Instigator / Pro
14
1554
rating
5
debates
80.0%
won
Topic

The United States Would Benefit from a Pornography Ban

Status
Voting

Participant that receives the most points from the voters is declared a winner.

The voting will end in:

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Politics
Time for argument
Two weeks
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Contender / Con
4
1421
rating
127
debates
31.89%
won
Description
~ 498 / 5,000

This argument is mainly based on the merits of banning pornography. There is an equal burden of proof: I must prove that the effects of pornography have led to harm in the country, while my opponent must argue that pornography has had a net positive effect on our country and/or that banning it would have more negative consequences than positive ones.

Round 1: Arguments
Round 2: Rebuttals
Round 3: Rebuttals and Closing Remarks

It has been a while since I have debated. Let's have some fun!! :D

Round 1
Pro
I would like to thank my opponent for agreeing to this debate.

For this debate, “pornography” refers to sexually explicit content. This involves nudity that would generally be too graphic to include in an “rated R” film and is found online on sites such as PornHub.

I believe that this industry that relies on the sexual objectification of women to be harmful to the adult film stars themselves, the viewers of pornography, and, as a result, there are great harms for our society at large.

To be clear, what I am proposing would not include throwing “adult actors” in prison, as I see them to be victims in this overall system, but I would not be opposed to jailing
producers and publishers of this material in addition to the ban on online distribution.

Bad for Porn Stars:

This point contains the least amount of data, which is to be expected, since this industry relies on anonymity of the workers in question. Therefore, this will be relatively short and based on arguments that attempt to appeal to common sense and rely on personal testimonials.

I believe that this industry can entrap the men and especially women that enter the industry. The longer they are in this industry, the longer that they are likely to have large blank spots on their application. Eventually, they will be forced to attempt to find jobs outside the industry as they get older, considering the highest searched result is “teen” and in another sampled category, only 7% were over forty.[1] I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t think that your average teen has wrinkles and liver spots. That may have viewers suspending their disbelief a little too much. ;)

Joking aside, many women who leave the industry are likely to have to become strippers or other industries revolving around the sexualization of these men and especially women. Since these videos are widely available online, many potential future coworkers and bosses can have seen this work and many ex-porn stars have reported being fired because of their previous employment in the pornography industry [2][3]. The average age of women entering the porn industry is 24, which will then limit their career options for the rest of their life[1]. I would consider this limitation of career choices to be a form of exploitation against these women. I think that an industry that limits career options and then requires many individuals to perform sexual acts just so they can eat is reprehensible. This clearly brings a gray area of consent since these acts would then be committed out of desperation.

Furthermore, there have been many advocates and examples of women that have suffered at the hands of this industry. One of the most popular women on the site, Mercedes Grabowski (or “August Ames” as some of you may know her by), was raped in a film and physically abused [4]. She killed herself a few weeks later, yet sites have left up the material of this poor, depressed, and now deceased woman. If this can happen to one of the most popular women in the business, it is obvious that women with even less of a voice and less power must be suffering in this industry, and indeed that is the case.

Other women are starting to speak out against the industry. Some examples are stories of being repeatedly punched by someone with a gold ring on without warning, having their head stepped on, and another who was beat up and crying in pain while nobody stopped the filming this act of horrific abuse[4].

I am sorry to have to relay these experiences to you all, but this is necessary to gain perspective on just how heinous this industry is. These aren’t underground criminal enterprises abusing women. These are legal, licensed companies with initially willing participants. What was done was entirely illegal. However, there quite simply is no escaping sexual abuse in an industry that treats women as sex objects instead of human beings with dignity. These were just a few examples that can be found with a quick
Google search. A desire for anonymity and potential for severe backlash for speaking out must be keeping countless men and women’s experiences concealed.

Bad for Users:

The scientifically proven deleterious effects of watching pornography are well-documented. First, I believe that it is important to point out that pornography is addicting material [5]. So this industry entraps men and women who may not even want to partake in their material anymore, so many people feel that they have no escape from viewing the material despite the toll it takes on their life. Additionally, the average age of children who are exposed to pornography is 8 or 11 depending on the study[6]. One simple click or misspelling of a word on the internet today can produce graphic sexual images before the mind of small children and result in all of the negative effects that I will outline below.

Relationships

I will first outline the effects that this has on relationships. In multiple studies in the Guilford Journal, they found that those who viewed more pornographic material were found to have less commitment to their significant other, more likely to flirt with non-partners, and had higher rates of infidelity[7]. This makes sense, as another study found that individuals primed with sexually explicit material reported having higher quality romantic alternatives. Another study found that pornographic consumption was a reliable predictor of extradyadic sexual behavior (cheating)even when controlling for a variety of other factors such as relationship length, previous cheating, and relationship satisfaction, among others[8].

