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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Statistics show porn is violent

Pornography is as hard to find at Texas A&M as beer and pizza. It is everywhere: in dorm rooms, at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, on computers and at Blockbuster. Many people maintain a “boys will be boys” attitude toward pornography. They think it is natural for guys to look at “dirty magazines” and that no one is hurt in the process. These people are wrong.
Pornography devalues human life and it is a direct contributor to violence against women.
In an interview the day before his execution in 1989, serial killer Ted Bundy explained how pornography set him on the path to murder. At the age of 13, he came across pornographic magazines in a dump near his home. He was captivated by those magazines, and as time went by he gradually began using more explicitly sexual and even violent pornography. There finally came a point when pornography could not stimulate him any further.
“Once you become addicted to it … you reach the point where the pornography only goes so far – that jumping off point where you begin to think maybe actually doing it will give you that which is just beyond reading about it and looking at it,” Bundy said.
Bundy did just that. After years of consuming pornographic images, he began luring women into his car, molesting them and murdering them. Bundy was finally apprehended after killing a 12-year-old girl and dumping her body in a pig sty. By that time he had murdered more than 28 women.
Ted Bundy is not an anomaly. Of 36 serial murderers interviewed by the FBI in 1985, 81 percent admitted to extensively using pornography. Pornography plays a major role in many violent offenses – particularly those that are sex-related.
In a laboratory study, sociologist Diana Russell showed the desensitizing effect pornography had on Bundy is common. Russell found that male college students “were more prone to accept commonly held conceptions like ‘a woman really wants to be raped,’ and ‘yes means no,'” after being exposed to pornography in which women were depicted as enjoying rape. After repeated exposure for only two weeks, the college males “found the violent pornography to be less and less violent,” and some subjects became increasingly aroused by the images.
Pornography often leads to violence because it devalues human life. It strips women of their human characteristics and leaves only a two-dimensional object whose sole purpose is gratifying its user. The fantasies users indulge in center around themselves and their desires. Men who use pornography eventually stop seeing the women in pornographic images as human. In this way, pornography works as a catalyst in propelling sexual and violent fantasies into reality. As women become less human, they become easier to use, and in some cases murder.
Obviously, every guy who opens a Playboy Magazine is not going to become a murderer. Pornography use will, however, affect the way he views and relates to women.
There is also the danger that those who use relatively mild porn, like Playboy, will move on to more explicit pornography. This progression is common because of pornography’s addictive nature.
The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity estimated there are 2 million sexually-addicted Internet users, many of whom spend 15 to 25 hours per week viewing pornographic Websites. Addicts spend such large quantities of time on these sites because the videos and images they view never satisfy them – their use of pornography only leaves them wanting something more stimulating.
Eventually, the only thing more stimulating may be real sex and violence.
Pornography has pervaded our society. It is an industry that generates huge amounts of money every year, and it is now more accessible than any other time in history.
The Internet has made it possible to view limitless numbers of sexually and violently explicit images at any time, in any place, at no cost and with total anonymity.
The United States needs to recognize the dangers that pornography poses to our country. Drunk on our own freedoms, we are more concerned with our perceived right to look at what we choose than with the men rotting in addiction and the women suffering violence because of porn. If we do not take steps to remove it from our communities, we will all pay the price for it together.
Charlton Wimberly is a graduate student in accounting.

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