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Where is the Cry to Ban Porn?

There are now two dead girls and one who is forever changed because they were gang raped by boys who then posted pictures and videos of those rapes online. Where is the outrage that politicians are giving to the gun debate?  Oh, right, porn isn’t on their agenda. It’s not even on their radar. Well, it’s on mine. And I’ll tell you why.

I was sexually abused as a small child. Most people know that about me. However, the part I rarely talk about are all the boys and men who followed, who took advantage of me because of that experience, using me for their own enjoyment.

I was used by man after man. Boys talked me into doing things that, had the Internet existed and our exploits gone public (as they so often do now), I would have been horrified for the world to see. It was bad enough that most  people in my town knew through gossip.

The reason I hate talking about the promiscuity that followed my sexual abuse is because I know I share the responsibility for that behavior. Yes, boys used me and talked me into things I didn’t want to do, but most of the time, I chose to let them.  Only once was I actually force into sex and even then, it wasn’t so much fighting an assault, but acquiescing to the man so it would be over as soon as possible.

So I know what these girls are going through. Yet there’s a huge difference in what happened to girls in my generation and what is happening to the girls of this one.  We didn’t have the Internet, cell phones with cameras, or even cell phones at all. I’m not sure we’d be alive today if we’d had. But there is one important similarity between the women of my generation and the girls today: both are plagued by fatherless homes and easy access to porn. The “boys will be boys” mentality probably plays as big a role today, too, in the acceptance of casual sex.

Whenever it’s suggested we need to examine our attitudes toward sex and porn, people balk at the idea because in our “me first!” culture, this could change how we have “fun.” We don’t want to think porn is wrong and contributes to sex being so abused in our culture. Because maybe then we’d have to face our own porn use…our own contribution to this problem.

Many kids (including mine) have seen their parents engaged in non-marital, intimate relationships. Go to a club on a Friday or Saturday night and you’ll see two crowds: the college kids and the “single mothers” who are there for “Ladies’ Night.” Sometimes the women are the same young age, but for the mothers at least, the fact that they are at a club means the kids are home with a babysitter. Nothing is wrong with Mom having fun with her friends once in a while. But when your kids see that Mom’s (or even Dad’s) life revolves around having romantic relationship after romantic relationship, that becomes normal for them. Children learn through example, after all. 

And while Mom is out clubbing, where is Dad? Not at home…not even in the family, most of the time. It’s fairly normal today for kids to be raised in fatherless households. I’d go further and say many kids really grow up parent-less, not just fatherless. Even when children are fortunate enough to live with two parents, the parents are often either glued to their phone or computer, working all the time, or chauffeuring the kids to a thousand activities. Being a parent is much more than that.

I didn’t always know this. I was a self-centered mom for most of my kids’ lives (and may still be, considering I just told my son, “I’ll talk to you about anything you want when I’m done writing my post!”). Parenting is about talking to kids and teaching/guiding them on how to make good decisions, holding them accountable when they make bad ones, and applauding them when they make good ones. Nowadays a lot of parents think that it means defending their kids against anyone who wants to hold them accountable for anything.

But even more damaging than kids receiving no guidance and not being held accountable for poor choices is the easy access to porn. Porn is a contributing factor in most sexual assaults, because kids today have 24/7 access to hardcore, violent porn. When my husband was a teen who wanted to look at porn, there was a whole set of hoops to jump through: getting someone to buy the magazine for him, the embarrassment in ASKING someone to buy it for him, and then finding a place to look at it. Today, there’s no shame at all attached to looking at porn, much less any difficulty in accessing it.

Before my conversion, I watched porn, all kinds of porn, and the stuff I’ve seen that kids can access for free on iPods shocked the hell out of me. Teens with raging hormones and access to that kind of violent porn will act out at some point. Many people–even those who watch porn regularly–don’t realize that rape is the most common plot in porn movies.

But most adults in our culture glorify or at least ignore the dangers of porn. At worst, it’s “No big deal for consenting adults.” But we’re forgetting our children learn to behave by watching the behavior of adults. If Dad “checks out” Kim  Kardashian, then teen boys are going to think it’s okay to do the same. If they find porn on their parents’ computers or phones, they’re going to Google how to get more on their iPods and own phones. Before long, they will want to live out these titillating scenes. And it doesn’t take much convincing for a group of boys to think it’s okay to imitate what they see in porn by raping a drunk girl.

Porn is everywhere, even in the grocery store aisle, folks. I opened a copy of Cosmo the other day for the first time in forever and holy moly…there were articles about sex clubs, orgies, girl-on-girl sex, and masturbation. The whole thing from cover to cover was sex, sex, and more sex. My 11-year old could buy that magazine.

