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Pornography in the Military

Last Updated: July 14, 2021

Luke Gilkerson
Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Your Brain on Porn and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

A recent bill in Congress would prohibit the sale of pornography on military bases. The “Military Honor and Decency Act” would close a loophole in current law that allows the sale or rental of sexually explicit material on military bases at home and around the world.

This bill was introduced April 16 of this year by Representative Paul Broun of the Tenth District of Georgia. As a former jet engine mechanic in the Marine Corps Reserves, and former medical officer in the Navy, Broun is deeply concerned about the welfare of our troops.

Broun states,

“Allowing the sale of pornography on military bases has harmed military men and women by: escalating the number of violent, sexual crimes; feeding a base addiction; eroding the family as the primary building block of society; and denigrating the moral standing of our troops both here and abroad. Our troops should not see their honor sullied so that the moguls behind magazines like Playboy and Penthouse can profit. The ‘Military Honor and Decency Act’ will right a bureaucratic—and moral—wrong.”

As one might expect, there is a lot of buzz on the Internet surrounding this bill.

Some agree wholeheartedly with the bill, thinking that “Peddling pornography does not square with the pro-family message” of the military.

Still, others think that viewing pornography “might prevent worse behavior” in the military, that a little Playboy “is cheap compared to the rapes, pregnancies, sex-for-money and dopey entanglements that occur too regularly in our co-ed army.”

Then some in the science community are drawing attention to the statistical relationship between porn use and other unwanted behaviors such as extramarital affairs, prostitution, emotional infidelity, sexually aggressive behavior and other risky sexual actions.

Some soldiers disagree that pornography has a negative effect on the military. Rather, some think that taking away their Playboys and Penthouses will lower morale. Pfc. Nickolas Sears said, “They’re making it a point of undermining soldiers to almost make them feel like we’re back in elementary school. We’re all adults here, and if it’s something we want to do, we should feel free to choose as we please.” Sgt. Simon Brown said men’s magazines build morale. Brown was deployed to Afghanistan in 2002 and 2005. He said when he was in Afghanistan he was one of the first to pick up a new copy of Maxim or FHM when it came out. Brown states, “It’s bad enough we are down there to begin with. Taking that away would be like a knife in the chest. I’m not saying I’m depending on Maxim to keep me alive over there, but it helps.”

Military spouse Roberta Woolley thinks the ban is a good idea. She says she understands the need for balance between rules and individual rights. However, Roberta also believes the military justifiably has tougher standards than the rest of American society. She says,

“In the military, we sell cigarettes and alcohol legally. But it’s also questionable whether they promote a healthy lifestyle. I’ve seen all these magazines, and they don’t make men or women intelligent or beautiful. And even though they’re hidden, there is still exposure to children as well. It’s the parents’ responsibility to give ideas about body awareness to their children. I don’t think Mr. Hefner presents a positive image of men or women in his magazine.”

Thoughts anyone? Should the military allow the sale or rental of pornography on its bases?

  • Let your elected officials know how you feel about this bill.
  • Join the Miliary.com discussion group on this topic.
  • Comments on: Pornography in the Military
    1. Guy Perry

      When did the military start promoting a “pro-family” message? I mean, I guess if catching, killing, and torturing the terrorists is “pro-family” then yeah. But I don’t think that’s the case.

      Our soldiers are grown men and women who are capable of making their own choices of what to buy and what to look at. The government doesn’t need to be playing parent and telling soldiers what they can or can’t have.

      If the government takes that away from soldiers, the next logical step is to stop citizens from buying it, and it’s not the government’s job to keep pornography away from me, my family, you, or your family.

      • John Pierre

        100/100% Yes! Sir! You Are Fully! Right! _\

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