October 30th, 2008

common phrases used in academia


"I think that the porn debate is important because of the disappearance of complexity and psychological depth in our current public discourse about sexuality. As I've argued before on AlterNet, we increasingly respond to the sexual scandals of politicians with black-or-white moral judgments that magnify intolerance, inhibit self-compassion for our own flaws, and inject personal psychology too much into public debate. We demonize rather than try to understand horrible tragedies like pedophilia while refusing to think about and face the epidemic of emotional neglect facing children in American families. We assume that looking at dirty pictures leads people to do dirty things, that learning about sex in high school makes teenagers want to have it, and that making abortion more available automatically makes girls open to teenage pregnancy. None of these are true, but terrible public policy has been made in their honor. We descend into this type of thinking in part because we don't want to understand how the mind really works, that it's complicated, that much of it is unconscious, that thoughts don't usually lead to action, and that fantasy -- pornographic or not -- isn't the same as reality."

Michael Bader, in "The Great Porn Misunderstanding"