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Pornified

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the triple-ecks dept.

The Internet 622

stern writes "Pamela Paul’s Pornified surveys the effects of pornography in America. On the basis of the book jacket, this might seem more appropriate material for iVillage than Slashdot, except for one thing: pornography pervades the Internet and drives the adoption of new technologies. You can’t fairly tell the story of one without the other." Read on for the rest of Stern's review.

Paul spoke with researchers and therapists, she surveyed the academic literature and commissioned her own study, and then, most remarkably, she tracked down more than 100 people who were willing to talk about their experiences with pornography. Men and women, detractors and fans, casual users and perverts. She arranges this material into chapters about how pornography affects men, on how it affects women, another on children, and so forth.

This is not a “gee whiz, look at all the dirty pictures” screed urging us to hang up our mice and go to church. It is more a summary of research than an opinion piece, and though the preponderance of the research presented is damning to pornography, defenders appear in most sections as well.

The book is remarkable in two ways. First, it presents a greater amount of hard data than I have ever seen on this topic before. Second, the interviews are amazing. Where does she find these people? The military man who masturbates by the side of the highway, the child porn addict who fantasizes about the girls he is teaching in Sunday school, the adult virgins with the almost clinically precise descriptions of what they expect in a woman (“I’m a big fan of full shaved,” etc.).

Pornified is worthwhile for this research and these stories, even if you disagree with the conclusions that Paul draws from them.

I found fascinating, for example, that a number of double-blind studies of the effects of pornography were completed over twenty years ago, but that the results were so damning that it has been difficult to follow up on them. The effects of dirty movies on the people who look at them were so profound that ethics boards at universities deny researchers the approval to show them to human subjects.

What are these effects? The book devotes chapters to this, and I can summarize only very briefly. For many people, porn has quasi-addictive characteristics, requiring escalation to maintain a constant level of stimulation. It dampens empathy, it changes expectations, and it damages relationships. The interviews in the book back this up; it contains example after example of people who started with modest porn searching online, then graduated to more heinous stuff.

And this is all about the Internet. Paul pays lip service to Playboy and smutty VHS tapes, but this is a story about X-rated websites, Usenet groups, and p2p file sharing.

Paul cites a study from 2000 that ties that the expansion of technological avenues for pornography to its growing more explicit, more dehumanizing, and more violent. In other words, alt.binaries.pictures.erotica was pretty tame. But then a.b.p.e.blonds and a.b.p.e.asians appeared, and these refined the expectations of their users, paving the way for the creation of a.b.p.e.bukkake and a.b.p.e.rape. And where the original newsgroup probably didn’t cause too much damage to anybody, the same can not be said for its increasingly brutal descendants.

Consider this — prior to the Internet, law enforcement believed that child porn had been basically wiped out. It was a crime from a previous age, like body snatching. But then came the Web. Between 1996 and 2004, child-porn cases handled by the FBI increased 23 fold. The research presented in Pornified argues that technology does not merely make it easier to serve an existing desire, it allows deep exposure that for many people results in stronger and more specific versions of the the original demand.

Paul presents most of this neutrally, but you can sense contempt for non-pornographic websites that link to porn sites, or endorse them. She doesn’t name any names, but the savvy reader will recognize Fark as one of her targets, and I suspect that Farkers figure among her interviewees.

Such “smut” can be defended, of course, and the book gives defenders their say. The obvious response is “porn has been around forever, so stop complaining that it is suddenly a threat to society.” But it seems to me that this response is disingenuous. You can’t compare an issue of Playboy and the Atari 2600 cartridge of “Custer’s Revenge” to the seamless infinity of smut that lives on the Internet today.

The second major response to the claims in this book follows the First Amendment. Regardless of harm, we must not start down the slippery slope of restricting access to objectionable material. Paul considers this, but her the book discusses concrete harm, and she argues that civil liberties are not absolute where one person’s rights hurt other people (not many argue for their right to cry “fire” in a crowded theater, for example).

Though Paul did not set out to explore the industry of porn production and distribution, in the course of her research, she did discover things I didn’t know. For example, she interviews one man who works in the oil industry and spends 25% of every working day surfing porn sites and submitting reviews to “porn aggregators” for a fee. It’s not about the money, though; he feels pride in his influence as a kind of porno tastemaker.

The material about pornography and children, and the chapter about sex addicts, were particularly strong.

Some of Paul’s interviewees play off the awkwardness of the topic, and one in particular starts something like a stand-up routine, criticizing the porn movies of the early 1980s for their lack of strong plotting. Personally, I thought it was funny that two women independently complained about the “cheesy... crappy” quality of black porn, relative to porn made for whites.

What’s bad?

The topic is a difficult one, and perhaps impossible to approach without prejudice. Some readers will dislike Paul's conclusions and will dismiss the entire book as a result. Also, in the interviews, some stories leave out details the reader is bound to want to know. One of the interviewees is the “former CEO of a large international corporation,” who “lost his job due to pornography.” How? What happened? Did he dress in a leather teddy at a board meeting? The chapter about porn and relationships was less interesting to me than the rest, but your mileage may vary.

Paul comes to strong conclusions, and each reader will have to decide for himself whether or not he thinks her recommendations are wise. Her main goal, however, is probably to change the debate on pornography so that it is no longer simply about morality and free speech, but also includes a discussion of whether or not technology-fueled porn hurts people. In this regard, I think she is apt to be successful.


