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Porn and the Predators

In a few weeks, millions of fathers and mothers will send their daughters off to study at colleges and universities across the country. All those institutions will have “Sexual Assault” policies, which are required by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. But these policies are useless. They will not protect your daughter from sexual assault. They merely require that, should your daughter be assaulted, even raped, the institution must take “immediate action” – after the fact.

But wait – why not send your daughter to a Catholic school? Won’t she be safer there? Well, take my alma mater, Notre Dame. According to Du Lac, Notre Dame’s student handbook, “Sexual assault is any sexual intercourse by any person upon another without consent.” If your daughter is sexually assaulted at Notre Dame, she will receive a “prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution.”

In 9500 words of turgid legalese, the words “ethical,” “moral,” and “morality” do not appear. The late Charles E. Rice taught law for forty-five years at Notre Dame Law School. Regarding sexual conduct, “the campus is a free-fire zone once you’re 18,” he once told me. Perhaps that’s why he was willing to recommend Notre Dame as a good place to send a son, but not a daughter.

Our daughters have to go to school somewhere. But the recent lenient sentence – one of many – given to a freshman who raped a woman at Stanford University has only made the prospect more disconcerting for parents and students alike. Clearly, administrative legalese will not protect our daughters. And moral guidance? It’s prohibited by law.

Notre Dame chooses, voluntarily, to omit any mention of sexual morality from its policy. But for Stanford – like virtually everywhere else – the question is simply forbidden. There, “diversity rules,” and the first Cardinal Sin against the Goddess of Diversity is “judgmentalism.”

So while the college of your daughter’s choice might not be much help before she is sexually assaulted, the administration will promise to give her accused assailant a fair administrative procedure after the fact. What is to be done, if we really want to stop campus rape, and can’t speak of morality because diversity forbids?

NDrape

Campus predators sometimes use alcohol or drugs to soften up their victims, neither causes rape. I was a barroom entertainer for years. Staring at the bottom of the glass doesn’t automatically lead to boorish men sexually assaulting helpless women who “really mean yes, when they say no.”

Drinking and drugs do not – but porn does. Porn fueled by the Internet. Every survey indicates that the vast majority of college males view porn at least occasionally. And it’s been there for today’s college students since they were in Kindergarten. For free. Most of them also have the seal of approval from public school “health” classes teaching them that sex is easy, safe, and fun.

Porn is more addictive than cocaine. It emasculates the young man, destroying his character even as it pleasures his ego. It makes him an enemy of real women as he enjoys the online “sex workers” (as Hillary Clinton calls them) who beckon from the screen. Little does he know that many of the screen sirens are trafficked slaves or prostitutes indentured to a digital pimp.

The user’s conscience is on leave, his seclusion dulls his sense of shame, and the women whom he knows best are two-dimensional material objects, toys that he can control with a flick of the wrist. And the more he watches, the rougher it has to be. Countless studies indicate that the boredom that comes with a porn habit merely drives the addict to more vulgar, violent, and extreme material. That’s where the money comes from.

Moreover, the porn addict soon knows more about the women in his porn stash than he does about real women. And what myths do those porn women teach the addict? They teach him that “Stop!” means, “Hit me again!” That “Help!” means “Faster!” And yes, taught by these preferred models of sexual performance, the addict conjures up vivid fantasies that he wants to live out in real life. With our daughters.

Do not count on administrators and teachers to warn against porn. They are mute, desperately afraid of uttering anything that might be “offensive.” That’s about the only thing on campus that can get you fired, tenure or no tenure. But fear not: daughters nationwide can take one simple, forthright step to defend themselves.

The “experts” differ (isn’t that their job?), but most campus sexual assaults appear to be perpetrated by acquaintances, not strangers. “On college campuses, rape is the most common violent crime, and rapes are most often committed by date rape or by someone the victim knows as a boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, classmate or other relationship,” according to one review of studies on the subject.

So what are our daughters to do? Find out if the men you’re hanging out with are regular porn users. It might help to know whether they’re Catholic, but “good Catholic boys” watch it too. Don’t put it off – be bold, be assertive, be up-front – just like that propaganda from the admissions office told you to be when you applied. Ask them straight out, “Do you use porn?” – and while you do, watch their eyes.

If the answer is “yes,” you’ll know right away, even if they won’t admit it out loud. Then stop hanging out with them. Right now. Stop seeing them altogether. And tell their friends they’re included. Their friends might learn something.

And be sure to tell them why.

Christopher Manion

Christopher Manion was baptized in Sacred Heart Church on the campus of Notre Dame, where he received his Ph.D. in Christian Political Theory and was awarded the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh Prize. In addition to working for several years on Capitol Hill, he has taught at Boston University, the University of Dallas, and Catholic University of America.



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