Moral relativism at its finest

November 30, 2006 | Motherhood | 12 comments

Last night I was searching around for good forum software to use for my other site. I’m considering Google Groups but wanted to see it in action to make sure it fits my needs. So I went to one of the big parenting forums and just picked the first link I came across and clicked on it. To my great surprise, I stumbled across an exchange that perfectly encapsulates what is wrong with our society. Behold:

A parent writes in for advice on the following scenario [I’ve edited the language to prevent unwanted Google traffic, and for those of you reading at work, on a family computer, or who don’t want your eyes to catch on fire]:

I have a 10 1/2 year old boy who is getting obcessed with s-x DVDs. I have no idea where he is getting them, but I have found 2 in his room within the last 6 mos. I am not sure how to handle this at all.

He spends a lot of time in his room…I was thinking he was experimenting with m—–bation…I know its probably normal for him to experiment with m—–bation…but what about adult s-x DVD’s? What do I say to him…how do I stop this? I want him to have a healthy normal understanding of s-x….but at 10 1/2 years old?

The first time I found him with the other s-x dvd, I asked him where he got it and tried to explain that s-x is between married grown-ups (trying to make him understand that s-x is not a casual thing). He gave me a lame story about getting it at a friends house. I also tried to explain that s-x is not like those videos, those videos are somewhat preverted…and those types of videos are NOT for children. Now I have found another one…I am worried that he has a unnatural fixation with those videos.

HELP? PLEASE?

Wow, sounds like she has a problem on her hands. Here’s an excerpt of the advice she gets:

I’d advise keeping an open mind, and also keeping in mind that he is developing into his own person, with his own identity, which might not align exactly with what you would like.

> The first time I found him with the other sex dvd, I asked him where he got
> it […] He gave me a lame story about getting it at a friends house.

Extremely normal, and almost trivially expected – take it as a demonstration of reality. There is absolutely NO WAY you will ever be able to control this aspect of his life/choices/personality. If he wants to view s-xually explicit material, he will – period. If you want him to be honest about how he gets access, the only way to achieve that is to make him feel comfortable in telling you, which implies acceptance of the activity on your part. Basically, if you’re not going to approve, he will have every motivation to hide as much as he can from you…

It is impossible for a boy to have an “unnatural” fixation about s-x – for adolescent boys, s-x is OVERWHELMINGLY COMPULSORY! There is NO other priority whatsoever. It is abnormal if an adolescent boy is NOT completely preoccupied with sex. Videos are the next-best-thing to the real thing, so the appeal is obvious. The only thing you should be concerned about is that your son possibly shows signs of defiance…

I would suggest that you NOT think about it in terms of “stopping it”. You can’t, and even if you could, it would be pointless and even harmful. Your son’s m—–bation is literally your best friend in this – its healthy, normal, makes him happy, and provides satisfaction/ relief without having to actually have risky s-x. In a way, the videos aid in this regard by increasing the effectiveness/satisfaction of the m—–bation. If you make sure that he is comfortable with the fact that you know and understand (most likely this will require approval on your part), you might have a shot at having your words and feelings about the issue heard by him…

Here’s an idea: go and find some very s-xually explicit videos that you think reflect the respect and beauty of loving sex (make sure they are still explicit enough to satisfy his sexual desires), and provide them to him as a replacement, requesting that he stick with them.

So at this point I’m thinking that the original poster is going to write in and ask the advice-giver to please never use the internet again. But instead, she thanks him:

Thank you for all the great advice…I guess maybe I just needed to hear that it is normal…and to learn to deal with it…

And here’s his “aww, shucks, glad I could help” reply:

No problem – hopefully my advice will deserve your appreciation – I hope things go well for you 🙂 To me, its always a great help to hear how other people see things. Also, keep in mind that “normal” isn’t always correct or healthy – sometimes “normal” is actually undesirable, because there are some problems that are “epidemic” amongst typical people.

