Christian Right Fights Porn In The Dorm

A conservative Christian lobbyist group's latest crusade is the elimination of pornography on college campuses.

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The Family Research Council isn’t afraid to pick a tough fight. It has pushed for the teaching of intelligent design in public schools, endorsed the requirement of a one-year waiting period for couples with children who want to get a divorce, and publicly discouraged the extension of civil rights to homosexuals. Supporters of the FRC, a conservative Christian lobbyist group, gathered Wednesday to discuss the organization’s latest crusade: the elimination of pornography on college campuses.

Fighting “Porn in the Dorm”—as the FRC called their Family Policy Lecture on the subject—is an uphill battle.  A 2001 study conducted by scholars at Texas A&M revealed that while 56% of men admit to using the Internet to access sexual explicit materials, 72% of college-aged men readily say the same. Recent figures show higher percentages of porn site subscriptions in zip codes with a great density of young people and those with undergraduate degrees.

The prevalence of porn on campuses hasn’t defeated Dr. Patrick Fagan, Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute and Wednesday’s speaker. An Irish former grade school teacher and trained clinical psychologist, Fagan has worked on family issues in Washington with organizations such as the Free Congress Foundation, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Heritage Foundation. His controlled tone, combined with the hum of the FRC’s air conditioning and free Potbelly’s sandwiches, lulled the audience of about 40 young professionals into a comfortable midday trance reminiscent of Sunday school.

“Our teenagers today cannot know what is natural sexuality,” he said, citing a UK study frankly titled, “Basically…porn is everywhere.” Fagan compared modern American society to “pagan Rome,” claiming that the proliferation of sexual deviancy in our country is a direct threat to the “people-forming institutions” of family, church, and school. He considers the matter of paramount importance to civilization as a whole. “Sexual intercourse, like atomic energy, is a powerful agent for good if channeled well, but for ill if not. Healthy societies maintain their stability by channeling the sexual energies of young adults into marriage,” says his 2009 paper, “The Effects of Pornography on Individuals, Marriage, Family, and Community.”

Fagan blamed today’s plague of pornography on modern media. One of his slides included the May 2011 cover of Vogue Paris, which features a pouting Kate Moss being groped by five anonymous male hands. Christian organizations have pointed fingers at everything from technology to politics when it comes to porn. In a 2013 fact sheet without footnotes or citations, a Christian vendor of Internet filtering software called Covenant Eyes claims that 24% of smartphone users store pornographic material on their mobile devices. The organization says that 79% of porn performers have used marijuana, and “politically liberal people” are 19% more likely to look at porn than others.

Using data collected by the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, Fagan cautioned his audience about the personal consequences of pornography consumption as well. He flipped through a slide show of charts that correlated porn use and addiction with high divorce rates, abortions, and deviant behavior. According to his research, those who are exposed to porn as young adults become desensitized to its dopamine rush, which can lead to the pursuit of distorted fantasies involving children, the invalid and even vampires. In an earlier statement released by the FRC, he cautioned, “For college students, the use of pornography is especially problematic. Away from home and surrounded by friends, co-eds are susceptible to an addiction that can destroy their education, their relationships and their future.”

Relationships damaged by pornography use, said Fagan, can include the peer connections that young adults learn from while at university. Though college is a social phase of life, the consumption of porn draws individuals into themselves and discourages positive interaction with others.

Linda Williams, a professor film studies and rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, begs to differ. She and college educators around the country have used pornography as a teaching tool and a basis for classroom discussion. “I do believe pornography reveals a great deal about who we are as Americans,” Williams told TIME. “Its sheer popularity warrants examination, the same way we have studied soap opera, television and other popular media in the past.” New York University, Vanderbilt, and Bates College are only a few of the institutions that now use sexually explicit material in film, law and sociology classes.

Though he opposes the exposure of young adults to pornography, Fagan claims that he is not against academic freedom. In fact, he would like to see an increase in the research and discussion of human sexuality on college campuses, because he believes that informed students will choose abstinence over porn. The centerpiece of his presentation was a graph showing that the adults who enjoy the most frequent and pleasurable sexual activity are monogamous, God-worshipping partners. “The single biggest irony is that by and large, those who enjoy the sexual most, that have the most frequent sexual intercourse, are those who follow the Judeo-Christian way,” Fagan told TIME.

