Fight the New Drug

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Fight the New Drug
FIGHTlogo.jpg
Founded2009
FoundersClay Olsen, Ryan Werner, Cameron Lee, Beau Lewis
PurposeRaising awareness of the purportedly harmful effects of pornography
Location
Area served
Worldwide
Websitefightthenewdrug.org

Fight the New Drug (FTND) is an American anti-pornography 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 2009. It asserts that there are effects of pornography which are destructive to individuals and to society. It seeks to raise awareness thereof, and to support individuals who desire to cease pornography use.[1] They are primarily known for billboard campaigns saying that "porn kills love", and selective citation of research studies contested by mainstream scientists. The group was founded and is headed by Mormons[2][3] but claims a non-religious identity and motivation.[4][5]

History[edit]

Its name derives from its belief that pornography is a new drug in today's society.[6]

Overview[edit]

Fight the New Drug defines itself as "pro healthy sex and anti-pornography."[6] Its mission is to raise awareness on its findings, as well as to share the anecdotes of those who have been negatively affected by pornography, especially within their (romantic) relationships.[7]

The organization uses personal accounts, summaries of scientific research and social commentary to inform its target audience of youth, particularly millennials. Members have said that the group does not seek to ban pornography or make it illegal, or protest against its use through moral or theological arguments, but rather, through education and awareness, to influence youth to cease the consumption of pornography.[8] The organization promotes the results of peer-reviewed scientific studies which show changes in the brain of an individual who views pornographic material, though the selected studies have been contested.[5][8]

Support[edit]

In May 2015, actor Terry Crews posted a photo of himself wearing the organization's popular "Porn Kills Love" T-shirt, to promote Fight the New Drug on his social media channels.[9][10] Crews has publicly supported Fight the New Drug in other social media posts since.[11]

In July 2015, Neon Trees drummer Elaine Bradley sported her own homemade "Porn Kills Love" T-shirt while performing on Late Night with Seth Meyers.[12][13]

On August 19, 2016, Fight the New Drug released a world exclusive interview with Elizabeth Smart.[14] Smart spoke in-depth for the first time about the role played by pornography in her abduction and abuse, which is largely held as one of the most widely-covered child abduction cases of the century.[better source needed] Speaking about pornography's role in her abuse, she said in the interview: "It just led to him raping me more, more than he already did — which was a lot. ... I can't say that he would not have gone out and kidnapped me had he not looked at pornography. All I know is that pornography made my living hell worse."[15] The video, originally released on Fight the New Drug's YouTube channel, quickly went viral and became a trending topic on Facebook. NBC News, Daily Mail, Us Weekly, Deseret News, and several other local news outlets picked up the video.[16]

Criticism[edit]

A series of three op-eds was published in The Salt Lake Tribune in October 2016 which alleged controversy about Fight the New Drug.

The series began when Salt Lake Tribune published, "Op-ed: Utah students need real sex ed, not ‘Fight the New Drug′" written by four certified sex therapists; Natasha Helfer Parker, Kristin Hodson, Kristin Marie Bennion and Shannon Hickman on October 1, 2016.[17] The authors expressed concern over the presentation of material by Fight the New Drug in public school districts in the state of Utah without soliciting approval of the school board or parents, and over the material presented, saying that it was neither comprehensive nor accurate. Parker, Hodson, Bennion and Hickman wrote that their objections were due to Fight the New Drug's leaders and presenters not being professionals in mental health or sexuality, and the therapists accused Fight the New Drug of not having sufficient training in sexuality or human development to be addressing the subjects they were presenting. The authors wrote that, "Claiming that pornography affects the brain 'like a drug' and that 'cutting back can lead to withdrawal symptoms' is false." The authors argued that a "sex/porn addiction" diagnosis does not exist in the DSM-5 because such a diagnosis was specifically rejected for lack of scientific evidence. The authors also disagreed with Fight the New Drug not having to go through "a rigorous process to get approved" as sex educators and sex-ed curriculums in Utah usually are.

