The Harmful Effects of Pornography

Author: A.L.L.


American Life League*

The recovery of moral control and the return of spiritual order have now become the indispensable conditions of human survival.

                                                                Cultural Historian Christopher Dawson.[1]

Anti-Life Philosophy.

I don't think pornography degrades women. The women who are doing it want to do it. No one is holding a gun to their head. I don't get that whole thing.

                                                                                         Madonna, Sex (1992).[2]

Pornography is merely a "safety valve" that people use to dissipate their sexual urges. Its effect is 'cathartic' this means that persons who otherwise might act out their violent sexual fantasies on other persons may instead use their pornography harmlessly.


The deleterious effects of pornography both 'soft' and 'hard' are damaging and pervasive. Respected research teams have performed more than 500 studies upon these effects, and their conclusions are concrete, consistent, and unassailable.

Many important relationships appear consistently throughout these studies. The six conclusions regarding the impacts of pornography that are listed below are also presented in David Scott's summary study Pornography, Its Effects on the Family, Community, and Culture.[3] Note that these conclusions are not the result of single or grouped random studies; the number of studies that arrive at each conclusion are listed in the appropriate paragraphs of this chapter and are taken directly from Scott's work.

The detailed reference material on all studies is also listed at the end of Scott's book. This listing would be of great value to anyone performing research on the impacts of pornography.

The six major effects of pornography are summarized below, and are described in the following paragraphs.


(1) Even "soft" porn is harmful to everyone.
(2) All pornography desensitizes the viewer.
(3) Pornography is addictive.
(4) Pornography degrades marriages.
(5) Pornography increases crime in dangerous offenders.
(6) Pornography encourages and facilitates other crimes.

Reference. These impacts are also listed in The Hill-Link Minority Report of the Presidential Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. A copy of this report, written in 1970, may be ordered from Morality in Media, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, New York 10115.

(1) Even "Soft" Porn is Harmful to Everyone!

Eighteen separate studies have shown that "soft" porn, which involve acts between consenting adults, definitely desensitizes all viewers, and may lead to extremely violent behavior.[4]

Pornography adversely affects every person who views it not only the dangerous sex offender caricatured in cartoons, but everyone. It interferes with interpersonal relationships and personal moral development in all persons who view it.

In fact, soft-core porn has been involved in numerous adolescent male suicides. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reported many cases where a young male will suspend himself by the neck from a rope and masturbate while holding a soft-core magazine in the hope of attaining an extremely intense orgasm. Not surprisingly, these deaths (classified as "autoerotic asphyxiation") are not often made public. It is estimated that about 1,000 such accidental suicides occur in the United States each year. In many cases, the issue of Hustler magazine that describes how to perform the so-called "orgasm of death" have been found at the feet of the victims.[5]

In many cases, even young kids have unwittingly killed their friends and siblings while following suggestions that have been printed in "soft-core" magazines, proving that it is not only hardened perverts and criminals who are adversely affected by porn.

For example, Zacharian Hurt, 13, read a porn magazine and then carefully wrapped shoelaces around the necks of two boys his 8-year old brother, Benjamin, and Todd Pigg, Jr., 7 and pulled them tight, accidentally strangling them.

(2) All Pornography Desensitizes the Viewer.

All pornography soft, hard, and even 'neutral' sex-education materials, desensitize the viewer and allow him to become conditioned to sexual acts, violent and nonviolent, as an integral part of human behavior. This conclusion has been reached in 26 separate studies.[4]

An interesting 1984 Gallup survey showed that two-thirds of respondents believed that viewing violence on television was harmful to others, but only five percent believed that such viewing was harmful to themselves.[4]

Leading sexual violence researchers Neil Malamuth, Ed Donnerstein, and Dolf Zillman state that, in general,

Pornography desensitizes. Exposure to these materials, whether violent or nonviolent, coercive or noncoercive, experimentally increases male aggressive behavior against women, and decreases both male and female sensitivity to rape and the plight of the rape victim. Both males and females, after viewing this material, judge the female rape victim to be less injured, less worthy, and more responsible for her own plight.[6]

This research showed that, after brief exposure to pornography, fully two-thirds of normal male college students would be more willing to force a woman into sexual acts if they could be assured of not being caught or punished. One-third of the students expressed an increased desire to actually commit rape.[6] These are frightening changes in attitude, considering that most rapes are not even reported.

