Kirsten Andersen

Former porn producer questions study claiming porn stars happier, more spiritual

Kirsten Andersen
Kirsten Andersen

Whitehall, PA, November 27, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A former Playboy porn producer is calling into question the results of a study released last week claiming that women who star in pornographic sex films report higher levels of contentment than other women. 

“I’d … question the methods used for this supposed ‘study,’” Donny Pauling told LifeSiteNews, “because the facts remain that when someone sticks a camera or microphone in a person’s face, that person is going to say whatever they think the interviewer wants to hear.”

“I’ve seen girls I personally know who are interviewed on TV talking about how great their life is in porn, only to call me the very next morning telling an entirely different story, excited because she is now ‘so popular I won’t have to ever work with guys again!’” said Pauling. “If life was as great as the previous night’s interview, why the aboutface just a morning later?”

Pauling spent nine years producing video and print pornography, making millions in the process. He ultimately quit the business after seeing what porn did to the women he recruited and experiencing a spiritual conversion.

The recent study, published in the Journal of Sex Research, sought to explore what researchers called the “damaged goods hypothesis,” which says that actresses involved in the porn industry come from backgrounds of abuse and are prone to psychological problems and high rates of drug use. The researchers claim they found that porn stars actually report “higher levels of self-esteem, positive feelings, social support, sexual satisfaction, and spirituality” than women not involved in porn. 

The study was conducted by researchers at Shippensburg University, Texas Woman’s University and the now-defunct Adult Industry Medical Health Foundation (AIM Medical) – the infamous San Fernando Valley clinic for pornographic actors that closed last year after repeated legal scandals. The researchers studied 177 actresses who had starred in at least one pornographic film and compared them to a sample of women matched for age, ethnicity, and marital status. 

“Some descriptions of actresses in pornography have included attributes such as drug addiction, homelessness, poverty, desperation and being victims of sexual abuse,” the researchers said. “Some have made extreme assertions, such as claiming that all women in pornography were sexually abused as children.” 

The researchers say this isn’t true.  They say the porn actresses reported the same rate of childhood sexual abuse as other women. 

But Pauling told LifeSiteNews (LSN) he’s not surprised by that aspect of the study.  “I’ve been saying the same thing for years,” he said.  “These aren’t broken girls who enter the business: they are all someone’s daughter, someone’s mother or future mother, someone’s grandmother… just people. Society today makes porn okay, so people from all walks of life get involved.”

Pauling said that regardless of where the women come from, the industry takes its toll.  “Even those who were not broken to start with would start to be broken down by the business,” he said.  “I’d watch the lights go out in their eyes.”

The study’s researchers did find that porn actresses were more likely to report recreational drug use.  They were also more likely to identify as bisexual, first have sex at an earlier age, have more sexual partners (an average of 75 per actress in addition their on-screen partners), and were more concerned about contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

All of the statistics were self-reported by the porn actresses and other women studied.

Given AIM’s spotty legal history, Pauling questioned their involvement in the study.  “Adult Industry Medical is a joke,” he said. “They’ve been shut down more than once for dodgy practices.”

Heartbreaking stories about porn actors and actresses whose lives have been destroyed by the porn industry aren’t hard to find. Former porn actress Shelley Lubben runs a website called The Truth Behind the Fantasy of Porn.  The site features numerous pornographic actors and actresses sharing stories of abuse and degradation, diseases and drug abuse.  One of these is Becca Brat, who wrote that during her four years as a porn star, “I hung out with a lot of people in the Adult industry ... Everybody has the same problems. Everybody is on drugs. It’s an empty lifestyle trying to fill up a void.”

Another actress, Belladonna, who is still active in the porn industry, agreed.  “I’m not happy,” she said.  “I don’t like myself at all. My whole entire body feels it when I’m doing it and… I feel so — so gross.”  While being interviewed by Diane Sawyer for an ABC Primetime segment on pornography in 2003, she famously became very emotional. Sawyer asked her, “You keep describing these awful things that happened to you. Yet, you keep smiling. Why?” Belladonna’s smile faltered and her eyes filled with tears. “It’s so I don’t start crying,” she said.

Former porn star Neesa wrote, “The truth is I let my lifestyle get the best of me. I hate life. I’m a mess. A disaster. I’ve attempted suicide many times.”  Poignantly, she added, “No one cares about a dead porn star or stripper.”

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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