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Old 04-26-2008, 08:27 AM   #1
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Congressman Wants No Playboy/Penthouse At The PX

Stars, Bars and Skin

A congressman cracks down on soft porn at the PX.
Dan Ephron
Newsweek Web Exclusive
Updated: 4:16 PM ET Apr 25, 2008

You know something's wrong when the word areola appears in a bill circulating on Capitol Hill.

Republican Congressman Paul Broun, the representative from Georgia's 10th District, wants to stop the sale of Playboy and Penthouse at military bases around the world, invoking an argument that at the very least is scientifically questionable: that consuming even soft pornography makes men more prone to committing sex crimes. A doctor by profession, Broun says he began drafting the bill after a constituent described her distress at having watched, along with her young children, an officer buy a nudie magazine at a military exchange store. "The military teaches to respect officers, and her little kids were seeing this military officer … there in uniform, buying pornography at the PX," Broun told NEWSWEEK.

Congress already has a law from 1996 banning the sale of "sexually explicit" material on military bases. But deciding what qualifies as sexually explicit was left to a Department of Defense review board, which gathers periodically to examine a range of magazines and DVDs. In its review two years ago the board banned such titles as Bootylicious and Juggs but decided that Penthouse has enough nonsexual content to be acceptable (Playboy had already been allowed). Lt. Col. Les Melnyk, a Pentagon spokesman, said the board members are kept anonymous in order not to expose them to outside pressure but have included active, reserve and retired members of the military, military spouses, members of dual-military couples and DoD civilians. "The board is very disciplined in adhering to the definitions described in the Instruction [from Congress], and has access to legal counsel to assist members in interpreting the law and the Instruction," Melnyk said in an e-mail.

Broun, who is 61, wants to take away the board's discretion by inserting into the old law some new language delineating terms like "sexually explicit." His bill gets (readers be warned) blush-inducingly specific. It defines nudity, for instance, as the display of "human genitals, pubic area, anus, anal cleft, or any part of the female breast below a horizontal line across the top of the areola."

Even for people who support the congressman from Georgia (he has attracted 16 co-sponsors since introducing the bill April 16), it must be hard not to conclude that he's fighting yesterday's war. Judd Anstey, the public relations manager for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), says the combined sales of Playboy and Penthouse at bases around the world last year amounted to less than 3 percent of AAFES's total magazine sales. (Magazines generally make up only a small part of sales by AAFES stores, which stock everything from candy bars to plasma TVs.) For Broun's generation the pictures in Playboy and Penthouse were probably the dirtiest things around. In the Internet age GIs with laptops are never more than a couple of clicks away from much raunchier porn.

Broun says the point is pornography shouldn't be subsidized by taxpayers. And he insists nudie magazines have taken a toll on the armed services. "Sexual assault is going up within the military, and I certainly think there's a very high likelihood the pornography being sold in military PXs is contributing to that," he says. Both points are off the mark. Anstey says 98 percent of AAFES's budget comes from income generated at its stores—not from the government. And most studies have shown no link between the kind of pictures featured in Playboy and sexual violence.

Where a link does often exist is between a politician's rising rhetoric and his quest for re-election. Broun has been in Congress since last year, when he was elected to replace the 10th District representative, who died of cancer. This July he faces a primary vote against a conservative member of the state's House of Representatives, Barry Fleming, in a district Broun describes as very Republican. But Broun denies the bill is linked to the election. "The purpose is just to get DoD to uphold the law," he says.
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:31 AM   #2
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There's a long list of stuff that shouldn't be subsidized by tax payers.

There is definitely something to be said about doing certain activities in uniform. The idea is, that when in uniform, you are on duty, period. Same applies to the police.

So... other than that, I'm apathetic.
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:36 AM   #3
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According to his new language National Geographic would be sexually explicit. Unless there's some Oprah "educational" clause in it.

That guy is simple minded if he thinks those magazines are a major factor in sexual assaults in the military. I would bet there are plenty of military men who read those who would never dream of sexually assaulting a colleague and who treat their female colleagues with respect. On the other hand there could be some who would never look at such a magazine but...
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
The arrival of the internet caused a large decline in both the
pecuniary and non-pecuniary costs of accessing pornography.
Using state-level panel data from 1998-2003, I find that the
arrival of the internet was associated with a reduction in rape
incidence. However, growth in internet usage had no apparent
effect on other crimes. Moreover, when I disaggregate the rape
data by offender age, I find that the effect of the internet on rape
is concentrated among those for whom the internet-induced fall
in the non-pecuniary price of pornography was the largest –
men ages 15-19, who typically live with their parents. These
results, which suggest that pornography and rape are substitutes,
are in contrast with most previous literature. However, earlier
population-level studies do not control adequately for many
omitted variables, including the age distribution of the
population, and most laboratory studies simply do not allow for
potential substitutability between pornography and rape.
http://www.law.stanford.edu/display/images/dynamic/events_media/Kendall%20cover%20+%20paper.pdf
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:39 AM   #5
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Ok... what's the PX? I'm struggling here.
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:50 AM   #6
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Post exchange-the store on a military base
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:51 AM   #7
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Double post. see below.
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:57 AM   #8
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Never mind. Mrs. S. beat me.
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Old 04-26-2008, 02:19 PM   #9
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:10 PM   #10
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ok, good to know.
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Old 04-28-2008, 07:30 PM   #11
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As mrs springsteen said very well, there is no link between pornography viewing and propensity for sexual assault. Sexual assaults are rising in the military due to decreased moral, longer and more frequent tours, the relaxation of standards re:the recruitment of criminals, stress from the Iraq war, the list goes on. This is just an ultra-right wing politician looking to fend off a challenge from the right who sees an opportunity to show the moralizers that he is in their corner so to speak. I know plenty of people who go to strip clubs, view pornography and enjoy looking at naked women in general. Lots of them have girlfriends and would never even consider disrespecting them, never mind doing something as brutal as sexually assaulting another woman. Anyone who can not see the difference between women (or men) of age posing themselves in the nude voluntarily and forcing someone to have sex against their will belongs in a mental institution, not the United States Congress. Sad thing is, if you look at Congressional computer hard drives, this guy's probably has the most porn in it! At least that is what the pattern suggests... Gingrich, Barr, Larry Craig, Mark Foley, David Vitter- sanctomonious hypocrites all.
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