 159-193]. 

1. Violent portrayals of sex can increase sexual aggression in the viewer. Graphic sexual violence is common in XXX and R-rated films rented by adults and teens from   neighborhood video rental stores.
2. Much of  pornography depicts women in grossly disrespected, exploited, and/ or sexually  abused rolls. I am stunned by the absence of outrage among Women’s Liberation organizations.
 3. The millions who masturbate while viewing the deviant sexual displays that flood the internet (teens and kids, urine and defecation, pain and torture, and sex with animals, etc.)  are auto-erotically conditioning their own increased appetite for such portrayals. The same is true of any genre of pornography. 
 4. Both violent and nonviolent sexual portrayals can increase aggression in men when some other impulse-control impairing event is added such as drugs, alcohol, or frustration.
5. Commonly depicted rape scenes in which females finally acquiesce, and enjoy the sex,  perpetuates the idea that female pleasure is a common outcome of forced sex.
6. Viewing rape depictions can reduce the estimated seriousness of such assaults for both men and woman and the severity of the punishment that they recommend for the rapist.
 7. Viewing pornography can cause the viewer to overestimate the commonality of the sexual activities observed. It can also increase the viewers expectations that such behavior will occur in their own relationships with others and that others will probably be willing participants.
8. Viewing pornography “primes” the observer to think about sex more often and this increases the probability of sexual behavior.
 9. Watching attractive male and female sexual models in pornography can reduce the viewer’s judgement of the attractiveness of their own mate,  increasing dissatisfaction.
 10. Pornography was a very small industry in the early 1960’s. By the mid-1990’s its revenues had grown to over 10 billion dollars per year. One recent estimate places this nation’s annual “mainstreamed” pornography earnings at about 56 billion dollars. The legalization of pornography has stimulated monumental new business growth and very substantial new revenues for our predatory government.  

The longer-term consequences of  our incompetent sexual experiment are unprecedented personal and financial costs for increased illegitimate births, sexually transmitted diseases, rapes, child molestations, sexual infidelity in relationships and increased divorce rates. The flood of pornography is a significant partial determinant of all of these painful events. I submit that this is not “new found freedom”,  it is a deadly form of social chaos.

And what about our local strip clubs? The mixture of sexual stimulation, tension,  alcohol, and  frustration in a testosterone “saturated” local strip club frequently ends in physical brutality, violence, and death. Only the naive are surprised and shocked.

Do you really think a community gains more from these sex clubs than it loses? The costs to a city’s reputation are incalculable. The financial losses will be enormous. Consider the costs to law enforcement, emergency medical services, hospitals, and to our judicial and penal system. This “little object lesson” is an example of bad behavioral contagion. It is the spread of damaging behavior patterns within our lives, in large part, caused by the drug and sex practices that are encouraged by our own socioculture.

Of course one can make the First Amendment argument. But our founding fathers could never have dreamed that the meaning of “freedom of expression” would be so distorted to inflict an avalanche of pornography upon this nation. Many of us, born and raised in the 1940’s and 1950’s, felt very free indeed: We enjoyed freedom from the culture-wide pornography related human misery that now enslaves us all.

What do our children learn from all of this? And how many of us care anymore? It saddens me to say this, but each generation appears to be breeding a next generation that is increasingly more troubled than the one before. Our addiction to pornography is a large part of this problem.  If you think that this culture’s sex, drugs, violence, and other impulse-control problems are bad now—just wait. There is much worse to come.

What can be done? The mark of emotionally healthy individuals and cultures is their ability to deny immediate gratification to achieve long-term rewards. All across this great nation, good citizens and their good governments must do all that they can to reverse our cultural sexual addiction contagion— and we must do it very soon. Eliminating the recreational sex industry within your own communities is a step in the right direction.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, 11/08/09

This is a slight revision of an article that I published in the South Bend (Indiana) Tribune approximately 9 years ago.


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