121 comments
blueseadragon
blueseadragon

What I don't understand is the idea that porn can be eliminated without replacing it with anything else. Porn is an misapplication of a natural human erotic urge. In a natural erotic nature is an apple, then porn represents a bowl of cane sugar.   If you forego the sugar buzz, what to you suggest for the apple to replace it?

Socrates133
Socrates133

Anyone smoked in an airplane lately?  70 years ago, most of the nation smoked, now lighting up a cigarette makes you a social pariah in many circles.  Imagine telling people sitting in central park in the 80's that by 2013 they wouldn't be able to smoke OUTSIDE...it would have been laughable.

While it takes time and is often an "uphill battle", things do change, especially when the harm that these activities cause to others is clearly seen.  FRC is not the only group seeking to limit pornography, nor is this limited to the dreaded "Christian Right", unless the prime-minister of GB is now included in that designation:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jul/22/david-cameron-crackdown-internet-pornography

An article documenting the similarities physiologically of pornography and drug use. 

http://www.fightthenewdrug.org/Science/Articles/HOW-IS-PORNOGRAPHY-REALLY-A-DRUG/



TristanAdoraCyre
TristanAdoraCyre

Ummm... how about the percent of chicks that watch porn? Is it just me or does this article seem strangely one-sided. Most girls I know watch it too, as well as myself. I don't really see anything wrong with it, as long as both parties are willing and of age. I'm just supposed to stop because some man-made religion tells us not to watch it? Riiiiight.

ironwolf56
ironwolf56

Interestingly the fight against pornography is one area that both the far right and the far left agree on.

MoreySoffo
MoreySoffo

Can't you see the frat boys responding to this by grabbing their crotches and yelling, "From our cold, dead hands!"  

NucLear
NucLear

So he's a nutbag christian bigot who hates porn? Gotcha. In other words, nothing to be surprised at.

SmoothEdward1
SmoothEdward1

Dr. Patrick Fagan must have serious street cred with college students. He cites as evidence, the media is responsible for the porn explosion, a 2011 cover of Vogue Paris magazine where Kate Moss is seemingly being groped by five sets of male hands - as if college students actually read.

RyanWehrle
RyanWehrle

If people want to watch porn, let them it isn't your place to tell people what to look at or do with their own bodies. My projection is if this ever did somehow manage to become effective that rape and pregnancies would rise. I don't know if people truly think things through before they start trying to enact "change".

Retards.

joelp77440
joelp77440

We didn't have the internet back when I was in school (ok kind of, like AOL went live my senior year) but their went plenty of porn VHS and DVD's around plus mags.  The short of it is you have 18-23 year old men (young, dumb and full of "you know what") in a small space, each one feeding off the other.  Just another example of an advocacy group trying to neuter men. 

Dr_D_
Dr_D_

Worthy undertaking. Should pursue with missionary zeal.

Mr.Wallingford
Mr.Wallingford

Maybe someday the Christian Right will realized porn is little more than a cartoonish caricature of actual sex, having as much do with real sex as the grotesque distortions of a drawn caricature are to a real person.  

drudown
drudown

Mixing religion and politics invariably leads to the degradation of both.

KahnKeller
KahnKeller

The Family Research Council isn’t afraid to pick a tough fight. ... yep... they are consistently wrong... but never in doubt... they are desperate to continue the 2,000 year old history of ..."good Christians"... forcing their evil and hate filled religious view on all the non Christians.... but the good news... they are dying out...

neilinnc
neilinnc

Wretched writing by Caroline Kelley.  It's obvious she has an ax to grind.  From the beginning her tone is disrepectful of her assignment and shows her disdain for the FRC as well as calling out "code words" to her perceived constituency.  I'll give some examples.

