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Divorce, Addiction, and Prostitution--Some Articles Worth Reading

There are real reasons for people to get divorced, but the destruction of a marriage should never be celebrated. In "The Divorce Delusion," an article from the New York Times a few weeks back, the writer reflects on popular culture's recent embrace of divorce and comments upon the pain that remains for the children of divorce.

I just read a wonderful book (which I reviewed for Christianity Today, so I'll link to the review in a month or so) by Kent Dunnington, Addiction and Virtue: Beyond the Models of Disease and Choice. In short, Dunnington offers a compelling argument that addiction is neither a disease based upon biology or a choice based upon morality, even though both of those things might be involved. Compelling as Dunington's work is, he's going to have a hard time convincing the medical establishment. A recent NY Times article, "Rethinking Addiction's Roots and It's Treatment" and Atlantic essay, "The Brain on Trial" both demonstrate the prevailing view that our actions can all be explained by our biology.

Finally, Newsweek recently published a disturbing article–"The John Next Door"– about the increase in men who buy sex, be that in the form of prostitution, strip clubs, or pornography. Melissa Farley was researching the topic and trying to compare men who buy sex to those who don't:

And yet buying sex is so pervasive that Farley's team had a shockingly difficult time locating men who really don't do it. The use of pornography, phone sex, lap dances, and other services has become so widespread that the researchers were forced to loosen their definition in order to assemble a 100-person control group.

"We had big, big trouble finding nonusers," Farley says. "We finally had to settle on a definition of non-sex-buyers as men who have not been to a strip club more than two times in the past year, have not purchased a lap dance, have not used pornography more than one time in the last month, and have not purchased phone sex or the services of a sex worker, escort, erotic masseuse, or prostitute."

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