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United States Censorship The Internet

Internet Porn More Addictive Than Crack, Senate Told 886

Posted by michael
from the not-making-this-up dept.
applemasker writes "Wired says that the Senate heard testimony today that internet porn is 'worse than crack.' Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) called it the most disturbing hearing he'd ever heard in the Senate, saying that porn is ubiquitous now but compared to when he was growing up and 'some guy would sneak a magazine in somewhere and show some of us, but you had to find him at the right time.' Can someone submit a FOIA request for his browser history or cache?"
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Internet Porn More Addictive Than Crack, Senate Told

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  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:04PM (#10871870)
    ...a bill passed into law extending the ban on taxing internet access [cnn.com], a move that is very good for consumers.

    Of course, this being slashdot, we'll post a story about it before the vote [slashdot.org], not update it when the desired vote actually occurs, not post a new story about it passing, and instead post a story about a lone Senator's response to a University of Pennsylvania scientist's valid research opinions[1] (just as valid as, say, some sociology students alleging studying shaky, unprovable statistical anomalies in Florida voting [slashdot.org], even as the MIT/Caltech Voting Project says there was no widespread fraud, tampering, or errors [cnn.com]).

    Surprisingly, a person who works at a sex toy shop called Good Vibrations doesn't agree with the researcher's conclusions!

    Let's just face the facts that some people are more prone to addictive behaviors, and it can happen with anything: drugs, shopping, gambling, sex, and yes, pornography. The putative argument is that with the abundance of free porn on the internet, a porn addiction has the potential to be much more damaging, since it doesn't require the resources that other common addictions might. This is perfectly valid; it doesn't imply that everyone will be addicted to porn (or anything else), nor does it mean that internet porn will be "banned". It simply says an addiction with a free neverending supply can be harmful.

    Is anyone the least bit surprised or concerned that a conservative Christian Republican senator from Kansas found the testimony "disturbing". How is this news?

    (And as for the crack in the summary, believe it or not, there are some people who probably haven't had occasion to view porn on their computers. No. Really.)

    [1]Mary Anne Layden, co-director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Cognitive Therapy, called porn the "most concerning thing to psychological health that I know of existing today."

    "The internet is a perfect drug delivery system because you are anonymous, aroused and have role models for these behaviors," Layden said. "To have drug pumped into your house 24/7, free, and children know how to use it better than grown-ups know how to use it -- it's a perfect delivery system if we want to have a whole generation of young addicts who will never have the drug out of their mind."

    Pornography addicts have a more difficult time recovering from their addiction than cocaine addicts, since coke users can get the drug out of their system, but pornographic images stay in the brain forever, Layden said.
    • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:46PM (#10872149) Journal
      ...but pornographic images stay in the brain forever,

      Not with MY memory they don't. Maybe that's why I have to back and look again. Stupid brain.
    • by suso (153703) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:52PM (#10872209) Homepage Journal
      This is the way news works. [suso.org]

      You bring the initial inklings of the story to the public's attention, bringing them to the edge of their seat and then don't follow up on it. It causes people to hunger for news as a source of entertainment. What it really becomes is terrorism, striking fear and doubt into the minds of millions of people who think that they live in the worst possible time in the history of the earth.
    • by tgibbs (83782) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @12:00AM (#10872250)
      Pornography addicts have a more difficult time recovering from their addiction than cocaine addicts, since coke users can get the drug out of their system, but pornographic images stay in the brain forever, Layden said.

      In addition to all of the other reasons why this is stupid, the brain doesn't return to normal once the drug is out of the system. Cocaine makes long-lasting, possibly permanent changes in the brain.
      • by Frogbert (589961) <frogbert@gmail.cBLUEom minus berry> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:36AM (#10872957)
        Porn doesn't even change your brain. That comment is utterly stupid. Ofcouse people have a hard time giving up SEX. Its biologicaly programmed into us for gods sake.
      • by rzbx (236929) <slashdot@rzbx.oUUUrg minus threevowels> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:47AM (#10872997) Homepage
        "...the brain doesn't return to normal once the drug is out of the system."

        What is normal? One must realize our brain changes every second to then understand why some will argue damage to the brain, whatever the reason. You injest any substance that has an effect on the brain in some way and it will change it. The question then is, what is damage. With illegal substances it is hard to get the real truth because little to no research is done on those substances beyond those supported by the same organizations that promote its illegality. With other substances like caffeine it is a little easier, but few people know because they don't read the books, rsearch journals, and non-mainstream information sources that pertain to effects of substances on the brain. So what causes damage? One would still need to explain what damage means. I've done a lot of reading into neuroscience and other brain related material and find that what some define as damage can b edescribed as the complete opposite. It is funny to hear some say "We are finding that even a single use can produce brain changes" because a single day of not injesting any "brain changing" substance can produce brain changes. It depends on the state of mind, what one is doing, is something being learned, are new thoughts producing a change in point-of-view on current knowledge, etc. If one spends an hour learning something new. Back to brain damage. A substance would have to show physical damage to the brain, such as cells being destroyed. This is not what many are using to back up their claims of brain damage. With the more advanced brain research, one could easily find data to fit their view. While one scientist may say that brain damage is occuring, another will say that the brain is using less of the brain to accomplish the same task. Whole one will say that it makes a person less intelligent, another will say it makes them more intelligent. Which one will you believe? Why not try and understand what information is being presented and why? Expect a biased opinion favoring the financier. It is difficult to provide a definitive picture of long-term effects of any substance that does not actually cause physical damage. If one speaks of social damage for example, then one would have to remove the barriers of illegality and perception of a substance. Those supporting prohibition will continue to provide "evidence" of brain damage due to a substance without acknowledging other factors. if you were supporting prohibition, would you acknowledge the problems created due to prohibition itself? Your post is misleading. It is true, but under a narrow interpretation of data.
    • by DarkZero (516460) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:39AM (#10872715)
      Surprisingly, a person who works at a sex toy shop called Good Vibrations doesn't agree with the researcher's conclusions!

