Is pornography only for people over 18?

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sockpoppet
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Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby sockpoppet » Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:01 pm UTC

Legally, people under 18 are not allowed to have or view pornography. I am 17 and I've been watching porn since I was about 12. It is considered perfectly normal for everybody to watch porn with 14 years(I'm Spanish, maybe it's different in other countries). But I still have to click "I am 18 or older" every time.
It is completely impossible to restrict pornography to minors, and there is no reason to do so. I find ridiculous the thought that watching people have sex could harm anybody who has already passed most of puberty. (Gore and extreme pornography is a different matter).

In general, age restrictions are always polemical and always inconsistent. I can have sex, drive a motorcycle and have an abortion (well, I could if I were a woman), but not vote, drink or watch pornography.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:06 pm UTC

I think it's an interesting question, and one of those, that like various other activities we have prohibitions about, such as driving, smoking, drinking, voting, etc., is really just aimed to generally protect youths. Whether or not the age bracket is set appropriately for each activity is another matter entirely.

Personally, I started looking at, or rather, seeking out porn at about 13 or so, but wasn't ready or able to comprehend the notion of being with someone else physically for another 2-3 years. The xkcd comic from a week or so back about sports illustrated and popup porn was a pretty solid point I thought.
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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby ++$_ » Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:58 pm UTC

sockpoppet wrote: I find ridiculous the thought that watching people have sex could harm anybody who has already passed most of puberty. (Gore and extreme pornography is a different matter).
I don't really understand this position. If you agree that "extreme pornography" CAN cause harm, then how can the idea that ordinary pornography could also cause harm be "ridiculous"? Is there some bright line below which pornography doesn't cause harm? More importantly, how do you know when you've crossed that line?

Personally, I think anything you watch can cause harm (or, conversely, be beneficial).

That said, age restrictions on porn are, as you point out, non-functional, and probably not necessary. If there IS a reason for their existence, it's so that creepy old guys who hand out pornography to 9-year-olds can be charged with providing lewd materials to a minor.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby Zarq » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:44 am UTC

The age restriction should certainly be lower, say 13-16. It's also kinda illogical for the age of consent to be lower than the age at which you can watch porn.

I don't believe porn has any bad effects when viewed while still young. Hell, most of the current 20-somethings probably have watched porn when younger than 18 and most of them turned out fine.
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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby Woopate » Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:50 am UTC

Yes, the age of consent here in Alberta is 16. Porn is still 18 though. Makes no sense to me.

I think that the reason is as previously said to prevent old guys from giving porn to minors, rather than for people actively seeking it out.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby hemhhr » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:17 am UTC

sockpoppet, I agree with you entirely, but it's so hard to care when I'm not under eighteen. I suspect it's like that with a lot of laws like this; they don't affect the people with the power to change them.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby samk » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:04 pm UTC

If people under 18 can legally posess porn, should they be exempt from child porn laws - many won't want to see people older than them?

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby ++$_ » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:15 pm UTC

samk wrote:If people under 18 can legally posess porn, should they be exempt from child porn laws - many won't want to see people older than them?
No. If child pornography is harmful enough to be justifiably outlawed (and I think it is), it's because of the children in it and not because of its effects on viewers.

The nature of the viewers doesn't change the fact that its production is still harmful.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby janusx » Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:19 am UTC

Really I don't see a reason for age limits on viewing porn at all. I mean you could arbitrarily choose 13-16 or try to pin point the beginning/end of puberty, but as it's different for everyone I don't really see the point.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby Hedonic Treader » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:06 am UTC

++$_ wrote:If child pornography is harmful enough to be justifiably outlawed (and I think it is), it's because of the children in it and not because of its effects on viewers.

The nature of the viewers doesn't change the fact that its production is still harmful.

There are two arguments against that. One is that virtual/fictional child pornography is just as illegal as real depictions in many legislations. Another one is that in most legislations, the legal definition of "child" pornography, or associated laws against teenage pornography, aim at any sexualized depiction of people under 18, even if the legal age of consent for sex is lower than 18. In some countries, it's legal to have sex with ~14+, but accessing/possessing an image showing a naked 17 year old person could be punishable with prison.

janusx wrote:Really I don't see a reason for age limits on viewing porn at all. I mean you could arbitrarily choose 13-16 or try to pin point the beginning/end of puberty, but as it's different for everyone I don't really see the point.

