Monday, 17 July 2017

The danger of porn goes beyond just sex – it normalises unchecked desire | Andrew Brown

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Via Network Front | The Guardian by Andrew Brown

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Porn's corrupting influence on real life is bad enough, but fantasies of control and immediate gratification now permeate everything from advertising to politics

• Andrew Brown is a Guardian colunist

This is a question that is on the surface about sex but actually it goes a lot deeper than that. That's not to say that sex on its own is a small business. It's difficult to get solid figures, but in 2009 the American industry was the size of the mainstream film business, which is to say, as large as professional sport and live music put together. Its consumption is almost entirely normalised in the west and among teenagers. Because of smar tphones, it is accessible instantly everywhere. The gaming industry is probably bigger, but it's clear that when young men are online, if they're not playing with their friends there's a good chance they'll be playing with themselves. It's estimated that 30% of internet content is porn, most of it courtesy of one company, Mindgeek.

Some people deny that this industry does any harm, but that would make it entirely unique in human culture – and it isn't. As a business it obviously makes winners and losers out of the producers, and some of the losers lose a very great deal. But what does it do to the customers? Conservatives usually argue that the damage is done by watching particular acts.

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