Read the full article by Robby Soave at Reason.com

Notre Dame student bravely responds, “Give Me Pornhub or Give Me Death.”

A movement to ban porn is gaining steam on some college campuses—and it’s mostly led by male students.

Jim Martinson, a senior at Notre Dame, penned a letter to the campus newspaper in October asking the administration to install a porn filter so that students wouldn’t be able to access websites like Pornhub and Redtube on the university’s wifi. Martinson’s argument against porn is threefold: He claims it is immoral, it warps men’s brains, and it dehumanizes women. As he wrote in his letter:

Pornography is the new sex education, providing a disturbing script about what men find sexually appealing and what women should do to please them. Notre Dame’s sincere efforts to educate students about consent and other aspects of healthy sexuality are pitifully weak in light of the fact that by the time students arrive on campus, many have been addictively watching pornography for years.

Porn is not acting. The overwhelming majority of contemporary pornography is literally filmed violence against women — violence somehow rendered invisible by the context.

More than 1,000 students signed his petition to ban porn, according to Inside Higher Ed. What’s more, he is now in contact with students at other campuses working on the same issue. As The Daily Beast reported:

Georgetown senior Amelia Irvine, a conservative firebrand, told The Daily Beast that Martinson’s letter inspired her to push for something similar at her Catholic university. She plans to recruit support over the winter break and start an open letter or petition in the spring.

Students at secular schools like Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania also said they were excited by the idea, but were still figuring out how it could work on their campuses. At Princeton and Penn, students said they were already tabling and handing out fliers about the dangers of pornography on campus.

“I’m excited and I think we can really get this done,” Martinson said. “And I’m also confident that if we do get it done at Notre Dame, that other universities will follow suit.”

The Daily Beast correctly noted that some of Martinson’s claims are dubious. There’s scant evidence, for instance, that porn makes men behave more violently toward women, or rewires their brains in some fundamental way. If anti-porn students don’t want to consume it, that’s fine—but they shouldn’t force this choice on everyone else.

 

Robby Soave is an associate editor at Reason.com. He enjoys writing about college news, education policy, criminal justice reform, and television. He is also a columnist for The Daily Beast and has penned articles for The New York Times, New York Post, CNN, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, The Orange County Register, and The Detroit News.