The question is, does it have a statistically relevant harmful effect on certain age groups? If the answer is yes, then the arbitrary nature of any given age limit doesn't exclude the ethical necessity to draw a line somewhere. Age of consent laws for actual sexual activities are arbitrary too, but under the premise that sex can have a statistically relevant harmful effect on certain age groups, age of consent restrictions are still an ethical necessity.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby SlashThred » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:22 pm UTC

Hedonic Treader wrote:The question is, does it have a statistically relevant harmful effect on certain age groups? If the answer is yes, then the arbitrary nature of any given age limit doesn't exclude the ethical necessity to draw a line somewhere. Age of consent laws for actual sexual activities are arbitrary too, but under the premise that sex can have a statistically relevant harmful effect on certain age groups, age of consent restrictions are still an ethical necessity.


I would think that there'd be a psychologically damaging thing going on too if 12-14 year olds could sleep with 40 year olds. Also, perverted, rich 50 year olds marrying people before they're able to complete their education seems like bad apple sauce for their potential to work later in life, which seems pretty bad for the government too.
(I was considering this last night, and the first thing I thought of was "Parental Consent?" but then I thought. "No. Hell no." (Parents selling their children sexually ftw.))

I think the point of the later age for porn is it not only means that 16 year olds will have a healthier sex life without influences by crazy fetishes, so they can know what normality is. This doesn't stop people from looking it up anyway, and no child will get arrested for looking at it, but at the very least it shows that the government doesn't condone sex before it's healthy. Also, while technically teenage pregnancies are more likely to result in healthier babies, it's not good to have mothers that drop out of school clogging up the economy.

But yeah, I agree with Zarq's statement. The rules are in place, probably for the same reason laws are around that stop you from having a knife in public. Most reasonable police won't arrest you for having one, but it gives them the potential to do so if they think you're going to be dangerous with it.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby Levelheaded » Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:02 pm UTC

The laws are different everywhere so there isn't one objective standard.

Where I live, I'm pretty sure it's not illegal for a person under 18 to simply possess porn. It's only illegal for a retailer to sell pornorgraphy to them or a random stranger to give them pornography.

I always considered this to fall under the same guidelines as 'R' rated movies, Parental Advisory music, or 'M' rated video games. If parents choose to allow their kids access to porn (like dad's stack of old Playboys - granted, that's pretty tame now) it's up to them. Unsupervised and unblocked online access IS giving your kids access to porn. If they choose not to though, society has a responsibility to make at least a token effort to obey the parent's wishes.

We could debate if those things really are good / bad for kids, but that's not the argument. The question is if parents should be able to choose if their children are exposed to those influences or not. I think it's a parent's right, even if plenty of 14-15 year olds don't agree.

I also think that many of those influences ARE harmful on children of certain ages. I don't think many people think an 8 year old should be watching SAW or a 11 year old should be playing GTA3. It may be ok for many of the above 14-15 year olds to do those things, but the law is going to be arbitrary, and 18 is a good arbitrary limit for when people are no longer considered children and should be considered adults. It fits with the other standards we have in place.

Also, one important point about ages - at least in the United States. Very few children under 16 have no official ID to verify their age with. A large portion of teenagers between 16 and 18 don't have an official ID. If the age is set at say, 14, how are retailers expected to verify that is the child's actual age?

Of course, this deals more with a retail environment than an online environment. Online, aside from parents using blockers or something, about the only thing that stops a minor from accessing anything is credit card verification. Most people under 18 don't have ready unsupervised access to a credit card. I could actually see requiring porn to be behind a pay-wall, if it wasn't impossibly difficult to implement.

I would say the fact that people under 18 have ready online access to porn is a flaw in the system, not an example of how the system should be.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby elasto » Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:24 am UTC

Even if online porn could be blocked, I don't see how you can stop kids forwarding shock-porn to each other's mobile phones. Mobile phone picture and video message forwarding is almost like the internet in miniature except a thousand times more difficult to police.

