Let’s Talk About Intimacy : Porn Literacy

Let’s Talk About Intimacy : Porn Literacy

By Elise Ellsworth

Teenagers in Inner City Boston are now given the option of attending the pilot program of a “Porn Literacy” class in a program known as “Start Strong” in the Boston area.  This class is designed to help students understand how pornography affects them and what they can do to be more literate and conscious consumers of pornography.

Furthermore, these classes teach teens that some pornography consumption is okay, that there are different levels of pornography, and that rather than avoiding porn altogether teens must simply be wise and aware consumers.  

Is this really what we want to teach our teens?  That selective pornogrpahy use is acceptable?  That it’s okay to objectify women in relationships, as long as it’s not too bad?  That it’s okay to look at obscenity as long as it’s not too obscene?  

Recently NY Times columnist Ross Douthat wrote an article entitled “Let’s Ban Porn.”  He says: “[T]he people teaching “porn literacy” have accepted a sweeping pedagogical defeat. They take for granted that the most important sex education may take place on [the Internet], that the purpose of their work is essentially remedial, and that there is no escape from the world that porn has made.”  

If you want to teach students about healthy sexuality, teach them the truth: Teach them that the quality of a relationship is never as good when partners engage in pornography use. Teach them that the happiest relationships (which includes physical intimacy) are those between a married man and woman that waited for marriage to begin their sexual relationship and who keep their minds clean from degrading lies of pornography.

Furthermore, we need to take the reigns as parents and educators teaching these truths to children. We can hold the reigns once more and lovingly guide them by teaching children and young adults to shun pornography and anything with which it is associated. We can take the reigns by encouraging, and advocating for, laws regulating internet pornography and decency.  We can’t swear on the radio, so why can nudity and sexual deviance be streamed over the internet?  We can work for more stringent laws against internet pornography.  We must do this. Otherwise we will be unable prevent the decline of “marriage and children and sex itself.”

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