      Surprisingly, an anti-gay organization "dedicated to affirming a complementary, male-female model of gender and sexuality" that posts links to articles like "'Crystal Meth' New Drug Of Choice On Gay Party Circuit" thinks that pornography is bad.

      Jeffrey Satinover, a psychiatrist and advisor to the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality [narth.com] echoed Layden's concern about the internet and the somatic effects of pornography.

      "Pornography really does, unlike other addictions, biologically cause direct release of the most perfect addictive substance," Satinover said. "That is, it causes masturbation, which causes release of the naturally occurring opioids. It does what heroin can't do, in effect."


      I can't believe Wired actually let that slip by without even a mention of what the group actually stands for.
    • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <(ten.suomafni) (ta) (smt)> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:31AM (#10872935) Homepage
      Let's just face the facts that some people are more prone to addictive behaviors

      Sometimes I yearn for the good old days, when "addiction" was a meaningful concept.

      Used to be addiction was a definite syndrome of drug use marked by tolerance, withdrawl, continued use in the face of health problems, and repeated failed attempts to quit.

      Then the drug warriors noticed that this pattern doesn't occur with some of the drugs they wanted to demonize and ban. So the concept of "psychological addiction" - i.e., you really like to do something we don't want you to do - was born.

      Then the pseudo-moralists and control freaks (a group with a larger overlap with the drug warriors) noticed that this vague new definition of addiction could also be applied to gambling, porn, and other behaviors they called "sinful". Bam! Now we all get to be addicts.

      Yes, there are people who engage in stupid and unhealthy patterns of behavior involving porn, gambling, love, sex, TV, music, friendships, religion, computers, the net, fandom, and pretty much anything else. But lumping these all under the label "addiction" is not helpful, except to authoritarians, the burgeoning "treatment" industry, and "twelve step" cults.

    • by PsiPsiStar (95676) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @05:40AM (#10873506)
      Let's just face the facts that some people are more prone to addictive behaviors, and it can happen with anything: drugs, shopping, gambling, sex, and yes, pornography

      Karma Whoring.

      I still remember the rush I got the first time I was modded up. I've spent the past three years here trying to chase down that perfect high, posting more and more comments....

      Slashdot is a drug, man.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:06PM (#10871878)
    at least it doesn't make you bankrupt and chemically unbalanced. It just gives you a chaffed knob and strong forearms.
    • by ziggy_zero (462010) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @12:24AM (#10872350)
      Ot alsi helpos you learn yhow ti tyope with one hand!! /'im gettin g better evry day
  • by _w00d_ (129045) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:07PM (#10871882)
    The incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome is on the rise.
  • Crime? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:07PM (#10871883) Homepage Journal
    When was the last time somebody was arested for busting into a house to steal e-porn from a harddrive?
  • OMFG (Score:5, Funny)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:07PM (#10871884) Journal
    YOU CAN PRY MY PORN FROM MY WARM STICKY HANDS!!!!!

    Imagine how much funnier that could have been without the slashdot lameness filters.

    Some things were meant to be yelled.
  • Phew (Score:5, Funny)

    by inKubus (199753) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:07PM (#10871885) Homepage Journal
    Hopefully they'll mention my air and water addiction in the next Congress.
  • Sex is not a drug. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rm0ny (722443) * on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:08PM (#10871896) Journal
    Internet pornography is the new crack cocaine, leading to addiction, misogyny, pedophilia, boob jobs and erectile dysfunction, according to clinicians and researchers testifying before a Senate committee Thursday.

    Pornography leads to boob jobs? May I ask why this is being presented to the Senate Committee on Science, Technology and Space Subcommittee? Now I'm not an advocate of pornography but if I were going to argue against it, I'd try to base my arguments on less personal-value laden arguments than this. And that's leaving aside dodgy use of science. Example:
    "That is, it causes masturbation,
    Suggesting that boys and girls don't masturbate without pornography? Children masturbate before they even understand sexual attraction, let alone requiring pornography post-puberty.

    But here's another highlight,

    Judith Reisman of the California Protective Parents Association suggested that more study of "erototoxins" could show how pornography is not speech-protected under the First Amendment.
    Erototoxins? Is this an attempt to re-brand a need for sexual stimulationas a medical condition again? You know that way they could overturn any constitutional protections under the guise of medical treatment, much like drug companies are pushing their drugs that render people resistant to illegal drugs. Why do I get the feeling that these people would like to be able to prevent sexual desire wherever they deem it innappropriate.

    The whole basis of this article seems to be that somebody has shown correlation in the brain between pleasure from drugs and pleasure from sex... as far as I understand the article, the correlation appears to be something called, um... pleasure.