When my kid gets old enough to have a mobile phone I am going to have a very difficult decision: Do I give her a crappy old text message only phone (should such a thing even exist by then) and live with her outrage that 'but all my friends have good phones!' or do I just accept that her seeing shock-porn is just inevitable in this day and age - even if it's just from her looking at a picture sent to her mate's phone.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby hemhhr » Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:59 am UTC

SlashThred wrote:I think the point of the later age for porn is it not only means that 16 year olds will have a healthier sex life without influences by crazy fetishes, so they can know what normality is. This doesn't stop people from looking it up anyway, and no child will get arrested for looking at it, but at the very least it shows that the government doesn't condone sex before it's healthy.

This makes me so mad. The government allowing something doesn't mean it condones it. The government, and the voters who influence the government, don't have to like something for it to be legal. That would be tyranny. What the government "condones" they can recommend, not legislate. Obviously I'm making certain assumptions: one could say that the government doesn't "condone" murder, but I'm assuming you're not talking about things like that, you're talking about the government's opinion about what's good for an individual.

Legal discrimination against the young (forbidding sex, purchase of pornography) is a special case, though, since children are not protected by the law the same way adults are. The government is supposed to assume that adults can make their own decisions about who to marry, what to smoke, etc.: they pay for posters in schools telling kids not to smoke, but once you're of a certain age you can go to a store and buy cigarettes. Obviously even when the government thinks it knows what's best it can't always legislate its opinion. But children are not given the right to make their own decisions.
But please, don't justify restrictions on children with arguments that can support restrictions on anybody (e. g. outlawing smoking: the government doesn't condone cigarettes).

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby SlashThred » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:14 am UTC

hemhhr wrote:But please, don't justify restrictions on children with arguments that can support restrictions on anybody (e. g. outlawing smoking: the government doesn't condone cigarettes).

I'm not justifying them. I'm saying why (I think) they're in place. Whether or not it's ethical isn't an issue for me. Frankly, I'm old enough so none of it effects me any more and I don't see the point in wasting the effort to change a law that'd just be a formality anyway. No legal party would touch is either because anything involving sex and children is too explosive.

I'm sure this is meant for a different thread, but why wouldn't the government outlaw things it doesn't condone? I thought that was the whole point? I mean, my statement was basically tautological anyway because if any government doesn't want something the first thing they do it outlaw it. (Surely cigarettes are a special case due to the amount of money involved/people already addicted)

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby hemhhr » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:28 am UTC

Because those that control the government like the idea of personal freedom more than they like the idea of forcing minorities to conform. Those are the conditions under which what I said is true, anyway. When I'm talking about what I think a government should do, I'm talking about my idea of an ideal democratic government. I don't live under an ideal democratic government; marijuana and same-sex marriage are illegal. I'm talking should here, if you were talking would then my mistake.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby Levelheaded » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:59 am UTC

SlashThred wrote:
hemhhr wrote:But please, don't justify restrictions on children with arguments that can support restrictions on anybody (e. g. outlawing smoking: the government doesn't condone cigarettes).

I'm not justifying them. I'm saying why (I think) they're in place. Whether or not it's ethical isn't an issue for me. Frankly, I'm old enough so none of it effects me any more and I don't see the point in wasting the effort to change a law that'd just be a formality anyway. No legal party would touch is either because anything involving sex and children is too explosive.

I'm sure this is meant for a different thread, but why wouldn't the government outlaw things it doesn't condone? I thought that was the whole point? I mean, my statement was basically tautological anyway because if any government doesn't want something the first thing they do it outlaw it. (Surely cigarettes are a special case due to the amount of money involved/people already addicted)


The government often won't outlaw things it doesn't condone because it's impractical. Prohibition or the Drug Wars are good examples of what happens when something is simply outlawed as a knee-jerk reaction.

On the other hand, you can look at the social change around smoking in America as a 'good' example of how the government should handle things it doesn't condone. By increasing taxes, gradually removing some of the conveniences smokers once enjoyed (no smoking in hospitals became offices became all workplaces), and starting a social campaign educating people on the harm of smoking, smoking rates have decreased significantly. While simply outlawing tobacco may have been more effective in reducing the number of smokers, by using the whole toolbox instead of just the legislative hammer the government has done things in a much more beneficial way.

