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Political Twitter does this thing where a subject pops up and debate rages for days; eventually, the debate migrates to blogs, where someone writes on the topic du jour, then someone else responds, and then someone else responds to that response, and so on. The debates are always largely pointless, they debate theories that are entirely theoretical and hypothetical. And yet, here I am, weighing in, because unfortunately everyone else weighing in on the “ban porn” debate is wrong.
For those of you smart enough to stay away from Twitter, it started here:
This letter, which notably did not call for any new laws against producing or watching porn https://t.co/9l080FySpL
— Alexandra DeSanctis (@xan_desanctis) December 9, 2019
The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh weighed in, arguing that we should ban pornographers and prosecute its creators.
On one end, you have the (largely childless) libertarians, arguing that porn isn’t that bad and that parents should be teaching their kids about sex anyway. If only you’d just parent and safeguard your kids media consumption, you need not fear. Let’s take the second claim on with the words of a few of my followers on how they or their kids first encountered pornography:
Homeschooler here. Friend without internet parental controls in place, FROM CHURCH, introduced my kid to it at their house. Pastor, AT CHURCH, talked about it from the pulpit. It happens when you least expect it and it’s horrifying as a parent. https://t.co/TR2mTkx57Y
— Fa-la-la-la-Laura 🎄 (@lgadbery) December 9, 2019
I replied on another post but it’s unbelievable how smug and naive people are about how kids can get around filters and parental controls and are actually accessing this in the school setting – not on their parent issued devices. Then showing it to unwitting kids like hey look.
— Nicole (@thesgvnicole) December 9, 2019
I can (and do) keep the screens out of their hands at home. Unfortunately they get exposed to it at school and at their friends' houses.
— Ogre (@ActiveOgre) December 9, 2019
Unless parents are homeschooling their kids with no technology and no friends, chances are they’re going to encounter pornography. The average age kids first encounter it is between ten and thirteen years old, and it’s not just sex. It’s violent, it’s sadistic, it’s nothing resembling the kind of sex any of us would want our children to have one day. Telling parents “one day your kid will have sex, what’s the big deal about them seeing porn?” is like telling them “one day your kid will learn about murder, so let’s show them some videos of beheadings at ten years old.”
So what about banning it? Well, the two most compelling arguments against it from a conservative perspective are:
Some conservatives are justifiably worried about how the definition of “common good” can be changed to do some very bad things. I’m sympathetic to the argument that porn needs to be limited and further regulated but I respect those who see how this could come back to bite us.
— Julie Gunlock (@JGunlock) December 8, 2019
Are the conservatives who think they can ban porn online purposefully ignoring the massive expansion of government this would require, or are they too stupid to realize it?
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) December 8, 2019
There’s just no way to actually ban something so freely available on the Internet, nor do we even want to open that Pandora’s box. Which leaves us between a rock and a hard place. Porn is toxic; there’s no shortage of research on the subject. But that doesn’t mean we can ban it, even if we wanted to.Published in