Pornography Dehumanizes Sex

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Lord Longford in the Longford Report in 1972 states “pornography is that which exploits and dehumanizes sex, so that human beings are treated as things and women in particular as sex objects.”  It is not just about the exploitation of sexual content rather the discussion is about the dehumanization and human dignity. Considering the matter as early as 1989, The Pontifical Council for Social Communication on the occasion of the XXIII World Communication day, described pornography in the media as “a violation, through the use of audio-visual techniques, of the right to privacy of the human person and human body to an anonymous object of misuse for the purpose of gratifying concupiscence.”

So, the task calls for a distinction between the legitimate presentation of sexual information and the gross distortion of sexuality found in pornography. The great divide between the two is that the former seeks to educate while the latter is aimed at promoting lust. Authentic art and literature protect modesty and appeal to the higher aspirations of tenderness and wonder. Pornography, on the other hand, humiliates and degrades as it denies human dignity and emphasises the obscene.

We may broadly distinguish at least three types of content within the sexually explicit materials. First, the material used for sexual education and those that are seen in the work of fine arts. The purpose of these materials is not primarily related to sexual arousal, even though they may engender this in some reader. The second there is so called ‘soft-core’ pornography whose purpose is to create erotic ideas or lustful thoughts and fantasies of a common type. Here the sexual material is so subtly and slickly presented and so widespread that the secular mind sees nothing wrong with it and people are more easily taken in. But soft forms of pornography also do exploit and dehumanize sexuality and treat humans as sex objects. The third type of material is usually classified as ‘hard-core’ pornography. It aims is to create a state of increasing sexual arousal in the audience by portraying sexual relations in which all standards are violated. Here the primary emotion involved is lust. Such materials are characterized by an absence of constraints and are properly promiscuous and perverse.

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