I do agree that we aren't likely to see anyone touch the laws banning sale of pornography to minors, at least in any overt manner or in the near future. Trends have been to allow parents more control over what their children have access to, not less control. In theory, I could see an eventual trend the other way, starting with music / movie / video games and eventually moving towards pornography. Eventually, judicial (most likely not legislative - that's going to kill a re-election campaign) decisions will undermine those laws until they are, for all intents and purposes, unenforcable.

Of course, I don't actually see the above happening in any reasonable timeline. Kids and sex are a third rail of politics, and seeing as how adults will obviously overwhelmingly outvote kids, nobody has any desire to change this. Most adults don't think there is anything wrong with the system as it is, beyond the general 'less government is always good' opinions. Even then, adults with those views find this an acceptable place for government intervention.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby SlashThred » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:07 pm UTC

I don't know the drug war prohibition example. I'm from Australia which may be influencing the way I see how government works. Coincidentally, they recently banned bikey groups larger than eight here. That knee-jerk thing is unfortunately the status quo.

hemhhr wrote:I'm talking should here, if you were talking would then my mistake.

Yeah ok, that would be the source of our misunderstanding. It'd be awesome to live in a country with a non-conservative left-wing government...

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby tKircher » Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:51 pm UTC

Pornography doesn't cause damage to people, people cause damage to people. If you're looking for porn, you're going to find really bizarre stuff. Just like how if you shop around an asian food market, you're going to find many many things you didn't consider edible before. It's not damaging, it's not mind-opening, it's just there. It exists, you don't have to embrace it, and in many cases (for me, at least) it's something that leads me to condemning it.

There's always a lot of caveats to age of consent, but i don't really think that applies to porn any more than age of owning a gun applies to playing Halo. You can look, but you can't touch, as the saying goes.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby GoC » Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:30 pm UTC

SlashThred wrote:I think the point of the later age for porn is it not only means that 16 year olds will have a healthier sex life without influences by crazy fetishes, so they can know what normality is. This doesn't stop people from looking it up anyway, and no child will get arrested for looking at it, but at the very least it shows that the government doesn't condone sex before it's healthy.

If it doesn't do anything that it's pointless and if it's a commonly violated law that police turn a blind eye to then it's open to abuse. What teenager gives a fuck about what the government condones?

Levelheaded wrote:I also think that many of those influences ARE harmful on children of certain ages. I don't think many people think an 8 year old should be watching SAW or a 11 year old should be playing GTA3. It may be ok for many of the above 14-15 year olds to do those things, but the law is going to be arbitrary, and 18 is a good arbitrary limit for when people are no longer considered children and should be considered adults. It fits with the other standards we have in place.

People are acting as if these kinds of laws have any effect at all apart from making the moral guardians feel good about themselves...
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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby bobjoesmith » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:22 am UTC

Salutary neglect: better question may be, "who cares" (to which the answer would almost always be, not any officers of the law)

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby PeterCai » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:14 am UTC

tKircher wrote:Pornography doesn't cause damage to people, people cause damage to people. If you're looking for porn, you're going to find really bizarre stuff. Just like how if you shop around an asian food market, you're going to find many many things you didn't consider edible before. It's not damaging, it's not mind-opening, it's just there. It exists, you don't have to embrace it, and in many cases (for me, at least) it's something that leads me to condemning it.

There's always a lot of caveats to age of consent, but i don't really think that applies to porn any more than age of owning a gun applies to playing Halo. You can look, but you can't touch, as the saying goes.


asians: we eat weird stuff, and by weird i mean not potatoes or steak.

"it's the people..." is a meaningless tautology, nobody think it's the gun that actually kills people when they say gun kills. it's just a figure of speech.

on topic: the big question here is if we have any conclusive studies that show pornography to be damaging to minors, if not, then i don't see any reason to not let minors watch them.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby furyguitar » Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:48 pm UTC

I have talked to many of my friends about pornography and the excessive use of it. I don't know if this has any correlation to age, or just frequency, but I think it can work like a drug in terms of developing a resistance and needing more or something more intense after time to feel excited.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby General_Norris » Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:18 pm UTC

furyguitar wrote:but I think it can work like a drug in terms of developing a resistance and needing more or something more intense after time to feel excited.

