Social Question

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Porn - is it moral?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19041points) July 2nd, 2010

Is some porn moral and other porn isn’t? What makes it that way? Sound off.

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62 Answers

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

As long as it’s consensual and age appropriate, it’s moral.

ETpro's avatar

Porn has been around since paleolithic times. Natural selection designed humans to react to sexy images in order to ensure the preservation of the species. There in nothing inherently immoral in that. But when used selfishly, in ways that needlessly bring pain and harm to others, the action becomes immoral, not the physical object the actor uses.

I think that is like asking if guns are moral. Stuff isn’t moral or immoral. How people use it determines its moral impact. When people misuse porn, the harm they do with it is the immorality. Their action is the moral agent, not the thing they carry out the action with.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I agree with @ETpro. The porn itself is neither moral nor immoral.

HungryGuy's avatar

Anything that’s peaceful and occurs between consenting adults is perfectly moral, ethical, and honest.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Does it have to be? Does it matter?

Cruiser's avatar

Child porn, rape porn and clown porn is all disgusting! No morals there whatsoever!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Cruiser What’s wrong with clown porn?

Cruiser's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir it’s the noise…OMG!! Horns and penny whistles and hyena laughter…just wrong! ;O

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

What is moral and what is legal are two different things. The former varies widely by individual and the latter by country/culture.

So do I think porn is moral? As long as it is consensual and legal, to each his own. I personally have no interest in it and have no desire to financially support it.

ETpro's avatar

@Cruiser OK, what clowns have been watching clown porn?

HungryGuy's avatar

“He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression, for if he violates this duty, he established a precedent that will reach to himself.”Thomas Paine

HungryGuy's avatar

“There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”Oscar Wilde

HungryGuy's avatar

“Our liberty depends on freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”Thomas Jefferson

HungryGuy's avatar

“Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day, but the denial stays the life of the people, and entombs the hope of the race.”Charles Bradlaugh

HungryGuy's avatar

“If all mankind but one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would no be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind…we can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.”John Stuart Mill

HungryGuy's avatar

“The Greatest evils inflicted by man over the face of the Earth are wrought not by the self-seekers, the pleasure lovers, or the merely amoral, but by the fervent devotees of ethical principles.”Robert M. MacIver

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

this just turned into something else, didn’t it? incidentally, I just finished masturbating to some porn – nothing moral or immoral entered my mind about it whatsoever Though I will say I get what the porn wars are about within the feminist movement.

HungryGuy's avatar

The feminist movement should in favor of porn, shouldn’t it? After all, doesn’t the feminist movement believe, “My body, my choice?”

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

It’s not moral when it’s used in a way to hurt people, like child porn where the victims are innocent children preyed upon by adults, or when it’s misused, as when a guy uses it to the exclusion of his wife, making her insignificant in their relationship. I think soft porn is perfectly okay. When porn is used responsibly for the enjoyment of an adult individual, I don’t think it’s immoral. People might argue that women are being exploited in porn, but more often than not, the women in porn materials do it out of their own volition——they are often happy, willing participants in the business. And as long as some men enjoy it, the more power to both parties.

HungryGuy's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES – Well, duh! As long as it’s entirely between consenting adults. Child porn, by definition, involves children who can’t consent to participate.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Porn exists. It will always exist.
We can make laws to prohibit and punish those who make and distribute all or some pornography.
Legislation and punishment does not change whether certain content is or is not moral.
Human communities can define what they consider immoral.
That is helpful at times but it does not really determine morality or its opposite for all times and all situations.

In the 1950’s, depicting a married couple as sleeping in the same bed was beyond the tolerance of TV censors.

In Canada today, fairly explicit sexual content can be broadcast at certain times where the appropriate warnings about the content are posted before the presentation. Is that material porn? There are many people who might say so, whether they watch it or not.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

I think the morality of porn is all in how it is used. Personally, I have a hard time with clown porn, because I don’t want to think of a vagina as a clown car.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@HungryGuy There is a faction within feminists that believes it’s systemically sexist when describing mainstream porn…and harmful to how men and women are portrayed…then there is a faction that supports feminist porn or porn done by women not for the male gaze, necessarily..it’s complicated and it’s late and if you really want to know, we can talk at length about it sometime later.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence You are right about the Canadian broadcasts. I’ve seen very sexually explicit material (fully naked adults having sex) on Canadian t.v. on Friday and Saturday nights, around midnight. I was shocked to see such programming on during the weekend and at such hours. Children are often up on weekends, even at midnight. And the broadcasters always give some sort of lame warning, an advisory. Of course, we all know that that cannot prevent or stop kids from watching such explicit material. To me, THAT is immoral. I don’t like the argument that if you don’t want your kids to watch it, don’t let them. I don’t allow my children to watch them, but obviously there will be families out there who are not as vigilant or as responsible, so a lot of kids will be exposed to it. :(

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES There is nothing inherently wrong with kids seeing sexual acts – you have to explain to them ‘that’s sex, that’s all that is’. Period. Everyone does it. You have to remove the sensationalism about it from the kids’ perspectives and later on they won’t be repressed or obsessed about it – just my opinion.