Finally, another study has found similar results. This study directly compares relationships in which pornography isn’t watched and those in which pornography is watched. It found that:
Negative communication was much less common in relationships where no sexually explicit material(SEM) was viewed, either alone or with the partner.
Individuals in the no-SEM group reported higher relationship adjustment than those in the SEM-alone group.
The no-SEM group reported much higher relationship dedication than both of the SEM groups.
Sexual satisfaction was very low in the SEM-alone group.
Of the groups, the no-SEM group had significantly lower infidelity with 9.7% compared to 19.4% SEM-alone, 18.2% SEM-together, and 26.5%SEM-together/alone groups.[9]

So, based on all of this evidence, it is clear that relationships suffer as a result of pornographic material use. This will be tied in later with the “country” section.

Brain

But the individual viewer is personally harmed by viewing porn. Because of the unlimited novelty and easy ability to find increasingly explicit material, men find that real-life partners don’t meet their expectations and their arousal declines. This results in erectile dysfunction, which cannot be explained by other factors for men under 40. There are promising signs that these effects can be reversed by quitting use of porn, which shows the causal nature of porn for erectile dysfunction. This study also found that delayed gratification, which is the ability to wait for rewards, had a negative relationship with pornography use. Participants had their delayed gratification increase after just three weeks of not using porn[10]. Those who display delayed gratification are more like to do better on SATs, have better credit scores, are more likely to use drugs, and more likely to be overweight[26].

Finally, there is some research that may prove pornography use results in a decrease in gray matter in your brain according to research in JAMA Psychiatry. They believe that the increased stimulation of the reward system of the brain could be a cause of the lower neural plasticity(the ability of the nervous system to change) viewed in patients that reported more hours of porn use per week, as they found a “significant negative association between reported pornography hours per week and gray matter volume…”[11].
A Swedish study on adolescents found that those who watched pornography were more likely to have had sex before 15 (19.5% vs 13.5%), were more likely to experience sexual lust all of the time (42.2% vs 12.4%), more likely to have bought sex (7.7% vs 1.5%), had higher drug use rates, and were more likely to have sold sex (7% vs 1.2%)[23].

So, based on a variety of studies, it seems to be the consensus that there is more relationship infidelity and less commitment, erectile dysfunction, less delayed gratification, and potentially less gray matter and neural plasticity for users of porn. These effects on a wide scale are obvious to have many negative macro-effects on a country, as I will soon outline.

Bad for Our Country At Large:

Because of the effects that pornography use has on consumers, it is not difficult to believe that there are severe ramifications to our country. I will split this analysis into porn’s contribution to divorce and sexual violence.

Divorce

A study found that the top three reasons attributed to divorce were lack of commitment (75%), infidelity (59.6%), and too much conflict and arguing (57.7%)[12]. Sound familiar? They should. Pornography use in my previously cited studies found that its use reduced commitment, was a strong predictor of infidelity, and vastly increased negative communication(conflict and arguing).

Another study found that men who started watching pornography doubled their chances of having a divorce, while the likelihood increased three times for women who watched it[13].

This effect on our divorce rate creates many ills for society. Research has shown that children of divorced and separated parents have higher rates of clinical depression, seek psychiatric care at higher rates, men of divorced parents are more likely to commit suicide and have lower life expectancies, and have a higher likelihood of multiple types of diseases such as cancer, strokes, and heart problems[14].

The Heritage Foundation also found that a 10% increase in single-parent households in a neighborhood led to a 17% increase in juvenile crime[15]. Additionally, one-fourth of single parents are living in poverty, while just 8% of married parents are[16]. So, through increasing the likelihood of divorce, pornography is contributing to poverty, diseases, depression, and juvenile crime.

The contribution of pornography to broken homes cannot be understated.

Sexual Crime

Not only does pornography consumption lead to divorce, it also increases real-life sexual abuse.

This scientifically makes sense based on some scientific and psychological research into these matters. Mirror neurons in our brain fire when individuals observe an action performed by someone else. According to a professor of psychology at UCLA, “the mirror mechanism in the brain also suggests that we are automatically influenced by what we perceive, this proposing a plausible neurobiological mechanism for contagion of violent behavior”[17]. The psychological mere-exposure effect also makes people develop a preference for things that they are familiar with[18]. Based off of these principles and knowing that an estimated 88.2% of porn scenes included physical aggression and 48.7% included verbal aggression, it would make sense that pornography increases the prevalence of sexual aggression[19].

