Some "experts" say the Web's proliferation of porn is eating away at America's morals. eSarcasm's own scientific expert, Dr. Smartass, says it's making us better citizens -- and he has the hard data to prove it. Here's the good doctor's (note: not an actual doctor) take on Net naughtiness:
Feeling guilty for wasting hours away in front of the boob tube? Not the television, mind you, but the various x-rated "tube" sites scattered all over the Net? Well, you may not need to feel bad at all: It turns out Internet porn may have a positive effect on society.
Lest you think you're the only one who questions his devotion to the babes of Web Land, let's head to my trusty inbox for this week's inquiry:
Dear Dr. Smartass,
I know I look at too much online porn, and sometimes I feel kind of dirty afterward. But when my girlfriend saw my browser history, she freaked out. She says porn encourages promiscuity, rape, and all sorts of other crap. PLEASE help me prove her wrong.
My dear Quentin, I feel your pain. Your throbbing, rock hard pain just begging for your lady's touc -- er, sorry. Scrap that last part. Been watching a bit too much of the ol' bouncy-bounce myself.
My good Q, if you've read my columns for long, you know you don't have to twist my arm to get me to scream "YES! OH YES!" when it comes to the subject of sexual exploration. But as we know, pornography can be a hairy and emotional topic to discuss. To erect an impartial wall of evidence showing porn's positive potential, let's turn to some hard data that'll help you drive home the point.
A recent analysis looked at how sexual behaviors have shifted since porn became more accessible with the advent of the Internet (God bless that day). It found five significant changes from the pre-Internet-porn days to now:
- Measures of "sexual irresponsibility" have gone down (pardon the term). Researchers measure this by looking at unwanted pregnancies and STD transmissions, both of which have fallen by more than 50 percent since the early '90s.
- Teen sex has also somehow become less common, falling 7 percent from 1991 to 2005. Granted, the horny buggers are all sexting, but that's typically a no-contact sport.
- Among teens who are doing the nasty, 16 percent more are wearing condoms now than in the pre-online porn era. Latex has never been so stylish!
- America's divorce rate has dropped by almost a quarter since video porn became readily available online.
- Even rates of sexual assault -- something some people claim pornography encourages -- have fallen by 44 percent since 1995.
Whether watching people boff on the Net directly caused all those things is a matter of debate, but one thing's for certain: As porn has become more prominent in our society, gauging by these numbers, the world has become a more sexually responsible place. How about them apples?
So, sir Q, bring this knowledge to your fine female companion and see if that calms her concerns. If not, I have one final prescription for you: private-browsing mode.
Looking at porn shouldn't be such a stress,
Even if it does often cause quite a mess.
Cover your tracks and it won't need be known,
Who or what you just watched getting blown.
Until next time,
Have questions of a prurient or embarrassing nature? The doc is in. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. He promises not to snicker.
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