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Is Porn Destroying Marriages? Should Government Intervene?

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Posted on April 3 2010 11:36 am
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here

Larry Flynt: Wrecker of Marriages? Try again…

The answers are “No” and “Absolutely not.”

Dr. Helen has a great column at Pajamas Media today effectively making those points in response to “Anonymous” over at National Review.

Dr. Helen says:

Perhaps when Anonymous was writing this article, she should have taken a look at both sides of the porn issue. Had she been less emotionally distraught, she might have seen this study that found “all men watch porn” and that porn did not change the men’s perception of women or their relationships

I am very sorry that Anonymous’s marriage did not work out. However, while blaming porn for every social ill and for her marriage dissolving may make her feel better, crusading for laws to make other men pay for this failure will not lead to better marriages. It will lead to even more men going underground to view porn — and feeling resentful while they do.

I think there are many reasons that marriages are not working out, but porn seems to be the least of the problems. And I wonder — does porn distort men’s attitudes as much as romance novels and Lifetime TV distort women’s? Maybe we should discuss the many social institutions that are giving women unrealistic expectations of men and a sense that they have the right to control men, and men’s sexuality, in their own interest.

I agree with Dr. Helen’s article 110%.

When conservatives see a social problem — like marriages breaking up or individual men taking their sexual cues from pornography — and decide that the answer is to pass a law then they’re behaving like leftists. Government’s role is to protect freedom, not to fix the world.

If “Anonymous” wants to help fix marriages and discourage porn consumption then more power to her. Just don’t hijack the federal government toward either objective. It’s not the right thing to do and won’t actually be effective. The government just can’t do things very well. Isn’t acknowledging that one of the key aspects of conservatism?

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