War on Terror or War on Porn?

Shock horror! Osama Bin Laden is just like the rest of us. Clearly the Americans want to denigrate him as much as possible, with the latest revelation that he  had a secret porn stash. But, according to statistics on internet porn, 40 million Americans visit internet porn sites. That’s about 14% of the US population.

In fact, I have seen statistics on the internet that value the global internet porn industry at over $90 billion. That’s not a niche product as far as the market is concerned.

Now of course, no one knows whether the ‘porn stash’ actually belonged to Bin Laden or one of his sons or bodyguards. Indeed, it could just be propaganda. But, assuming it is true, I certainly do not think that it is something with which to beat anyone down with, given the dominance of the industry. And let’s be honest, men are men, wherever we are in the world.

The truth is that porn addiction – online or offline – is a serious problem. According to the US Society for the Treatment of Sexual Health, 3-5% of the US population suffer from compulsive sexual disorders, but this is just those who realise they have a problem and seek treatment. According to Nielsen Online, 25% of people with internet access at work looks at internet porn at work.

In an article for Hitched on Online Porn Addiction, psychologist Dr James Dobson said that pornography addiction causes a person to “become desensitised to the material, no longer getting a thrill from what was once exciting”. They fantasise about acting out pornographic scenarios, demonstrate callousness towards those with whom they have a sexual relationship, become reclusive and secretive, objectify the opposite sex and see sex solely as a source of self-pleasure or self-love. As I write this post, I am listening to the news about the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn for violent sexual assault. And this is subject close to my heart, so to speak, as I am a recovering porn addict.

But here’s the thing. One doesn’t need to go online to find pornography. Our whole society is pornographic. Magazine covers, women’s fashion, even advertising for the most unsexy products, seems to have the sole purpose of arousing men’s erotic desires. As we approach the summer, I often wonder, what’s the point of looking at porn – I can see more flesh on offer for free in any London high street on park.

One of the arguments against the extremist Islam that drives Al Quaeda’s terrorism is the way it denies women’s rights. And one of the perpetrators’ arguments for it is the hope of dying as a martyr and being blessed with virgins in paradise. What’s the difference between that and Virgin Teen Movies?

PhD Student

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Posted in News, Opinions
4 comments on “War on Terror or War on Porn?
  1. [...] will no doubt recognise, it seems that both Al quaeda and the West that they are fighting have a similar value – that of the self-determination of the Muslim people. The conflict is over would appear to  [...]

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  3. Juan Callejo says:

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