    I think if you watch a lot of pornography, then that can distance you from other people and perhaps interfere with forming a healthy relationship with your parter, but who knows - it's just my feeling. I don't think anyone with a brain whichever side of the argument they fall on could see this article being anything other than bollocks.
    • by Lord Kano (13027) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:18PM (#10871968) Homepage Journal
      • Erototoxins? Is this an attempt to re-brand a need for sexual stimulationas a medical condition again? You know that way they could overturn any constitutional protections under the guise of medical treatment, much like drug companies are pushing their drugs that render people resistant to illegal drugs. Why do I get the feeling that these people would like to be able to prevent sexual desire wherever they deem it innappropriate./UL


      • You have just nailed it. These people seek to exert control of all behavior by controlling access to pain relief and pleasure.

        All drugs that are really worth anything are strictly controlled. They now wish to control sexuality. It's a ploy, and a weak one at that.

        LK
      • by Mycroft_VIII (572950) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @12:20AM (#10872335) Journal
        A ploy perhaps, but certainly NOT a week one.
        Controlling a societies sexual outlets is one the major tools for controlling a society.
        Just look at the TWO major things almost all religeons do(especially those that wield significant power in the world), tell you you need thier permision to have sex and tell you as long as you follow thier rules that you'll live forever (or equivilant) with rewards. They also tend to tell you that all that is wrong (painfull physically or emotionaly) in your life comes from NOT following thier rules. Governments tend to do the same.
        Look at how some of the best advertising works.
        Once you have a group of people by the gonads they'll do whatever you say, and probably praise you to sky in the process.
        Weak? It one of the shurest roads to power for any group.

        Mycroft
    • by Bastian (66383) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:23PM (#10872006)
      I think if you watch a lot of pornography, then that can distance you from other people and perhaps interfere with forming a healthy relationship with your parter

      I've had more problems with books doing this to me, let alone Civ III.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:24PM (#10872011)
      Not to mention that one of the psychiatrists on the panel is involved with theNational Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality [narth.com], a controversial organization of psychiatrists and psychologists dedicated to demonstrating that homosexuality is a mental disorder.

      As a clinical psychologist, I find this organization deeply disturbing. It's one thing to do scientific research to defend a position, it's another to tout "case studies" of rare individuals who have been "reoriented". The problem is, most scientific research suggests that homosexuals aren't any more disordered than normal individuals, and that in any event, sexual orientation is neurogenetically complex. I'm all for free speech, and they're welcome to it, but what they're pushing is political pseudoscience.

      If you look closely at their webpage, you'll note a remark about NARTH being comprised of "psychiatrists and psychoanalytically informed psychologists", as if somehow they are privy to some psychoanalytic "truth" that you need to be "informed" about to understand. Psychodynamic theory and practice has its strong points, like anything, but psychoanalysis is historically notorious for relying on pseudoscience and anecdotes to support a position. These individuals are actually damaging psychodynamic theory by perpetuating an outdated--and dangerous--psychotherapeutic culture.

      All of this is to show that there's a lot here beneath the surface. It's not just about porn--it's about any unusual sexual behavior. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some discussion about porn causing homosexuality, or homosexuality causing porn, or homosexuals consuming a majority of porn, or whatever.

      This stuff makes me so upset. Psychological science and politics is dangerous enough, without this pseudoscientific garbage.

      • by mark-t (151149) <[markt] [at] [lynx.bc.ca]> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:09AM (#10872559) Journal
        It is worth noting that in all likelihood heterosexual behavior evolved into existence in the first place as the "norm" because it maximized our potential for survival. On an evolutionary scale, homosexuality appears to be an behavorial aberation that can only continue to survive if we use some artificial means to keep it going. When all is said and done, however, it's an evolutionary dead end, unless it can be shown to be placing upper limits on our population so that the planet does not overcrowd.

        Of course, this doesn't make homosexuality "wrong"... it's merely one part of the vast human condition that we must deal with every day.

        • by coyote-san (38515) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:03AM (#10872824)
          Homosexuality could be a manifestation of something entirely unrelated but beneficial to the gene pool.

          Two examples that are nearly canonical now:

          1) People of African descent have a significantly higher risk of sickle cell anemia. Clearly an evolutionary mistake, right? Wrong - the same gene provides significantly better protection against malaria. Some people die miserable deaths from SCA, but in evolutionary terms that's preferable to many more people dying miserable deaths from malaria.

          2) There appears to be a high correlation between genius and mental illness, esp. bipolar illness. Some people think this is two different aspects of the same thing - eliminate bipolar illness and you'll eliminate genius. For all we know this is why homo sapiens sapiens has spread across the planet while all of our evolutionary forebears and cousins had limited ranges.
    • by cymen (8178) <cymenvig@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:29PM (#10872029) Homepage
      [i]Suggesting that boys and girls don't masturbate without pornography? Children masturbate before they even understand sexual attraction, let alone requiring pornography post-puberty.[/i]

      Clearly, pornography and masturbation go hand in hand.
    • by BWJones (18351) * on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:41PM (#10872112) Homepage Journal
      What you need to realize is that there has been a movement in the last few years to roll back the scientific method in favor of a new dark age much like what happened to the United States back during prohibition. Then, like now, there was a large religiously based movement toward a definition of "morality" in opposition to science and progress. Back then, a significant portion of the American people were told what and how to believe and they lined up like sheep to follow a few who promulgated their beliefs onto those who wished to be led by the nose. All you have to do is look at what is being proposed as science in this Senate Committee, in the hearings that led up to the current Iraqi conflict, and many other areas of law like the proposals to roll back evolution education in favor of "intelligent design" (which sounds an awful like the marketing geniuses that came up with "compassionate conservative").

