Might I highly suggest Prof. Harry Clor’s Public Morality and Liberal Society, which includes a chapter on pornography. This book is one of the finest I have every read and taught me how to think about public morality. The pornography chapter can be summed up in this thought: It would be astonishing if man, the imagining animal, was not influenced by the images that he sees. Also, it confounds logic to say that the way to control ones passions is to indulge them wantonly (i.e., the way to control one’s sexual passions is to indulge them in pornography). The problem of pornography may or may not be increased incidence of rape, but the death of eros represented by pornography, the deadening of the soul to real passion and longing for another, makes actual human connection more difficult. Anyone who spends time on college campuses can see one of the central problems of young people: the difficulty in forming a true love affair, as opposed to the random drunken hook up.
I don’t necessarily advocate a law to criminalize it, but I’ve made the decision not to subsidize an industry that destroys so many of the lives of the people who work in it.
I would imagine not one (unless he’s very sick) man who watches pornography or goes to the nudie bar would want his little girl to grow up to be a strip dancer or a pornography actress. If it’s beneath the dignity of his daughter, it’s also beneath the dignity of all the women who didn’t have a decent dad when they were little girls.
I’m a man and I understand the strong attraction but for people who say they “use” pornography for legitimate reasons, they need to internalize that they are really “using” a real live human being. There’s no personal reason that justifies it.