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External Articles | Posted: September 5, 2010

It's High Time to Get Upset!

Jakob Pastötter, President of the German Society for Social Scientific Sexuality Research [DGSS], about the porn generation

Mr. Pastötter, why do we still know so little about the impact of pornography on the behavior of young people?

Science has not been concerned with it. It accepted the dictum of Günter Amendt's The Sexbook: porn is for elderly persons whose capacity for fantasy is dulled, while young people find porn boring. Moreover, scientists do not want to be called [sexually] repressive; that is why media criticism is unpopular.

So maybe all the fuss about porn is exaggerated?

Quite the contrary! It is high time that we get upset because for at least 35 years it has been massively influencing sex education and sexual knowledge. In the U.S., e.g., there are studies that prove that adolescents who watch TV soap operas with sexual content, orient their behavior according to them.

Are conditions similar to Berlin-Hellersdorf [sexual "degeneration" among young people] an exception or the future?

Sexual [education] neglect is often accompanied by social neglect. The latter, however, is not restricted to lower social classes. Reasons for neglect are the lack of communication between the generations and the absence of fathers or male role models. So pornography fills this gap.

Some experts speak of a "nationwide field trial," which isn't evaluated by anyone. Who should do that?

Inquire about that in the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs! The academic situation of German sexual science is so nonexistent that only children and youth institutes remain. But to my knowledge, those organizations have other priorities. Many sex counselling centers would appreciate a scientific and empirical basis for their work, but they don't have the money.

What is the most urgent thing to be done?

There ought to be a warning notice on every porn video, and before any pornographic internet clip there should also be a warning: "The viewing of pornography can inflict considerable harm to your sexual health!" We do have sufficient facts that would justify such a warning.

Interview: Sigrid Neudecker
Translation from:
About Prof. Dr. Pastötter