Paragraph 1

1.  Stating that that the FRC wants to 'discourage civil rights to homosexuals' (code).

This is a blanket statement that evokes images of police officers with high pressure hoses and barking German Shepherds.  

2.  Caroline equates the peaceful, educational seminar with a 'crusade' (code).

Crusade is code to evoke images of holy wars.  


Paragraph 2

3.  Fighting porn is an 'uphill battle' (code)

Don't you people know that porn is inevitable?  Uphill battles are loosing battles.  You are stupid if you fight an uphill battle.


Paragraph 3

4.  'a lulled midday trance' (code)

Evidently Caroline has a history of not paying attention.  If she finds it boring she tunes out.  So the code is that this is not worth her time or yours.  If you've gotten this far in the piece you should certainly stop here.


Paragraph 4

5.  Caroline consciously inserts the inflammatory phrase 'sexual deviancy' into Dr. Fagan's comments.

She directly quotes Dr. Fagan four times in this paragraph but the inflammatory words are not quoted from Dr. Fagan. 


Paragraph 5

6.  Plague of pornography (code)

Crusade, plague, middle ages, pre-modern ideas - you get the jist of where Caroline is taking you.

7.  '2013 fact sheet without footnotes or citations'

This seemed an easy enough claim to check.  The fact sheet was taken from a report that has no less than 128 footnotes and citations.  So now Caroline has gone to the next step.  She was being petty and mean, now she is obfuscating.  Of course, I could be wrong.  Perhaps Caroline was still in her midday trance and was too lazy to check these facts.


Paragraph 6

8.  'According to his (Dr. Fagan's) research'

Caroline didn't bother to cite the references in Dr. Fagan's slides.  She already told you in the previous paragraph that the 'fact sheet' had no 'footnotes or citations'.  Now Caroline is telling us that we can completely disregard anything that Dr. Fagan states.


Paragraph 7

9.  Linda Williams 'begs to differ'

Caroline now makes a ludicrous comparison between a discussion of the serious social issues with porn with an academic review of pornography.  


I'm not astonished by the lack of genuine reporting on this subject.  I want to 'call out' Caroline for her lack of professionalism.  Next time, report, don't phone it in.



MattBugaj
MattBugaj

A dull population is required for manipulation in governance. Increased specialization is their weapon of choice. Longer schooling is required to make people dull enough and then also skilled enough in their chosen fields. Longer education delays the starting of the family and puts young men's sexual primes on the open market instead. I think porn has fewer negative effects for society than promiscuity.

scottyisgaga
scottyisgaga

They did not say how they were going to combat it. Send out AFA to campus and scold us? LOL

RonHarris
RonHarris

and people wonder at the epidemic of sexual assaults on campus. 

jlist
jlist

How is this news? It becomes news because you give these fools attention? Could you maybe stop doing this? 

dola25x
dola25x

This Christian Taliban movement has got to stop this naiveté. You cannot legislate/police pornography. It is a waste of money.  Most campuses have an internet use policy in place already. Porn watching is primarily a male thing. Wait....are these the same guys on adult video chat rooms begging to be spanked or join a manage trois? Urgh...

jpaulson81720
jpaulson81720

Wow, there is a lot of Christian hate and stereotyping in the comments.  There is always going to be nuts in any group of people that make the rest look bad.  There is a lot of liberal extremists that make all liberals look bad, there is a lot of conservative extremists that make all conservatives look bad, I could go on and on. I wish everyone would not judge all of us Christians by the misguided acts of the few.

rmendez92
rmendez92

the same "Christian right"  has NO problem with people dying from lack of healthcare or letting the poor starve!  but i guess you have to stand for something!!!

RyanEngland
RyanEngland

Perhaps they can ally with the radical feminists - there's always lots of them on campus.  At first they may seem like unlikely bedfellows (if I may be permitted a small bon-mot), but it wouldn't be the first time when it came to fighting porn.  Far right and far left always end up being more alike than different; appealing to vastly different segments of the population with different philosophical and rhetorical styles, while ultimately advocating the same kinds of thing.

