Monthly Archives: February 2010

White Ribbon Against Pornography Week

As a part of White Ribbon Against Pornography Week, TLR invites you to join us and hear David Franks, PhD discuss

“Libertarianism vs. Human Freedom: The Case of Pornography.”

Tuesday February 16th, 2010
7:30-8:30 PM

Harvard Hall 104

Is there really a “right to watch porn“?  What particular view of human nature and rights, of human dignity and freedom, of sexuality and government is epitomized in such a bourgeois formulation?  Concretely, whose interests are served by such a putative right?   Critical consciousness is necessary to see that-right, left, or center-the hegemonic ideology operative in our culture is libertarianism.  And under this aegis, our deepest desires are shaped through depersonalizing consumerist practices, including porn.  What we need is a liberated, realist understanding of the body and of the body politic: beyond ideology into true human love.

Co-sponsored by the Harvard-Radcliffe Catholic Student Association, Harvard Knights of Columbus, and True Love Revolution

Take a stand against pornography this week and sport a white ribbon! Get your ribbon outside the science center.

What’s wrong with pornography?

Pornography today is not your parents’ porn.  Massive internet usage of high quality digital porn has transformed the landscape of our personal lives.  Hardcore pornography with extreme sexual acts and violent images has become mainstream, and men of every background and age are addicted.

Repeatedly viewing and masturbating to pornography changes how a man thinks about women and distorts his relationships. As new neural pathways are formed, a man is trained to associate sexual pleasure with the sex acts in pornography and to view women as objects of sexual gratification.  His ability to love real women and give himself to her erodes.  Women in relationships with men who use porn think their bodies will never be good enough, and any chance for emotional connection during sex is destroyed. Relationships, engagements, and marriages are ruined, and the pornography industry grows. Porn is an epidemic eating away at the heart of our society, and it must be curtailed.

What can I do?

  • Get help if you view porn. There are many websites, such as www.no-porn.com, that will help you break free.
  • Cut porn out of your life. Porn degrades women’s dignity, so make no exceptions.
  • Don’t put up with porn in conversation. Porn is awful, and you should feel free to say so.  In any social situation, in any relationship, speak up when people try to justify porn.  Women in particular should question any partner who views porn and defends it: don’t except any excuses.
  • Spread the word. Educate yourself, give people educational material, and get involved with anti-porn events and lectures.
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Pictures from TLR Conference

Here are a few pictures from Saturday’s Conference we co-hosted with the Love and Fidelity Network here at Harvard. We had over 100 people throughout the day. Thanks for coming!

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New UPenn Study Endorses Abstinence-only Ed

On February 2nd, a new study by UPenn found that abstinence-only education done well is highly effective, and it’s taken the media, educators, and legislators by storm. Ineffectiveness of specific abstinence-only education programs has been touted in the news repeatedly over the past couple years, as various research organizations grapple with research methods and the complexity of unilaterally opposing or endorsing abstinence education. While this new study is not revolutionary, it is beginning to change minds. Here are a few articles centering the abstinence education debate:

CBN News Video clip:

I think we’ve written off abstinence-only education without looking closely at the nature of the evidence,” John B. Jemmott III, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who led the federally funded study, told The Washington Post. “Our study shows this could be one approach that could be used.”

Washington Post:

Only about a third of sixth- and seventh-graders who completed an abstinence-focused program started having sex within the next two years, researchers found. Nearly half of the students who attended other classes, including ones that combined information about abstinence and contraception, became sexually active.

The findings are the first clear evidence that an abstinence program could work….

The research, published in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, comes amid intense debate over how to reduce sexual activity, pregnancies, births and sexually transmitted diseases among children and teenagers. After falling for more than a decade, the numbers of births, pregnancies and STDs among U.S. teens have begun increasing.

The Obama administration eliminated more than $170 million in annual federal funding targeted at abstinence programs after a series of reports concluded that the approach was ineffective. Instead, the White House is launching a $114 million pregnancy prevention initiative that will fund only programs that have been shown scientifically to work — a program the administration on Monday proposed expanding to $183 million.

“This new study is game-changing,” said Sarah Brown, who leads the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. “For the first time, there is strong evidence that an abstinence-only intervention can help very young teens delay sex.”

Washington Times:

While many in the policy and education world are shocked at the revelation that abstinence education works, Robert Rector and Christine Kim of the Heritage Foundation have known this truth for years. In 2008, Heritage analyzed 21 different studies done on abstinence-education programs. Researchers “found that in 16 of the 21 reports, there were significant positive results in delaying early sexual activity and initiation.”

In addition to eliminating all chances of becoming pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease, Mr. Rector also reports that the research reveals that teens who practice abstinence “will be happier and less depressed than their permissive peers.”

“Abstinent teens also do dramatically better in school. They are half as likely to drop out as their sexually active peers. And teens who abstain until at least age 18 are twice as likely to attend and graduate from college as those who become sexually active while in high school,” he reported.

NYTimes: Two years after the NYT published an editorial calling abstinence education a political “delusion,” the publication grudgingly concludes that there may be a reason to promote abstinence-only education.

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TLR Conference Attracts over 100 Attendees

Kathryn Jean Lopez with the National Review Online saw the schedule for TLR and LFN’s Conference last Saturday and remarked, “This Can’t Be a Bad Thing for Harvard.” In fact, the conference was a great thing for Harvard, attracting over 110 students and community members throughout the day who gathered to hear hilarious and diverse speakers Dr. John Van Epp (author and founder of loveThinks), Dr. Arthur Nielsen (Northwestern University), and Dr. Linda Malone-Colon (Hampton University). We’ll be posting pictures soon. Thanks everyone for making it a huge success!

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