      There is a most distressing lack of scientific knowledge amongst our law makers and it is showing in everything from decisions on technology issues to the often fraudulent supplement industry, to censorship and others.

      I am not supporting pornography as it is most decidedly not victimless, however, these folks on Capitol Hill are clueless about science, how science is performed and how one acts on scientific hypothesis and testimony like this only serves to weaken positions and make a mockery of the political process.

      Erotoxins.......oh jeez. You have got to be kidding me. This is right up there with covering up the breasts on statues of Lady Liberty. Only perverts are this obsessed with issues like this and are more disturbing to me than people obsessed with pornography, perhaps simply because they are obsessed with what others are doing.

      These folks need to read some of the basic science behind addiction and understand that anything can be addictive. Yes, some things are more addictive because of their pharmacology or biological implications, but to say pornography is more addictive that crack cocaine is a farce.

    • by jamie (78724) <jamie@slashdot.org> on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:42PM (#10872116) Homepage Journal
      Judith Reisman's full testimony is here [senate.gov]...

      Pornography triggers myriad kinds of internal, natural drugs that mimic the "high" from a street drug. Addiction to pornography is addiction to what I dub erototoxins -- mind-altering drugs produced by the viewer's own brain.

      How does this 'brain sabotage' occur? Brain scientists tell us that "in 3/10 of a second a visual image passes from the eye through the brain, and whether or not one wants to, the brain is structurally changed and memories are created - we literally 'grow new brain' with each visual experience."

      [...] Any highly excitatory stimuli (whether sexually explicit sex education or X-Rated films) say neurologists, "which lasts half a second within five to ten minutes has produced a structural change that is in some ways as profound as the structural changes one sees in [brain] damage...[and] can...leave a trace that will last for years."

      Pornography psychopharmacologically imprints young brains - thereby invalidating notions of informed consent. [...]

      A basic science research team employing a cautiously protective methodology should study erototoxins and the brain/body.

      This is mumbo-jumbo as far as I can tell. Note how quickly Dr. Reisman -- her Ph.D. is in Communications, and she has no education in medicine [drjudithreisman.org] -- goes from coining a brand new word to describe something she cannot prove exists ("what I dub erototoxins") to using that word as if the substance is real ("study erototoxins"). Along the way she uses partial quotes out of context, and prepends her views on pornography to a quote that matter-of-factly describes an obvious fact about the brain.

      And if you missed it -- yes -- she is railing against "sexually explicit sex education." She is saying that sex ed causes brain damage.

      This is the same woman who thinks the Catholic Church should sue [freerepublic.com] because priests molested children.

      • by Bodrius (191265) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @12:33AM (#10872393) Homepage
        Also, a minor nitpick, but what IS a "Brain Scientist"?

        Is that like an Eye Doctor? Or a Budget Man?

        If you're going to bother to invent technical words (erototoxins) to replace real, existing, technical words (hormones, neurotransmitters et al), or to go ahead and talk about psychopharmacological implants... it would be sensible to name the specialty whose findings you're quoting (neurologists, psychiatrists, cognitive scientists, whatever).

        Particularly if you're making the case that memory is brain-damaging sexual abuse (the informed consent bit).

        By that logic, to avoid leaving traces in the brain of highly excitatory stimuli, all minors should be stored in sensorial deprivation tanks to be fed approved stimuli by their parents.

        It's the only way to avoid brain damage!

      • And... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Akki (722261) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @12:58AM (#10872501)
        Here's an enligtening [wikipedia.org] Wikipedia entry.

        It saddens me that people like this are considered "experts" worthy of testifying before congress thanks to the fundies being in control.

      • by crazyphilman (609923) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:27AM (#10872913) Journal
        Here's what's happening:

        Attempt 1:

        (Religious Right) "Sex is DIRTY! Y'all are a-goin to HELL and there ain't no blowjobs or vibrating whatchamacallits down there, nossir!"

        (Everyone Else) "Shut the fuck up ya fuckin' puritans. We're getting laid over here."

        (Religious Right) "Well I NEVER!"

        (Everyone Else) "Yeah, we know -- probably never will, either. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out."

        (Religious right grumbles for many years).

        Attempt #2:

        (Religious Right) "And, so, you can see that sex leads to all sorts of social breakdown, and pretty soon the country is goin' to HELL in a handbasket."

        (Everyone Else) "Uh... Yeah, right. Whatever. Things look pretty okay to me, dude. Why doncha relax, like waaaay over there, where we can't hear you anymore."

        (Religious Right) "But... But... Society... Hell... Handbasket..."

        (Everyone Else) "Yeah, ok, I'm going to need you to go over there, alright? Mmm, yeah, that'd be great."

        (Religious right is even more frustrated, and grumbles for years, until George Bush wins the election with their help. Now, they think, it's our chance!)

        Attempt #3:

        (Religious Right, in Congress surrounded by other religious wackos, whispering to each other) "Ok, gang, let's try the drug angle. Maybe they'll buy it."

        (Religious Right) "And, so, sex is really a drug because you masturb... masturb... masturbate, and EROTOTOXINS are released into the brain! So, uh, porno isn't free speech, and we should lock down all this sex stuff.