MoreySoffo
MoreySoffo

@joelp77440 umm, " . . . you have 18-23 year old men . . . each one feeding off the other." When talking about porn, this may be definitely Freudian.  I wish I didn't think in pictures.  

therealdude
therealdude

@Mr.Wallingford For some, it's an outlet for fantasies or needs that aren't being met. I suspect this is why the largest consumer of porn are mostly very conservative states, such as Utah, who have this very attitude toward sex. But it is curious to see this because just like the chastity vows had it's faults (increase in oral and anal sex), so will this if anything ever comes of it.

jpaulson81720
jpaulson81720

It seems like you are the one filed with hate, but that is just based on your comment.  I do not know you though, so I could easily be wrong.

jpaulson81720
jpaulson81720

Evil and hate filled religious views?  Please explain

KahnKeller
KahnKeller

@neilinnc : say bible bubba... you need to get...you know... a hobby...even better a job... even better...in another country....and have a real...good...day...

KahnKeller
KahnKeller

@MattBugaj : say matt.... I think you are a role model for the... you know...dull population...and matt... take your meds...

RonHarris
RonHarris

@dola25x "Christian taliban" that's precious.  I bet you were so proud of youself for thinking up that phrase, you didnt need no porn.

KahnKeller
KahnKeller

@jpaulson81720 "...say bubba...  what about using history to judge christanity... you know.. the inquisition, the crusades...destruction of whole nations (aztex, incan, and myian)... 2,000 years of percutation of the jews...and on going modern day witch trials ....pedophile priest....etc... how about them apples....????

TroyAdamson
TroyAdamson

@jpaulson81720  So...you're saying that, as a Christian, you're ok with porn being so prevalent in our society?

neilinnc
neilinnc

@rmendez92One in five hospital beds in the country are in Catholic hospitals.  One in four AIDS patients receive anti-retroviral treatments and home visits from Catholic Charities.  According to PBS news, in 2011, there were "117,000 Catholic medical facilities, from clinics in the deepest jungle to large urban hospitals in the developing world, that are involved in treating both people that are already infected with AIDS and trying to prevent the transmission to at-risk populations.

In my local county (Population ~1 million), Catholic Outreach provides one week of food per month for 11,000 families (~50,000 people).  


You obviously don't have your facts right.

RonHarris
RonHarris

@rmendez92 the poor in America are not starving.  You ever seen a ghetto booty?  It big!

KahnKeller
KahnKeller

@RyanEngland : say ryan... I think there is medical treatment for the...you know... "small bon-mot"... good luck with that...

RonHarris
RonHarris

@RyanEngland Yo Ry, you might want to be careful about using effete terms like "bon mot".  We might think you looking at the other kind of porn.

andrwkuiper
andrwkuiper

@KahnKeller @neilinnc 

Ummm... no.

That was an excellent analysis of biased language. If you weren't so obviously biased yourself, you would realize that.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@RonHarris @dola25x Look up what the Taliban is fighting to enforce, you will find they and the Family Research Council have much in common.

KahnKeller
KahnKeller

@RonHarris @dola25x :...actually the name or tag of "Christian Taliban" is very accurate... the major difference is... Christians don't have long beards... well... except for some of the women...

jpaulson81720
jpaulson81720

@KahnKeller @jpaulson81720 Also, Christians do not have priests, that would be the Catholic church, Christian preachers are called pastors, and they are not forbidden to have a wife. 

jpaulson81720
jpaulson81720

@TroyAdamson @jpaulson81720  Just because it is there does not mean I have to watch it.  What right do I have to push my morals on other people?  Just because I believe pornography is wrong, does not mean anyone else has to. 

jpaulson81720
jpaulson81720

@TroyAdamson @jpaulson81720 Believing that I have the right to push my morals on others is what is making people pissed off towards Christianity.  This goes for things like homosexuality and marijuana as well.  We are suppose to be living in a country that is free from religious oppression.  Involving religious morals in politics is unconstitutional.  God gave us the choice to sin.  He wants us to choose not to sin, not be forced not to.  God would not have given us freewill if he wanted us to be forced to live a certain way.