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CNN Highlights Pornography’s Destructive Effects on Society?

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John Roberts, CNN Anchor; & Professor Gail Dines, Wheelock College | NewsBusters.orgCNN refreshingly devoted an entire segment on Wednesday's American Morning to highlighting pornography's destructive impact on society, especially Internet porn. Guest Gail Dines detailed the harmful impact of pornography on men's sexuality, and anchor John Roberts even cited a study that found that 56% of divorces "involve one party...who has an obsessive interest in pornographic websites."

Roberts brought on Dines, a professor at Wheelock College in Boston and author of "Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality," at the end of the 7 am Eastern hour. After citing the gargantuan number of pornographic websites on the Internet, the anchor first asked, "You say in your book and in studies that you've done that pornography today is not your father's Playboy, that it's mostly gonzo porn that's really changing our attitudes towards sexuality and women. What are you worried about?"

Dines answered that her concern was the "level of brutality and cruelness, in pornography's affecting the way that men think about women, and it's affecting the way they think about themselves and the way they construct ideas about sexuality. Because the more men view pornography, the more they begin to think like the pornographic world."

After the two discussed porn's other negative impacts on men (such as "the more men view pornography, the more difficult it is to actually have sex with a human being, the more difficult it is to have intimate relationships," and "the average age of first viewing pornography today is 11 years of age"), Roberts cited his divorce statistic, which came from a 2003 study by the Matrimonial Lawyers Association. He concluded, "That's a huge number."

Dines replied, "When you interview...women whose partners have been habitually using pornography...they feel betrayed. They feel like these men are having an affair. They want to know why aren't they good enough?....When, in fact, the reality is it has nothing to do with them- pornography is industrial-strength sex, and next to that, actual sex looks boring and bland, which is why more and more men turn to pornography, rather than real human beings."

The fact that CNN devoted an entire subject to this topic is quite interesting, given all their recent activism for the homosexual agenda of the social left. Since Dines is a professor of sociology and women's studies at Wheelock and a self-described "radical feminist activist," it's plausible to conclude that the guest leans left herself on other issues, giving her a certain credibility in the eyes of the liberal network.

The full transcript of John Roberts's interview of Gail Dines from Wednesday's American Morning:

ROBERTS: If you spend any time on the Internet, it's hard not to notice just how prevalent pornography is. There are 420 million Internet porn pages, 4.2 million porn websites, and 68 million search engine requests for porn each and every day- pretty staggering numbers.

Our next guest is sounding the alarm about porn in our lives. Gail Dines is a professor of sociology and women's studies at Wheelock College. She's the author of 'Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality.' And Gail joins us now from Boston. Gail, thanks so much for being with us. You say in your book and in studies that you've done that pornography today is not your father's Playboy, that it's mostly gonzo porn that's really changing our attitudes towards sexuality and women. What are you worried about?

GAIL DINES: Well, what I'm concerned about is that the level of brutality and cruelness, in pornography's affecting the way that men think about women, and it's affecting the way they think about themselves and the way they construct ideas about sexuality. Because the more men view pornography, the more they begin to think like the pornographic world. And I speak to many women- and men indeed- and what the women tell me is that many of their boyfriends want to play out porn sex on their bodies.

ROBERTS: And this is simply because they're watching it on the Internet?

DINES: Well, they're watching lots of it. I mean, this is not every man, of course, but what happens is the more you watch, and, of course, the earlier you watch- because the average age of first viewing pornography today is 11 years of age, which means that the boy's first introduction to sex is often pornography, because he has no history of sex to compare those images to, so they look to him like regular, normal images of sexuality, as opposed to very carefully-crafted images.

ROBERTS: And so if- if you're looking- if your very first sort of sexual experience, if you will, or your very first experience of looking at something like that is on the Internet, and it is, as you said, cruel, violent porn- so what sort of image does that person carry with them as they grow up through the teenage years and become an adult?

DINES: Well, I would say that sex is something you do to women and it's something you do as way to debase them and dehumanize them. Sex is completely stripped of any intimacy, of any connection, of any relationship, and basically, it's just an act- it's instrumentally-orientated, and most importantly, as I say, there's no connection or intimacy.

ROBERTS: Right, right. So that prevents them or gives them more difficulty, as they grow up in their 20s and 30s, of forming intimate relationships with a single partner?

DINES: There's no question. This is what the studies are finding now, that the more men view pornography, the more difficult it is to actually have sex with a human being, the more difficult it is to have intimate relationships. And I've interviewed men who tell me that they actually prefer to have- to use pornography than they do to have sex with another person.

ROBERTS: Oh my goodness. You know, there's a study out- in 2003- by the Matrimonial Lawyers Association, that found approximately 56 percent of divorce cases involve one party in the marriage who has an obsessive interest in pornographic websites. That's a huge number.

DINES: And this is new- remember, we never really had this before, and this is really thanks to the Internet, which has made it more accessible and more affordable- and what you find- when you interview women who's- and especially women whose partners have been habitually using pornography, is that they feel betrayed. They feel like these men are having an affair. They want to know why aren't they good enough? What is it about them that have turned these men into using pornography? When, in fact, the reality is it has nothing to do with them- pornography is industrial-strength sex, and next to that, actual sex looks boring and bland, which is why more and more men turn to pornography, rather than real human beings.

ROBERTS: And you've gone straight to the industry to find out more about this in your research. You've actually attended porn conventions in Las Vegas-

DINES: I have.

ROBERTS: What are the producers and the purveyors of this saying to you about where this industry is headed?

DINES: Well, I think a lot of them in the porn industry don't know themselves, because it feels like- they say to me this feels like a runaway train, and what happens is I think they're taken by surprise at just how cruel and body-punishing the fans are asking for. I mean, they are surprised that the fans are going this far down to road to hardcore, and the question is, where is this industry going? Nobody actually knows because there's nothing left to do to the female body anymore. It's all been done.

ROBERTS: Wow. Gail Dines, the author of 'Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked our Sexuality'- some interesting food for thought this morning. Thanks for joining us- really appreciate it.

DINES: Thank you very much.

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    Tags: American Morning, cnn, Culture/Society, divorce statistic, Feminism, Gail Dines, interview women, John Roberts, Liberals & Democrats, matrimonial lawyers, obsessive interest, pornographic websites, pornography, Sexuality, wheelock college


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