The title of this blog post is about as accurate as this one from the Deseret News yesterday: Link found between porn use and supporting same-sex marriage.
I shouldn’t have been surprised by the ridiculous article, considering the source. The goal of the article is quite obvious: to try and correlate the two things in readers’ minds. It opens with this incredible paragraph:
“Our take: Could adult men’s support for redefining marriage be a byproduct of regular exposure to pornography? Mark Regnerus, in a recent column on Public Discourse, shares some interesting research about this emotionally charged and controversial question. He concludes that “contrary to what we might wish to think, young adult men’s support for redefining marriage may not be entirely the product of ideals about expansive freedoms, rights, liberties, and a noble commitment to fairness. It may be, at least in part, a byproduct of regular exposure to diverse and graphic sex acts.”
So the Deseret News would like you to believe that people who support equal marriage rights are perverts whose political views are swayed by their porn consumption. What an insidious and disgusting tactic for a news organization to use.
I’m not one for ad hominem attacks generally, but Mark Regnerus deserves a bit of attention here as it his “study”. He and his research have been repeatedly criticized by sociologists for numerous reasons and his study is now the subject of a scientific misconduct inquiry.
If you read Regnerus’ actual article, you’ll notice a number of important points:
- He admits that women support marriage equality more than men, but consume porn less. Surely that blows his theory out of the water, right? Oh no, not for this intrepid researcher! He throws women out of the equation entirely because they provide data that doesn’t support his intended conclusion.
- He even admits, “While I realize that eight of the top ten states in terms of online porn consumption voted Republican in the 2008 presidential election..” Oops! Strike two! But he justifies it by saying he doesn’t want to get bogged down by state-wide data. Throw out more data!
- Regnerus continues, “Data from the New Family Structures Study reveal…” Uh oh! Mr. Regnerus fails to mention that the study he is referencing is his own study, managed and run by himself. Strike three!
- “But of the men who view pornographic material “every day or almost every day,” 54 percent “strongly agreed” that gay and lesbian marriage should be legal, compared with around 13 percent of those whose porn-use patterns were either monthly or less often than that.” Gee, Mr. Regnerus, do you think that maybe, just maybe, a certain segment of the population views pornography differently and/or is less ashamed of admitting pornography usage?
- The number one porn-consuming state in the US, by a truly massive margin, is Utah. And yet somehow Utah contributed the second most of any state (behind California) to passing Prop 8.
This is the same kind of flawed reasoning that made some of our friends and family jump to assumptions about Meghan and I when we left the Mormon church. Why do people need to make judgmental and accusatory assumptions in order to reduce their cognitive dissonance?
I support marriage equality for these reasons:
- It doesn’t harm anyone.
- The relationship between two adults who love each other is their business, regardless of their genders. It’s certainly not my business or yours.
- My marriage is one of the best and most important things in my life and I would not dare deny that to anyone else because of their sexual preference.
- The pursuit of love is perhaps the most fundamental and important freedom we have.
The following are not reasons for my support:
- Defending ‘traditional’ marriage. Society has rejected racism, slavery, sexism, animal cruelty, incest, and countless other ‘traditional’ acts and we’re better off for it.
- Religious views. When churches start paying taxes like other corporations and stop claiming peculiar rights not granted to other institutions, they can get into the political sphere.
- My consumption or non-consumption of porn.
Note to Deseret News: If there was actually a link, maybe it would be because people who aren’t ashamed of their own sexuality would like to extend that same self-respect to others?