Following on to yesterday's posts about the unnatural attitudes, particularly in Western Culture, towards gender, sexuality, and personhood, I thought this article would help shed some light on the topic:
One of the reasons that I wanted to bring this up is that, during my various conversations in Russia with treatment professionals, it became apparent that Russia does not have a big pornography problem. Sure, they have some, and there is plenty of promiscuity, but not the levels of abuse and addiction that you see in the US.
Sure, not all of the expanses of Siberia have cable internet service, but poor service hasn't slowed down rural Pakistan's appetite for raunchy porn. Pakistan has a huge porn problem, and it is way poorer than Russia. Is something else going on here?
I believe that, while Russian and the West are both staggering under the burdens of materialism, Russia's gender identities are not under assault the way that they are in the West. Their overall cultural views of sex and sexuality are not as stigmatized as they are in American and Pakistan. In a nutshell, Russians socialize better than Americans. There are not all of the complications of political correctness and repercussions for being yourself, even if that self is awkward for others.
Pornography is often a response to loneliness. It is also an easy way to experience the thrills of sexuality without the commensurate inelegances of real intimacy. Tucked safely behind a monitor, the object of one's lust is less likely to laugh at you. Thus, we can have a half-measure of thrill without the risk of shame... up until someone walks in on your 'precious moment.'
Alcoholism and drug addict also work on this paradigm, but not in the same sense. Alcoholics and addicts can often form distorted social bonds. At least they have bonds, whereas the porn addict is almost always by himself. When you are high or drunk, along with everyone else, the inhibitions are reduced and there is some semblance of release from the bonds of shame.
Sex and shame are tied together, just as shame and addiction are 'bedfellows.' Addicts use to cope with shame, and yet the abuse itself only increases the load.
In my estimation, Russian society uses alcohol to cope with its shames. American society has reigned in its alcoholism, but at the expense of a whole host of new addictions. Porn is part of that 'release valve,' but it is not working.
Of course, it could be worse. I've written before about the sterilization of Japan. There is also a profound problem in Japanese culture with honor and shame, and this has an impact on sexuality and sexual abuse.
Warning: graphic language (no images)
This article is more important about understanding the role of shame in Japanese culture, and how this interplays with sex. It is well worth the read if you can manage to get past the verbal imagery. Japan's traditional gender roles are teetering under pressure from Western influences, and the results are horrendous: marriage and the family are collapsing, as well as the birthrate.
Wherever the family and marriage are on the rocks, you see cultural suicide and the rise of addiction.
'Natural' marriage, and by this I mean according to its Divine intention, is the defeat of awkwardness and shame. It is the cure to the problems of sex and gender because within it are the affirming necessities of intimacy and mutual respect. Within it, one can freely give and freely receive. It is the destruction of uncertainty, and the exultation of humanity.
Without marriage and the corresponding gender roles within it, the world melts down. Without God, everything comes apart.