Fight the New Drug leaders responded to these criticisms with "Op-ed: Utah students need real sex ed and ‘Fight the New Drug" which was published in Salt Lake Tribune on October 11, 2016.[18] Fight the New Drug wrote that Parker, Hodson, Bennion and Hickman had misrepresented their work. In their rebuttal, Fight the New Drug stated that they have "...never attempted to provide, substitute or circumvent sex education curricula in schools." Fight the New Drug also wrote that, "In addition to being grounded in hundreds of peer-reviewed studies, the content of various FTND school and community presentations gets regularly reviewed, updated and approved by a team of therapists and researchers to ensure it is age-appropriate for different audiences." Fight the New Drug also described several studies which they claimed "confirm the addictive potential of pornography".

Salt Lake Tribune published "Op-ed: Anti-porn school program misrepresents science" on December 12, 2016 written by; Nicole Prause, Ph.D., James Pfaus, Ph.D., Sara Blaine, Ph.D., Janniko Georgiadis, Ph.D., Paul Kieffaber, Ph.D., Erick Janssen, Ph.D., James Cantor, Ph.D., and Heather Hoffmann, Ph.D.[19] The authors stated that they were writing to express concern to, "... the supposed neuroscientific backing of a sex education program from Fight The New Drug (FTND). Based on our expertise in neuroscience and clinical psychology, we find that FTND is systematically misrepresenting science." The authors also wrote that Fight the New Drug had disregarded the scientific method, and that the studies described by Fight the New Drug were not only not rigorous, but also biased. The authors stated that "There is extensive evidence showing that the hypothesis that pornography use is universally harmful is false."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lynn Arave (26 January 2010). "Group is fighting against 'the new drug' — pornography". DeseretNews.com. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  2. ^ Hamblin, James. "How One State Declared Pornography a 'Public-Health Crisis'". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  3. ^ Cauterucci, Christina (2016-04-20). "Utah Declares Porn a "Public Health Crisis," Furthering a Mormon Myth About Porn Addiction". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  4. ^ "Anti-Porn Group Brings Billboard Campaign To Bay Area". CBS San Francisco. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Here's the deal with all those 'Porn Kills Love' billboards around the Bay Area". San Francisco Gate. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Who We Are". Fight the New Drug. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Get the Facts". Fight the New Drug. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Fight the New Drug: The online grassroots war against pornography". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Instagram photo by Terry Crews • May 7, 2015 at 4:28pm UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  10. ^ "Terry Crews, muscle-bound actor and Old Spice guy, reveals porn addiction". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  11. ^ "Terry Crews on Instagram: "Me and my son running in support of @garrett_jonsson as he completes 30 marathons in 30 days to alert people to the dangers of pornography!…"". Instagram.
  12. ^ "Instagram photo by Elaine Bradley • Jul 23, 2015 at 4:16pm UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  13. ^ Petersen, Sarah. "Neon Trees represent BYU, Fight the New Drug on 'Late Night with Seth Meyers'". DeseretNews.com. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  14. ^ "Elizabeth Smart Speaks For The First Time About Pornography's Role In Her Abduction (VIDEO) - Fight the New Drug". 19 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Elizabeth Smart: 'Pornography made my living hell worse'".
  16. ^ "Elizabeth Smart Opens Up About Abductor's Porn Addiction". 20 August 2016.
  17. ^ Hickman, Natasha Helfer Parker, Kristin Hodson, Kristin Marie Bennion And Shannon. "Op-ed: Utah students need real sex ed, not 'Fight the New Drug'". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  18. ^ Hilton, Clay Olsen, Gary Wilson, Jill Manning, Candice Christiansen And Donald. "Op-ed: Utah students need real sex ed and 'Fight the New Drug'". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  19. ^ Hoffmann, Nicole Prause, James Pfaus, Sara Blaine, Janniko Georgiadis, Paul Kieffaber, Erick Janssen, James Cantor And Heather. "Op-ed: Anti-porn school program misrepresents science". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2017-04-03.