Judith Reisman got to know Alfred Kinsey long before Hollywood did.
An author and researcher on human sexuality, her 20 years of research on the celebrated sexolo-gist is summarized in Susan Brink-mann's The Kinsey Corruption, published this year.
Reisman testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space Nov. 18 on the effects of pornography on the brain.
Register correspondent John Severancespoke with her.
What is new in the research on pornography addiction?
There are now studies under way on the effect of pornography on the brain. But many of these are being produced by institutions like the Kinsey Institute that are committed to the normalization of pornography. These “researchers” certainly cannot be objective.
I am one of the few specialists in human sexuality that have not been Kinseyan trained — one of the few that have scientific credentials that allow me authoritatively to identify the frauds that underpin that entire “field” — a pseudoscience created by Alfred Kinsey's followers.
What did you tell the Senate committee?
Thanks to the latest advances in neuroscience, we now know that emotionally arousing images imprint and alter the brain, triggering an instant, involuntary, but lasting, biochemical memory trail.
Pornography triggers a myriad of endogenous, internal, natural drugs that mimic the “high” from street drugs. Addiction to pornography is addiction to what I dub erototoxins — mind-altering drugs produced by the viewer's own brain.
Can you describe the addiction?
The brain experiences a confusing neurochemical “high” that the mind mislabels as sexual arousal. But this is not just sexual. If pornography triggered mere sexual arousal, it would have little or no addictive properties. You'd be similarly aroused to your beloved spouse.
What pornography does is to simultaneously trigger other allied emotions — these would arguably be feelings of shame, fear and hostility. Those are the psychopharmacological emotions that are going to go off the charts. It is an arousal the brain cannot understand. That is one reason it so often becomes addictive.
You're talking about Nobel Prize winners, presidents of universities, prosecuting attorneys, doctors and judges who have been arrested because they have gotten involved in actual child pornography, leading from their initial hit in Playboy and Penthouse. And they have spent their lives in utter confusion, seeking to understand what this arousal is, and they can't understand it.
How did you get involved in this research?
I was delivering a paper in Wales for the British psychological association on children's sexual images in Playboy. A psychologist came up to me afterwards and said, “If you are concerned about child sexual abuse, you have to look at the Kinsey reports.” That changed my life.
Also, I had a child who, at age 10, was raped by a 13-year-old boy upstairs. His father had stacks of Playboy. I later found out the boy had sexually assaulted children in the local neighborhood. He was in sex therapy at the time so no one claimed responsibility. Hugh Hefner said he was Kinsey's pamphleteer.
I then followed the trail to the Kinsey reports.
What do you research now?
I specialize in the communication effects of images on the brain, mind and memory, fraud in the human sexuality field and the addictive properties of sexually explicit images.
Mary Anne Layden, co-director of a sexual trauma program at the University of Pennsylvania, said pornography's effect on the brain mirrors addiction to heroin or crack cocaine. Do you agree with this?
Yes, it could be more addictive than crack cocaine because cocaine can be excreted from the body. Pornographic images cannot. They remain, structurally and neurochemically, with a person forever.
So, once you're exposed, what can you do about it?
Well, people certainly need to try to remain unexposed and to purge themselves of it. It is helpful to understand what has happened to your brain. No one is exempt; it's just one's neurochemistry. We are designed to believe what we see, so highly stimulating images are instantaneously processed. The most important thing is to become part of the solution, to become knowledgeable and then to actively inform others. It is difficult to get rid of pornography as a society — although Americans are capable of amazing change. But, as with Alcoholics Anonymous, you've got to understand that it is there forever. And it can be triggered by inadvertent things.
So, we have a few lone voices crying out for changes. Where are we headed?
Well, we had a few lone voices crying out about drunk driving. And now people are getting that under wraps. We had certainly just a few people crying out against the toxic qualities of tobacco. So, there are lone voices crying out, but we're a really resilient people. And I have a lot of faith in the public if we can get past the controlled media. In fact, the controlled media is more of a problem than pornography.
Why is that?
Because no matter what facts we uncover, the public cannot read it and learn it in the press. Many “legitimate” media institutions now have corporate interests and various “ties” to this profitable business. Briefly, Madonna's pornographic book, Sex, was published by Warner Books (a subsidiary of Time Warner). Disney subsidiaries, such as Miramax, market what was once fully understood to be pornography, such as Kids and the scandalous teen film Powder, directed in 1995 by convicted child molester Victor Salva, just after he served seven years for sodomizing a young boy he directed in the film Clownhouse.
The pubic cannot make the appropriate decisions. Plato said to know the thing is to know what to do about it. The public cannot know what to do if the media are censoring the contrary facts as they have been doing. And now they have done the Kinsey film.
How about the Kinsey film?
The puppet press has been dancing all over the country. They say: Great film. Great pioneer. A little wacky — because he is a tragic hero. He was sexually repressed under the Judeo-Christian tradition. The Kinsey film is full of lies, and it is a million-dollar cover-up.
What's Kinsey's legacy?
He brought us all this terrific freedom. We've had a 418% increase in reported forciblerape from 1960 to 1999, and that does not include children. And from 1960 to 1999, we've had a 400% increase in outof-wedlock births. Each year, we contract 70,000 new cases of syphilis, 650,000 cases of gonorrhea, 64,000 cases of AIDS, 3,000,000 cases of chlamydia, 1,000,000 cases of genital herpes and 5,500,000 cases of human papillomavirus. Sixty-seven percent of our sex-abuse victims are now under the age of 18. Thirty-four percent are under age
12. So, it's really great. This sexual revolution was so helpful. Thank you very much, Dr. Kinsey and your covetous cadre.
What's the effect on children in our schools?
Now children are exposed to this in the classroom because all pornography is pornography, whether it's called sex education or not. Children have little or no cognitive capacity even to begin to grasp the stimuli. So they are overwhelmed and captured, seduced into addiction, very quickly.
What's next for you?
I am coming out with a new book called The Impotence Pushers after my next book, Kinsey's Attic. Pornography is implicated in impotence, as well as in other forms of violent abuse, from harassment to sexual crimes. If a man cannot sexually respond to his wife, but has to picture someone else, he is rendered impotent, without power. And it isn't his wife's fault. I don't think that's too hard to understand.
John Severance writes from Chicago.