British Medical Journal: Happiness and Social Factors

BMJ (British Medical Journal) published a study yesterday that traces social influences on personal happiness. The results: “People who are surrounded by many happy people and those who are central in the network are more likely to become happy in the future.”

To the extent that a person’s consumption of porn isolates them and degrades the quality of their relationships, it’s likely they’ll be less happy than they could be.

See also:

Salon: Porn Isolates its Users, Erodes Civility and Love
Apr. 11, 2007 | Dear Cary,

…I know it’s common to look
at porn. And I like it, too (though I wouldn’t say it’s part of my
regular routine). But for some reason, I have this primitive and
unenlightened hope somewhere in my subconscious that my boyfriend is
only turned on by me. Am I deceiving myself by considering myself
open-minded? Am I really a Victorian?…

Vicky Victorian

Dear Vicky Victorian,

I have gotten many, many letters from women over the last year or two with questions similar to yours…

you approve of porn in theory or not, its effect will be to displace
you. Like crack, it tends to take over, to push out other hungers that
tend to nurture the human community by making us dependent on one
another. Since we are dependent on each other we must be civil and
loving. If we are not dependent on each other then we needn’t be civil
and loving. We needn’t have community and family. That is the way in
which any drug breaks down family and community by isolating its user.
Porn isolates its users also, meeting their needs outside the social
compact. The social compact becomes a commercial compact between
anonymous people, while those in the actual human community are
relegated to bystander status. It introduces a third party into the
erotic economy of a relationship…

Young New Yorkers Talk about Porn’s Effect on their
Relationships (explicit language)

Jill was in love. It was the late nineties, she was a sophomore at a
competitive state university, and she found herself smitten with Kyle,
a junior with a confident strut who also happened to be the editor of
the school newspaper, which won him instant parental approval. By the
end of that year, they were a serious couple. Jill knew that she had
discovered not only true love but, to put it bluntly, great sex as

So when, after a year, she learned that Kyle spent quite a bit
of time looking at pornography—first online, then, eventually, on
videos too—she wasn’t immediately put off, despite being a psychology
major who seriously questioned the morality of porn. “I was the kind of
girlfriend who was up for anything sexually,” says Jill, who is 25, has
hazel eyes, and works in PR. “When we were having sex, he’d call me his
porn star, and I thought that was hot.”

In time, this changed. Kyle would sometimes e-mail her links
to sites “he thought were really hot,” which made Jill more than a
little uncomfortable. Sometimes, she’d drop by his house for a surprise
visit and he’d have already “exhausted himself” with the computer…

They have since broken up, and have stopped talking. “He was a lot more
innocent when he was younger,” she says. “He was looking for love and
companionship. Now he just wants a good lay. I’m sure he’s looking for
some huge-breasted, tight-assed bitch…”
These days, she feels “very jaded about love and sex,” but every so
often, she finds her cynicism dissolving… “I think it will be really
rare, and hopefully it will happen, that I can meet a guy who will be
happy with only me.”

Now Showing at The War on Relationships (explicit) is jealous of your human relationships.

It wants
your attention and money for itself. With messages subtle or not, its
movies encourage you to neglect and abuse your intimate partners,
especially your female ones. If you must relate to another human, wants the experience to be exploitative, short and
unstable, to better ensure your swift return to a porn-hungry
state. These strategies appear to be working. At a 2003 meeting of the
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, two-thirds of the 350 divorce
lawyers who attended said Internet porn contributed to more than half
of the divorce cases they handled…

The Impact of Internet Pornography on Marriage and the Family: A Review of the Research
to data from the General Social Survey in 2000 (N = 531), people who
report being happily married are 61 percent less likely to report using
Internet pornography compared to those who also used the Internet and
who had completed the General Social Survey in 2000…

Video Presentation: A Content Analysis of 50 of Today’s Top Selling Porn Films (explicit language)
Ana Bridges: So how many scenes didn’t contain aggression? About 10%…

For verbal aggression, by far namecalling and insulting were the most common types. They were seen in almost half of scenes…

Gagging and choking were much, much more common than any of us thought when we first walked into this project.

couples research we know that couples, even couples who fight a lot, as
long as there’s a lot of good in the relationship, about five times
more good than bad, they actually do pretty well.

Less than 10%
of the videos showed any kind of a positive act, and that included
kissing… caressing happened maybe twice. Something like a verbal
compliment, ‘Gosh, you look pretty’, not, ‘Slut bitch, come over here,’
that happened maybe five times in the 304 scenes. So we have a ratio of
positive to negative behaviors of 1 to 9, which is not a sustainable,
happy relationship.

