Porn Is a Narcotic? Please.

Porn Is a Narcotic? Please.

Porn Is a Narcotic? Please.

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
April 2 2010 1:01 PM

Porn Is a Narcotic? Please.

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Rachael Larimore Rachael Larimore

Rachael Larimore is the online managing editor of the Weekly Standard and a former Slate senior editor.

The National Review Online has an article this week in which an unidentified psychologist (she writes anonymously) blames porn for the breakdown of her marriage. I’ve never had much affinity for the strange-bedfellows partnership that porn inspires between hand-wringing conservative traditionalists and outraged women-are-objectified feminists.  And this article did nothing to change my mind.

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The author starts off by hyperbolically calling porn a "narcotic so insidious that it evades serious scientific study and legislative action for decades" and then goes on to … cite a passel of "serious scientific studies." But, as Dr. Helen Smith (aka the InstaWife) points out , she ignored others that dispute the idea that porn is "ravaging American families."

"Anonymous" writes:  "Perhaps the greatest hardship for women who fear they have lost (or are losing) a husband to Internet porn is the absence of a public consensus about the harmful effects of pornography  on marriage ." That ’s your greatest hardship? It’s not having to support two households on the same income that used to support one, or dealing with how the fallout from your divorce has affected your five kids? It’s that not everyone agrees with you that porn wrecked your marriage? That tells me that this author is trying to project the problems within her own marriage onto society as a whole, which is silly.

I don’t doubt that porn can be indicative of a troubled marriage. But it’s a symptom as much as it’s a cause. If one person in a marriage is watching porn and the other disapproves, it’s a problem of having different ideals, or a problem with communication, or lack of respect for your partner’s feelings.

Watching Sideways isn’t going to turn a sober person into an alcoholic, and watching a McDonald’s commercial isn’t going to make a person fat. Porn by itself is not going to wreck a healthy marriage.

Photograph of sign by Cherry , u nder the terms of a GNU Free Documentation Licesnse .