You can purchase Pornified from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Save EIGHT BUCKS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492126)

Save yourself $8.50 by buying the book here: Pornified [amazon.com] . And if you use the "secret" A9.com discount [amazon.com] , you can save an extra 1.57%!

Mod down, same kaleidojewel spam as always (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492186)

Chalk up another "GIVE ME MAH AFFILIATE DOLLAHZ!!!" post to spammer-boy.

Re:Mod down, same kaleidojewel spam as always (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492486)

Chalk up another "GIVE ME MAH AFFILIATE DOLLAHZ!!!" post to spammer-boy.

So? Seriously, if it's less expensive than a given alternative, and if you don't care about commissions or affiliate dollars (e.g. if jealousy doesn't drive you), then what does it matter? Is it one of those "if I don't don't get it then nobody should?".

I don't have any interest in the book, but if I did want it I wouldn't be adverse to using some random guy's affiliate link.

High Resolution Computer Graphics and Broadband (5, Insightful)

geomon (78680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492128)

Sure, you told your parents that you have them for computer games, but come on - we all know why they have both advanced so quickly.

Re:High Resolution Computer Graphics and Broadband (4, Funny)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492154)

Heh.

I know a guy that calls his T1 line the "porn pipe". Calls em like he sees em I suppose.

Re:High Resolution Computer Graphics and Broadband (2, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492180)

Repost of pornalized version of the review in 5... 4...

Re:High Resolution Computer Graphics and Broadband (2, Interesting)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492259)

> I know a guy that calls his T1 line the "porn pipe". Calls em like he sees em I suppose.

As Billy the Bionic Badger so delicately put it to Space Moose: "You bet your fragrant ass."

Cyberspace Moose [dopeman.org] .

Anyone else remember those old Maxell commercials?

Re:High Resolution Computer Graphics and Broadband (4, Insightful)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492309)

I think they really were for games. Look how much faster South Korea was in broadband adoption compared to - well, anywhere. Over there gaming is recognised as the honourable sport it is, there are many pro and semi-pro gamers, wheras over here you're just seen as a loser. So South Korea has more gamers, more people who will admit to being gamers, and more parents willing to buy equipment in the form of broadband for their young athletes.

If your reason is the real one, then explain to me why South Korea has a much bigger need for porn than the rest of the world.

Re:High Resolution Computer Graphics and Broadband (1, Insightful)

geomon (78680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492406)

If your reason is the real one, then explain to me why South Korea has a much bigger need for porn than the rest of the world.

You started your post with an assumption, built a conclusion out of thin air, and then ask me to rationalize your assumption?

Sorry, I don't do strawmen.

What I posted was a joke. South Korea is not the United States, you do not possess the data to determine whether South Korea adopted broadband because of game play, and you should quit reading too much into my words.

Thank you for your time. You may go back to whacking it in your neighbors RV.

driving the adoption of new techs (5, Funny)

namekuseijin (604504) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492149)

yeah, sure, wasn't it for tons of popups suddenly opening up and showing some rather grotesque cumshot scenes in front of your momma, popup blocking wouldn't catch up.

yay for pr0n as a new techs driving force!

Pr0n (0, Offtopic)

stecoop (759508) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492158)

How I Failed the Turing Test [slashdot.org] - Sex Bots
Relism vs. Style: the Zelda Debate [slashdot.org] - investigating sexuality in gaming cultures.

And now this one Pornified!!! All right so we have failed to distinguish life from machine, the machine has become sexually provocative, and now we can't have technology without a driver. With the quote from Bender Stay away from our women. You've got metal fever, boy. Metal fever. is Futuram is it science fiction or science fact?

Porn VS open source (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492165)

There is a nasty bug in Linux that makes the computer reboot every 49.7 days. The worst part is that this bug has been around for almost 10 years...

What good is a million eyes looking at the code if they are attached to half a million idiots?

I guess most people don't realize this because they need to recompile their kernel every other week, or they use Linux only to boot into illegal copies of Windows.

Mod Parent Down - Stupid Troll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492202)

There is no such bug. I have Linux boxes that have run for years without rebooting...

Re:Porn VS open source (1)

aklix (801048) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492408)

Because half a million idiots is better than the 400 (just a guess) idiots at M$

Pornfield??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492166)

Am I the first one or am I the only one?

Re:Pornfield??? (1)

carlos_benj (140796) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492239)

The first one to misread the title? Maybe not, but you're the first one to own up to it.....

New Tech? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492172)

This is a bit offtopic, but I gotta ask...

[Porno] drives the adoption of new technologies

Other than VCR/DVD/Internet (video in general), what other technologies has Porno driven? We see people say it here on the Slashdot forums quite often, but I wouldn't say its a large number of technologies if I can count the list on one hand.

Maybe I haven't visited enough porno sites to know?

Re:New Tech? (5, Interesting)

8127972 (73495) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492231)

How about these?:

- The camcorder and video machine you use to capture those memorable family moments - baby's first steps, weddings, holidays - use VHS tapes. US pornographers' decision to adopt the cheap convenient VHS - rather than rival Betamax - when the two systems were introduced in the 1970s killed off Betamax while sales of pornographic films drove take-up of video recorders.