        (Congress, a few watts short of a bulb as usual) "OH MY GOODNESS!"

        (Religious Right, delighted) "Yeah, you see? It's dangerous, it's like, um... CRACK! Yeah, crack, you touch yourself and you're HIGH! And we have to lock this down..."

        (Congress talks among themselves for a minute, then returns) "Ah, if you don't mind our asking, does this mean you think, for example, sex with a pretty intern would be considered doing drugs?"

        (Religious Right) "Yessiree, bob! Why, that's like shooting DOPE!"

        (Congress) "I see, I think I get the picture. Well, you're right, something must be done! We're going to commission a study. Yessir, we're gonna study this thing until we get to the bottom of it, you betcha." (several congressmen giggle, one mutters "BOTTOM!" and falls off his chair).

        (Religious Right) "Hang on a minute, here..."

        (Congress) "Now, I know you're busy, these gentlemen will show you back to your car and we're going to get right to work studying this sex problem, we promise. In fact, I think we're going to be working overtime on it! Don't you worry your pretty little head about a thing."

        (Religious Right, sputtering) "But wait! You don't understand!"

        (Congress) "Good afternoon, dear. And, may I say that is a VERY flattering suit..."

      • by Grendel Drago (41496) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @06:12AM (#10873594) Homepage
        Pornography psychopharmacologically imprints young brains --- thereby invalidating notions of informed consent.

        I'm reading this as, "when you get a hard-on, you lose all sense of right and wrong, and become a rampaging rapist".

        Hasn't that, you know, not been in style since the eighteen fucking hundreds? Am I missing something here?

        --grendel drago
  • FTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:08PM (#10871902)
    "Marriage really does, unlike other addictions, biologically cause direct release of the most perfect addictive substance," Satinover said. "That is, it causes intercourse, which causes release of the naturally occurring opioids. It does what heroin can't do, in effect."


    Speed dating is dangerous because it removes the inefficiency in the delivery of future partners, making sex much more ubiquitous than in the days when guys in trench coats would sell nudie postcards, Satinover said.


    OK, maybe that broke down a little at the end there. But the point is, porn isn't addictive - sex is.
  • by Kenja (541830) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:09PM (#10871905)
    I can quit any time I want. I just dont want to.
  • by rubberbando (784342) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:09PM (#10871907)
    I can quit...
    *CLICK* *CLICK*
    anytime I....
    *CLICK* *CLICK*
    ..anytime I want!
    *CLICK* *CLICK*
    Ok...maybe not...
  • Here it comes... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TempusMagus (723668) * on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:09PM (#10871912) Homepage Journal
    This going to get worse and worse now that the Republicans (notice I don't say conservatives) have control and the Christian Right feel like they are owed something for shutting up and not scaring the moderates away like they did during the Clinton era elections.

    There is a lot of porn on the net and if you arent some by-product of the very culture that is so freaked-out about it in the first place you'd probably find it as boring and silly as it truly is.
  • by u19925 (613350) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:10PM (#10871916)
    Coffee is addictive and so is tea and so are many other things in life. Some people are addicted to books. I have never seen senate debating library addiction PROBLEM? Before they should discuss internet porn addiction, they should show clearly that it is a problem which needs immediate addressing. Americans access more internet porn then many other nations in middle east, africa etc, but I don't think those countries have any less sexual crimes than USA.
    • by antifoidulus (807088) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:19PM (#10871974) Homepage Journal
      Well, to further your argument, the guy seems to think that the wide availibility of porn will ultimately lead to addictions(the whole, you have to find some guy with it schpiel), but the same argument fails with coffee. I can go down any mainstreet in the country and probably find 10 places to get a cup of coffee. But must I drink it because it's there? No, just like people who want to avoid porn will avoid porn, regardless of it's availability.
      Gah, what ever happened to personal responsibility in this country. Whenever there is a potential vice, it seems people scream for the government to get rid of the source, thus destroying the temptation I suppose. Geez, come one people, get a grip, if you don't want children doing drugs/sex/porn/whatever, be a PARENT! If my mother could raise 3 kids alone on about $35k/yr and have us all grow up to be college educated productive members of society, I fail to see how 2 parents with a combined income that stretches well into the 6 figures cannot do it.
    • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:48PM (#10872168)
      We probably access more porn because a. we don't have the restrictions on availability that other nations (see: China) have on it and b. we're a sexually-repressed nation anyway, in spite of the so-called "sexual revolution." That doesn't mean that I believe this is a problem worth even a minute of Congress' time, much less mine. There actually are some truly serious issues that Congress could be addressing but this is just a smokescreen for yet another incursion into what passes for civil liberties nowadays. I just wish they would define being power-mad as a disease so we could treat the medical condition that these people obviously have and make them productive members of society once again.
  • ummm yeahhh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Pros_n_Cons (535669) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:10PM (#10871917)
    "internet porn is 'worse than crack.'"

    People are going to make fun of this line but its a very serious problem. Have you ever seen a porn baby you insensitive clod?!
  • hurm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ErikZ (55491) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:11PM (#10871924)
    I'd say porn is about as addictive as television.
    • Re:hurm (Score:4, Funny)

      by h4rm0ny (722443) * on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:18PM (#10871970) Journal

      I'd say porn is about as addictive as television.