Pornography is particularly effective at desensitizing emotionally disturbed persons. At least 26 studies have shown definitively that emotionally disturbed individuals and those with a tendency towards violent acts may be significantly desensitized for several weeks after exposure to three hours of violent and/or pornographic films.[4]

(3) Pornography is Addictive.

Several studies have shown that all persons, normal and unbalanced, who view pornography develop a yearning for ever more deviant materials, just as drug addicts crave stronger and stronger drugs. All persons fantasize about more deviant acts and materials and many even incorporate them into their sexual relationships. Many persons begin to employ more violent methods in their sexual relations.

British psychiatrists Martin Roth and Edward Nelson state that "Far from having a cathartic effect, exposure to pornography produces an enhanced interest in sexual deviancy."[7]

Donnerstein, Zillman, and Malamuth report that "Massive exposure to nonviolent, noncoercive standard-fare pornography created an appetite for more unusual, bizarre and deviant materials, including violence in a sexual context such as depictions of sadomasochism and rape."

As with drug users, those who use pornography need more and more deviant materials to maintain their previous level of sexual arousal.[4]

(4) Pornography Degrades Marriages.

Pornography users generally view material that shows attractive women performing almost any type of act with any number of men (or animals, for that matter). The users begin to expect that their wives should also perform acts that are at least a little more 'adventurous" or 'experimental' that those they are used to, and will become dissatisfied when their non-using partners will not live up to their porn-induced fantasies. They may even become dissatisfied with their wive's physical imperfections. The wives, of course, will become disgusted and repelled by their husband's increasingly deviant behavior.

The husbands or boyfriends then often turn to prostitutes, who are accustomed to handling bizarre requests.[3,8]

(5) Pornography Increases Crime in Dangerous Offenders.


More than 65 studies have shown that dangerous offenders (child molesters, killers, rapists, incest fathers) are not only more likely to commit their crimes if they employ pornography, they are likely to precede their violent acts with the extended use of deviant materials.[4] Male sex offenders soon begin to display addictive and compulsive behavior when using porn. Their mechanisms for relieving stress soon all become related to deviant sex. They offend more and more often.

About two million pedophiles, rapists, child molesters, sadists, and those who solicit teenaged or child prostitutes commit more than two million crimes annually. This number accounts only for those incidents that are reported the total number is obviously much higher.

Examples. Those naive individuals who cling to the quaint and outmoded belief that pornography is 'victimless' should wake up and look at the facts. Thousands of persons have been tortured, raped, and murdered by warped human beings as a direct result of pornography. There are thousands of such cases cramming police files all over the nation.

Some instances of pornography-driven murder and rape are described in the following paragraphs.

Jeffrey Dahmer.

Jeffrey Dahmer, a convicted child molester and confessed homosexual, lured 17 young men to his apartment, had sex with them, then killed them and dismembered them. He ate parts of his victim's bodies, dissolved some parts in acid, and stored some of the heads and other body parts in his refrigerator.

Dahmer admitted that he kept one man's heart "to eat later."

Dahmer was active in 'gay rights' organizations and had participated in 'gay pride' parades. Police also found massive quantities of hard-core pornography and videotapes in his apartment.[9]

Ted Bundy.

On January 24, 1988, the day before he was executed for murder, Ted Bundy stated in an interview with Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family that; "In the beginning, it [pornography] fuels this kind of thought process ... Like an addiction, you keep craving something that is harder, harder, something which gives you a greater sense of excitement until you reach a point where the pornography only goes so far, you reach that jumping-off point where you begin to wonder if maybe actually doing it would give you that which is beyond just reading or looking at it."

