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OPINION: Shame aggravates sex addictions

Published: Thursday, November 8, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 8, 2012 12:11

All over the school sidewalks and concrete staircases are messages written in chalk promising good times and Aggie ice cream if students will attend “Fight Night” for the new anti-pornography group Fight the New Drug.


As I walked over the advertising for Fight Night over and over again today, it seemed like with each bit of chalk that rubbed off on my shoe I got a little angrier. It wasn’t because of the irony that Fight the New Drug is offering Aggie ice cream, after comparing pornography to sugary food addiction. It wasn’t because this group deceitfully compares adult pornography to child pornography. It wasn’t even because I hate chalk and love porn.


My anger stems from having to watch yet another group of people in Utah trying to get into others’ lives and bedrooms and tell them what to do — or don’t do.


America is well-known for its strange deference to all things sexual. But Utah exhibits an even more radical form of sexual suppression. The prevalent culture in our state makes it difficult for young adults and teens to have healthy sexual relationships with themselves and others. And it’s not because sex just isn’t talked about, although sex education in Utah is comprehensive only, and teachers are not allowed to discuss homosexual matters with students.


It’s because of the avidly anti-sex sentiments our state possesses. Pre-marital sexual relations are damnable, and deserving of social ostracism. Right here in Logan, signs on buses promise success only if marriage comes before sex. Every day, young men and women meet with their bishops and pastors who actually ask them if they masturbate, and then are spiritually and emotionally punished if they do.


Pregnant teens are forced to transfer schools, or drop out because of the humiliation. Rumors of “slutty” behavior abound around those who kiss — they don’t even have to tell. Parents separate children from their lovers if they’re under 18, and woe betide the teen who asks for a trip to Planned Parenthood.


This isn’t normal. In fact, it’s just plain bizarre — and it has serious consequences. Our friends at Fight the New Drug are the perfect example of this; they can tell you better than anyone that pornography addiction runs rampant in Utah. But rather than treat pornography like another urge that needs to be dealt with in a healthy way, they continually kick the pricks of evolution and insist that these sexual urges, expressed outside of a stereotypical relationship, are bad. Their website is rampant with religious paraphernalia that encourages the shame that causes the addiction in the first place.


Don’t watch porn. Don’t have sex. Don’t masturbate. Don’t lust. Don’t, don’t don’t — it adds up quickly and it has devastating consequences.

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Graduate of Utah State
Tue Nov 13 2012 16:48
Ms Emery is proof of what an articulate conservative spokesman, Dennis Prager ( says about universities--they are where we send our kids to get stupid.

Ms Emery argues that we all have sexual urges, and we are worse off trying to control them, so don't try, and be as promiscuous as you like. Using that logic, she would argue that we all are tired in the morning, and we're cranky if we get up, so everybody sleep in, skip school, and miss work. Or perhaps she would tell those prone to anger to let it rip--you'll feel much better afterwards.

A pretty good definition of growing up is learning to control what you want to do at the moment, and achieving something better than the instant gratification. Ms Emery advocates immaturity.

I understand the tendency for college students to feel invincible, and that they know better than preceding generations. But again, that is childish. We should be learning from the wisdom of the ages. There are no major religions that endorse Ms Emery's promiscuous attitude. Nor are there any widely recognized sages that did so. Jesus, Mohamed, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and etc...they all taught that self control is the means to greatness.

Comparing pornography addiction to food addiction is absurd. There are, no doubt, food addicts, but food addictions are no where near as capturing to such a large population (very high percentage of males). Pornography addictions are just as serious and difficult to break as drug addictions. The prevalence and ease of access to pornography today is truly a scourge on our society.

I suspect that Ms Emery agrees that children should not be exposed to alcohol. Yet her attitude supports an industry where most kids have been exposed to serious pornography by age 11!

We humans are imperfect in trying to control our impulses. But does that mean we shouldn't try? Does it mean that we are worse off because we try and sometimes fail? Of course not. Our societal strength is only as great as the sum of our individual moral character. Promiscuous behavior weakens both.

The wisdom of the ages promote sexual restraint until marriage, and its easy to observe that wisdom. The best emotional and economic situation for children is in a stable home with a father and a mother faithful to each other. Whether you believe God created us that way, or that we evolved that way, it makes little difference. God's not backing down, and you don't change millions of years of evolution in a few decades of promiscuous thinking and experimentation.

Ms Emery, grow up, and learn wisdom.

Sammy Pond
Tue Nov 13 2012 13:52
I think there is a big misunderstanding here. Fight The New Drug is not religiously affiliated. I believe in the cause and I am agnostic.

FTND's stance on pornography is education- not telling other people how to live their lives. FTND has not pushed any sort of legislation of ANY kind.

I have done enough research on pornography to see the harmful effects- look at this Zillmann and Bryant study:

This "Shame Aggravates Sex Addictions" article appears to lump LDS and FTND together as if they are one in the same. To me it sounds like you're angry at Utah culture and are placing the blame on FTND.

Also- Have you read the "Child Pornography in Your Neighborhood" article?

It never states that child pornography and adult pornography are one in the same but that those who become child pornography consumers come from a history of porn use.

Pornography use is a serious problem these days and it does harm relationships, changes attitudes, and influences behavior.

FTND does not believe in telling others what to do or legislating.

Rather FTND is motivated to educate so people so they can be informed enough to know the potential consequences.

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