      Yes, but it burns more calories. Also, regular sex can enhance your cognitive abilities. I can't remember where I read that last link though. Clearly it's time to go top up my cognitive abilities. ;)
  • Duh! (Score:3, Funny)

    by ericdano (113424) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:12PM (#10871927) Homepage
    Um, yeah it is. Hence my huge library of like 60+ DVDs of it. Of course, I have friends who have even more....and they are married. Go figure.....
  • by JudgeFurious (455868) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:12PM (#10871932)

    Cause I've downloaded internet porn while smoking crack and so I can say from first hand experience (and later, second hand) that when my DSL went down I was pissed BUT I didn't get out of my chair until the crack ran out.

    Seriously though this is just some more alarmist bullshit from those special folks out there who live in mortal terror that someone, somewhere might be getting a nut or even enjoying something a little bit. They're just busy trying to save us from ourselves again. Nothing new here.
  • by ktakki (64573) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:13PM (#10871941) Homepage Journal
    The Senate never heard of /.

    "The Select Senate Subcommittee on Slashdot Addiction calls its first witness. Ms. Portman, would you please stand and raise your right hand..."

    k.
  • Yes? And? (Score:5, Funny)

    by edunbar93 (141167) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:14PM (#10871944)
    saying that porn is ubiquitous now but compared to when he was growing up and 'some guy would sneak a magazine in somewhere and show some of us, but you had to find him at the right time.'

    Oh yeah. Porn's ubiquitousness now is leading us into the darkness of...

    of...

    Politics?

    I think his point is that porn led him into politics. I bet he read in some Playboy article that the Kennedies get all the hot chicks. And he got that Playboy from some guy in a dark alley. So now that he's a sentator, he's going to do his best to keep that secret, and that way *he'll* get all the hot chicks.

    What a devious bastard.
  • No way! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Tom7 (102298) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:15PM (#10871948) Homepage Journal
    Impossible! This doesn't take into account... wait, brb...
  • In other words... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by elmegil (12001) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:16PM (#10871956) Homepage Journal
    some guy would sneak a magazine in somewhere and show some of us, but you had to find him at the right time.

    We liked it better when people were stealing magazines instead of surfing the web for free.

  • by acomj (20611) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:17PM (#10871962) Homepage
    ..yeah we here in the senate have been researching this for a while now...

    And its more addictive than cigarettes..

    seee here, thats why we can't stop. Its not that we're wasting tax payers money on our newley beeded up T3 lines running into the capital.

    Those RIAA/MPAA supenas to my office were obviouslly caused by our affliction.

    Really...
  • by tverbeek (457094) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:21PM (#10871989) Homepage
    In order to make such a statement, you would have to be on crack.
  • by oobob (715122) * on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:22PM (#10871997)
    Addiction is a reification, and that's where the problem comes in. We've blurred the use of addiction in society until the abstract definition of addiction - the need to perform some behavior compulsively - determines the connotation of the word. The only meaning of the word addiction that applies to physical reality is that version that arises from biological adaptation to the ingestion of substances, which some people (alcoholics, for one) are much more prone to. Continued use develops continued need, and soon, their bodies (literally) depend on the substances for normal functioning, as they have stopped producing sufficient amounts of affected neurotransmitters on their own.

    The other connotation of addiction is the one we refer to in common speech - when a person repeats behaviors, regardless of the consequences or his/her own inclination to do so. So we speak of those addicted to shopping, grooming, sex, or any other behavior a person focuses on for what others would deem an unhealthy period of time (this behavior is almost always a vice, or capable of becoming one in excess). This is where our definitions overlap and the problem first appears. Any thought or behavior is necessarily biological. What's more, for all of human history, people have tried to resist pleasure, such as eating or sex, that is innately tied with both biological reward and negative consequences. And in this way, the reward and the strong drive to perform the behaviors that bring about this reward are abstracted on the basis of their biological similarity (the same brain rewards both behaviors) and the strikingly similar behaviors of those deemed addicted (when you want to do something, you do it). But when we do this, we overstep the bounds of the word addiction, and soon we start regulating all human behavior associated with pleasure, negative consequences, and an obsessive quality into the category of addiction. Now, if you think that a reasonable definition of addiction is one that can apply to any pleasure-deriving activity, including every vice, that's your opinion. It just happens to be a very wrong one.

    It's hard not to do the things we like. They make us feel the same (happy) as heroin makes heroin addicts feel (happy). And for all of human history, we've been trying to figure out how to suppress the human tendencies toward pleasure that can hurt and destroy us. But when we speak like this, we replace a deeper understanding of human action with the shallow descriptions of behavior we read in magazines. I used to smoke cigarettes, and I occasionally smoke pot. When I quit smoking, I felt nuts, like I was losing something that my body depended upon. When you're a smoker, you can't remember what it was like to be a non-smoker - to go a day without thinking of a cigarette. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, and if you non-smokers could imagine that suffering, you'd know what we mean we when talk about addiction. When I stop smoking pot, I feel upset that I'm not doing what I like to do, and I want to smoke. But I when I stopped smoking cigarettes, I couldn't think, my head felt like it was being smashed, and I wasn't able to register anything other than my shaking and desire for a cigarette.

    There is a biological reality to real addiction. The rest is human behavior and the same attraction to vice that we've lived with for years. While this is necessarily biology, it arises naturally from human behavior, and is not caused by physical adaption to external agents and chemicals that act upon the body. This is a critical distinction, and not one easily understood by half-rate thinkers, people who read magazines, and those who've never wanted a cigarette.