A study on teen dating violence showed that those exposed to violent sexual material are more likely to perpetrate teen dating violence(TDV). Boys exposed to violent pornography were 2-3x more likely to perpetrate threatening TDV and women exposed to it were over 1.5x more likely to commit TDV compared to those who weren’t[20]. UCLA also conducted regression models and found that “the pornography variable added to the prediction of sexual aggression”[21].

Additionally, it was found that those who possessed child pornography were more likely to have previously, are currently, and in the future abuse children[22]. The aforementioned Swedish adolescent study also found that a higher portion of boys that used pornography were also more likely to have engaged in coercive sexual behavior (11.5% vs 3.7%). To put that into perspective, there are 101 million men in the US[24]. Holding everything else constant, that would be a difference in 7,878,000 instances of sexual coercion if the whole population did not view pornography versus everyone viewing it.

Finally, a study in the Journal of Human Rights and Civil Society concluded that consumption of pornography contributes to the sex trade[25].

So based on this analysis, for the betterment of pornography actors, pornography viewers, and for the improvement of the United States as a whole, I propose that the government should take measures to ban pornography. I wish my opponent good luck in promoting any possible reasons that outweigh the importance of decreasing divorce and decreasing sexual violence.

Sources:
Con
My argument will mostly be logical oriented rather than source oriented, because the Con side can be deduced from common sense.

But let me refute the sexual crime before my constructive, because that is the most controversial point. Psychology Today notes many locations that counter pro's ideas, showing something else is at stake.

Firstly, notice how pro defines it as explicit material, but then most if not all his studies are all on video-based pornography, rather than any other type of pornography. And he doesn't think about the difference of soft core vs hard core porn, which may be the big differing factor for sex crime. Consider if, all porn was regulated so that men always treated women kindly in porn, his argument would fall instantly. As for addiction, or brain problems, people have the right to do what they want with their bodies, otherwise, we would punish people for attempted suicide.

Now for my case.

The big problem of Pro's world (banning all porn for everyone) is that it can lead down to a big slippery slope. From his own definition, even erotica can be considered pornography. But there has been far less study done on text-based work. A lot of people agree that books allow you to use your imagination far more than movies, and pouring over publications such as Fifty Shades of Gray is much harder than looking at thumbnails of a video, especially if the writer is smart enough not to use any obvious explicit words. And would art like David, nude women paintings, also no longer be shown, due to being "explicit"? What about animated characters, who are obviously fictional and have humorously big sized proportions that we roll eyes at and know with 100% certainty that no one is being harmed, and that we shouldn't expect other partners to be just as ... large, for lack of better word?

Let's face it, it'd be impossible to ban all pornography with reference to pro's ideas. Explicit books being banned. Then art. Then we lose two big facets of expression, masterpieces sealed away forever. There's always going to be something that people are going to complain about. Next it's going to be short skirts. Then the woman's ankle. And then everyone will have to be a hijab. But we all know the terrorist association with that kind of outfit. The restriction of freedom of expression can go very far, merely from barring the generic term "explicit material". 

Okay, so let's weigh our confirmed points against each other.
Pros that I haven't contested: Porn star job problems, Relationships.
Cons: Entire art sectors fall down, people cannot post sexual content in books, or draw nude arts any more. Cultures disappear and go extinct during this time, especially those that have the standard of being nude. Or, they risk being misrepresented, creating a false version of history, merely for the illusion of some "addiction" formed from this. That's far, far worse than some number of children suffering from divorced parents.

I await pro's arguments.
Round 2
Pro
I thank my opponent for his quick response. Now let’s move on to round 2.

Early arguments:

The Psychology Today article that Con provided simply does not prove that pornography isn’t associated with crime. For instance, they pointed out that after Denmark relaxed pornography restrictions in the 1970’s,“allegations” of rape decreased.

However, this is utterly untrue. I have looked into a report on Nordic Criminal Statistics from 1950-2010. Pornography was legalized in 1969[30],so let us compare the per 100,000 rates of rape before and after legalization[26].
·        1965: 3.4
·        1966: 4.5
·        1967: 4.2
·        1968: 4.5
·        1969: 4.8
·        1970: 4.4
·        1971: 6.1
·        1972: 4.7
·        1973: 5.4
·        1974: 5.7
·        1975: 5.0
·        2010: 7.7
So, my opponent is mistaken. The average rate from 1965-1968was 4.15 while 1970-1975 was 5.22. Some years were as high as 11.5 rapes per100,000 after legalization, but the highest rate recorded before 1969 was 5.5.So, my previous point stands that pornography is related to sexual crime.

So maybe “allegations” went down if that was what the article was trying to say, but actual occurrences of rapes went up.