Why do we wonder what is behind the epidemic of rape in our society? Isn’t it obvious?

As adults, we are the only ones who can help our children. Do we have what it takes to look at our lives and make the changes needed for the sake of our kids? I hope so, because if we don’t, there will be a lot worse things happening to our kids in the future. I wish our nation’s president was nearly as concerned with our youth’s access to porn as he is with their access to guns. As long as we’re banning things that harm our children, where is the cry to ban porn?

 

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About Leticia

Leticia is a 35 year old Catholic wife and mother. She has four kids of her own and three step kids. In the last two years her family has been on a amazing journey into the Catholic Church. She and her kids were received into the Church Easter of 2010. In October of that same year, she and her husband were married in the Church and he was Confirmed that November. The following May her three step sons were fully initiated into the Church and they became a family of nine fully Catholic people. They have learned a lot about God and their Faith in the last two years. She hopes to share some of what she has learned with anyone who is willing to listen.

April 16, 2013 - 11:18 am

Happy Birthday Benedict XVI - Big Pulpit - [...] Doino Jr., First Things/OTS Freedom in Fiction: The Leopard – Kathryn Hickok, Cascade Insider Where is the Cry to Ban Porn? – Leticia, Catholic Sistas Like a Shield, Mommy? – Stacy Trasancos PhD How Does Porn [...]

April 16, 2013 - 3:50 pm

Stephanie Tews - http://reclaimsexualhealth.com/

A Catholic on-line site that explains the addiction and how to stop it.

April 16, 2013 - 4:00 pm

Kleinbottle - Actually, if one uses real statistics, the rise of internet porn has correlated with a decrease in the rate that spouses cheat, a decrease in the average number of sex partners, and the decrease in teen pregnancy rates and abortions. I’m not defending porn, but by all accounts it has acted as an “outlet” for people to replace real-life behavior and not, in general, an encouragement to act out.

April 16, 2013 - 5:05 pm

Henry - Great post – really great! I applaud you for raising the issue.

April 16, 2013 - 9:36 pm

Fr Bill - As you know, pornography hides its legality behind the first amendment to the Constitution. Freedom of Speech. Each day, six times a day, the radio station of which I am a principal, asks: WHY do we never hear from our legislators, Congressman or Senators about pornography?
Interestingly, talking to God in a group requires a city code variance, mentioning God in a government-run school is as outlandish as sprinkling students with fecal powder; mentioning God in an American courtroom is like speaking Swahili, as it has no place there.
But pornography is available in the library, pornography is found in 100% of the homes of sex abusers.
WHY IS IT LEGAL?

April 17, 2013 - 1:02 am

Micha Elyi - “Where is the Cry to Ban Porn?”

Nowhere, because females would have to give up their porn too and they know it.

Just look around you. Porn beloved by females is all around. It’s openly and shamelessly displayed in public, stocked openly, carried by libraries – even in front of children. Those so-called romance novels that females can’t get enough of? The best sellers are porn, nine out of ten times. Those “I love you, bite me! Ravish me!” vampire novels? Porn. And men didn’t make Fifty Shades of Grey a monster seller, females did.

Girlfriend, if you want to see porn banned then do what I do. Try talking your girlfriends into giving it up.

April 17, 2013 - 7:28 am

Lynne - It doesn’t help that our Attorney General makes zero effort to enforce any laws in this regard.

Kleinbottle: it’s interesting that you don’t see a connection between porn and sexual violence. Try listening to the Ted Bundy interview with James Dobson.

I don’t know where you come up with your stats. Maybe you could cite? Because anything I read says all the opposite.

April 17, 2013 - 11:25 pm

Lily - I always hated the saying “boys will be boys”, sorry for the language but it really should just be translated to “bad parenting leads to a**holes”. It’s awful how so many kids are exposed to this.

April 18, 2013 - 9:52 am

Abby - Great post! It is a large contibutor to the problem, and I believe it begins with teaching our children. We parents need to teach boys to respect girls, all girls, even on paper or screens and girls to protect themselves, physically and visually or they fall prey to the porn culture as well. I have 4 daughters and struggle to find modest summer clothes and swimsuits. A mother I know with boys told me she thinks teen girls dress indecently in order to control the boys. Ugghhh. BOTH genders are victims to this culture and just walking in to the dark den unless we parents unite and teach them BOTH AND ALL about modesty and respect. I know my daughters have a VERY slim chance of finding a young man who will respect them and also want to wait for marriage. It will be like looking for a needle in a haystack! Pray for our teens, they are the future.

April 19, 2013 - 5:09 am

Weekly Round Up 04-19-2013 Catholic Family Man - [...] Where is the Cry to Ban Porn? [...]

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