    This shit gets so old. First comes convincing people that others aren't in control of their actions. That's the only way a person can say "stop doing this action, even though it doesn't affect me, because I don't like it" without getting laughed at. Listen to this quote from the article: "Pornography really does, unlike other addictions, biolog
  • by Piranhaa (672441) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:22PM (#10872001)
    Think of the kittens please!!
  • by dameron (307970) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:38PM (#10872095) Homepage
    Someone just crapped a brick.

    Fortunately a cameraman was there to film it and it'll soon be released on DVD.

    It's an interesting tactic, to classify those who disagree with you as "addicts". Welcome to the Brave New World. Soon Pfizer will have a pill that'll "cure" you of liking to watch women make out. I'll take a stab at naming it: Noleztra.

    Hell, maybe one day we'll have a pill that eliminates compassion. (pops pill) Ahhh, fuck 'em.

    -dameron

    ------
    DailyHaiku.com [dailyhaiku.com], saying more in 17 syllables than big media says all day.
  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:40PM (#10872103) Homepage Journal
    With the Federal deficit having grown to historically unprecedented proportions, the US dollar having sunk to record lows, and many Americans dying on the street because they cannot get health insurance, I'm glad to see our elected officials devoting their time, energy and our money to wiping out nudie pictures on the net.

  • by blueZhift (652272) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:42PM (#10872115) Homepage Journal
    If pr0n is da crack, then Firefox must be da pipe! With its tabbed browsing, popup blocking, and image scaling, its the perfect tool for some serious cyber bukkake! Uh, at least that's what some guy in a dark alley told me! Yeah...
  • by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:43PM (#10872126)
    Anonymous Coward writes in: "I have been looking for some good porn sites to help my addiction. Most of the sites I've found, however, either have skanky chicks or want a lot of money and open too many popups. I was wondering if anyone knew of a good source of porn on the Internet. And as always, compatibility with GNU/FOSS solutions is preferred."
  • by andy@petdance.com (114827) <andy@petdance.com> on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:44PM (#10872139) Homepage
    From http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,65772, 00.html [wired.com]
    The panelists all agreed that the government should fund health campaigns to educate the public about the dangers of pornography. The campaign should combat the messages of pornography by putting
    signs on buses saying sex with children is not OK, said Layden.

    "I was gonna go fuck the neighbor boy, but the bus sign reminded me not to," testified recovering child fucker N.Curable-Sicko. "Until now, nothing had been able to stop me from having my way with them, not even the prospect of being sent to prison where I'd be raped constantly. Now, with the bus signs, I'm able to control my urges."

    • by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:10AM (#10872852)
      The campaign should combat the messages of pornography by putting signs on buses saying sex with children is not OK, said Layden.

      Wow, incredible. Imagine a bus going by with a big sign on it saying "SEX WITH CHILDREN IS NOT OK".

      But really, how is this any more absurd than those urinal cakes that have "SAY NO TO DRUGS" on them?

      I once heard a comedian ask if a junkie has ever been standing at a urinal, seen the "SAY NO TO DRUGS" printed on the urinal cake, and had an epiphany right there while pissing.

      Maybe they could try "SEX WITH CHILDREN IS NOT OK" on the urinal cakes first, to see if it works, before ramping up to buses.

      I'd like a stack of urinal cakes that say "OFFSHORING TECH JOBS IS NOT OK". I'd hit all the mens rooms in my company's corporate headquarters. Because you'll certainly never see a bus go by that says "OFFSHORING TECH JOBS IS NOT OK". You'll see "SEX WITH BUSES IS NOT OK" first.

      I'm in my thirties, but there are enough moralizing idiots in the world to keep me feeling like a jaded teenager for the rest of my life.
  • by Howard Roark (13208) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:45PM (#10872144)
    Internet porn is more addictive than Christ.

    And it has them worried.
  • First, my background. I am an Evangelical Christian, as well as a future law student. I vote Republican more often than Democrat (not particularly liking either party), but am also a financial supporter of the EFF [eff.org].

    Do I believe pornography to be morally wrong? Without question. Do I believe pornography should be heavily regulated beyond how it currently is? Not necessarily.

    My default position on any issue is "Show love, and respect personal liberty." The first aspect is inviolable, as God incarnated in Jesus directly commanded us to love Him and others, setting this as the most important consideration in any situation.

    As to the second aspect, at heart I'm a Libertarian. However, there are many situations where personal liberty should not be respected. Your personal liberty to fire a shotgun should not be allowed when I am standing directly in front of said shotgun. Here, the consideration overriding your personal liberty is the harm done to others. (Our consideration of showing love incarnates itself by respecting human dignity in punishment that is humane and, when possible, rehabilitative.)

    So let's apply these two principles to a third. Specifically, Christianity's political-legal struggles are more successful when the Christian stance is argued from the same secular assumptions that are largely shared by the other side.

    Beating a Bible may produce (what I hold to be) Truth, but that "evidence" is inadmissable in a court under our current interpretation of the Establishment Clause (a discussion in and of itself). So Christianity needs to divorce the morality play from this and show the secular manifestations of harm produced by pornography. The current tactics fail to show love to the "other side" by, quite frankly, insulting your intelligence.