Clarification:

While I didn’t explicitly mention it, I believe that I implicitly argued that I was fighting internet pornography by mentioning that I am discussing content such as that on PornHub (a site with only visual pornography as far as I know) and that I stated I am referring to things not allowed in “rated R” films. I also pointed out the issue of children being ableto easily find it online. Finally, I only discussed pornography actors.

However, many of my sources don’t explicitly mention that they are only referring to just video pornography (and some do). They refer to “sexually explicit material” for instance, which was found to reduce commitment and increase infidelity. Hardcore and softcore pornography should both be banned. While hardcore pornography is more likely to lead to violence, all pornography still carried a slew of bad effects as I showed last round and just recently with the rate of rape after pornography legalization.

“As for addiction, or brain problems, people have the right to do what they want with their bodies, otherwise, we would punish people for attempted suicide”. Apparently, my opponent has not heard of the war on drugs, in which many people are jailed for harming themselves with drugs. So, this isn’t an unprecedented policy position in which something is banned for the betterment of the populace. Because of the crime, poverty, and health implications that are directly related to divorce, I believe that there is a strong case for the government stepping in to increase overall societal health.

So, I apologize to my opponent for not being entirely clear. For this reason, I willfully defend banning all types of visual pornography, but I believe that it is a bit of a stretch to refer to reading material as “pornography” for the sake of this debate based on all of the connotations of my previous round, especially since the “imagination” is used rather than the medium itself producing the images. Furthermore, written work is incomparable to movies and PornHub videos, which I stated at the beginning of my argument.

However, my opponent must explicitly draw distinctions between types of visual pornography in order to nullify points made by my sources since there was no clear distinctions made in many of the sources between types of visual pornography.

The title of the debate is “The United States Would Benefit from a Pornography Ban”, so even if I was banning every medium that Con provided, the benefits of banning internet pornography are still included in this sweeping ban. So, even if the voters believe that I must defend all forms of pornography being banned because of my folly, my opponent must still prove that the harms caused by banning other forms of pornography outweighs the harms averted by banning video pornography.

Con’s Case:

As for whether art like David is included in pornography, the answer is ‘no’. There has been much discussion on this from the philosophical community. They argue that the purpose of pornography is arousal, unlike art. Additionally, an academic, Ann Eaton, argues that to enjoy porn, you have to objectify women, and one is unable to do that and contemplate artistic value at the same time[27]. For instance, a woman breastfeeding a child in a painting is showing the virtues and beauty of motherhood. Having a woman be screwed by three men, however, does not convey anything other than an attempt at arousal.

Animated characters, assuming they are human (I sure hope so!), are still to be banned if they are sexually explicit in nature. As my opponent mentions, people aren’t harmed in this medium. That makes it slightly less horrible than real-person porn, but that doesn’t make it virtuous. As for not expecting partners to look like people in porn, the mere-exposure effect is a subconscious process and thus can’t just be “not expected”. It changes your perception.

My opponent clearly committed the slippery slope fallacy by stating that women must have to wear hijabs if I simply want to ban videos of people having sex on the internet[28].

Furthermore, my opponent complains that the term “sexually explicit” is too broad. I reject his conclusion. The highest court in the land, the Supreme Court, uses the term “obscenity”(in this case, hardcore pornography) to define media that should be banned and that is a broad term as well. Justice Potter Stewart defined it simply with “I know it when I see it”[31]. Clearly, a broad definition must be used to allow nuance from the proper banning authorities.

Con mentions that “entire cultures” with standards of being nude are erased. These would be more indicative of European countries’ standards, and my argument isn’t to force this on other countries. In fact, all states have some form of public indecency laws, except recently in California(even though arrests are still made) and many people are put on sex offender registries for it[29]. Being naked for others to see outside clearly isn’t part of American culture, which is the only culture that matters for this discussion.

Con admits that relationships are damaged and that porn stars are abused. However, he believes that suicide, depression, crime, and poverty are all negligible in comparison to the “freedom” (and I use that word loosely because of the addiction) to watch strangers have sex online. I disagree that this high price is worth paying for people to waste many hours every year and corrupting their minds through gray matter destruction.

Con did not provide any statistical, tangible benefits from allowing pornography in our country, and he failed to describe the content of his source supposedly debunking my crime point. No other sources were provided to debunk any of my other points. I have outlined multiple harms that pornography causes for porn actors, porn viewers, and the whole country. Therefore, I still believe that the United States would benefit from a ban of pornography.

I would like to end by asking Con how any of his points made compares to and outweighs the suffering of the hundreds of thousands of kids growing up in broken homes.

Good luck on Round 2!

Con
Good argument. I will continue cracking down on the crime point while pointing out the problem with Con's assumption that now pornography should be judged by experts and "you know it when you see it". 

