Porn Nation: Come hither and repent

Curator's Note

Has “Porn Nation” come to your school? In just two years, the evangelical anti-pornography multimedia extravaganza has visited over 80 college campuses. Many media texts exploit the very content they pretend to attack, but this promo video presents an especially interesting case. On the one hand, we have slick production values, complete with rapid-fire editing, melodramatic drum rolls, and peek-a-boo glimpses of provocative sexual material. On the other, we have interview subjects who appear well-lit and respectable, even as they recount their most shameful acts in exquisite detail. This is to say that, despite any initial appearance of deliberate transgression, the frank confessions and titillating images of “Porn Nation” remain safely nestled within the confines of spiritual discipline. Sex, so attractive and so easily shamed, thus forms an integral part of the recruitment of new converts. Jesus commanded his disciples to be “fishers of men.” Today, in a classic bait-and-switch, porn has become one of the most attractive lures in the evangelist’s tackle box. Thoughts?


The video suggests that the program relies on discourses of addiction and psychology to safely contain pornography. How do evangelicals accommodate this kind of scientific discourse? I assume it doesn't seem like a contradiction because people generally are accustomed to talking about these issues within this framework thanks to Oprah and others, but still it's an interesting juxtaposition.

Conservative Christians frequently combine self-help and recovery discourse in their "ex-gay" ministries, and homosexuality is often described as a "sexual addiction." There are certainly tensions, though, between psychological and religious discourses in these communities.

Thanks for your responses! On the secular psychology tip, it may interest you to know that Porn Nation publicizes every visit by pointing students to an online “sex survey” so that they might self-diagnose their level of “sexual addiction.” 24,000 undergrads have taken the survey thus far and can check out the entire survey here: Of course, Porn Nation is often sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ. So, after quasi-science establishes the problem, evangelists offer up faith as the solution. CB

I watched it and thought considering how many online sex videos there are sex seems to be pretty popular and maybe like most countries around thew world it shouldn't be looked at as something bad like we see it here in the US, its sex and everyone does it.

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