Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Internet addiction threatening our society - Cardinal George Pell

patrick power
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
A SEXUAL addiction is real.

We have long recognised drug addicts, alcoholics and compulsive gamblers, but only recently have we begun to focus on compulsive and disordered sexuality.

It is still among the least understood of all the addictions, although now a major social problem and public health issue.

A sexual addict cannot break free from escalating sexual behaviour which brings damaging consequences. They become addicted to the neuro-chemical changes in the body, produced by sexual activity.


Anonymous said...

It was Patrick Carnes, an American psychologist in the late 1970s, who did most to identify and treat this disease.

After years of research, he claimed that eight per cent of men and three per cent of women become sexually addicted at some stage.

This seems high to me, but there are now groups for those who want to break from these chains of habit. There are many forms of this addiction, including multiple affairs, sometimes anonymous; exhibitionism; voyeurism; compulsive masturbation, as well as rape and sexual abuse of children.

Addicts have often experienced radically disordered or unhappy childhoods, where they have been starved of love and affection.

Research shows that 60 per cent were abused by someone in their childhood. Sexual activity is adopted as an escape from this unhappiness.

The Internet has become the source and forum for sexual addicts, because it is available at any time, is isolated and secret, rich in fantasy and endless variety.

The spread of pornography on the Internet is feeding these addictions. Some cities, including Sydney, are among the highest users in the world of pornographic material. Forty per cent of adult males in the UK (nine million) logged onto sex websites last year - four times as many as in 2000. Women (1.4 million) also downloaded Internet porn in that time.

It is not surprising that 40 per cent of couples with marital difficulties say Internet pornography is at least partly to blame.

With this background, the majority of Australians will welcome the announcement by Communications Minister Helen Coonan that $116 million will be spent to combat pornography, especially among children, as every Australian family will be offered free Internet filtering software to block X-rated sites.

She expects 2.5 million families will take up the software offer. Public library terminals will also be blocked.

A report by the Australia Institute in 2003 showed that more than four out of five boys and three out of five girls using the Internet had experienced unwanted exposure to sexual material.

Public awareness must continue to grow as pornography is the worst fruit of free-market capitalism.

The Sunday Telegraph

Anonymous said...

A SENIOR judge's associate has quit his job after admitting he regularly viewed pornographic websites on his computer at work.

The associate - a student working as a waiter when he met the judge - left suddenly last month, after being challenged about his soft-porn viewing.
Court officials say information technology (IT) staff attached to the NSW District Court detected him using a series of porn sites.

His resignation is the second incident involving misuse of computers within the State's legal system.

On Thursday, Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor Patrick Power, 54, was arrested at his home after colleagues allegedly found child sex footage on his office computer. Power's arrest came after he had booked his computer hard-drive in for repairs at the DPP's IT department. A technician allegedly found the material and told a supervisor, who called police.

The judge's associate - who recently graduated in law - had worked for the judge for more than a year.

He had introduced himself to Judge Philip Bell after the judge booked a table at the up-market Level 41 restaurant, where the young man worked as a waiter, about two years ago.
The judge invited him to gain "work experience" with him at the District Court and later approved him as his associate. Last month Judge Bell, acting on an IT audit, challenged his associate about websites he had accessed throughout this year, The Sunday Telegraph has been told.

The judge told the young man he was "horrified and disappointed" and invited him to quit the job, or be sacked. The associate left and is pursuing a new career.

A judge's associate operates as an executive assistant and is generally required to display discretion, tact and sound judgment.

They are legally appointed by the Attorney-General but in practice generally appointed only after being interviewed by a judge.

A spokesman for NSW Attorney-General Bob Debus said the associate's actions did not involve illegal pornography, but it still contravened department policy and was "inappropriate".

Surveys suggest as many as one in six men access porn sites at work, but most employers deem it a sackable offence and industrial courts have upheld this view.

Last month, three NSW hospital workers were sacked after an investigation showed they transferred pornography on their office computers, while 12 others were also disciplined.

Last year, nine Education Department staff, including executive teachers, were reported to have been sacked or demoted for accessing Internet porn on office computers.