When Focus on the Family published the results of this important interview, it was met with hoots of derision from the Left, which correctly recognized that it was accurate and compelling. Obviously, the only persons who attacked this interview were those who supported or profited hugely from pornography.

Arthur Gary Bishop.

Arthur Gary Bishop, who was executed in Utah in 1983 for sodomizing and killing five boys aged 4 to 13, stated that; "Pornography was not the only negative influence in my life, but its effect on me was devastating. I am a homosexual pedophile convicted of murder, and pornography was a determining factor in my downfall."

The Miami Pillow Case Rapist.

FBI scientists at Quantico, Virginia, commented on the role of pornography and its effect upon the Miami Pillow Case Rapist; "He collected Playboy, then Penthouse magazines ... and dreamed of rape. Then he slipped over the threshold of fantasy into the reality of sexual assault."

Ray Bauer.

Porn addict Ray Bauer of St. Louis often forced his wife of 29 years to watch hard-core movies and then bound and tortured her. Finally, in April of 1986, Mrs. Bauer could take no more, and shot her husband to death after one particularly violent torture episode. Her back, chest, and buttocks were heavily scarred with whip marks, and a search of the house uncovered her husband's extensive collection of violent sado-masochistic pornography and instruments of torture.[10]

Zinn and His 'Product.'

Pornographers always tell us that porn is victimless.

This story proves differently.

In January of 1986, Linda Lee Daniels, 22, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was kidnapped in broad daylight from her driveway by three young men, whose intent was to use her against her will in a pornographic movie.

The movie producer, Johnny Zinn, told these hirelings that he wanted a blonde "product" for his movie and that he would pay them $1,500 if they could find a woman who fit these specifications.

After they kidnapped Daniels, they drugged and raped her all night long (taking a film of the entire sequence of rapes). The following morning's papers carried Daniels' picture, so Zinn ordered his henchmen to kill her. They shot her repeatedly as she pleaded for her life.

Zinn received a life sentence. Two of the three accomplices, although found guilty of rape, are already free and roaming the streets, perhaps searching for more 'products.'[11]

FBI Findings.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation found that eighty percent (29 of 36) of recent mass murderers used pornography extensively and used it as an integral part of their murderous sexual activity, which often included serial rape-murders.[4] Some of these killers photographed their dead victims and pasted cutouts of their faces on hard- and soft-core pornographic pictures as preparation for their next 'kill.' The FBI and police nationwide have reported finding extensive pornography collections in the homes of virtually every mass-murderer and child molester that they arrest.

Pornography and Rape.

Chapter 18 of the Attorney General Pornography Commission's study noted that the eight major men's magazines (Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, Chic, Club, Gallery, Genesis, and Oui) have a circulation rate five times higher in Alaska and Nevada than in North Dakota.[12] It is very significant that the rape rates in Alaska and Nevada are eight times higher than in North Dakota!

Conclusions. Other researchers have confirmed that 64 percent of all homosexual child molesters and 86 percent of all rapists used pornography at or immediately before the time of their crimes.

Figure 134-1 shows the results of a survey of more than 400 young prison offenders. This study proved that those prisoners who had been exposed to a large amount of pornography were much more likely to engage in violent and sexually deviant behavior than those prisoners who had not been exposed to pornography.

FIGURE 134-1

[A medium text size on your computer's 'view' setting is recommended, otherwise, the tables may be discombobulated.]

