Pornography on the Internet

In 1985 and 1986, I served on the U.S. Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, which turned out to be one of the most difficult assignments of my life.

For 18 months I had the unenviable responsibility, with ten other commissioners, of examining the most wretched material ever published.

Many people think obscenity consists of air-brushed nudity, as seen in popular men's magazines, when in reality, much of it involves unthinkable violence against women, depictions of beastiality, the abuse and even the killing of children, and other subjects that I can't describe in this setting.

I regret to say, now, that everything I witnessed during that 18 months is now available on the Internet and can be accessed by any 12-year-old with a computer and a modem. They can pull down material that's clearly illegal and print it on high-resolution copiers that equal anything found in adult bookstores.

And I want to tell you, as a child psychologist, that this material is terribly destructive, especially to boys in the early adolescent years. It teaches them to associate sex with violence, and it sets them up for a lifelong addiction. And yet, our United States Supreme Court ruled recently that the law designed to protect children from this curse was unconstitutional.

All I can do in response is plead with parents to monitor what your kids are being exposed to on that innocent-looking PC.

With Focus on the Family, this is Dr. James Dobson.

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