Fair & Balanced?
I recently read an article on pornography that attempted to portray a balanced view of the consequences. The article cited several studies that showed the negative consequences of pornography. All well and good. Then the author cited a study from 2008 that mentioned that pornography can be beneficial. Whoa, not so well and good.
In an attempt to be fair and balanced, the author wanted to cite a positive benefits study. I believe this is not fair and balanced at all. When so many recent scientific studies point to the negative consequences of pornography viewing, to cite a five-year old study that says there may be benefits is misleading. When studies showing negative consequences outweigh studies showing positive consequences, the fair and balanced way to represent them would be in proportion. In other words, if negative consequences studies outweigh positive consequence studies by 10-1, then the way to be fair and balanced is in 10 to 1 proportions. Depicting them as equal in weight is not fair and balanced but biased.
Viewers naturally look to justify and rationalize their behavior to alleviate some of the shame associated with it. We only hurt their ability to seek and receive help when we affirm the rationalization with an old study that should carry much less weight than the author gives. May God bless you in your quest to overcome it or to help others struggling with it. And remember, the negative consequences are real and can destroy a viewer and everything he or she holds dear regardless of justifications provided, even when those justifications are provided by “fair and balanced” studies.
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