(post by Beau Ouellette)
With the advent of video sites (i.e. youtube, vimeo etc…) we can watch practically anything we want. There is no doubt that along with the internet in general, these sites have changed so much of the way we used to do things even just 15 years ago! Now when my daughter needs to get a project done at school, she just goes on youtube to learn more, watch how things are done, and figure it out. Or I think of how these video sites have changed how I make decisions about taking the car to a mechanic or doing the job myself. If the clip I watch seems too complicated then off to the shop the automobile goes, I won’t mess with it!But the question rises- have video sites, specifically pornography video sites changed the way young people feel about their sexuality? Has watching hours and hours of porn set in motion certain, specified sexual cravings that can lead to the way a person sees themselves and their desired partner?I believe that more than any other time in history pornography is being viewed at massive levels. Therefore, when I read sociologists, like Professor Mark Regnerus’, material it is bound to continue to be eye opening information (even as every other thing he has written has been). We all know that the statistics tell us that students from Jr. High to College watch tons of porn. During educational presentations at local Jr. High schools concerning internet safety, I ask how many have seen pornography on the internet, and all raise their hands (maybe one does not).
“During church camp we ask our young men the same question, and every kid acknowledges that they have watched porn and struggle with doing so.” (youth leader)
I have been in student ministry for 21 years. It has only been in the past 8 years (I write this in 2015), that internet porn has become such a hit with students, and only the past couple years that I have seen more and more high schoolers wondering about their sexual identity. Could this be the result of the kinds of pornography accessible, and so easily?My own opinion is this:Today’s pornography sites (video sites) give the watcher access for free to whatever kind of porn they would like to watch. For those like me who were not raised on internet pornography, most of what is now available seems kind of nasty to me. However, there are plenty of delicacies to watch that spark what I saw as a child, and they will stir up arousal to what I might consider nasty now. As a young kid, seeing girls in bikinis excited me. Once in a blue moon I would find a porn mag (playboy) and see a full naked girl! Wow she was amazing!Now, can you imagine a 13-year old moving from what we might consider ‘normal’ to watching a video exposing him to male ejaculation, regularly? Or male on male ejaculation, male orgies, women drinking male fluids, women urinating, and even bestiality! As Professor Robert Jensen from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin has written and spoken about extensively, the society that allows such sexual behavior to be freely watched by all (especially young minds), has to be questioned a bit. And he does do a good job in his book, Getting Off (Soft Skull Press, 2009).“Pornography is a mirror of the way this culture hates women and children, which is why it is important that we look at it, honestly.”Professor Jensen’s writing is really honest and brings to light questions for all of us to think through and act on.So the point is evident: young people, not just boys, are watching pornography and through video sites have free access to all kinds of porn. Because of this, over watched media has an affect on how they engage in sexuality. To think that viewing pornography from such an early age does not have an affect on one’s thinking is crazy! Think of it this way- pornography video sites is today’s sex education for many, many young people. But the scary thing is what are they being taught?This is why I have always thought that pornography should be regulated better on the internet. I have written about that elsewhere. https://runninglight.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/a-response-to-santorums-comments-on-banning-pornography-from-me-a-christian/Just think of students watching weekly, even daily, all kinds of pornography! Like us all, there are some things that will shock them, and they will turn away, but others will find that arousing, exciting, and adventurous! Gay porn, straight porn, multiple partners porn, wife swapping porn, mom porn, incest porn etc… it’s all there! I can only imagine that this form of education gives way to more and more viewers to contemplate what ‘food at the buffet’ they prefer, thus defining what sexuality they are. It is a question that I ponder, “do today’s vide-sharing pornography sites influence how young people view their own sexuality?” Pornography viewing is like looking at a person’s heart. It’s what they like or what they find exciting to them. And all of us given the time, will find something on these sites that will arouse!
My own thinking is that all humans are lustful, and today’s pornography sites give us a foundation to anchor our lust to.But does it also influence what gender a person thinks they are? Can viewing pornography encourage one to start thinking they want to be a polygamist or a polyandrist? Could pornography education be the tool to help us figure out if we are bi-, homo-, or hetero-sexual (or the many obscure ones…gerontosexuality etc…)? Another question I have asked is- has this kind of sexual education paved the way for the culture at large to begin questioning the traditional, husband and wife model of marriage? As young people learn more and more about fetishes of all kinds, they can begin to think they too desire that for themselves. The traditional husband and wife does not fit that model. Does porn education confirm what your sexual identity is, or does it influence us to go into a direction we might have never thought of? Or both!In light of my questions, I am not shocked by our current culture with re-defining marriage or the accepting of certain sexual preferences. But the logical conclusion I come to is that we will also have to question why can’t a young man marry an old man, or one woman marry multiple men at some point. These are things that the young culture has seen in pornography video sites for years and years now. It’s not weird at all, it is life, normal, and who is to judge that? How can you judge someone watching incest porn, when I watch elderly porn, or orgies? Who are you (figuratively) to judge the type of porn I like? Could this kind of thinking influence a generation so much, that it as it becomes older sexual traditions are seen as ancient and in need of re-definition? (i.e. marriage)I don’t know the answers to my own questions, but I certainly am curious to read more on these topics.From my own eyes and mind, I see there is a lust in us that pornography simply pulls out. It’s not that this lust in not in us without porn, but if our lust is a dart then porn is just another target for the dart to hit. The interesting thing to me is that the variety of sexual colors is vast! And how that influences fully, we shall see. Young boy wanting to be a girl? Young girl wanting to be a boy? Or maybe they can be both, as there is pornography for that too (“shemale”).Sexuality has become another way for personal self-fulfillment in life. Sex & idenity my way! Being raised on these video sites has made way for the possibility of massive sexual experimentation and self indulgence (as if we know what is best for us regarding our sexuality). What will be the ramifications of this?Stay tuned to a culture near you!