The Effects of Pornography on Individuals,Marriage, Family and Community
by Patrick F. Fagan, Ph.D.
About the Author
Patrick F. Fagan, Ph.D., is Senior Fellow and Director o the Marriage and ReligionResearch Institute (MARRI) o the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.,where he examines the relationships among amily, marriage, religion, community and America’s social problems as illustrated in the social sciences research data. He is an Advisor to the Love and Responsibility Project o Te Center or the Study o Catholic Higher Education; the project brings together experts in pastoral care,medicine, psychology and social sciences to study sexual activity on Catholic college campuses and how colleges and universities can support chastity among students.Fagan is a ormer Deputy Assistant Secretary or Family and Community Policy at the U.S. Department o Health and Human Services and senior ellow at Te Heri-tage Foundation. He has a proessional graduate degree in psychology (dip. psych.)as well as a Ph.D. in social policy rom University College Dublin.
This paper is co-published by the Marriage and Religion ResearchInstitute (MARRI) at the Family Research Council in cooperationwith the Love and Responsibility Project of The Center for the Studyof Catholic Higher Education.Catholic colleges and universities have important reasons to dis-courage and restrict student access to pornography, which “pervertsthe conjugal act” and is a “grave offense” according to the
Catechismof the Catholic Church
. Given the massive, deleterious individual,marital, family and social effects of pornography, college leadersshould consider ways of increasing the effectiveness and impact ofinstitutional approaches to students’ sexual behavior.This paper reports ample evidence that pornography distorts ayoung person’s concept of the nature of conjugal relations and al-ters both sexual attitudes and behavior. Pornography engendersgreater sexual permissiveness, which in turn leads to a greater riskof out-of-wedlock births and STDs. Men who view pornographyregularly have a higher tolerance for abnormal sexuality—includ-ing rape, sexual aggression and sexual promiscuity. If continued beyond college, the viewing of pornography is a major threat tomarriage, to family, to children and to individual happiness. Inundermining marriage it is one of the factors in undermining socialstability.
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