The Psychology of Porn for Men
Morgan’s experience of counseling men addicted to porn has convinced
him that “the more time you spend in this fantasy world, the more
difficult it becomes to make the transition to reality. Just like
drugs, pornography provides a quick fix, a masturbatory universe people
can get stuck in. This can result in their not being able to involve
anyone else…”

Wall Street Journal: “What’s at the Heart of Happiness?”
“Marriage provides two sources of happiness,” says Andrew Oswald, an
economics professor at England’s Warwick University. “One is sex and
the other is friendship. Marriage has one of the largest impacts on
human well-being…”

The production and consumption of porn are unlikely to lead to
happiness. Two of porn’s hallmarks are unattached promiscuity and
despair about marriage:

Now on Sale at (explicit language)


DVD features a story-driven title that mixes drama with hardcore sex.
Wonderland tells the story of a man obsessed with his stepdaughter’s
friend when she visits during Christmas break. Gary sacrifices
everything in his traditional suburban existence for a single moment of
ecstasy with a femme fatale.

Deviant Housewives
this world nothing lasts forever and it looks like Kelly Erikson’s
husband Van needs some space. Kelly decides to invite all her friends
going thru the same problems to stay and support each other. But all of
Kelly’s friends have an empty void in their lives they need filled and
it’s from a younger man!

Use Em’ Abuse Em’ and Lose Em’ #9
Ride along as we pick up ordinary young women fuck’em senseless and dump’em! It’s all good clean fun!

Housewives Unleashed #16
fine ladies have been locked away in their houses for far too long.
With their husbands away on business our housewives need crave and
demand satisfaction. The action gets hot and horny the moment their
desires are finally unleased..!

and Jennifer have a marriage on the rocks. In desperation they seek out
a marriage counselor who proposes a revolutionary new method of
therapy. David and Jennifer have free reign to cheat on each other for
the next 24 hours. Their sexual inhibitions are set free and their
fantasies fulfilled as they visit The Dark Side.

Zillman and Jennings Bryant (1988) found that “common, nonviolent
pornography” is highly effective anti-marriage propaganda:

Effects of Prolonged Consumption of Pornography on Family Values; Women’s Desire to Have Daughters Plummets
perceptual and attitudinal changes were indeed observed. The perception
of the very nature of sexuality changed… [P]romiscuity in both men
and women was deemed more natural after prolonged consumption of
pornography than without such consumption. The effect was uniform for
male and female respondents and for students and nonstudents. Beliefs
in the faithfulness of sexual partners predictably declined with the
greater acceptance of promiscuity…

Prolonged consumption of
pornography fostered greater acceptance of pre- and extramarital sexual
relations for self and intimate partners. Along with that, it fostered
acceptance of sexually nonexclusive relations with parters. Prolonged
consumption also led to greater acceptance of the myth of health risks
from sexual repression. Pornography apparently manages to convey the
idea that unrestrained sexuality is wholesome and healthy, and that any
restraint poses risks… Additionally, prolonged consumption of
pornography was found to counteract gender equality. For intimate
relationships, male dominance was favored over egalitarianism…

consumption had a most powerful effect on evaluations of the
desirability and viability of marriage. Endorsement of marriage as an
essential institution dropped from 60.0% in the control groups to 38.8%
in the treatment groups…

David Bornstein: “Pursuing Happiness”
Consider the past 50 years in America. Compared to our grandparents, we
are amazingly wealthy… And yet over the same period, the divorce rate
has doubled, suicide has tripled and violent crime has quadrupled…

…in polls, more Americans than ever say that they don’t trust strangers…

Can happiness be successfully pursued in a self-interested fashion?

I asked some social entrepreneurs about the things that made them feel
most happy and unhappy. Not one spoke of money, position or status…

the strongest theme was “actualizing and witnessing the growth of
others’ potential”–using your life to enable the life in others to

Conversely, the greatest sadness, other than losing
loved ones, came when human beings failed to listen respectfully to one
another and degraded or betrayed one another, when teams fought
internally and, in general, when the feeling of trust and unity with
others, and the world, was injured in some way.

Moving from Shrill Debates to Consensus: “Political Charity”

The Virtue of Civility: Bringing depth, respectfulness and integrity back to our national discourse

New York Times: Whatever Happened to Online Etiquette?

Abuse and Threats Drive Women Out of Online Participation (explicit language)

Firestorm Rages Over Issue of Civility in the Blogosphere

George Will: Anger Is All The Rage

Sex-Positive Debate-Killing Tactics Stretch into Their Fifth Decade
Exclusion, ridicule, misrepresentation are very effective censors, and
they were applied ruthlessly to the values which, right through the
centuries, had been accepted as basic to a stable and responsible
society, and to the people who fought to maintain them.

King and Queen of MoPornNorthampton Savagery Do Freelance Work for Republican, MassLive (explicit language)
As those who have visited opposition blog MoPornNorthampton
are aware, Jeff Hobbs, Jennifer Ruggieri and their associates have
engaged in savage personal attacks on Northampton anti-porn citizens
for months. These self-styled heroes of free speech actually suppress
it by fostering an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, inducing many
citizens to abandon the debate.