On Pornography: Part 2, Two Assumptions

After naming the tensions we're trying balance in this conversation--shame-inducing prohibitions versus a wishy-washy permissiveness--in my talk at Belmont I set out the two assumptions I have for saying what I have to say.

The first assumption is pretty simple: I assume you are consuming pornography.

The data here is pretty clear, with estimates that 91% of males consume pornography monthly and 60% of females. All that to say, my remarks assume an audience who is consuming pornography.

The second assumption is this: I assume you have some concerns about your pornography consumption. That is to say, from a stages of change perspective I assume my audience is in the "contemplation" stage. You're not ready to or necessarily going to make a change in consumption, but you've at least thought or wondered about making a change. By contrast, if you're in the "pre-contemplation" stage, and think there is absolutely nothing wrong or worrisome about your consumption, then my comments aren't really for you. I can't, with my short remarks, move anyone from "pre-contemplation" to "contemplation." You can't just throw more and more words at people in the "pre-contemplation" stage and expect that to change anything.

Consequently, I just have to assume that the audience I'm speaking to is at least wondering about or considering a change in consumption.

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