    Coming up with new jargon like "erototoxins" or whatever is worthless without science to back it up. If there is a medical basis, using established tests for addiction, to the argument that pornography feeds into itself and leads to self-destructive behavior and other costs that society is unwilling to absorb, then we need to see that medical basis clearly presented.

    A complimentary line of reasoning might be similar to that used against tobacco companies: the product is addictive (to a point society is not willing to tolerate) and individuals are not necessarily aware of that addiction.

    But screaming "this leads to masturbation!" is not going to get us anywhere.

    I would personally love to see less pornography on the Internet at large, as I know firsthand the destruction to self-control and personal relationships that it can bring.

    But we cannot sacrifice personal liberty in the process without a compelling reason. I do not believe that compelling reason has yet been articulated under secular reasoning.

    - Neil Wehneman
  • by k98sven (324383) on Friday November 19, 2004 @11:50PM (#10872199) Journal
    "Pornography really does, unlike other addictions, biologically cause direct release of the most perfect addictive substance," Satinover said. "That is, it causes masturbation, which causes release of the naturally occurring opioids. It does what heroin can't do, in effect."

    So what the researcher here is actually saying, is that sex is addictive, and therefore bad.

    Um.. let's try to take a rational view here?

    Sex is a normal and healthy thing. (For some of you, yes, that includes masturbation.)

    So, some people get obssessed about sex. True. But most people don't. Heck, there are obsessive bingo players out there.

    But as long as the vast majority of people aren't getting hurt, why would the solution be to stop engaging in the addictive activity?

    It's amazing how they can't ban smoking, which is directly harmful for everyone who uses it, and even those around them, but pornography is obviously fair game.

    But let me guess: This isn't really about public health at all, is it?
  • by geneing (756949) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @12:02AM (#10872257)
    It was shown that prayer messes up your brain even more. Basically your brain releases serotonin when you pray and it makes you "feel better". Religion is just as addictive as drugs and porn, and if government insists on regulating the last two they should consider regulate the first one. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd= Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=1459474 2 [nih.gov]
  • by dustinbarbour (721795) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @12:02AM (#10872258) Homepage

    ..the more I feel that I should run for an elected office and make my way up to the Senate. I'm absolutely serious. It is obvious on many fronts that our current crop of representatives have no fuckin' idea what the people want. That is what they are there for, right? To represent us?

    Whether it is technological issues, societal issues, foreign policy.. Politicians seem to think that they know what's best.

    Where are the blogs from Senators and other elected officials? Why do they feel that they are using technology effectively when their official website is merely a brochure for themselves maintained by some lackey, some summer "work for free" intern? Seriously.. America, especially the 18-30-something demographic seems to get ignored somewhat. It's bullshit.

  • Seriously (Score:4, Funny)

    by colmore (56499) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @12:03AM (#10872263) Journal
    Maybe this is TMI, but I'd seriously been browsing for porn for about an hour then quickly clicked over to Slashdot and what was the top story?
  • by NanoGator (522640) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:28AM (#10873158) Homepage Journal
    "Internet Porn More Addictive Than Crack, Senate Told"

    Gee, imagine the desire to procreate being more powerful than a narcotic. I'm addicted to oxygen, too.

  • by daoine_sidhe (619572) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @11:45AM (#10874653)
    Let's just face it, the United States is becoming a puritan state. Consider: the FCC is seeking to extend it's powers to Cable, Satellite, and Internet (because violence doesn't hurt people, sex does. Just watch broadcast television); there is drastically more funding to combat "obsenity" (read: blasphemy), and now we're having senate hearings on the looming threat of pornagraphy (the ULTIMATE WMD?!?). You know what? I like to smoke, drink, and occasionally look at pictures of beautiful naked women. I don't smoke around people who don't like it, or in big crowds; I don't drink irresponsibly, and somehow I haven't had the urge to turn down the real thing. These are MY rights, not subject to the will of the people until they lead me to harm society. So, United States of Canada anyone?
  • Nanny nation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by t_allardyce (48447) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @11:55AM (#10874714) Journal
    Obviously the problem here is not pornography, but these 'naturally occurring opioids'! if you want to solve the problem, you're going to have to ban them - obviously that means banning orgasms! Because what this is suggesting is that not only can society not handle artificial drugs, but we can't handle the natural drugs in our own body! The whole issue of censorship here is completely screwed up, someone can be pretty arousing when they are fully clothed, in fact often more so than when they're totally naked - so censorship is not only draconian, its useless! People learn to combat addictions, and those who don't, well lets just say evolution trims off the crud.

    Learning to live in society is like being pushed out of the birds nest, if you don't learn how to deal with a reasonable amount of issues early on then you are totally fucked for life. Go look at the Taliban or Saudi Arabia, their philosophy is light-years ahead of the Christian-right, cover all women and no-one will think about sex. It doesn't work and even worse is that when someone who has been pampered into this 'zero-porn' environment leaves they have major issues. Just imagine how a child would turn out if they were waited on hand and foot from birth, never allowed to so much as cross the road or plug something in on their own because it was too dangerous, imagine they had everything handled for them and everything in their life was sugar coated; would they be able to deal with the outside world? The opposite end of that scenario is if the kid had been allowed to do anything and go anywhere from birth, nature suggests that they would probably get hit by the first car they saw.

    There's a balance - people should grow up in an environment as free as possible but with enough restrictions to keep them safe enough to live and not get trauma for life. There are some things that people have to deal with and learn from or else they are going to be weaklings, deal with porn, its not going to kill you.

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