Thursday, March 4, 2010

Porn is good for you?

I was watching a talk show on television with my Dad a couple of nights ago. It was an interview with Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim; he expounded at great length why we need censorship more than ever in this world of borderless media. It was the usual old guards rant against pornography and assorted "yellow culture" that is polluting the tender minds of Malaysian youngsters.

Since my father wouldn't surrender the remote control, he had to put up with my snarky commentaries in the background. *grin*

The thing is, even if you're the Chinese government, it is downright impossible to filter the information that travels through your fibreoptic lines. Let's also face the fact that as youngsters grew more techno-savvy and interfaces with the computer like a duck to water, they will find ways to overcome all this ridiculous filters to watch and read and listen to all these things that the authorities deem as unsuitable.

You'd have better luck stopping the tsunami with a bucket.

I think it is better that we give the people (cause not only young people who can kick teh interweb's ass) some credit. Just because one enjoys listening to Cannibal Corpse or Morbid Angel, doesn't mean one will creep into a mortuary and shag any corpse that caught one's fancy. It could be;

a) that person genuinely enjoys thrash metal and killer guitar riffs, or
b) that person just wants the shock and awe value of being a fan of a death metal band.

Whatever.

This article by Milton Diamond in The Scientist
gave me the inspiration for the title of this post. In essence, he said that pornography may lead to reduction in sex-related crime (see the original article). Hmm ... interesting. Displacing sexual aggression and suppressing desire = less crime. However, there are other reports that says otherwise.

Diamond contends that exposure to porn PLUS a strict, repressive religious upbringing correlates highly with sex offense. I have an Egyptian friend who claims that men to whom the female body is not a mystery tends to be more tolerant in view of women and their position in society. Apparently, this thought is also supported by Diamond who says that

"... men who had seen X-rated movies found that they were significantly more tolerant and accepting of women than those men who didn’t see those movies, and studies by other investigators—female as well as male—essentially found similarly that there was no detectable relationship between the amount of exposure to pornography and any measure of misogynist attitudes."

Frankly, I believe that if you have no respect for another human being, perpetrating the heinous assault that is rape is no big leap. Pornography may desensitise you and give you unrealistic ideas about sexual intercourse. Understanding sexuality and the issues related to it is more important towards cultivating a healthy attitude about sex and its associated intimacies.

So it is your attitude towards your fellow human beings that dictate your behaviour (criminal or otherwise), not what you choose to watch (or read or listen).

5 comments:

takbest said...

I couldn't agree more. Wish Datuk Rais Yatim could read it dear.

Snuze said...

Hee! I know! The old guards can be so stultifying and downright turtle-like in thought.

What we need is to give our kids a well rounded education so they can make the best decisions with the information that they do have.

Angela Gripesalot said...

"more tolerant" of women?

hope i'm not OT here, but that aside, RY and his ilk have obviously never viewed vintage hentai woodcuts, as it were. "yellow culture" indeed.

Farsih A. Noor also wrote an interesting article about Wahhabi/Wahabbi Muslims in Malaysia's past and present. something like that. insisting that all "adverse influences" come from "outside" is simplistic and disingenuous (i love that word).

we can haz sexy tiem nao pls?

Angela Gripesalot said...

p.s. of course i meant "Farish"

Snuze said...

Vintage hentai woodcut, FTW! Asians have a long history of erotic art; I suppose once upon a time the hidebound Mat Sallehs called us the lascivious heathens, hehehe.

Farish Noor is an awesome writer who is not afraid to handle sensitive issues and is pretty hot to boot!