                                                                 Exposure to
                                                                 Pornography                Ratio,
Criteria                                                 Low              High         High/Low

First intercourse at age 11 or younger      37%              53%             1.43
First intercourse at age 14 or younger      65%              86%             1.32
Intercourse with 7 or more partners         63%              96%             1.52
Intercourse with more than one
   person at a time                                   35%              59%             1.69
Engaged in oral-genital contact                16%              49%             3.06
Frequent anal intercourse                        20%              40%             2.00
Participation in orgies and
   soliciting prostitutes                              44%              78%             1.77
Belong to high anti-social crime group
   (friends in prison or reform school,
   friends dealing in stolen goods,
   friends who were members of gangs)   55%              82%             1.49

Reference. David A. Scott. "Pornography Its Effects on the Family, Community, and Culture." Published by the Child and Family Protection Institute and Contact America. Order from Family Policy Insights, 721 Second Street NE, Washington, DC 20002.

(6) Pornography Directly Promotes Other Crimes.


The above section shows beyond the faintest shadow of a doubt that pornography users routinely engage in a wide range of violent and sadistic crimes, committed not only against themselves, but against other persons as well.

Child Molestation.

The pornography pushers also promote child molestation by trivializing sex acts between adults and children and by purposely blurring the line between adult sex and adults having sex with children.

Organizations such as the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) and the Rene Guyon Society, both of which lobby for the elimination of age-of-consent laws, are involved heavily with the homosexual movement and with hard-core pornography.

For more details on the connection of child molestation to pornography and homosexuality, see Chapter 137, "Pornography and Child Molestation."

However, it is also an established fact that porn kings use their great wealth and influence to directly promote illegal acts in their magazines, including the use of dangerous drugs. This is in keeping with their hedonistic, "anything goes" philosophy.

Drug Use.

According to Dr. Judith Reisman, the president of Washington's Institute for Media Education, the legalization of all types of drug use has been a primary financial, editorial, and legislative goal of the Playboy empire since 1966. The first indication that Playboy was going to champion drug use and legalization was in its September 1966 issue, when it interviewed Timothy Leary in a very ingratiating manner.

In 1970, the Playboy Foundation formally underwrote attorney Keith Stroup's establishment of the National Organization for the Repeal of Marijuana Laws (NORML). In late 1971, the Foundation contributed $100,000, the first of many large periodic grants, to NORML for its 1972 pro-drug campaign.

Playboy has continued to infuse massive editorial and financial assistance to drug legalization since 1970. In 1973 and 1975, Playboy-backed NORML efforts resulted in the decriminalization of marijuana in Oregon and Alaska respectively. Playboy Magazine has published fictional stories lionizing drug-using heros, has printed drug-use charts, and has served as a platform for numerous pro-drug spokesmen, from Timothy Leary to All-American defensive back Don Rogers (who later died of a drug overdose).[13]


According to Congressional sources, illegal drugs are a $70 billion a year business. We now have 20 million people who use marijuana frequently, 7 million who use cocaine frequently, and half a million heroin addicts.[14] Our society is literally drowning in a flood of drugs, and no child is safe from drugs and molestation especially yours!

The very last thing we need is a group of rich lechers egging the drug pushers on with illogical rhetoric in their glossy, expensive magazines.

References: The Effects of Pornography.

[1] Cultural historian Christopher Dawson, at the 1947 Gifford Lectures, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Quoted in the National Federation for Decency Journal, November/December 1987.

[2] Madonna, Sex (1992). Quoted in Suzan Bibisi, Los Angeles Daily News. "Madonna: Sex Has Some Raunchy Text, Artistic Photography." The Vancouver [Washington] Columbian, October 22, 1992, page B2.

[3] David A. Scott. "Pornography Its Effects on the Family, Community, and Culture." Published by the Child and Family Protection Institute and Contact America. Order from Family Policy Insights, 721 Second Street NE, Washington, DC 20002.

[4] The Hill-Link Minority Report of the Presidential Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. This report may be ordered from Morality in Media, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, New York 10115.

[5] R. Hazelwood, P. Dietz, and A. Burgess. "The Investigation of Autoerotic Fatalities." Journal of Police Science and Administration. September 1981, 404-411. See also the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 25, 1990.

[6] P. Zimbardo. "Sexual Murderers." Psychology Today, November 1977, pages 69 to 76 and 148.