Though Psychology Today does an unconvincing job overall, numerous scholar studies help support it. One in India notes: "Comparison of pre-liberalization and post-liberalization growth of rape rates was not significant. Though there were statistically significant positive correlations between the number of internet users and sexual crime rates, the association was non-significant after controlling for the effects of population growth using regression analysis." In addition, a strong research on pro's purported idea also comes to the same conclusion: "The results showed that in none of the countries did rape increase more than nonsexual violent crimes. This finding in itself would seem sufficient to discard the hypothesis that pornography causes rape." (Pro only shows that the rape increased, but not more substantially than expected, thus refuting his own point) UTSA also has the same results within its research, noting that " hostility, callousness and delinquent behavior were determinants of sexual aggression". Not merely watching people being rough with women.   

In addition, Con has conceded that Text based uses imagination, and despite potential for violence and problems depicting women as objects, he has not laid out similar worries for erotica. A Journal from Hawaii notes: "It has been found everywhere scientifically investigated that as pornography has increased in availability, sex crimes have either decreased or not increased. It is further been found that sexual erotica has not only wide spread personal acceptance and use but general tolerance for its availability to adults. This attitude is seen by both men and women and not only in urban communities but also in reputed conservative ones as well. Further this finding holds nationally in the United States and in widely different countries around the world. Indeed, no country where this matter has been scientifically studied has yet been found to think pornography ought be restricted from adults. The only consistent finding is that adults prefer to have the material restricted from children’s production or use." The point is, pornography's design is not inherently the problem, though you may be influenced by ideas portrayed by it, it does not directly cause the crime, nor advocate for it. Pro points out there is a correlation, but fails to show why exactly pornography causes the violence, besides objectifying women.

I will elaborate on this point. I believe that only the lack of education combined with the negative worries of pornography can result in Pro's harms. Another expert notes that the lack of information is heaped upon by pro's worries of crime, thus causing the violence against women. But the relationship problems and the errors within porn are not inherently unfixable. In other words, if the alternative world was keeping porn but educating men about the problems of not taking care of their lovers, then this would be more beneficial than trying to fix porn and not the underlying problem. 

"There is particularly little evidence about any harms of pornography consumption on young people. ...We conducted a qualitative study – the sixteen18 project – in which we interviewed young people in three different areas of England about their sexual practices. We recruited by age (16–18 year olds) and included people from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. We did not seek out participants with any particular sexual history or preference. Nearly all of our participants reported only having or desiring heterosex (i.e. sex with different-sex partners).
Our study did indicate some specific health harms that may have resulted from using pornography as ‘sex education’, notably that some young men did not seem to realize that lubricant and slow penetration are an important part of preventing discomfort for their partner during anal sex (Marston and Lewis 2014). Even where anal penetration was seemingly not consensual, men appeared surprised at how difficult it was to penetrate their partner's anus. Lack of attention by some of the men in our study to mutuality (i.e. mutually deciding on what to do and when) negatively affected their partners, and non-use of condoms for anal sex was common. Even leaving aside other possible concerns, free-to-access porn available on internet sites is unlikely to focus on mutuality or condom use, making this type of material unsuitable as the sole source of sexuality education. During our study, we also examined where else young people were getting messages about sex and sexuality.
Numerous lay understandings point to pornography as ‘causing’ different phenomena but further analysis shows that the reality is rarely so simple. For instance, when we asked why their peers might be having anal sex, some of our sixteen18 participants, speaking in general terms, said they thought it might be ‘because of pornography’. Participants’ narratives about their own experiences, however, suggested a more complex story. From accounts of personal experiences, it was clear that in some cases men who seemed aware their partners did not want to be penetrated anally either went ahead and attempted it anyway, or badgered their partners until they agreed (Marston and Lewis 2014). .... This suggests an important potential cause of harm: lack of concern about consent – something that has existed throughout history and certainly predates online pornography. Whether or not desired and consensual anal sex between men and women is considered a problem, non-consensual anal sex is clearly a public health concern, regardless of whether or not the idea to engage in anal sex originates from porn....Comprehensive sexuality education can help address these issues by emphasizing the importance of mutuality and consent. Focusing solely on pornography risks becoming a distraction; by shifting the focus onto pornography alone, we ignore the wider social context that supports coercive practices."

In other words, Pro's world is problematic as he chooses to ignore the core problems with sexual violence and relationships. Without an outlet for release, it's entirely plausible that would-be criminals will increase, while young people are still having similar trouble with their relationships. Even with Erotica unbanned, there's no telling if this entirely solves pro's problems. 