- Your DVD player may be great for watching out-takes of the Mike Myers' comedy Austin Powers II: The Spy Who Shagged Me, but it is real sex movies which have driven DVD sales because, unlike videotape, users can skip quickly to and from their favourite scenes. The pay-per-view cable or satellite TV movie channel is only available on your TV because pornographers pioneered subscription 'premium' services first in hotels and then on digital networks.

- Did you watch the BBC's interactive coverage of Wimbledon on Sky's digital network last summer? Watching four games at once or changing the camera angle so you can watch your favourite player more closely may look new but it isn't. Pornographers perfected the technology a decade ago for an entirely different 'sport'.

And don't get me started about payment systems. CCBill likely makes millions off of porn.

Danni.com Re:New Tech? (1)

J05H (5625) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492380)

Danni at danni.com is probably the first Internet Millionaire. before Bezos, or Musk or the Ebay guys, there was Danni, taking it all off and raking it in.

Re:New Tech? (1)

sevinkey (448480) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492520)

Since you brough up CCBill, Microsoft came to us to create a DRM service, not the other way around. The product became known as DRM Networks, and is now a mainstream provider, although the first two years was 100% porn.

Re:New Tech? (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492532)

but it is real sex movies which have driven DVD sales because, unlike videotape

Do you have any sort of numbers or references to back that up? Sounds like a load of bullshit to me.

We all realize that the porn industry is a big industry, but being an early adopter of DVDs and being an active watcher of the industry, I'd say porn played a negligible role in the ascent of the format. Indeed, the porn industry is (this is a generalization, and is NOT an absolute) largely frequented by the lower economic sphere, with a large degree or piracy. DVD wasn't a good choice for either.

Re:New Tech? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492241)

Other than VCR/DVD/Internet (video in general), what other technologies has Porno driven?

Well, in addition to VCR/DVD you have to make content for that so you also have video and tape recorders that save content to tape, disc, film, and other digital media (stills).

Personally, the Internet itself (broadband and all that as well) is a *huge* technology and has changed the landscape and interactions of the world.

If you are going to say that the Internet isn't a "large number" of technologies I really suggest that you rethink what the Internet really is.

Re:New Tech? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492268)

Discrete mailing
Computer Storage
Computer Networking
E-Commerce
Color Printing
Cameras (Video and Still)

That's just a few.

Re:New Tech? (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492272)

The one I always hear is that the internet porn industry is at the forefront of browser popups and spyware.

Re:New Tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492282)

Just because you've only got one hand available to count with doesn't mean there aren't more technologies furthered by porno...checkout the latex industry, teledildonics, computer peripherals...blah blah blah

Re:New Tech? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492392)

I wouldn't say its a large number of technologies if I can count the list on one hand. - that's for sure, because we know what the other hand is doing ;)

----------
Francis Griffin I know what you're doing in there, and it's a sin!
Francis Griffin If you ever do it again, you'll burn in Hell!
Chris Griffin But I do it every day. Sometimes twice.
Francis Griffin Mark my words, lad.
Francis Griffin You may think you're alone, but God's watching.
Francis Griffin Don't do it again!
Chris Griffin God's watching me do number two?
Chris Griffin I'm a sinner, and God's a pervert.

Re:New Tech? (4, Insightful)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492412)

How about the book? It well known that pornography was a problem expanded by the print press as early as 1688. The printer that published Isaac Newton was among the first to be charged.

Re:New Tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492416)

Photography

Porn as driver of technology (5, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492469)

Back in 1991 or thereabouts, a friend of mine went to college at UCSC, where he was opened up to a whole world of new and amazing computing paraphernalia. We had previously both been computer geeks -- I on an Apple ][, he with a Kaypro, and both later on IBM PCs -- but this was the first time he had really been exposed to Unix, X terminals, big servers, fast Internet, and the like.

I remember talking on the phone with him one time in particular, when he told me about the NeXT box they had down there. Now, at the time, NeXT hardware was amazing. 'Nuff said. We all wanted to fool around with these things. I thought he was a lucky bastard to be at a university that actually had one.

"What are they using it for?" I asked him.

"Not much, really," he said. "The hard drive's pretty much just full of porn."

I mention this not just because it makes me chuckle, but because at the time it didn't surprise me at all. And it still doesn't. Throughout my experience with computers, and in particular the Internet, wherever you found a significant technological advance, somebody had found a way to use it for porn.

So, you ask "what technologies has Porno driven"? And I would say to you: The Internet. Computers.

Fancy browser programming, plug-ins, encryption, fat storage, streaming media, e-commerce ... all of these things have been pushed forward by the public's seemingly insatiable demand for porn. I'm not saying porn caused these things to be invented, though I suppose that's possible in some cases. I'm saying that people who sell porn make money, and they spend that money on technology, and in so doing they advance the technology industry. And I believe they do it to more of a degree than you realize.

Re:New Tech? (1)

dweebzilla (871704) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492494)

Holography, more specifically motion holography was pioneered by the porn industry - cause they had the equipment. (Or so i was told in holography classes)

Re:New Tech? (1)

borgasm (547139) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492504)

Video on Demand

My company builds VOD systems, and it is an incredibly complex process to get bits of video to your Set Top Box so you don't have to go outside to rent porn.