Were it so, this forum would not exist, we would all be masturbating or with someone. :lol:

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby name99 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:01 am UTC

Masturbation is just as bad as eating ice cream. If you eat too much of the same flavour, of course you'll eventually want a new one which you might start to eat more often than you should. This isn't anything that requires any laws against it, though.

It's also simply ridiculous to use any sort of overarching age limit on anything. If you're 17.9 years old you can't do it with an 18.1 year old? What sort of change even happens to someone in that amount of time? The over generalization about who's mature enough and who isn't is just not correct.

Almost all of these ridiculous laws are just examples of, well, poor measuring equipment. If you use a graduated cylinder with marks every 20 million ml, you might be able to use it to accurately measure something like 300 million ml, but if you want to be more specific, you'll have to use a skinnier tube with more marks on it. Going from a huge generalization to dictate what should happen if something specific happens is just not going to work often enough. There's too much room for error.

The only ways for a government to fairly fix those laws is to get rid of them.

In the Ideal Society, people deal with their own problems. Society deals with problems that could be threats to the society. Children can be their parents problems, but only until they can reason well, which would be taught right after reading and basic math. If the intelligent population rejects a person because of something, or denies them of doing something, then a larger government could objectively make sure it is the best solution, then record it for solutions to future problems. If it's clear the society functions correctly, stop intervening so much.

Someone drinks so much that he's a danger to others? Discuss it with him to find out the reason he drinks so much, and either help fix that problem or have him do it himself and try not to let him drink too much until he does.

Someone who's 12 is watching porn daily? Teach him about it until he understands it all better. Make sure he knows that too much viewing could be a bad thing. Let him figure the rest out himself. As long as the harm affects him only, let him decide if it's worth it.

Anyway, Pornography is only for people that want to watch pornography. It's that simple.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby Hedonic Treader » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:16 pm UTC

name99 wrote:Someone who's 12 is watching porn daily? Teach him about it until he understands it all better. Make sure he knows that too much viewing could be a bad thing. Let him figure the rest out himself. As long as the harm affects him only, let him decide if it's worth it.

You seem to have a rather optimistic view of how rational 12 year olds are when making decisions about their well-being. I don't think most people this age can make any meaningful decisions affecting their long-term future.

Either watching porn in this age has a demonstrable harmful effect, in which case 12 year olds should be effectively prevented from doing so, or it doesn't, in which case it simply doesn't matter much. In practice, this is a question that could easily be solved by empirical science today. Either way, to trust that an average 12 year old really knows what's best for him\her is quite absurd. Their brain development is usually not yet in a stage that would allow for this ability.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby Buddha » Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:57 am UTC

Using myself as an example, I started watching porn when I was twelve. I didn't start masturbating until I was fourteen. My parents never actually had the sex talk with me. Being one of six kids, they just assumed they'd had it, and forgotten about the matter entirely. The reason I knew things going into health class, was the fact that I watched porn. I am now seventeen, in a healthy, unconsummated relationship, I'm at the top of my class in school, and I have the best friends anyone could ask for.

I don't really have much of a point that follows that.

My idea is that, people should not provide minors with porn, nor withhold it from them if they seek it out.
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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby Thesh » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:17 pm UTC

Buddha wrote:Using myself as an example, I started watching porn when I was twelve. I didn't start masturbating until I was fourteen. My parents never actually had the sex talk with me. Being one of six kids, they just assumed they'd had it, and forgotten about the matter entirely. The reason I knew things going into health class, was the fact that I watched porn. I am now seventeen, in a healthy, unconsummated relationship, I'm at the top of my class in school, and I have the best friends anyone could ask for.

I don't really have much of a point that follows that.

My idea is that, people should not provide minors with porn, nor withhold it from them if they seek it out.


You would be an undergrad if you didn't masturbate and watch porn.