To address Pro's worries, I will bring up strong sexual scenes that were crucial to movies' plots, and ask pro what to do about them. In Terminator, Game of Thrones, and Oldboy alone, these three have crucial sexual scenes that can be considered "art" by most critique groups and audience. Hence, they would likely not be banned. However, this brings in another problem, in that "non-pornographic artistic films" will now be a Gatekeeping community. So we still have pornography, but as long as we can try to prove it is artful, then it will remain. The problem with pro's logic is that he thinks, only if it can't be consumed for erotic purposes, the problem is solved. There are countless kinks and desires, and we have no way of knowing for sure if people won't be addicted to the newest sex scene from Game of Thrones. The line between sensual loving sex and the violent and oppressive dominant nature of Game of Thrones is difficult to draw, and experts would have controversial feelings about these as Pornography. In the end, Pro's world would be stuck in deadlock about countless R rated films featuring nudity. Too much time and resources would be wasted trying to see if some sexual scene was truly art or meant for consumption, and loopholes will still allow artful films to break through. If Pro is correct, then even merely keeping Game of Thrones could still have the same problems as he desires. And if Pro bites the bullet, then the censorship of films still means countless masterpieces are lost. The destruction to art, to creativity, is still far worse than an ideal that only strikes at one of the potential causes of pro's problems, rather than trying to resolve the true problem, of understanding consent and understanding your partner.

Conclusion: There are one of two scenarios here.
A) Pro agrees that "artful nudity" is kept, which means that if you can find art erotic (and hence, damaging to relationships, blah blah blah...) then pro's problems are still problem, not to mention countless hours wasted on debating whether Game of thrones is pornography or not. And loopholes can still be produced with extremely romantic films that show sex, so long as experts are impressed. (which is a problem. Just because Expert does not think it is arousing enough to be obscene does not mean an average viewer thinks the same.)
B) Pro wants to ban all nudity without question, so even Terminator has to say bye bye. He avoids fixing the prime problem of relationships and gets rid of a potential way for people to let loose, with the vagueness of whether or not porn creates crime or relationship problems. Now creativity is lost within the movies and there is a potential slippery slope for also censoring violence. Because it might cause violence. Then swearing. Then criminal activity. At what point will Pro's plan stop? Just what precisely is "obscene", and why does it guarantee that most people will follow the scene? Remember that, the most powerful movies arguably show the opposite of pro's ideas. By showing how bad something is (Schindler's List, Grave of Fireflies), you are able to convince your audience not to do something. This means pornography merely has to discourage violence and encourage empathy. And hence reformation of pornography would be far superior to banning pornography.
Round 3
Pro
Round 3
I once again thank my opponent for his timely response. Let’s finish this! 😊

Sexual Violence

I believe that the voters should put much less weight on this India study. As it specifically states, “However, this study has its own limitations as it relies on the data published by NCRB. The results of this study need to be interpreted carefully and cautiously because sexual crimes are likely to be underreported. In addition, the number of internet users was used for analysis because there was no reliable method to establish the number of pornography consumers.” Therefore, it didn’t even consider how pornography specifically related to sexual crimes, while my sources have directly considered porn versus non-porn users.

Additionally, within your own source, it links to a meta-analysis. A meta-analysis combines the results of multiple studies, so its conclusions should be considered with more weight than any one study listed. Its findings align with the conclusions of the previously-mentioned sources that I have provided. It states that: “ contrast to the earlier meta-analysis, the current results showed an overall significant positive association between pornography use and attitudes supporting violence against women in nonexperimental studies. In addition, such attitudes were found to correlate significantly higher with the use of sexually violent pornography than with the use of nonviolent pornography, although the latter relationship was also found to be significant.”

It concludes that both hardcore AND softcore pornography use had a SIGNIFICANT relationship with attitudes supporting violence against women[32]. Furthermore, as my UCLA source pointed out in its own regression (which is in America, and therefore more relevant since we have a different culture and demographics), “the pornography variable added to the prediction of sexual aggression”[21].

My opponent also points out that other violent crimes increased with non-sexual violent crimes. As this source on the causes of crime states “The desire for control, revenge, or power leads to violent crimes such as murders, assaults, and rapes”[33]. The meta-analysis proved that people are increasingly supportive of violence against women after watching both hardcore and softcore pornography. (It is also perhaps coincidental that rape increased at a lower amount than other violent crimes, since the analysis only showed an increase in support of violence against women, who are a fraction of a country’s population. Perhaps not a coincidence…..I’ll let the voters decide). Obviously, becoming desensitized to sexual violence is going to lead to an increase of desire for "control and power". The mere-exposure effect, as previously stated, makes people prefer things they are more familiar with.

Finally, on your last study about violence against women, it noted that hostility and callousness were determinants of sexual aggression. That sounds an awful lot like negative attitudes, and again, my meta-analysis showed attitudes about violence against women became more commonplace because of porn.