HungryGuy's avatar

And that’s a very good opinion, IMO.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Nothing wrong about sexual acts, but when the sex acts are kinky and involve bondage, whips, rings, and pseudo-strangulation, then that’s wrong. I’ve seen it on Canadian t.v. at the abovementioned times. It’s terrible.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Well, that’s just your opinion. None of those things are inherently wrong, again – just not your cup of tea. Believe you me, your children have every shot at experiencing those acts you deem terrible in the future. Certainly, you’d rather them feel happy about their sex life than judge them for things you feel uncomfortable about, right?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES There is nothing fundamentally “wrong” with kinky, so long as it’s consentual and no actual harm is done. If you don’t like it, then don’t do it or watch it.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Please correct me if I am wrong, as I don’t have children, so this is new territory for me. Both my cable and internet provider offer ways to set up parental controls on what is available to any account I manage.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Porn is amoral, except for addicts.

YARNLADY's avatar

I think it depends on how the subject is created, and what it is used for.

Watching pictures of strangers/actors having sexual encounters provides absolutely zero attraction to me, but I don’t see anything immoral about it.

ETpro's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES I know you wanted to exclude this line of thought, but darn it, this is what I think. Good parents don’t let young kids stay up till after midnight and good parents are aware of what their kids are watching on TV. There is always the V-Chip technology for those who let kids stay up, watch TV out of sight of any adults, and don’t want to take the time to explain to them what the stuff they see on TV is all about.

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @ETpro also…however…I do not agree with proliferating as @Cruiser mentioned anything that promotes true emotional sickness.

This would include gross fetishes, feces, exploitation of disfigured, amputees, animals and about a gazillion other horribly crude and clearly, for those that imbibe, seriously questionable mental heath.

I am not a porn fan in general, I do feel it contributes to the objectification of woman, and overall is a pain and shame based industry, for many of the ‘workers’ and certainly for the vulnerable that become addicted and the harm and pain and shame it inflicts on the addict as well as relationships and families.

( I have had personal experience as well as many friends that have experienced the pain of a porn addicted partner. )

These facts, along with the gross influx of ‘specialty’ porn, well..it’s gone too far IMO…waaay beyond anything that could even remotely be considered healthy sexuality.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Yes, my kids have a shot at experiencing those kinky perverted things in the future, but highly unlikely, because are being raised in a good home with high moral standards by my wife and me. I find your comments rather scary and disturbing. You seem to imply that children will inevitably assume such perversion in their futures, by having a “shot” at it. My goodness, if you were a teacher, I wouldn’t want you teaching my small children! Lol. Sorry, but that’s the way I feel about it. And yes, you are right, to each his own. I’m just glad “my own” is on the straighter side of the fence. No offense, but I’m a parent, and a parent doesn’t have to make sense, he only has to protect his children. Wait until you have children of your own. I’m very sure you will alter your mindset when that day arrives…..guaranteed. ;)

Seaofclouds's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Being raised with high moral standards doesn’t necessarily shield someone from the things that you find to be kinky and involve bondage or keep them from liking those things. Sure, you can keep them from that stuff now, but once they enter adult relationships, anything is possible. They could meet a partner that likes that stuff or they could come to realize they like it on their own. There are things I have found that I like just by being introduced to them by someone else.

I have parental settings on our televisions so that my son can’t watch shows with a certain rating. He doesn’t see things at home, but he still hears about them from other children. He’s 8 now, but he first asked about sex when he was 7 because his friend told him about it.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@Seaofclouds You’re right, it doesn’t shield someone from decadent or immoral things, but it does give that person a better chance of weathering such onslaughts from what you see on t.v. and in movies, because that person has a more solid, sound foundation built from years of having good parenting. The come to know what is right from wrong, and though each person’s definition of what is right and wrong is different, I want MY children to know what is right, according to me, because in my view that IS what’s right. And raised with such a ideals affords a child with a good foundation for the future. I believe in that, as do many, many others.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES I completely understand what you are saying. I can completely understand parents hoping their children don’t get into the things they don’t like and that they consider immoral. I just know from personal experience that being raised a certain way does not mean that someone won’t come to like those things on their own terms. I personally don’t have a problem with people liking those things and I think what two people agree to do in their bedroom is their business.