In all seriousness, there is nothing wrong with porn for young people. Their bodies are telling them to have sex, and trying to shield them from reality will do more harm than good, IMO.
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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby name99 » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:43 am UTC

Hedonic Treader wrote:
name99 wrote:Someone who's 12 is watching porn daily? Teach him about it until he understands it all better. Make sure he knows that too much viewing could be a bad thing. Let him figure the rest out himself. As long as the harm affects him only, let him decide if it's worth it.

You seem to have a rather optimistic view of how rational 12 year olds are when making decisions about their well-being. I don't think most people this age can make any meaningful decisions affecting their long-term future.


At this current state, society probably has not prepared the average 12 year old to make rational decisions. In fact, I'd say most people of any age are incapable of making a logical, objective decision that affects them in this society today. That's not what I was talking about, though. For this hypothetical Ideal Society to function, the inhabitants must be much more intelligent than the average people in this society now.

Either watching porn in this age has a demonstrable harmful effect, in which case 12 year olds should be effectively prevented from doing so, or it doesn't, in which case it simply doesn't matter much. In practice, this is a question that could easily be solved by empirical science today.


No scientific study will research all possible cases and decide what is objectively best for each individual. There is no empirical best case scenario that fits all individuals.
A study could conclude that, out of all 12 year olds, the ones that watched porn were 5 times more likely to eventually become uncomfortable with intimate relationships even if they were psychologically healthy when they were 12. This establishes that porn can definitely have a demonstrable harmful effect. This does not establish that it is a net negative or positive effect on all 12 year olds, though. This should be left up to a rational 12 year old to decide. If he is incapable of logic still, those temporarily responsible for him can help.

If he logically decides what he thinks he prefers: fapping, or a better chance at being comfortable with intimate relationships, then his answer is therefore what is best for him. If he decides correctly that it is worth it for him to watch porn, then banning porn for him is a bad thing, whatever the government thinks it's doing. Banning it will deprive him of something that is good for his well-being and increase his distrust toward the government. It would have been better if he'd watched porn in spite of any study and then actively made sure that he would not be uncomfortable with intimate relationships.

I am simply acknowledging that every 12 year old is not exactly the same, and that no outside power can say for certain what is objectively the best thing for all 12 year olds to do. There is, however, a correct answer to the question "Should I fap?" The most efficient and effective way to find this answer is to just let the people that are doing the fapping decide for themselves.

...to trust that an average 12 year old really knows what's best for him\her is quite absurd. Their brain development is usually not yet in a stage that would allow for this ability.


I'll admit that I don't know much about the brain development of 12 year olds. I do know, however, that 12 year olds can do basic algebra and they can apply a moral code to situations to see if certain things are ok or not. Logic is just a set of rules, like algebra or a moral code. Saying that their brain has to be more developed to apply logic to real life situations is absurd. If you are arguing that kids today aren't capable of using logic, that's just because they don't ever learn it.

Hakkera
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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby Hakkera » Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:44 pm UTC

Hedonic Treader wrote:
name99 wrote:Either watching porn in this age has a demonstrable harmful effect, in which case 12 year olds should be effectively prevented from doing so, or it doesn't, in which case it simply doesn't matter much. In practice, this is a question that could easily be solved by empirical science today. Either way, to trust that an average 12 year old really knows what's best for him\her is quite absurd. Their brain development is usually not yet in a stage that would allow for this ability.


First of all, what exactly determines when a conscious being starts being able to know "what is best for him/her"? The average set of values of an adult person is the unexplored mix between thoughts from ancient desert people, various inconsistent silhouettes of long dead philosophers and that cool guy on TV. For every small bit of valid experience attained there is a whole lot of propaganda and trauma involved. Of course, in principle children are more susceptible to those but they are not yet exposed to their full extent.

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name99
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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby name99 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:48 am UTC

Hakkera wrote:
Hedonic Treader wrote:Either watching porn in this age has a demonstrable harmful effect, in which case 12 year olds should be effectively prevented from doing so, or it doesn't, in which case it simply doesn't matter much. In practice, this is a question that could easily be solved by empirical science today. Either way, to trust that an average 12 year old really knows what's best for him\her is quite absurd. Their brain development is usually not yet in a stage that would allow for this ability.


