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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Etymology of the word "Pornography"


Ever since I read the comments on my article "The 5 Stages of a Pornography Addiction" which was picked up by PornHarms, I started thinking, what is the etymology of the word?
So I looked it up and did some research.
Pornography is from a Greek word, "pornographos" which literally translates to "writing of prostitutes or harlots." By the 1800s it came to mean "salacious writing or pictures."
Other Greek variations:
pornaos/pornos = to sell off, to traffic, i.e. selling of sexual purity
porneia = harlotry (including adultery and incest)
porneuo = to act the harlot, or indulge in an unlawful lustful act, i.e. fornication
A very well-written website sponsored by the United Church of God  gives a wonderful overview of the etymology of the word, the act, and the consequences of pornography. 
Here are some excerpts:
-Research clearly demonstrates a direct link between pornography and bizarre antisocial behavior (sexual aberration, sexual violence, pedophilia [sexual abuse of children]). 
-FBI investigations, plus records of many law enforcement agencies, testify that pornographic materials are ‘found data’ (i.e. involved) in large numbers of ‘lust murders,’ autoerotic fatalities, mutilations, rapes, and ravages of women and children.
-For pornography to be harmless, the people who are depicted in its images would have to be unreal….However, the women violated in pornography are human beings. Beyond the glossy pages, the naked and used women are real . . . Pornography makes women chattel, and all women have reason to fear that the attitudes of the men with whom they live and work are transformed by the images of pornography.  
-The addictive nature of pornography creates a self-perpetuating cycle, magnified by the fact that exposure to pornography lessens repulsion to pornography and desensitizes its consumers of its harms.

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