Coloma's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES

I stand behind you 100% when it comes to what children are ‘exposed’ to.

I am huge beliver in keeping one’s mind clean and clear of negative and disturbing input.

A young child is not mentally or emotionally prepared to stumble upon sources of hardcore porn.

It absolutely would invoke a disturbing and stressful reaction.

Sexual orientation does take hold in childhood and early adolescence, and it has been shown that young boys that are exposed to porn in their formative years have a high probability to become addicted.

Dopamine and other chemical components released during sexual arousal are perhaps, THE most highly addicitve sensations one can expereince according to some research.

Regardless, like most addictions porn is one that often arises in adolescence and can be extremely damaging to a young persons sexual health.

Between the easy quick ‘high’, infinite variety and endless fantasy, it can become much easier and satisfying to masterbate rather than put in the effort to achieve intimacy with a real partner.

Sexual addiction by definition is a solitary practice of self gratification devoid of true intimacy.

Infact, the core of sexual addiction is a fear of intimacy along with the easy release.

I think it’s tragic that so many men have been set up to struggle with these issues, and real issues they are.

Like all potentially addicitve things, substances, it’s a gamble.

For every man that can occasionally imbibe without longterm effects there are many more that are captivated to the exclusion and detriment of their relationships.

Porn is not a harmless, victimless industry, not by a long shot.

HungryGuy's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES – With all due respect, if you are raising your children not to respect freedom of speech and the right of consenting adults to interact any way that is mutually consensual, then you are raising them in a bad home with low moral standards, IMO.

Coloma's avatar

@HungryGuy

I agree…to a point.

However…it is equally immoral to turn a blind eye and champion enablement of destructive and damaging materials and acts in the name of free speech.

Free speech was mandated in an era where there were not nearly the questionable and controversial issues we face in modern society.

Our forefathers were not arguing for their right to open a nude nightclub next door to an elementary school.

And..free speech does not mean one has the right to dump their perversions on everyone just because they can.

I could care less what consenting adults do with their sexuality, but, I draw the line at the advocacy and demand that everyone accept others perversions as okay and respect their right to shout them from the rooftops.

Sorry…but certain things are not just a matter of free speech and consenting adults. they are a serious matter of deviant disturbance and mentally unsound people.

I won’t promote mental illness and deviant behavior in the name of free speech.

HungryGuy's avatar

@Coloma – With all due respect, you don’t have the right to decide for others what behavior is deviant, perverse, damaging, or is a mental illness. It is my opinion that all people have a right to exist in the world and to engage in behavior that is peaceful and mutually consensual; and in the course of engaging in that behavior, it will sometimes be visible to non-participants. Unless you choose to live on a desert island, observing different forms of behavior in other people is something that you have to accept, whether you like it or not. But I’ll agree that zoning laws are appropriate in prohibiting nightclubs next toi schools, etc., but that’s more a practical issue than one of censorship or suppression of people’s identity or lifestyle.

CaptainHarley's avatar

No one person or group of people should have the power to decide what behavior is “deviant, perverse, damaging, or is a mental illness,” but society as a whole has every right to do so.

HungryGuy's avatar

So three wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch is perfectly right and just, eh?

CaptainHarley's avatar

Never said that. Many people seem to forget that society itself has “rights.” It has the right to protect its citizens. It has the right to decide to what its children are exposed. And many others.

Besides, you analogy doesn’t hold water because most people aren’t wolves. : )

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@HungryGuy The way I am raising my kids does NOT impede on their respect for freedom of speech. On the contrary. It gives them the opportunity, the chance to have a sounder and more stable mind so that they CAN choose for THEMSELVES what is right and what is wrong. As a parent, I can only do so much to raise them in a way I see as good and moral, the future years are up to them to decide which paths to take. But at least I have provided them with a moral foundation and a common sense about the world in general, so that they can be rightfully guided. Of course they can do whatever they like as consenting adults, but hopefully they will discern what is right and wrong. And that moral compass is what I am giving them. The world is ugly enough as it is——my children are learning about and seeing it now. To have them debate among themselves about it, about the good and the bad, is perhaps the most “freedom-loving” thing a parent can encourage in his kids, and that is what I am having them do. ;)

HungryGuy's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES – Oh, okay then :-) In that case, it’s highly likely that your children will grow up to be honest and moral citizens, and explore those kinky perversions in their bedrooms when they’re old enough to do so…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES We have a different concept of perversion. I am a parent of two beautiful and incredibly intelligent children. Thanks for asking and making judgments about what kind of a person I am.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@HungryGuy Lol——It’s weird how you talk about exploring kinky perversions as if it’s in the natural order of things for all people.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Sorry you took the comment I made so personally. As you see, I said “No offense” back there. I’m sure you are a good parent like I am, and yes each person’s idea of what is perverted is different——to each his own, really.