First of all, what exactly determines when a conscious being starts being able to know "what is best for him/her"? The average set of values of an adult person is the unexplored mix between thoughts from ancient desert people, various inconsistent silhouettes of long dead philosophers and that cool guy on TV. For every small bit of valid experience attained there is a whole lot of propaganda and trauma involved. Of course, in principle children are more susceptible to those but they are not yet exposed to their full extent.


Ok, you fucked up the quotes there. That's what hedonic said, not what he quoted me saying. I fixed it for you.

As I said, whatever a logical person prefers is what's best for him. He can evaluate his emotions and motivations and decide which choice is most profitable for him.

The things you listed affect their ability to reason. These things would not affect a logical person.

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SlashThred
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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby SlashThred » Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:17 pm UTC

name99 wrote:As I said, whatever a logical person prefers is what's best for him. He can evaluate his emotions and motivations and decide which choice is most profitable for him.

Well I wasn't going to post in this thread again, but:
<Implying people are logical?>

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby Hakkera » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:12 pm UTC

name99 wrote:Ok, you fucked up the quotes there. That's what hedonic said, not what he quoted me saying. I fixed it for you.

As I said, whatever a logical person prefers is what's best for him. He can evaluate his emotions and motivations and decide which choice is most profitable for him.

The things you listed affect their ability to reason. These things would not affect a logical person.


Oh, thanks mate.

The problem is not in the logic, it's in the definition of good itself; arriving at true conclusions become a matter of luck if someone starts from false premises.

In name of education, a child is violently constrained until he/she conforms minimally to some acceptable model. It's acceptable and even compulsory for a parent to do so, based in their alleged moral superiority and responsibility. I don't agree extensively with the former and think that the latter should be reduced. Between two agents about equally inept, the amount of leaders and orders should be kept at a minimum.

Although I do agree with SlashThred that the logic is compromised as well.
Last edited by Hakkera on Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:25 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Zanmanoodle
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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby Zanmanoodle » Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:22 am UTC

Depends on the pornography.

At age 14 or so, I don't think seeing a good pair of boobies in Playboy is going to have a negative long-term effects. Any misplaced expectations regarding certain parts of the human anatomy will be overcome soon enough.

However, a 12-14 year old kid watching a graphic video of a dominatrix or some other thing I'm not sure I should post on this forum (involving more than two people and more than one orifice at a time) and other such... less-than-standard... acts might have some longterm effects when it comes to developing healthy sexual relationships. I think they're effects that might wear off in time assuming the person grows into maturity, but they're effects nonetheless.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby GoC » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:07 pm UTC

Zanmanoodle wrote:However, a 12-14 year old kid watching a graphic video of a dominatrix or some other thing I'm not sure I should post on this forum (involving more than two people and more than one orifice at a time) and other such... less-than-standard... acts might have some longterm effects when it comes to developing healthy sexual relationships.

What effects could that have?
Sounds like you're just saying "the porn I watch/watched is ok but anything else is bad".
Belial wrote:I'm just being a dick. It happens.

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby Zanmanoodle » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:05 pm UTC

GoC wrote:
Zanmanoodle wrote:However, a 12-14 year old kid watching a graphic video of a dominatrix or some other thing I'm not sure I should post on this forum (involving more than two people and more than one orifice at a time) and other such... less-than-standard... acts might have some longterm effects when it comes to developing healthy sexual relationships.

What effects could that have?
Sounds like you're just saying "the porn I watch/watched is ok but anything else is bad".


It's basically assuming that the kid doesn't have the maturity to know what is normal and what isn't. If exposed to something like that too young, and without parents that can explain things, the kid would be adversely affected by thinking things such as, for example, simulated acts of sexual assault, are the norm. You could say the same about more role-play-ish porn (i.e. the seductive nurse, teacher, boss, etc).

On the other side of it, seeing boobs isn't going to have the same effects as seeing explicit videos of sex.