You can see this collection of timeless wisdom for yourself here. It seems to me like any intellectually honest person would say that their gut tells them a 10-year-old child constantly watching sexually explicit videos is a “bad thing”. Objectively. Not in some cases, not depending on your values or beliefs, it’s just not good. Ever. But, alas, we can’t admit to objective right and wrong, especially in matters of sex, so we have people giving advice like “you need to buy your son some better porn.” Greeeeeeat.

12 Comments

  1. Martin

    Wow! That’s scary. First the dad not knowing whether it was wrong or not and then the awful advice he received. “How to screw up one boy’s view of women, marriage, and sex in 1 easy step”. It’s sad.

    10 1/2 years old … what’s that? 4th grade or so?

    I would have directed the dad to a some websites for information and material about the dangers that porn poses.

    Dads.org Struggle with Porn

    Every Man’s Battle

    Toxic Porn, Toxic Sex

  2. David

    I could perhaps understand some of this advice, if it weren’t the fact that the kid is *obsessed* with these videos. Granted, boys will be boys (I am one.. so I should know), but at 10 1/2 years old, I’m not so sure he should be that concerned with sex.

    Also, the idea of buying your kid pr0n is just plain awkward. How would you interact with this kid when he’s older – 18+?

    I can just imagine: “Gee, thanks dad for buying me some decent pr0n when I was 10. That really helped out my views on sex.”

    I would think better advice would tell this father to help the kid find a hobby or other interest to help occupy his time. If you don’t have any interests developed outside of jacking off, it’ll be a pretty empty life later on.

  3. Anonymous

    I realize everyone has different parenting styles but I would say that might be considered a good example of toxic parenting. This is a 10 year old boy. As a parent you need to step in and give this child some standards. When I practiced medicine in California I had a mother bring her 13-year-old daughter in on two separate occasions for STD treatment. She said,”What am I supposed to do–lock her in her room?” At thirteen, maybe that is what it takes. When my oldest son was a senior in high school, someone gave him a subscription to Sports Illustrated. This is a fine magazine until February rolls around and the swimsuit issue is published. Then it becomes something akin to Playboy. Most of the models are holding their swimsuits, not wearing them. We sat down with him and looked at a couple of the pictures. Then I told him,”These women are somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister, and even somebody’s mother”. Would you want someone looking at your sister the way these pictures make you look at these women? He handed the magazine back to us and said,”I don’t need this”. By seeing the models as human beings instead of dehumanized sex objects this normal 18-year-old high school boy could turn his back on the porn.That is the kind of parenting this 10-year-old needs.

  4. Adoro Te Devote

    Wow. Amazing ignorance displayed there. 10 1/2!!!????

    Considering my past experience in working with adolescents, most of whom had suffered some form of abuse, would be to have a deep discussion with my son and ask him some very well thought-out questions.

    Calling this “normal” is only denial. This is anything but normal.

    Even in our society, degraded as it is.

    Note: I am not a parent, so I draw my response from my professional experience…as well as my religious.

    A little Theology of the Body coudl go a LONG way to correct the lack of morality in our world.

  5. Julie

    Really, how much do you want to bet that that kid has unrestricted Internet access in his own bedroom? So sad. Make me want to cry — really. I remember reading a magazine article on p–n addiction and this kid, had to be 20 or so, said that he had NO MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD except for surfing for p–n, from the time he was 10 on. Dude. All I have to do is *think* about that kid and it makes me all teary, I am so sad for him.

    So so so so sad. And people claim it’s so harmless.

  6. Anonymous

    I think a parent has to say more then “sex is for marriage”. We have to goin to further explanation that sex is a gift to your wife and not just for selfish pleasure. That if a young man doesn’t learn that sex is something you give, rather then take he will never have a satisfying happy relationship with a woman later in life. No woman will put up with a man who doesn’t respet her sexuality, and if she did put up with it she will resent him and be unable to fully love him in and outside the bedroom.

    Eventually the young man will grow up so we ask him… Does he want to be married and actually enjoy having sex with a woman with a woman he loves or to be all alone pleasuring himself to DVDs or worst in jail for date rape.