Next Point

I am not sure how text using imagination is a “concession”. I simply stated that I believed that my previous, written arguments did not suggest my plan was to ban that medium. However, once again, my sources did not distinguish between types of pornography, so unless you prove otherwise, it is to be assumed that text pornography is either included in the study or is not considered “pornography” by researchers.

Your Hawaii study was debunked by my earlier study on sexual crimes rates in Denmark. Your source erroneously states that increased availability of pornography either decreases or does not increase sex crimes. It DID increase in Denmark. You say that it increased less than other violent crimes, but again, generally only women are targeted by rape and they are a roughly 50% portion of the population, while murder affects both genders in high amounts. A 26% increase in rape occurred and a 35% increase in assault occurred from 1965-1968 to the period of 1970-1975. At least in the US, .1% of men have been raped and .3% of women have. In the US, violent crimes against men and women are about even in number[34]. So, assuming roughly similar victimization applies to Denmark, this shows that rape should increase at a MUCH lower rate since the “range” of victims is much more limited.

To demonstrate, in the US the rate of rape and the rate of assault in 1980 were 36.83 and 298.49 respectively. In1989, they were 38.07 and 383.38. The rate of assault rose 28.44% and the rate of rape rose 3.37%[35]. In Denmark, the rate of rape rose by 74% as much as assault. In the US, the rate of rape rose by 11.85% of the rate of assault. The difference? The US didn’t pass any major new pornography legalization laws during that time. Also, the US had it legalized longer before and has a higher rate of rape. Could it be that the more lax pornography laws contributed to this higher rape? It would make sense that the US already adjusted to the higher rates of rape caused by pornography proliferation. Again, I will let the voters decide.

As my opponent points out, most people believe that children should be restricted from viewing pornography. As it currently stands, the average age that it is viewed is 8 or 11 because of the wide availability of the material in a pornography-legalized environment[6]. This supports the ban, as kids can lie about their age on pornography sites even if measures were taken to restrict kids’ access.

My opponent points out that my sources show a clear correlation between pornography and violence against women and that I don’t show a direct cause. That is because it influences people subconsciously and not 100% of people that view porn will commit a sex crime. OF COURSE objectifying women increases the likelihood of sexual abuse, and it would be disingenuous of Con to deny this. As soon as you start seeing people not as people, you open the doors for abuse. Just like how in slavery, you must dehumanize the slaves so that you can live with the thought of your abuses. As the mere-exposure effect subconsciously makes you more open to violence against women, you are absolutely more likely to abuse them. Are you more likely to kick a chair or your child? A chair is an object without feelings and exists for your sole service, which is how women are view in the porn industry. I’ll let Con and the voters mull over that question, though.

Sex Education

Con then states that relationship problems can be fixed merely with “education”. I disproved this notion in round 1, when I compared the SEM-alone, SEM-together, and no-SEM groups, that found that groups that don’t use “sexually explicit materials” are much more likely to have healthy relationships. Unless Con can prove that somehow the non-SEM group had better relationship education, my point stands

I am not sure why Con provides this huge quoted block of text, the conclusion of which is “focusing on pornography alone” is a problem. I have nowhere in this entire debate stated that the only cause of rape is pornography. I 100% agree that we need to solve every core cause of sex crime. Pornography is simply one facet of the problem and it must be dealt with. As with my source about the connection about porn and human trafficking, it stated that porn isn’t the only cause, yet it is still connected and needs to be dealt with[25]. Sure, we need better sex education. We also need to ban pornography.

While my opponent may believe that quote about a small study not showing harms of pornography hurts my case, I would disagree. He says that these kids are learning about anal sex from online sources. Obviously, the wide availability of pornography to children of all ages will result in potentially harmful sexual activity. When 88.2% of pornography scenes depict physical violence, you’re obviously going to have naïve kids engaging in more violent behavior[19]. Furthermore, while my opponent tries to deny the connection between kids watching porn and committing violence, he is ignoring my teen dating violence and Swedish adolescent study that both showed that kids that viewed porn were more likely to engage in sexually coercive behavior[20,23].

Art

As I stated, the purpose of the film is quite evident. If there is a five-minute video of graphic sex, that is incredibly different than a 20-second sex scene (where you might see a butt at the worst) in a 2-hour movie. The main purpose of watching pornography is masturbating. I don’t know about you, but I’d assume that nobody watching Terminator is wanking off in their living room. There is clearly nuance to this classification. You decry the supposed “resources” used to rate these films. It would be no different than what we have now. You would simply compare current R-rated standards to all online videos. If there is too much sexually-related vulgarity, sexual violence, and explicit sexual content to be in an R-rated film, then the pornographic material would be banned.