You should see all the innovation in our code that is driven by on demand porn.

hi-rez pix plz (2, Funny)

daniil (775990) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492174)

kthx

MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492184)

What are these effects? The book devotes chapters to this, and I can summarize only very briefly. For many people, porn has quasi-addictive characteristics, requiring escalation to maintain a constant level of stimulation. It dampens empathy, it changes expectations, and it damages relationships. The interviews in the book back this up; it contains example after example of people who started with modest porn searching online, then graduated to more heinous stuff.

What the fuck is this garbage? I've been with the same woman for nearly five years and just married her this weekend. If anything, porn has STRENGTHENED our relationship through mutual viewing.

Are they trying to say that porno searching online is a "gateway" to become some sort of "sexual deviant"? Give me a fucking break. Just because people's conservative sexual knowledge and behavior is the prevailing behavior (and IMHO negative) it doesn't mean that "graduating" to a different behavior is heinous.

Mod -1 Flamebait/Troll

I'm sorry, but 100 people aren't going to tell the tale of ALL those that enjoy porn either in solitary viewing or in group situations. I'd like to read this pile of shit and actually give a true account of the book rather than an obviously biased and conservative viewpoint on it.

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492255)

While it's fine that you disagree with the conclusions of the reviewer and, it appears, the author as well, I have to wonder why your disagreement is so heated. The review was in a reasonable tone and focused mostly on the data, so why did it provoke such a firebreathing response?

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492312)

The review was in a reasonable tone and focused mostly on the data, so why did it provoke such a firebreathing response?

You're seriously joking right? This "review" was a biased advertisement stroking the right-wing conservatives egos that their missionary-position bi-monthly sex acts are acceptable and even encouraged while their co-workers' healthy and exciting sex life is deviant and unacceptable.

There is NOTHING worse than reading that someone else finds that your exciting sex-life is "bad" because you are a bad person.

Keep the right-wing ideals out of site and off of Slashdot.

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492418)

Good little kook - remember the party line:

IT's All Bush's fault!!

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492474)

Good little kook - remember the party line:

IT's All Bush's fault!!


Wow, I'm a Republican (not a New Aged GOP member mind you) -- I really doubt that the Republican Party's line is "It's all Bush's fault".

Please also note that I am vehemently against ANY conservative pro-value politicians or individuals (i.e. Hillary, Mrs. Gore, etc).

Please don't patronize me w/some trollish, uneducated, and unresearched comment about my political views. In the future, I seriously suggest that you take the time to read through my post history and learn how I really feel about many issues including this pro-conservative push for family first.

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492261)

I'd like to read this pile of shit and actually give a true account of the book rather than an obviously biased and conservative viewpoint on it.

Nope, doesn't sound like you've made up your mind about the book already...

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492375)

Nope, doesn't sound like you've made up your mind about the book already...

sarcasm ( P ) Pronunciation Key (särkzm)
n.
A cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound.
A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt or ridicule.


See, I didn't believe that the "reviewer" gave an unbiased account of the book while trying to claim that he was going his best:

The topic is a difficult one, and perhaps impossible to approach without prejudice. Some readers will dislike Paul's conclusions and will dismiss the entire book as a result.

See, here he tries to imply that anyone that goes against the author is just dismissing it w/o reading deep into the pointless "conclusions".

Also, in the interviews, some stories leave out details the reader is bound to want to know. One of the interviewees is the "former CEO of a large international corporation," who "lost his job due to pornography." How? What happened? Did he dress in a leather teddy at a board meeting? The chapter about porn and relationships was less interesting to me than the rest, but your mileage may vary.

Ahh, the old "see -- a successful man was destroyed by foo." A popular tactic used in many forms of media including porn, pre-marital sex, and anti-drug messages.

Thanks for falling for the oldest propaganda tricks in the book.

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492293)

from reading your response, I can tell you are an unbalanced freak. I'm sure your 'wife' is one as well... all thanks to porn. :P

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (3, Insightful)

thegamerformelyknown (868463) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492330)

It is not your usual porn that is referred to here. The type of porn in question is the hardcore demeananizing porn that the porn industry seems to have led to. As is described, online porn seems to lead from soft to hard core porn, and it is the rape and bukkake that damage relationships. This also brings up another side in the viewer, as I won't watch anal, nor anything worse than that, while others may enjoy the rape or bukkake that plagues the internet.

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (2)

SeekerDarksteel (896422) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492331)

I don't see the review claiming that porn necessarily will cause those things, just that it can. In much the same manner that some people who drink alcohol become alcoholics, but not all. That's great that you have a good relationship and that porn may have actually helped you, but here's a newsflash for you: NOT EVERYONE IS LIKE YOU. Just because something doesn't negatively affect you doesn't mean it won't negatively affect someone else. And just because you call for modding down, yell, and otherwise insult the review and the book doesn't make what ultimately amounts to your opinion any more right than the reviewer's.

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (2, Insightful)

_LORAX_ (4790) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492345)

I too am skeptical of the authors intent and "research". It seems like over dramatized "sensationalized" reporting that is meant to sell books, not produce good reporting.

Sure 100 people's lives were destroyed, but COME ON, I could find hundreds of thousands whose lives have been destroyed by lack of medical care or tens of thousands whose lives have been destroyed by credit cards.

Give me a break.

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (1)

Excen (686416) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492374)

I'm sorry, but 100 people aren't going to tell the tale of ALL those that enjoy porn either in solitary viewing or in group situations.