In other words... key quote from below article: "For example, those who frequent porn sites more often are more likely to view sex as a purely physical function and to view women as sex objects. They're also more likely to hold such views if they perceive the material as more realistic, research finds. [...]The more explicit the material viewed, the more likely young people were to see women in these ways."

http://www.apa.org/monitor/nov07/webporn.aspx

swagar
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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby swagar » Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:04 pm UTC

On a related note, I'm sick of people claiming that porn is addictive. The only reason people go back to certain websites on a daily basis is because they were born with a libido. Blame Jesus. Also, I tend to think that simulated child pornography should exist, but only to keep those into that sort of thing out of the bush outside your daughter's window. Finally, if minors shouldn't be possessing pornography, should they be masturbating? Again, it's something they were born with a compulsion to do (especially if they're male), and without "visual stimulation", they'll likely conjure similar images in their head anyway. Even the most horrifying porn shouldn't be very traumatizing.

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Azrael
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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby Azrael » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:24 pm UTC

swagar wrote:... they were born with a libido. Blame Jesus.

Two things:

First, let's avoid purposefully incendiary hyperbole.

Second, even within generic Christianity, it wouldn't be Jesus' fault. Factual correctness is a big plus. I'm going to redact that so as to quell the inadvertent theological debate in my inbox. :D

Hedonic Treader
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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby Hedonic Treader » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:28 pm UTC

Zanmanoodle wrote:key quote from below article: "For example, those who frequent porn sites more often are more likely to view sex as a purely physical function and to view women as sex objects. [...]The more explicit the material viewed, the more likely young people were to see women in these ways."

I wonder whether this is a domain-dependent (ie. related to sexual relationships) view or a general view. For instance, will men who view women as sexual objects (rather than partners with emotional bonding) in the bedroom also see women as inferior in the workplace? In politics? With regards to personal rights? etc. Hypothetically, humanity could be quite happy even with a view of sex that is reduced to a somatosensoric entertainment activity; as long as children are still raised with adequate support and care.

swagar wrote:Also, I tend to think that simulated child pornography should exist, but only to keep those into that sort of thing out of the bush outside your daughter's window.

It's also a free speech problem. Like with violent computer games, you get the argument that consuming some virtual act is a prelude to the real one. Following this logic to its conclusion, you're not far away from the notion of a thought crime. Victimless crimes have indirect welfare costs for free societies, in addition to the financial costs for law enforcement and loss of productivity of the criminalized citizens.

As for pedophilia, maybe carrots + sticks could work. Virtual pornographic superstimuli (carrots) plus harsh punishment for real violence (sticks). In addition, children could be educated earlier about sex in a non-ideological way. This would make it more likely that they report coercive or abusive behavoirs they're confronted with since they are able to understand the context (ie. what sex is, what it is for, etc.)

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Re: Is pornography only for people over 18?

Postby Plebian » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:21 am UTC

Hedonic Treader wrote:
Zanmanoodle wrote:key quote from below article: "For example, those who frequent porn sites more often are more likely to view sex as a purely physical function and to view women as sex objects. [...]The more explicit the material viewed, the more likely young people were to see women in these ways."

I wonder whether this is a domain-dependent (ie. related to sexual relationships) view or a general view. For instance, will men who view women as sexual objects (rather than partners with emotional bonding) in the bedroom also see women as inferior in the workplace? In politics? With regards to personal rights? etc. Hypothetically, humanity could be quite happy even with a view of sex that is reduced to a somatosensoric entertainment activity; as long as children are still raised with adequate support and care.


I believe this is EXACTLY why the age limit is set at suffrage. Its not that kids aren't necessarily ready or a question of when they are ready. Choosing to limit the sale of stuff like porn is kind of a parenting aid. No parent can watch kids every single second and it helps when they cant see gimp suits on display in the mall with out at least taking the time and effort to get a reasonable fake ID. It keeps some 13 year olds sneaking a look at the Victoria Secret catalog instead of walking down to Macs and buying the latest hustler. The goal isn`t and shouldn`t be to make sure no kid ever sees someone naked its to hold kids back a little so they aren't trying to figure out bsdm before someone has sat them down and said 'hey, you ever notice those birds and bees?' At the end of the day if your parents are comfortable enough with your maturity to take the safety lock off your internet you have all the access to porn you could ever need.


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