But then again, a serial killer can argue that torture and killing women is his idea of normality. He can say it’s his concept of good perversion, when I say it’s not.

There has to be a line drawn somewhere when it comes to defining what is good and what is bad, in order to have a civilized, moral society. I don’t really care what others think——I respect their opinions about what is good and what is bad, and I don’t care what they allow their children to be exposed to. As long as I do my job, I have succeeded to the best of my ability as a parent. The rest is up to them to decide and choose. That is what makes this country so great. But sometimes people abuse that freedom. That’s when things go out of line, unfortunately.

I am going to end my discussion here, as I feel I have made my point clearly and succinctly, and feel that this thread has gone on long enough. So long——good wishes to you and yours. I won’t be re-visiting this thread. ;)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES If you don’t really care and respect others’ opinions about what’s good and what’s bad, why do you call what others participate in perversions or say other parents aren’t vigilant (like your high horse self) when it comes to tv controls, etc.? oh, ignore this comment if you feel you have sufficiently dealt with these issues..no need to go back and forth, clearly

Coloma's avatar

Sorry…it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to define ‘deviant’ behavior.

Anyone that wants someone to shit, piss, or puke on their face, wants to stuff broken glass up their ass or beat and humiliate another IS mentally unwell.

Sexuality is NOT about pain & humiliation. Period.

I’m not talking a slap on the ass in amoment of passion.

I think everyone gets my drift in this regard.

Besides…anyone that knows anything about perversions and addictions knows that those so inclined will do anything to keep their ‘supply’ flowing without interuption, and shift the blame to anything outside their own screwed up psyches to avoid responsability and consequence.

You can’t argue with sick minds.

HungryGuy's avatar

@Coloma – Call it what you want: deviant, perverse, or whatever boosts your ego to let you believe you’re somehow better than someone else; but as long as you tolerate the rights of adults to interact any way that’s mutually consensual, there’s no disagreement here.

Coloma's avatar

@HungryGuy

My ego is not invested in anyone accepting my thought’s and beliefs and I do not feel ‘better than’....I feel compassion for those that have deviant issues, but, I don’t want to be told I must accept their sicknesses as ‘normal’ either.

I am not better than anyone else period.
But… I AM better than THAT!

HungryGuy's avatar

@Coloma – Likkewise, I feel compassion for you that you feel that you have to call other people’s sexual preferences “sicknesses” so that you can feel superior to other people while you say with a straighht face that you don’t feel superior to them.

Coloma's avatar

@HungryGuy

Dude…I don’t name deviant behaviors…I just call ‘em as they ARE called.

Consenting adults doing whatever floats their boat is not of my concern…but…as I mentioned…and any mental health professional will testify to,....self or other mutilation, humiliation, pain, exploiting body parts and others unhealthy desires for self gratification…are not hallmarks of mentally and emotionally sound people. Period.

I am not talking about mild erotica, I am talking about serious depravity.

Healthy folks in mind, body and spirit do not cause harm to themselves or others, nor earn their living doing so.

That is a FACT!

As @Mr.ShineyShoes said..I have made myself more than clear, that’s all she wrote…time for a fresh horse.

Happy day to you.

Nullo's avatar

Porn is like hardcopy adultery, so no.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo What? How does that make any sense?

Coloma's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

I think that @Nullo might be saying that viewing people engaged in sexual acts in a marriage or committed relationship feels aldulterous.

If one believes the ‘forsaking all others’ then, that makes perfect sense.

There is a big difference in knowing and being secure within a relationship that partners will find others sexually attractive, that’s a given, but…to seek out sexually arousing material outside the primary relationship is considered unfaithful by many.

Perhaps @Nullo will share their perspective on their statement.

Response moderated (Spam)
wk143sk's avatar

Of course it’s not moral. Why is this a question? And why are people having debates about this? It’s a no-brainer. Having sex on camera for others to watch is not moral. Being a prostitute isn’t moral, right? That’s exactly what porn stars are. Just glorified prostitutes.

ninja_man's avatar

@wk143sk I get the feeling you might be the wife in this thread… Am I right?

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