The “masterpieces” that you are referring to all were allowed under the current rating systems, so why would they be banned? From the beginning of my argument, I have specifically stated that I was referring to nudity too lewd to be allowed in rated-R films. Individuals at age 17 can watch R-rated films, but they have to legally be 18 to watch pornography. There is a clear distinction there. So, no “masterpieces” would be lost. Even if sex scenes needed to be removed from GoT under extreme and unlikely circumstances, I have watched the show. Very little plot would be lost. Are you arguing that GoT wouldn’t be a “masterpiece” without sex scenes? Is that what sold you and millions of people on it? Or was it the complex plot and character development? I'm going to guess that it was the latter.

Con’s Conclusion

a)      Con believes that somehow film regulators are going to not understand what the average viewer thinks in terms of what is "obscene". However, I disagree. The ratings are made explicitly for the general public. “PG” means “parental guidance” after all. These ratings are always made with the general public in mind.

b)     I’m not for banning all nudity. I am for banning pornography, which I believe I have described quite well. I think we can trust regulators to determine what material is meant to sexually arouse people (five minutes of explicit sex) and which isn’t (a few frames of moderate nudity in a long movie). As for “reforming pornography”,  I will again dispute this in my conclusion.

My Conclusion

Pornography, once again, is an industry that objectifies women (and men). My opponent conceded that the pornography industry is abusive to its actors. This is already illegal, but as I stated, this is an unavoidable result of an industry that treats women as sexual objects used for the pleasure of others.

Con also conceded in Round 1 that pornography is bad for relationships. I have proven that porn increases the likelihood of cheating, having less commitment, and having more negative communication. These were the top three listed reasons for divorce according to my study. Divorce then leads to poverty, crime, suicide, and many negative health outcomes.

Again, I believe that I have proven that sexual violence is directly related to porn. Teenagers who have used porn in two studies from two different countries were found to be more sexually violent than those who hadn’t watched it. Denmark increased in rape very quickly after legalization, and its rates increased much more than they had during the 1980-1989 time of rising crime in the US when we didn’t have any such legalization that I could find. Just because rape rates didn’t increase in amount as much as other violent crimes by no means suggests that the rates wouldn’t be lower without legalization, especially since, as I showed, women are much more likely to be victims and they are ~50% of any country’s population.

Porn is linked to the sex trade.

Con never disputed that gray matter is reduced in your brain after porn consumption, and the amount of gray matter in your brain is significantly negatively correlated with the number of hours of porn watched per week.

Con points out that sexual education is important. I agree. Sex education will in part lower sex abuse. Banning pornography will as well.

But let’s examine the case assuming that Con is 100% correct:

He admits that porn is bad for relationships, porn stars, and hasn’t contended the gray matter point.

Putting all of that aside, don’t the hundreds of thousands of children, now in broken homes and much more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, matter more than losing a few films and TV shows? Because that is the only supposed benefit I have scene Con propose from keeping porn legal: keeping a few movies and shows that contain sex scenes as part of our “culture”. There are plenty of movies, books, games, and other forms of entertainment that don’t have any nudity. I believe that materially improving the lives of these children is much more important.

Final Statement

To combat these vast societal ills, I once again affirm my belief that pornography needs to be banned in this country. The very serious, tangible harms caused by pornography use are much more serious than what Con has proposed as a benefit of not banning pornography, which was keeping some films and shows. Con’s case solely relied on attempting to mitigate the sex-crime relationship while neglecting most other points of negativity. For this reason, I ask voters to vote Pro!

Thanks for anyone reading this and thank you to Con for the fun debate!


Con
personally I think this debate was slightly unfair because BMD Rocks only truly defined the pornography with obscenity in round two. There is a case to be made about obscene vs non obscene porn, and he has made a fantastic case against the former, while the latter kind of faded into the background. (Ex. "demedicalization of female sexuality" as proposed by some scholar sources). He vouches for how porn nowadays is too violent and too addicting, while long ago this problem was not as apparent. But sexual books (50 shades of grey) and so on and so forth have existed but have arguably not caused people to lash out. There have been many different opinions on exactly what it is that causes people to harm others especially with violence. To me, he has not proven with 100% certainty that banning all porn will reduce the problems, as he focuses only the obscene ones detested by experts. It's hard to say for sure how much exactly were caused by pornography's influence. He has pointed out that nudity and sex can be presented in a fantastic way through artful expressions. Therefore, we should ironically encourage pornography as an artform, and put it under greater scrutiny such that the producers will treat the stars similar to actual actresses who benefit massively from filming, and will help us understand sex better.

Vote con. Or tie. Or if you think pro really proved it regardless of obscene or not, then go ahead.