  7. Kate

    I have to agree with AtD, that in such a young adolescent, this indicates more than merely hormones and curiousity. As an adolescent I had male friends who indulged in p*rn and it definately affected their attitudes towards women and their expectations. Also, it can be used as a way to ‘self-medicate’ depression – one boy I knew used it to cover his anguish over his parents divorce, another to deal with his father’s alcoholism (a path that he ended up following). This is a great big warning sign, outside of the negative effects of p*rn use on ‘regular’ ‘healthy’ adults.

  8. GLouise

    Wow. Just WOW. Talk about “icky” and toxic parenting indeed!

    My advice would be: remove the personal computer and TV from the kid’s bedroom. ASAP.

    There is absolutely no reason why a child needs his own TV and PC.

    I am afraid to click on the link to discover the advice from other posters.

  9. John C. Wright

    A comic-book writer a very much admire named Alan Moore has decided to use his considerable talents to write kiddy porn. I am not making this up.

    Among comic book fans, Moore’s name is respected as well as anyone’s in the field. He is truly talented.

    But his latest project, called LOST GIRLS, is to write pornography starring little girls from well-beloved iconic children’s stories, Alice from Wonderland, Dorothy Gale from Oz, Wendy Darling from Neverland. I am not making an accusation: be BRAGS about his work and its goals in public interviews. He gives his goal as a desire to shatter the repressive society in which we live, and elevate porn in the public esteem. He says we do not talk enough about sex in our public sphere these days. The press I’ve seen falls all over itself to laud his (cough, cough) bravery and pioneering spirit.

    I am not making this up. Google his name and the name of his book, and you will see nothing but praise and admiration for his efforts.

    When I expressed my contempt and vexation over this man prostituting his talents for such a low purpose, the response I got–you guessed it– was a holier-than-thou sermon from the pro-porn Leftists, telling me not to be judgmental and repressive (an idea legacy of Freud, by the bye), and a crowing self-congratulation by some dim bulb who thinks the mere fact that something is controversial makes it worthwhile, daring, subversive and therefore good (an idea legacy of Marx, by the bye).

    I pass this little anecdote along to show how insane the secular philosophy is these days, how morally retarded, and how normal and sane Christianity is by contrast. These people have no sense of right and wrong, or, I should say rather, their sense is exactly reversed. A man writing kiddie porn to demean and insult all our childhood memories is good in their eyes, a minimum sense of public decency or good taste is bad.

  10. Daniel

    First comment here, so for starters I’ll say I’m a non-theist scientific rationalist and skeptic who nevertheless finds this blog somewhat interesting. So my comments should be seen in light of that.

    Anyway. I can see what the respondent is saying here, in that I have no qualms with porn (or violent video games or anything else of the sort) as a general rule and I agree that an obsession with sex at 10 1/2 years of age is perfectly normal.

    The problem is that at 10 1/2 years of age this kid is unlikely to have sufficient life experience to be able to distinguish fantasy from reality, particularly in a sexual setting, and writing on a relatively blank slate with this stuff could have all sorts of negative consequences, objectification of women perhaps being the most obvious.

  11. Mary

    I am in the early stages of a divorce as a direct result to my husband’s long-standing (from adolescence) porn adddiction and his resultant inability to see women as anything other than objects to cater to his whims.

    I spent 14 years in subjugation to his obsessions and the worst of it is that it is our chidren who are going to have to deal with the consequences.

    I actually have an urge to hurt the person who gave the Dad that advice, having seen first-hand the consequences of early exposure to pornography.

    Sorry, but I spent years in a bed situation because I believed the lies that we constantly hear from the media about porn being “harmless and healthy” and a way to “keep the fire in the realationship”. All it got me was years of complete sexual neglect in favor of smiling electron husks who bent themselves to his will and the loss of all my close female friends because eventually he crossed the line to inappropriate verbal/physical (not s-x, but groping) with each of them.

    Porn is an attractive danger that is denying our children the healthy, loving, fulfilling sexual relationships that they were made to enjoy.

  12. Anonymous

    This would be funny if it didn't make me want to throw up and cry at the same time.

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