View Full Version : porn is cool and good for you

08-18-2004, 08:20 PM
A little porn is 'good for you'

By Emma-Kate Symons and Kate Mackenzie
August 17, 2004

PORNOGRAPHY is good for people, the academic leading a taxpayer-funded study of the subject said yesterday, as the Coalition and Labor traded jibes about an Opposition push to stop online porn reaching home computers.

img3.exs.cx/img3/1944/49578.jpg (http://img3.exs.cx/img3/1944/49578.jpg)

Alan McKee, who with academics Catharine Lumby and Kath Albury is conducting the Understanding Pornography in Australia study, said that a survey of more than 1000 porn-users must be taken into account as Labor considers forcing all internet service providers to automatically filter hardcore porn to protect children.

"The surprising finding was that pornography is actually good for you in many ways," Dr McKee said.

"When you look at people who are using it in everyday life, over 90 per cent report it has had a very positive effect."

Dr McKee said porn users reported it had taught them "to be more relaxed about their sexuality" and marriages were healthier, while porn made people think about another person's pleasure and made them less judgmental about body shapes.

"The more we try and turn porn into something that's seen to be bad and has to be kept away from families, the more problems we might be causing for ourselves."

Asked whether such results meant pornography was good for children, Dr McKee said: "I think you come there to an issue we can't answer - should children who are 16-years-old be allowed to be sexual?"

But the author of the policy before Mark Latham's office - supported by senior Labor figures including ALP national president Carmen Lawrence and communications spokesman Lindsay Tanner - Australia Institute executive director Clive Hamilton said: "No man who regularly uses pornography can have a healthy sexual relationship with a woman.

"The question is - how much are we willing to pay to protect our children from damaging pornographic images?"

The internet industry is up in arms at the proposals, which it says would be unworkable, and would punish smaller ISPs.

Chief executive of the Internet Industry Association, Peter Coroneos, said there were "technical and economic consequences", such as slowing down internet connections, to the approach recommended by the Australia Institute.

Complaints about internet porn are handled by the Australian Broadcasting Authority agency Netalert.

Communications Minister Helen Coonan accused Labor of "sheer hypocrisy" over the push to crack down on internet porn because its approach had been to "do nothing".

But Opposition IT spokeswoman Kate Lundy said Labor had pushed Canberra into legislating on spam and called for greater spending to educate parents, and increased funding for Netalert