I would have to agree. One of the best times I've ever had was doing a MST3k-style commentary with my friends to amateur porn.

"Come on daddy, cum on my face, but watch out for my eyes!"
SPLAT!!!!
"Owowowowow! Asshole! I said not in my eyes!"

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492383)

...through mutual viewing

You are missing the obvious here. I imagine it can be damaging if only one person would watch porn, usually the man. His view of what a women should 'be' becomes skewed. He might start to think his wife is not good enough, since she's not what he sees in the videos. Then, because the topic is difficult, instead of asking if she might be into 'that' (whatever it is) he goes out the door in search of it.

Not too hard to imagine.

PS. You watch porn, but you also use the words fuck and shit when an obviously (by the reviewer's account) well researched book does not fit into your view of the subject. I find that 'remarkable'.

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (0, Flamebait)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492429)

You watch porn, but you also use the words fuck and shit when an obviously (by the reviewer's account) well researched book does not fit into your view of the subject. I find that 'remarkable'.

The reviewer was biased and cannot be trusted. His double-speak and propaganda message proves that he is nothing but a conservative retard pushing an agenda.

His claims about the book being "well researched" as likely false and will be easily disproved.

"Fuck" and "Shit" are only inappropriate words for those that are so simple minded that they are easily offended. Grow up and get a life.

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (2, Insightful)

benjcurry (754899) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492564)

People are much more often and more deeply perverted by TV and the lives that people live on "Reality" TV shows.

Buy this! Everyone has it except for you! It really MATTERS!

The sky is falling!!!

Good thing I've got my porn. :)

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492401)

Dude... you're posting on Slashdot on your HONEYMOON?

I fixed your link for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492404)

I've been with the same woman [realdoll.com] for nearly five years and just married her this weekend.

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (2, Insightful)

coopaq (601975) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492432)

Garcia, That was very interesting!

Have you graduated here yet My Wife [crazyass13.com] .

My point: How far do you actually take the openness?

How far and how much is too much?

You and I both know what country we live in so you have to expect (not accept) these conservative views.

And with supreme court changes it isn't going to get better for you.

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492529)

My point: How far do you actually take the openness?

As far as anyone is comfortable bringing it -- as well as it remains within the law (we'll ignore such laws that define sodomy in order to make homosexuality "deviant" as that's an entirely different discussion.)

You and I both know what country we live in so you have to expect (not accept) these conservative views.

I have no problems with people expressing their opinions. What I do have a problem with is people using specific language that twists the meaning around and makes a propaganda piece out of a specific media type.

This conservative viewpoint was specifically worded to make "sexual deviants" feel uncomfortable about what they do because they may "hurt" someone else. Obvious trash.

Re:MOD REVIEW DOWN! TROLL! (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492513)

What the fuck is this garbage? I've been with the same woman for nearly five years and just married her this weekend. If anything, porn has STRENGTHENED our relationship through mutual viewing.

I don't know why we bother with science when we can just ask one random person for a subjective opinion, and then draw a conclusion based on that single piece of anecdotal evidence. Sheesh.

In other words, just because someone smokes cigarettes all their life and lives to be 90 doesn't mean that smoking doesn't dramatically shorten life on the average.

And how! (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492194)

In the future, everyone will get hard over InterPr0n for 15 minutes.

Glorification (1, Troll)

RentonSentinel (906700) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492203)

"pornography pervades the Internet and drives the adoption of new technologies"?

So, if I could substitute military / war for that generalization I would get published to slashdot?

"Military pervades the Internet and drives the adoption of new technologies"...

This is a disgusting article and not something I'm really interested in. I'm more into the whole geek / technology thing.

Does anybody buy this Bullshit? (5, Insightful)

GecKo213 (890491) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492208)

...drives the adoption of new technologies.

I'd like to know what technological breakthroughs were driven by Porn? Cameras weren't developed originally for Porn. Scanners weren't developed for Porn. Image viewers weren't originally developed for Porn. I find that to be the epitimy of Bullshit. Most of the continuing development of Computers happen to be for Highly Intense mathmatics. Video Games for instance are probably more of a driving force in technology's improvement than Porn! I can render all the porn I want on my DNS/Mail/Server. It happens to be running Linux and is only a 300 mHz pII. Yes it's old, and may take longer to render a picture than my Desktop, (1.8GHZ) but it'll never be able to run say Medal of Honor. Never! I just find that comment as ludicrous! Does anyone agree with me on this?

Re:Does anybody buy this Bullshit? (2, Insightful)

geomon (78680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492299)

I'd like to know what technological breakthroughs were driven by Porn?

I don't know that they were actually developed for porn, but their widespread commercial (as opposed to military) adoption may have something to do with porn.

Cameras were not originally developed for porn, but some of the earliest photographic images are of nudes and pornographic poses. Ditto for film-based home movies. And accelerating the spread of video recorders, cameras, and players was family reunions? I think mom and dad probably experimented a bit with the video equipment while waiting for the next graduation/birthday/anniversary.

No, I don't think any of these technologies was created soley with the purpose of producing or disseminating porn. But their wide adoption may have been accelerated by porn.

Re:Does anybody buy this Bullshit? (1)

pappy97 (784268) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492308)

Didn't VHS win out over Betamax because of pr0n? I thought it was the early and massive adoption of VHS by that industry and killed Betamax.

