Should Pornography be Restricted by Law?
We live in the New Technologies Era. From the Internet, we can take a great amount of useful information. However, sometimes, it provides us with something harmful for psychological health. For example, pornography films or advertisements, which catch eyes while we are surfing the Internet, have a bad impact on us, especially on children. I strongly believe that the law should restrict pornography.
Firstly, it destroys the image of real love. Many children, who watch pornography films, think that love is only some kind of sexual relationships, which they can see on the screen of their computers. They will not be able to build happy solid family in the future as they tend to seek only for girls and boys of easy virtue. Moreover, it destructively influences the relationship in adult families. The husband or wife who spends a lot of time watching pornography devotes less time for children, domestic duties, and sexual relations with his or her partner. They replace the real life with the virtual one, where they can be better than they really are.
Secondly, pornography gives people the false picture of sex and makes them expect from it something unreal. However, in everyday life, women and men are not so perfect, and they cannot perform many sexual tricks that porno actors represent. It pushes many couples for the break-up of family through divorce or separation, because they want to find perfect sexual partners that they watch in porno films. Moreover, men are more aroused by sexual media than women are, and wives simply cannot understand why husbands spend more time in front of a computer or TV than with them. It leads to bitter family squabbles. Although it brings no benefits in sexual education, many people treat pornography as the best source that contributes to their perceived reality of what sex is all about. According to a 1998 Time/CNN poll (Stodghill, 1998), 29% of the U.S. teens identified television as their principal source of information about sex, up from 11% in 1986. Somewhat more (45%) mentioned friends as the major source, but only 7% cited parents, and 3% cited sex education. Another study found that 29% of boys rated pornography as their most significant source of sex education (Check, 1995). In other studies, 90% of Toronto boys (mean age=14) and 60% of the girls had seen at least one pornographic movie, and 43% of the U.S. males saw at least one sex magazine in a year (Russell, 1998). It is clear without explanation how difficult the situation is. In my opinion, without strict government policy against pornography, nothing will change.
Thirdly, pornography brings a lot of money to people who are engaged in it. It was created in order to make the one part of people rich and the other one at least psychologically sick. Being a 15 billion dollars annual industry in the U.S., pornography brings in far more money than professional sports, performing arts, theater, or all other Internet commerce. Video porno alone brings in $4 billion per year, with 11,000 new titles released annually (compared to only 400 from Hollywood), with 750 million video/DVD rentals per year (“Naked Capitalists”, 2001, May 20). According to these facts, we can state that money, which can be used for the benefit of the nation, goes out to keep the sex industry. If government clamps down pornography, the great amount of money can work on the country’s prosperity.
In addition, pornography has a great impact on children who are the future of the nation. Although the porno sites are forbidden officially for minors, it does not prevent them from watching these films, photos, and adverts. Researches Cantor, Mares, and Hyde (2003) decided to examine the problem using retrospective method, which entails questioning adult about their memories of watching sexual content as children. 196 college students remember an exposure to sexual media between the ages of 5 and 12 or during the teen years. Almost 92% could say so, 39% remembering something seen between the ages of 5 and 12 and 61% being at the age of 13 and over. Most often (79%), the content was R or NC rated movies, and 80% were viewed with someone else (only 17% with parents, however). Disgust, shock, surprise, interest, and embarrassment were the most common emotional responses remembered (21% to 25% each), with sexual arousal (17%) and avoidance (14%) being the most common physical reactions. Memories from younger ages (5–12) tended to focus on salient sensory aspects like nudity, kissing, and sexual noises, while the older memories focused on dialogue or themes like rape or same gender sex. This research revealed that pornography does not only influence children while they are watching it. It has an impact on their future lives. Even adults who have once watched porno films in childhood build their relationships with the opposite sex focusing on this experience. It happens, because the psyche of children is not sufficiently formed, and everything can easily influence it.
Finally, it is necessary to enumerate all harmful effects of pornography on the physical and mental health as well as on cultural values of every people. Porno films, advertisements, and photos encreases people’s sexuality on both mental and physical level and cause the development of many problems such as penile tumescence (Eccles, Marshall, & Barbaree, 1988), vaginal changes (Sintchak & Geer, 1975), and thermography (Abramson, Perry, Seeley, Seeley, & Rothblatt, 1981). In addition, with the rising of porno industry, moral values are not so important in the modern society. Firstly, porno provokes premarital sex. Although such type of relationship was prohibited some years ago, now it is openly discussed on TV and in the Internet; a great amount of people regard it as enjoyment. Nowadays, teenager may openly consider having sex with a boyfriend or girlfriend and discuss it openly with family and friends. They do not know that such kind of entertainment can bring them many problems such as early unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. They are taking it so lightly, because all movies encourage them to do so, especially porno ones. Secondly, porno films destroy all family values and show extramarital sex as a normal thing. Everyone knows that porno actors are not married to each other, but it does not prevent them from having sex. That is why such films convey the message that adultery is a modern thing, and it does not have serious consequences. People especially children who watch it tend to think that family ties are unimportant, and it is better to have fun with a lot of women or men than devote the life to one person.
On the other hand, many people state that pornography is a kind of art. It, as well as other kinds of art such as fiction, films, poetry, represents beauty. This kind of beauty is a special one and has the right to exist. In my opinion, pornography with all its violent scenes does not have the right even to stay beside other kinds of art. It does not bring any values to the society. Moreover, it has a destructive impact on everyone who watches it.
To sum up, pornography should be restricted by law. It does not have any advantages, but its drawbacks are huge. I strongly believe that only strict policy can prevent the rising of its popularity and help the society to recover from this disease.