This post was inspired by and suggested by G.
* Disclaimer: I am not in any way trying to suggest that if you watch porn that you will become a serial killer. This blog post is just to juxtapose porn watching and the violent tendencies that can manifest within people.
Hello everyone. G suggested I write about porn and serial killers, so thank you for the suggestion G. 😃 I added the above disclaimer because this is a sensitive topic and I do not want anyone reading this to get the wrong idea from what I’m writing. Not everyone who watches porn is a serial killer, but most serial killers have a fascination with porn.
Net Nanny discusses how those with violent or aggressive tendencies may be more vulnerable to porn addiction and believing it is normal to act out violent fantasies. Jeffrey Dahmer used hardcore porn and porn of past victims when in the midst of his hunt for his next victim. Ted Bundy said porn had a “crystallizing effect” on him in the 1970s. John Wayne Gacy’s wife filed for divorce because he had a huge porn collection of underage boys.
Out of the above serial killers, I believe Ted Bundy is an important one in the study of porn addiction. In his final interview he even gives a warning about pornography and that was in the late 80s. I wonder what he’d say about porn today. Pure Intimacy writes about this addiction and how it influenced his crime spree in the 70s. Bundy was 13 when he found dirty magazines near his home and he was instantly mesmerized by them. His tolerance grew and so did his need for more violent and extreme images. He got off to women being tortured and killed. When movies and pictures were no longer enough Bundy went for the real thing. Bundy was charming, handsome and had a law background, he could lure women to his car easily. After raping the women and losing the climax, Bundy would brutally murder the women. When he was finally caught he killed/raped at least 28 women. Below is an excerpt of Bundy’s interview.
As a young boy of 12 or 13, I encountered, outside the home, in the local grocery and drug stores, softcore pornography. Young boys explore the sideways and byways of their neighborhoods, and in our neighborhood, people would dump the garbage. From time to time, we would come across books of a harder nature – more graphic. This also included detective magazines, etc., and I want to emphasize this. The most damaging kind of pornography – and I’m talking from hard, real, personal experience – is that that involves violence and sexual violence. The wedding of those two forces – as I know only too well – brings about behavior that is too terrible to describe.
Before we go any further, it is important to me that people believe what I’m saying. I’m not blaming pornography. I’m not saying it caused me to go out and do certain things. I take full responsibility for all the things that I’ve done. That’s not the question here. The issue is how this kind of literature contributed and helped mold and shape the kinds of violent behavior.
That’s one way to describe it – a compulsion, a building up of this destructive energy. Another fact I haven’t mentioned is the use of alcohol. In conjunction with my exposure to pornography, alcohol reduced my inhibitions and pornography eroded them further.
Those of us who have been so influenced by violence in the media, particularly pornographic violence, are not some kind of inherent monsters. We are your sons and husbands. We grew up in regular families. Pornography can reach in and snatch a kid out of any house today. It snatched me out of my home 20 or 30 years ago. As diligent as my parents were, and they were diligent in protecting their children, and as good a Christian home as we had, there is no protection against the kinds of influences that are loose in a society that tolerates….
I’m no social scientist, and I don’t pretend to believe what John Q. Citizen thinks about this, but I’ve lived in prison for a long time now, and I’ve met a lot of men who were motivated to commit violence. Without exception, every one of them was deeply involved in pornography – deeply consumed by the addiction. The F.B.I.’s own study on serial homicide shows that the most common interest among serial killers is pornographers. It’s true.
I hope that those who I have caused so much grief, even if they don’t believe my expression of sorrow, will believe what I’m saying now; there are those loose in their towns and communities, like me, whose dangerous impulses are being fueled, day in and day out, by violence in the media in its various forms – particularly sexualized violence. What scares me is when I see what’s on cable T.V. Some of the violence in the movies that come into homes today is stuff they wouldn’t show in X-rated adult theatres 30 years ago.
What frightens me is that this was in 1989, things have changed since Bundy’s interview. NBC News has an interview with Elizabeth Smart, a young woman who was abducted and brutally raped for 9 months. She says that her abducter, Brian David Mitchell, watched lots of porn and it made him rape her more. He abducted her at age 14. Smart says “Looking at pornography wasn’t enough for him. Having sex with his wife after looking at pornography wasn’t enough for him…He just always wanted more.” He got her drunk and forced her to fulfill his fantasies. He made her look at hardcore pornograpghy and reenact things she saw with him. Smart says she doesn’t know if she wouldn’t have been abducted if Mitchell didn’t look at porn, but says it made her ordeal much worse.
Fight the New Drug discusses this correlation and also mentions Ms. Smart and Mr. Bundy. More than 33 studies have shown that non-violent and violent porn exposure leads to more aggressive tendencies, having violent fantasies and committing crimes like rape and murder. Not all porn viewers are criminals, but most violent criminals have a strong interest in porn that usually goes back to about 10 or 11 years old. FTND says;
Whereas these cases are not the norm for the average porn viewer, it is clear from these cases that pornography has indeed played a strong role in the lives of many noted rapes and murders. We already know that pornography normalizes sexual violence, and for some with already violent tendencies, viewing this material clearly does not help.
Finally I wanted to post Brittany’s story. Brittany was sexually assaulted by a porn addict. She is the Executive Director for We Are One in Three. Brittany met Jason and thought he was a perfect church goer, she had a weird feeling about him but ignored it. He was controlling, made mean comments and tried to force her to go faster than she was ready to. One day he told her he had a pornography addiction for the past 6 years, it was a daily problem. He also blamed his ex and depression for his addiction. For Brittany this was a deal breaker: she didn’t want to date a porn addict. Her roommate told her to leave him, but Jason wouldn’t let her leave. One night she went to his home and told him she’d stay for a moment. Jason ended up raping her and told her it was good for their relationship. Brittany threw up and when he let her go she drove home hysterically. Jason was her coworker and resigned. Brittany went to the police and told them what happened, they took her information down but said she probably wouldn’t win because of her previous relationship with Jason.
After her rape, Brittany struggled to date and deal with judgement from her peers. She had a panic attack the day that she went to work and he was supposed to be there. She had a second panic attack and took a semester off after seeing Jason at school. Brittany found strength in going to support groups with other victims.
Pornography is a slippery slope. Those who view porn at a young age are more likely to turn to more aggressive pornography and violent imagery that doesn’t necessarily relate to porn. They are also more likely to support statements that say women are deserving of rape. When you view it at a young age you become desensitized to violence and sex, and you need stronger stuff to give you the same effect that the original gave you, just like with drugs. Paired with drugs and alcohol, porn can be a gateway to violence against women. Like Ted Bundy said, most serial killers and rapists have a strong fascination with porn. We need to keep this in mind when we browse online and get tempted to look at pornography. Think about the fact that the people you’re looking at may be coerced and that it isn’t real. That what you are watching may influence sexual assaults.