Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dear Abby Uses a Bad Argument

"INNOCENT TEEN IN MICHIGAN" wrote in to Dear Abby:

I have been dating "Kyle" for more than six months, but I have loved him for more than two years.
Well, we already know she's a teen, so I'm taking the idea that she's "loved him" for 18 months longer than she's been "dating" him with a grain of salt.

I always thought we had a wonderful relationship and that Kyle was a sweet, innocent guy.
Sounds great! Everything's going great then, right?

Well, he just confided to me that he has an Internet porn addiction!
There are some problems here. The first one is that he said something to you. The second is that he either 1) believes that there is such thing as an addiction to porn or 2) thinks you believe there is such a thing or he wants you to believe there is such a thing.

Anything pleasurable or exciting can become "addictive". But I'll only believe porn addiction is real in cases where someone goes through withdrawal symptoms akin to those suffered by nicotine or heroin addicts (provided he is still allowed sexual release).

He has a habit. It's probably just a phase and he'll grow out of it...

...oh, about the time he's declared dead.

I'm very hurt by this and don't want to lose him.
You're hurt by what? (See, she doesn't really believe it is an addiction. Who responds to "I have to confess that I'm addicted to crack" with "I'm hurt."?) You're hurt he was stupid enough to say that to you? Or are you hurt that he looks at other women (actually, pixels... not really women)? If so, you're going to be hurt by just about every heterosexual man you ever encounter.

What should I do? (By the way, we're both 14.)
Fourteen? And she says she's loved him for over two years? She's in Fantasyland much more than he is. What should she do? She should NOT be having a boyfriend, that's what. She should be focusing on her studies, her hobbies, her friends, and her family, because in less than four years she's going to a legal adult who's going to need to start making a life for herself on her own.

Notice she didn't invoke a common religion they share. There's the real issue with viewing porn; the Bible, including the teachings of Jesus, tells followers of Christ not to commit adultery in their heart by looking at a woman with illicit lust (not sure anymore that pixels really count as women, but let's say they do). For everyone else, there's really not an issue. I have seen reports that more porn viewing correlates to less rape, in fact. If you have a legitimate debunking of that, let me know where to find it. But for now, I don't buy into my fellow Christian conservative mantra (if "mantra" can be used when taking about Christians) that staring at Victoria Secret ads will inevitably lead to becoming a child rapist-murderer. Or there would be billions of such murderers.

She's in Michigan, so in a few years Sharia law should take care of all of these problems there. Her boyfriend won't be free to watch porn unless he's a honcho terrorist like that fish-food dude OBL.

The other way to get that boy to stop watching porn is to personally keep his testicles empty, but that's not an option considering they're not married to each other and they're both under the age of consent. Actually, his viewing of porn is probably why he's been so "innocent" and hasn't made a move on her after being together for what, to people their age, seems like a long time. Other boys his age are getting oral sex from their classmates... in class.

Dear Abby responds:

You should urge Kyle to get help for his addiction.
No, you should urge him to not have a girlfriend. A fourteen-year-old boy doesn't need help for the fact that he likes seeing the bodies of women or sex. That's something called.... male nature. The exception is if he's trying to be faithful to his Lord, where men often fight their fallen nature, male or just plain human.

Addiction, by definition, is behavior that is compulsive and out of control.
If I was a betting man, I'd bet it isn't out of control. Notice that she thought everything was wonderful and he was so innocent (meaning he's not raping or beating her, despite the certainty that porn causes males to do that) and he seems to have his act together.

The problem with teenage boys getting involved with Internet porn is it gives them an unrealistic expectation of how regular, normal women look and act.
How come we never, ever see people (other than a few defenders-of-masculinity) saying the same thing about romance novels and romantic comedies? Soap operas? Twilight? If such unrealistic expectations are a reason not to watch media, there are very few things people can watch. I wrote about this before. Really... what if he's looking mostly at pictures of ordinary young women who have sexted by sending nude pictures of themselves standing in front of the bathroom mirror? Such pictures don't give unrealistic expectations of how women look and behave. Or what if it was a video an average-looking married couple had made of themselves making love, without doing anything unusual? Does that mean it a-okay in Dear Abby's book? I doubt it. So this is a bad argument, as I've said before.
Although you don't want to lose him, becoming more involved could lead to his wanting to try out his sexual fantasies with you -- and if you go along with it, it will land you in a world of trouble.
Due to their ages, I agree, but only because of the age (and that they're not married).

The smart thing to do is end this relationship now.
Agreed! But for different reasons. Dear Abby should not give girls... unrealistic expectations... about men and boys.

Look, with webcams and cameras in mobile phones, there is a steady supply of legal pictures and videos of porn and nudes from everyone from celebutants to the girls next door, and the supply never diminishes as the pictures and videos will be around forever. It will only grow and grow as millions of girls reach the age of consent day by day, year by year, and decide that this is something they want to do, and as these things are distributed through file-sharing and social networking. People who want to see this stuff can access so much of it for free, just about anywhere they are. For better or worse, isn't going away, and that boy is going to find it, as will the majority of males.

Let's assume the girl will think the same way about it at age 25 (unlikely, but let's assume so). How much viewing on the part of a boyfriend is acceptable to her? The less tolerant she is about this, the smaller the pool of guys who will meet her standards in that area. It isn't so hard to find a boyfriend who doesn't regularly view such stuff. But if she wants one that never has, then she's going to have a thimble-sized pool from which to choose.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:11 PM

    Not thinble sized. Her pool includes the entire population of the legally blind.

    Now whether they got that way through genetics or it comes with hairy palms, well, thats a whole other matter for her to sort out.


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