OT, but somewhat related...Gilligan is dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492328)

In case you've been asleep for the past hour... it was just announced that actor Bob Denver (aka "Gilligan") has died at age 70 due to complications from cancer treatment. Also he'd had quadruple cardiac bypass surgery just a few months ago.

How is this related to the subject at hand? Well, every geek who grew up in the late 60's - early 70's wanted to see Mary Ann nekkid when she was young. And it's quite likely that Bob got to enjoy that for real. Rest in peace dear Gilligan, we'll miss you.

Re:Does anybody buy this Bullshit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492338)

I don't know, but your spelling of "epitome" is hilarious, as are your randomly mis-capitalized words.

Re:Does anybody buy this Bullshit? (2, Informative)

infodude (48434) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492407)

Internet billing? Maybe more camcorder sales than you'd like to think.

Re:Does anybody buy this Bullshit? (1)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492442)

Not "developed for" but "scaled up for".

Using a new technology to distribute/create/view porn is what puts the dollars on the bottom line of the new product.

In other words, sure VHS might have gotten where it did, but the sex industry drove the market faster than it would for Terrence and Phillip videos or "how to change carborators" learn at home classes.

Once the tech is established somewhat, that's when the other markets open up. (Plus, if VHS was mostly porn, I'd buy a couple Disney movies real quick to have in the living room... that way people don't have the association that the box in the corner is only used for porn... so it drives the rest of the market too.)

{No delibrate puns were written into this post.}

Re:Does anybody buy this Bullshit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492455)

Nope.

Same old story... hand pick dramatic anecdotes and provide them as "evidence" for your theory.

This doesn't sound like any kind of an impartial, scientific social investigation.

A Grain Of Truth (2, Insightful)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492460)

Actually there is a little grain of truth in there. While there have not been any technological breakthroughs that I am aware of that were driven by porn, personal observation indicates that new web technologies tend to be adopted earliest by porn sites as a group. So porn may not drive innovation, but does seem to drive adoption. This encompasses everything from using Javascript in clever ways to serve images (or nastier stuff) to using Flash for page elements and attempts to make it hard to steal site content easily. There are a lot of tricks porn sites use for good or ill, that often eventually find their way to mainstream sites.

Re:Does anybody buy this Bullshit? (1)

dubl-u (51156) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492493)

...drives the adoption of new technologies.
I'd like to know what technological breakthroughs were driven by Porn? Cameras weren't developed originally for Porn.

Do you have some sort of reading comprehension problem? The bit you quote is about adoption, not development. Is it just that it's easier to argue with things you imagine people saying, rather than what they actually said?

Re:Does anybody buy this Bullshit? (2, Interesting)

east coast (590680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492565)

Does anyone agree with me on this?

Half and half. While it doesn't spur much new technology it does add to the funding of a lot of technologies companies to R&D new technologies.

The Internet is a great place for Joe Sixpack's dirty little feelings... he can express them under an assumed identity and get his regular "fix" or pr0n and such without being caught browsing in the local adult "book" store. I think a lot of Joes out there have bought PCs and (even more so) broadband because of the pr0n industry. It's safe and secure under Joe's roof with little to no chance of being shamed in his local community.

This is the same reasons that the kiddie porn crowd is so strong on the net. I'm sure there are many other subcultures that feel better about trading their wares and creating a social environment on the net as to not reveal their true identities.

- 10 for reading coimprehension (5, Informative)

RatBastard (949) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492580)

They didn't say "developement", they said "adoption". And they are correct. Games only drive the need for faster computers with faster video cards. Games have done nothing for any other technology, not even broadband.

The items that porn has driven into the mass market:

  • The VCR, especially VHS. Before the VCR you had to go to a porno thatre and sit in a dark room with abunch of other lonely guys doing things you didn't want to know about. With the VCR you could watch your porn in the privacy of your own home. Hell, you could even watch it with your wife, who would rather die than be seen going into a porno thatre. I was there. I saw it happen with my own eyes.
  • The CR-ROM drive. The first three products that came out for the CD-ROM drive were Bible-search programs, MYST and porn. Porn was the main reason many people bought CD-ROM drives.
  • DVD players/DVD-ROM drives. These made porn movies even easier to watch than VCRs as the discs were smaller, the image quality better (yay, the pimples on Ron Jeremy's butt are much more visible!) and you can skip to your favorite parts. And as of today, porn is one of the few genres in video to bother using the multi-angle option.
  • Broadband Internet: What do people use all that bandwitdh for? Porn. More than pirated movies, warez, and music, it's porn. Look around Usenet sometime. The busiest newsgroups are the porn groups in the ALT branch.
Now, none of these technologies were created for the expressed purpose of make, selling, or dispributing porn. And the author didn't say they were. These technologies were first exploited by the porn industry.

One man who works in the oil industry (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492223)

one man who works in the oil industry and spends 25% of every working day surfing porn sites and submitting reviews to porn aggregators for a fee.

Oil man's coworker: "Does anyone else smell Astroglide?"

Prudes & Sex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492224)

Sex drives, not only high technology, but almost everything else in America. Advertisements for clothes, jewelry, cars, banks, etc. often feature gorgeous women hawking these products. You never see a fat, ugly lady in these advertisements.

Show me a hot babe, and I will show you a lady who works less than but earns more money than a fat, ugly lady. Life is unfair. This unfairness is how the world works.

