Dear Rhonda,

Have you seen the website Do you think watching this stuff is mentally harmful? What’s your say about it?


Dear Mangoose,

People get turned on by a vast array of things. As long as the participants have consented to take part in the activities depicted, and the viewer has also volunteered to enter the site (which I notice has a warning and requires visitors to agree that they are over 18 before they can get access to the content) I see nothing morally wrong with this sort of material being available.

Is watching this stuff mentally harmful? There are many claims about the negative effects of watching explicit internet pornography, from their ‘addictive’ properties to their ability to destroy relationships or promote sex offences, just as there are claims that violent video games cause people to commit violent acts. While a correlation might exist between users of violent material and those who commit acts of violence, there is as yet no definitive evidence that one causes the other. It is just as valid a hypothesis to say that those with a predisposition toward violence are more attracted to violent material than those without. Others claim the reverse is true, that the level of non-consensual violence acted out is curbed by the availability of materials that satiate these desires through fantasy rather than reality. I don’t believe enough research has been done to be able to state categorically either way.

Meanwhile, as long as it is not coercive, I think it is up to individuals to exercise their own judgement about the sort of material they use, produce or participate in.


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