Porn Nation: Hate It or Love It

Pornography is defined by Merriam-Webster as material that depicts erotic behavior intended to cause sexual excitement. According to Porn Nation speaker Michael Leahy, Merriam-Webster’s definition is sufficient to explain how the culture of America has become a sex-obsessed nation.
In his lecture held in the UC Irvine Student Center Pacific Ballroom on Thursday, Jan. 17, Leahy specifically emphasized that pornography is not ‘an art form’ as many people have suggested, because there is no beauty in a pan-cultural, media-based effort to encourage eroticism in the American culture.
The event was hosted by Campus Crusade for Christ and Epic Christian Movement. Sharalee Cozzens, president of CCC and a third-year psychology and social behavior major, addressed why she hosted an event that many might deem taboo.
‘[I] wanted to raise awareness of the sexuality that is prevalent in our culture,’ Cozzens said. Cozzens also stressed her hope for a safe environment for people to be able to listen and share how pornography has affected their lives.
Through this forum, she expected her collegiate audience to walk away from the student center enlightened.
‘[They will be] more aware of the effects of pornography on the physical, intellectual, emotional and even spiritual well-being on the human life,’ Cozzens said.
Upon attending the event, Leahy began by presenting to his audience various statistics on the astounding, annual profits that the porn industry makes in present-day America. According to Leahy, ‘[The porn industry] brings in revenue of about 10 to 12 billion dollars per year in the United States alone.’
He also emphasized the growth of the porn industry, claiming that 11,000 new titles are made per year, most of which are highly profitable. Essentially, America has become the largest producer and consumer of pornography.
Leahy challenged his audience with two questions: If there is a right to watch (or not watch) pornography, and if there really is any harm in watching it. Leahy defined pornography as anything that encourages sexual arousal, and added that pornography cannot be ignored, especially due to the American media’s claim on eye-popping eroticism.
To substantiate the detrimental effects of pornography, Leahy claims to have lost his wife, children, friends and family due to his lustful, self-absorbed obsession for it. The result of such a life-crumbling addiction gave rise to a philosophy that he has coined as ‘sex syndrome.’ This syndrome specifically deals with the hyper-sexed media that has led to America’s addiction with pornography. Leahy then showed a multi-media presentation of people and events that linked the two concepts together.
Ryan Trainor, a fourth-year physics major, said ‘[I]t was interesting how [Leahy] showed a lot of images and clips that he described as pornographic, but he used them to address the proliferation of such images in our culture and media.’
The ultimate purpose for displaying the visuals, Leahy emphasized, was in analyzing the addictive nature of pornography.
‘What you feed grows, and what you starve dies,’ Leahy said. He soon realized that he was feeding his addiction and starving what had been robbed of him