Dec 03 2009

Oh please, we couldn’t find a five-year-old who hadn’t been exposed

Published by at 8:21 am

Some stories are so clueless they’re almost cute. Like this one:

When Université de Montréal assistant professor Simon-Louis Lajeunesse launched his project with men in their 20s, he wanted to interview subjects who had never been exposed to pornography — porn virgins — but he couldn’t find any.

“Guys who do not watch pornography do not exist,” Lajeunesse said Wednesday.

So his study examined the habits of 20 university students who consumed X-rated material — that would be all of them — and the impact on their sexual identity and how it shaped their relationships with women.

Lajeunesse found that most boys sought pornography by age 10, about the same time they became curious about sex. They chose what they wanted to see and soon rejected what they found offensive, such as bestiality or violence.

Where to begin, where to begin?

1) I find it absolutely, almost boringly, normal that boys should seek images of naked women when they start getting interested in sex. I’ve met a fair number of healthy heterosexual males in my time (I’m also married to one) and I’m pretty confident 100% of them, at one time or another when they were growing up, looked at X-rated images of women. They enjoyed it, too.

2) The fact that most, if not all, men have seen pornography does not necessarily mean that “Guys who do not watch pornography do not exist,” as the researcher said. Having seen pornography, even coming across it every now and then, is not the same as “watching” it. I’m prepared to believe there are no porn virgins anywhere around, but come on, it’s wrong to say that all men watch porn. They don’t. (Not even online; social networking sites are now more popular than porn.)

3) Hey, have you been out on the street lately? Have you visited any store with a magazine rack? Have you been driving anywhere? Then you, too, have been “watching” porn. Welcome to the club.

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Andrea adds: I agree with you, Brigitte. There is a huge difference between seeing some images in a magazine or online and “watching porn.” My concern when I saw these reports is that the takeaway would be hey! watching porn is AOK. And that, no matter what “studies” say, is not true. In any event, you are also correct in stating the obvious–I can’t get milk from the corner store without seeing soft porn. So that we are boiling ourselves to death here doesn’t make it right, and doesn’t mean our culture is flourishing.

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