Why are people so prudish to admit that sex sells? Let us face the facts. Sex sells.

We should essentially de-regulate radio and television broadcasts so that full nudity can be shown whenever and wherever. France has full-nudity television. Why can't the USA?

Re:Prudes & Sex (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492421)

If it weren't for women men would be unemployed and living in their pickup trucks.

And yet Europe seems to be doing fine (5, Insightful)

bloodstar (866306) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492232)

All this talk about how bad pron is makes me scratch my head. I understand that there is validity to a lot of the statements. But personally, I'm more worried about how quickly we had gangs of thugs running through New Orleans. Which is the whole point of the subject line. Europe has a very liberated sexuality. America does not. Perhaps there is some causation to Americas reaction to porn because of the cultural stigma attached to sexuality.

Correlation does not equate to causation.

trinitron nipple (3, Funny)

uncre8tv (610756) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492234)

anyone else remember that when you d/l'd porn line by line at 9600 you could see that the top line in a trinitron monitor usually lined up with the nipples on a full body shot?

Quantity vs. Quality (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492497)

> anyone else remember that when you d/l'd porn line by line at 9600 you could see that the top line in a trinitron monitor usually lined up with the nipples on a full body shot?

Anyone else remember that when b00bies were printed onto dead trees, and then scanned in for BBS distribution, the quality was better?

Maybe I'm dating myself (ahem, no pun intended :), but when Bob, Hugh, and Larry had to select the best 10 models out of 100 applicants for dead-tree publication (or even - gasp! - film transfer to VHS!), and the best 10 pictures out of 100 from a photo shoot, (or the best 10 minutes out of a 2-hour video shoot), pr0n was actually watchable and fun. For one thing, we actually got to see reasonably attractive women, and for another thing, a model who didn't make even the slightest pretense of feigning interest in her partners, tended not to make the cut.

Today, we've got quantity over quality. The barriers to entry have disappeared, so it's just Joe Schmoe taking 100 pictures of every Jane Schmoe that's willing to do a shoot with him. Of the 100 pictures he takes, 70 of them show Jane shown out of focus, a horrendous boob job with scars still visible, be poorly framed, or feature Jane with that classic "Beige. I think Joe should use a beige tarp for a background in the next shoot" look in her eyes.

Feh.

7326 bytes in body (1, Funny)

ricosalomar (630386) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492254)

I know it's hot, and everything, but it's gotta hurt.

Re:7326 bytes in body (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492489)

Perhaps the mods who pushed this one to the cellar can weigh in and explain how this post is "offtopic".

I thought it appropriate considering the fact that 1) porn is presented as attachements, 2) the person was trying to make a joke about "hot" and "bytes in body".

I took it as an S&M thing. Maybe that is just me.

Really, please weigh in as an AC and tell us how this is offtopic.

Along similar lines: SexDrive with Regina Lynn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492263)

A GREAT weekly column @ WIRED and an excellent list serve @ yahoo.com for those of you interested in Sex and Technology.

BitTorrent and other software (5, Informative)

putko (753330) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492264)

Remember, when Bram wanted folks to test BitTorrent, he put up a porn flic -- he knew there'd be enough who'd want to get it that they'd download and install BitTorrent, and then wait for the porn to (maybe) download.

I bet porn leads to people installing lots of software, good and bad.

Porn is like morphine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492267)

There is a strong correlation between using morphine and having serious problems but sometimes the morphine is causing the problems (addiction or Christian Science moral problems) and sometimes it's alleviating the problems (medical/hospital uses).

I haven't read the book but unless the book carefully distinguishes causation from correlation then its public policy conclusions will be flawed because they ignore the alleviating effects of porn.

If there is one thing about slashdotters (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492303)

They like their porn. When they are not surfing for techie news they are typing with one hand on a porn site. Deny it if you will we know your browser history. Check out http://pornwatch.slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org]

Sad News - Gilligan dead at 70 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492320)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - pot head and castaway Gilligan was found dead in his North Carolina hospital room home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy him or Maynard G. Krebs, [fortunecity.com] there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

What was the submitter thinking? (4, Funny)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492322)

On the basis of the book jacket, this might seem more appropriate material for iVillage than Slashdot

No, I'm pretty sure the /. readership usually welcomes any story that lets them post countless old porn jokes and anecdotes about how they can never get laid.

I haven't read the book, but... (5, Insightful)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492332)

What are these effects? The book devotes chapters to this, and I can summarize only very briefly. For many people, porn has quasi-addictive characteristics, requiring escalation to maintain a constant level of stimulation. It dampens empathy, it changes expectations, and it damages relationships.

You might say the same things about many other non-porn things, like eating, or gaming, or dieting, or exercising, or anything pretty much. Some people are going to react in funny ways to anything. I've never heard of anybody that takes a stand against dieting, but there are many people with eating problems (anorexics, bulemics, etc) out there. To me, personally, this just looks like someone with religiously imposed morals trying to get their way.

The well-adjusted folk of the world who can look at porn, play violent video games, and eat fatty foods without going overboard and ruining their lives wish that everybody else would just get a freaking grip already.

-Jesse

Re:I haven't read the book, but... (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492527)

The well-adjusted folk of the world who

Except the person who made the claim has data to back up the conclusions, and you have nothing but your idea of what the world is like.

