How did Mediawatch-UK miss this one?

Probably because it was reported in that mouthpiece of the Metropolitan Liberal Elite, The Guardian.

An American professor at the University of Utah, Dr Judith Reisman (interesting bio on Adult Christianity), has conducted studies which prove pornography affects the physical structure of the brain. Her paper, impressively-titled The Psychopharmacology of Pictorial Pornography Restructuring Brain, Mind & Memory & Subverting Freedom of Speech, is available as .pdf download on her website.

Apparently, porn damages the brain by stimulating the release of an “erototoxin”, affecting those parts involved in reasoning and free speech. Therefore people who view pornography shouldn’t be protected under the First Amendment.

The “research” was conducted under the auspices of The Lighted Candle Society:

It is the purpose of the Lighted Candle Society to preserve the American Republic from the ultimate tragedy of disintegration that will inevitably come to pass if the trends regarding moral degradation continue unabated.

Sounds familiar.

(Tipped from The Pagan Prattle. More info on Reichman available at Bartholomew’s Notes)

18 Responses to “How did Mediawatch-UK miss this one?”

  1. d-notice says:

    The link to the Guardian doesn’t work

  2. Monitor says:

    Thanks. Fixed now.

  3. Andy L says:

    Get rid of testosterone! What do you mean your heart capacity has collapsed to the point you can’t climb a flight of stairs!

    Many of the neurotransmitters she mentions are completely vital to the functioning of the brain.

  4. Dan Factor says:

    Most of the protest against pornography comes from people’s own personal beliefs, often relegious, rather than any true proven facts.
    Views such as porn turns men into rapists and is responsible for under age sex comes from deaply held prejudices against the sex entertainments industry rather than any proof.
    It is therefore the motivation of the anti porn lobby, be they relegious or otherwise to oppose people’s freedom to view sexual material because THEY believe it is wrong rather than any proof it is wrong.

  5. tom p says:

    Reisman is hilarious. She’s the biggest charlatan there is.
    When Christopher imagines that science is led by dogma and narrow-minded nonsense, in her case he’s absolutely correct.

  6. Shaun Hollingworth says:

    EU countries, notably Denmark and Sweden, have had hard core porn available for THIRTY SIX YEARS without any sign of moral disintegration. Indeed quite the opposite..

    So what is the old repressive quack talking about ?

    There is evidence enough that explicit porn has the *opposite* effect than that which is claimed by the censorship brigade… Sex crimes reduce. Attitudes to women improve. Of course it is religious societies that tend to treat their women worst of all isn’t it ?

  7. Marc says:

    From the website:

    “The Lighted Candle Society is now preparing to raise funds that will enable Dr. Reisman’s hypothesis to be validated scientifically.”

    In other words: this isn’t even a theory (in the scientific sense of the word) yet – it’s biggoted guesswork. Even if the LCS *does* validate the research, the theory will have to be further ratified by verification and peer review; and by Shaun’s marker, that seems about as likely as the scientific community admitting they got it wrong over Pons and Fleischmann [cold fusion]!

  8. Marc says:

    Another thought: what is her PhD in? Without looking at much (she’s got a major downer on Kinsey, perhaps with good reasons) she lists the top 10 most dangerous books of the 18th and 19th Centuries. Mien Kampf is up there and some Darwin musings come out with an honourable mention.

    Didn’t these right-wingers know that Hitler got his hatred of the Jewish people from the Roman Catholics? And why is the most influential writer of the 19th Century listed at all… perhaps because he provides a scientific and (frequently demonstrated) theory that kicks the deist’s creation theory where it belongs?

    FOUND IT!! She has a PhD in …. wait for this folks…. it’s really relevant…. no really…. you’ll be amazed… it’s (drum roll) communications!

    Oh yes. The honourable doctor isn’t a proper scientist at all by any measure, just another old fart with a doctorate from a little known university in Ohio. The PhD system really needs overhauling to disseminate the pure scientists from the quacks.

    And it get’s better: she’s also a member of the “straighten the gay league” [National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (Fellow)]

    I could go on of course, but I’m sure others can find more interesting meat to pick of her bones!

  9. Shaun Hollingworth says:

    Quack quack….

  10. Christopher Shell says:

    Ulp! Youre saying pornography has no effect at all on behaviour? It would lose its point if it had no effecgt on behaviour – but if it affects behaviour it must have affected the brain first.
    The question is not whether it affects the brain (which it must do) but whether it does so irreparably. The trouble is that everything processed by our brain remains there, so to that extent the effect must be permanent, though no doubt it can be counteracted.

  11. Andy L says:

    In what way does “everything processed by brain remain there”? What colour was the carpet in the entrance to the hospital you were born in? You don’t remember? My, then your statement would seem to be incorrect.

  12. Christopher Shell says:

    You’re saying that everything we say that we can’t remember is not present anywhere in our brain at all?

  13. tom p says:

    That’s quite probably correct Christopher. As I understand it, there are differenty areas of memory, some short-term and some long-term, and things that don’t make it into the long-term part of the memory get forgotten.
    But this isn’t the meat of the subject, it’s Judith Reisman’s ludicrous lies masquerading as science, but based purely on her fundamentalist christian fanaticism. You can be absolutely certain that if Reismann has posited that porn causes the release of an erototoxin that harms the brain, then there is no such thing. Indeed, given how very wrong she always is, it’s probably the opposite and porn is good for the brain.

  14. Christopher Shell says:

    LOL – surely utter nutters must (purely by chance) come to a mixture of correct, semi-correct, and utterly incorrect conclusions. If they ended up with everything utterly incorrect purely by chance, Id begin to suspect that they were doing it on purpose. (Like the time I did a scientology questionnaire for fun and deliberately gave exactly the opposite answers to the ones I would naturally have given.)

  15. Andy L says:

    #12 – not everything. Sometimes there are memory recall errors for information that is present. But yes, the overwhelming majority of the time it’s because the information has long since broken down and been discarded. Your long term memory is only around three years long. It appears a significant part of the process is remembering memories for anything longer than that – and making a memory of a memory is like making a photocopy of a photocopy. The details get steadily more misplaced and jumbled, and “irrelevant” details are forgotten. If it later needs to reconstruct a memory, the brain tends to borrow parts from similarish memories that still exist, and distort them even more, as the original information is gone.

    The brain doesn’t retain an awful lot of transitory information in the first place, prefering just to record common environments and reconstruct events from those.

  16. tom p says:

    But Christopher,
    She’s not doing things by chance, that’s the point.
    She’s driven by a fundamentalist christian dogma, starts from a desired conclusion and invents hare-brained theories which lead to this, inventing evidence or simply ignoring evid3ence which doesn’t suit her goal. She’s like ID – anti-science dressed up in scientific clothing to give her a spurious air of respectability. She’s a danger to society, because she pollutes the common understanding of science, like a 19th century quack selling his cure-all restorative tonic and using medical or pseudo-medical terms.

  17. Christopher Shell says:

    I think that is highly likely. Ideologues are everywhere:they constitute (for reasons of psychology and lack of education) much more than half the population.
    But even ideologues would be incredibly unlucky not to hit on true things (purely by chance) once in a while.

  18. tom p says:

    I’m sure that there are aspects of her ‘work’ whic are occasionally partially true, eg in the example here, porn does stimulate the brain to produce chemicals (such as testosterone, which is why it gives people the horn), so, broadly speaking there is a small element of truth in part of what she says, it’s just that it’s then distorted with lies and nonsense.