[7] "Porn Traffickers Share Guilt in Sexual Murders." The Wanderer, March 9, 1989, page 2.

[8] Frank Morriss. "Pornography and the Degradation of Society." The Wanderer, February 9, 1989, page 4.

[9] Michael C. Buelow. "Police Believe Suspect Killed 17." The Oregonian, July 26, 1991, pages A1 and A24. Also: "Relative in Dahmer Case Sues." USA Today, August 6, 1991, page 3A. Also October 1991 Focus on the Family letter.

[10] "Woman Kills Porn Addict Husband." National Federation for Decency Journal, May/June 1986, page 7.

[11] Dixie L, Gallery, mother of the victim. "Co-ed Picked at Random is Kidnapped, Raped, Murdered By Pornographers." National Federation for Decency Journal, April 1987, page 5.

[12] Final Report of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography. Rutledge Hill Press, 513 Third Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee 37210. 1986, 571 pages.

[13] "American Drug Culture Has Roots in Playboy." National Federation for Decency Journal, November/December 1986, page 4.

[14] News of Interest. "Drug Use Continues to Grow." National Federation for Decency Journal, August 1987, page 15.

Further Reading: The Effects of Pornography.

Greenhaven Press. Sexual Values: Opposing Viewpoints
Greenhaven Press Opposing Viewpoints Series, Post Office Box 289009, San Diego, California 92128-9009. 1983, 155 pages. Each section includes several essays by leading authorities on both sides of each issue. The questions asked are: "Is Nonmarital Sex Acceptable?;" "Does Sex Education Belong in Schools?;" "Is Homosexuality Acceptable?;" "Is Pornography Harmful?;" and "Should Prostitution Be a Crime?" Authors include Jeremiah A. Denton, Jr., Susan Brownmiller, Gail Sheehy, and Phyllis Schlafly. A catalog is available from the above address and can be obtained by calling 1-(800) 231-5163.

Father Morton Hill and Dr. Winfrey Link. The Hill-Link Minority Report of the Presidential Commission on Obscenity and Pornography
The majority report, issued in 1970, gave a "Magna Carta" to pornographers by taking the blame off their shoulders. Porn was deemed "cathartic" by the majority, a heretofore unproven conclusion. While the pro-pornography media hailed the majority report as "intellectual" and "open-minded," the common-sense minority report of Father Morton Hill and Dr. Winfrey Link, which devastatingly refuted the majority report, was predictably branded "angry" and "virulent." This report may be ordered from Morality in Media, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, New York 10115.

Judith Reisman, Ph.D., President of the Institute for Media Education. "The Role of Pornography and Media Violence in Family Violence, Sexual Abuse and Exploitation, and Juvenile Delinquency." 
Study sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention at American University in Washington, D.C. The 24-page executive summary of this 2,000 page report and a packet of material on the exploitation of children in Playboy, Penthouse, and Hustler Magazines may be obtained by sending a large, self-addressed stamped envelope, with a small fee, to Dr. Judith Reisman, Institute for Media Education, Post Office Box 7404, Arlington, Virginia 22207, telephone: (703) 237-5455. The Executive Summary, which is ideal for giving to store managers who might be carrying this soft-core porn is available by itself (without the additional materials) from the American Family Association, Post Office Drawer 2440, Tupelo, Mississippi 38803. Prices vary.

Roman Catholic Church, Vatican Pontifical Commission for Social Communications. "Pornography and Violence in the Communications Media: A Pastoral Response." 
Letter dated May 16, 1989. Available from the Office for Publishing and Promotion Services, United States Catholic Conference, 3211 Fourth Street N.E., Washington, D.C., 20017-1194.

David A. Scott. "Pornography Its Effects on the Family, Community, and Culture." 
Published by the Child and Family Protection Institute and Contact America. Order from Family Policy Insights, 721 Second Street NE, Washington, DC 20002.

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This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist’s Encyclopedia published by American Life League.