Believe what you want, just realize your position is based on faith, guesswork, and assumptions, not true scientific study.

You sound a bit like the "religiously imposed" folks...

Ha Ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492333)

author Pamela Paul
pages 320
publisher Times Books
rating Worth reading

I thought, with the article titled as Pornification, it should be Pamela Anderson. Correct me if i am wrong

As the Bloodhound Gang once said... (0, Offtopic)

RazorRaiser (895600) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492362)

HOORAY FOR BOOBIES!

Wake up dude! (-1, Flamebait)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492366)

So porn is like beer, you can enjoy it a little and if you do it too much, it destroys your life. What else is new? Oh yes, the most powerfull country on earth has just shown it has "disaster-recovery" capabilities on par with, give or take, Bangladesh. My country (Belgium) has 100 specialised rescue guys on a one-hour standby just in case your president would have the guts to say "yes please". Instead he orders troops home from a warzone to shoot on its own citizens. You have bigger problems than porn, mister bible-belt.

Re:Wake up dude! (3, Informative)

goldspider (445116) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492537)

"Instead he orders troops home from a warzone to shoot on its own citizens."

Is that how it's being portrayed in Europe? No wonder you guys are so hostile towards Bush (I have my own reasons, but not because of misinformation).

No troops were withdrawn from the middle east. These national guard soldiers were home on a regular rotation, and instead of getting some time off, were ordered to disaster relief duty.

And AFAIK, the only people that the troops shot were part of a group that was itself shooting at some engineers working on a bridge. They got what they deserved.

heh...he said 'hard' (4, Funny)

tsu doh nimh (609154) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492376)

"The book is remarkable in two ways. First, it presents a greater amount of hard data than I have ever seen on this topic before."

i bet.

Mod Article down Troll: 100% Bovine Excrement (2, Insightful)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492378)

This review is 100% Bovine Excrement and if the book content actually reflect what is stated in the article then the book is B-E as well.

This biased, scientifically unfounded, completely fictional OP-ED on pornography and censorship [against the former and in favor of the later] doesn't belong on slashdot.


This is /. - not The Fascist Information Network

Re:Mod Article down Troll: 100% Bovine Excrement (1)

SeekerDarksteel (896422) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492501)

Am I the only one amused by the juxtaposition of "censorship" and "doesn't belong on slashdot."?

Re:Mod Article down Troll: 100% Bovine Excrement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492518)

Yes, since slashdot is not a 1st-ammendment protected medium refusing to post something on slashdot doesn't constitute censorship.

double-blind studies (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492415)

FTR: "I found fascinating, for example, that a number of double-blind studies of the effects of pornography were completed over twenty years ago, but that the results were so damning that it has been difficult to follow up on them (emphasis mine)

WTF? I was always told it would make me go blind, but how much did they have to do it to go double-blind?

skeptical... (4, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492425)

I doubt that pornography has a bad an effect as this book review seems to make it out to be.

For one, I bet that before the internet, the FBI simply wasn't aware of child pornography trafficking, maybe because of lack of resources, or infiltrants, etc. It's a lot easier to network up pedophiles on the internet, and trafficking is probably less riskier over the internet than postal mail or commercial delivery services. Maybe that's the point they're making, but I doubt that availability of child pornography makes more pedophiles.

Secondly, I think internet porn is so pervasive, it's rediculous to talk to addicts, etc. and say this is what porn is doing. It's hard enough to get some suburban dad to admit to digital pornography use, esp. to a stranger. If you interview weirdos, of course you will get a biased sample.

Porn in a puritan society (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492439)

The effects of porn depend on context. For a lot of young guys, porn forms their impression of sex, which of course is very limited. This can leave them stunted, sexually and emotionally. They end up putting the "pussy on a pedestal," by forming unhealthy obsessions over it. (Quote from the 40 Year Old Virgin)

Parents need to be more open about sexuality, because that is where much of the unhealthiness beings. Much of society too needs to chill the fuck out too, and quit demonizing sex to teenagers.

Go to a country like Brazil, where sexuality is very open, and you won't find many of these problems.

George Bush (-1, Troll)

ValuJet (587148) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492490)

George Bush doesn't care about pornography in America.

What BS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492495)

This is all a load of crap.
Just the other day, while I was downloading an archive of puffy-nipple schoolgirl bukake videos, I was thinking about how little porn has affected me and my tastes.

Porn is the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492499)

Porn, along with games, are what drives the internet. Look at the Codecs that have been developed for videos. Porn is on the cutting edge of it, using the latest streams, etc.

However, the quality of porn is not as good as it was. I still think the best stuff can be found in the 80s binaries newgroups. The new stuff is not nearly as good.

*Real cash* (1)

Skiron (735617) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492505)

I would also say that I bet pr0n on the Internet is the only real Internet industry that makes *hard cash* everyday, rather than the otherwise 'dot/com' bubble money in useless stock values.

The Science Behind Female Insecurity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13492571)

'nuff said...?

Statistics that mean everything & nothing... (3, Informative)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 9 years ago | (#13492598)

But then came the Web. Between 1996 and 2004, child-porn cases handled by the FBI increased 23 fold.

But does this mean that child porn has actually increased or that the internet has just made it easier to find? I hate when people try to use a statistic like this to prove some point, becuase it doesn't really prove anything.

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