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Advocate on Military’s Porn Decision: ‘Hardly Leadership’

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A photo of Playboy Magazine and Penthouse Magazine covers. Richard/Getty Images

A photo of Playboy Magazine and Penthouse Magazine covers. Richard/Getty Images

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The Army and Air Force will no longer sell Playboy, Penthouse, and several other adult magazines on its bases but a family values advocate says their decision was made for the wrong reason.

The Department of Defense announced the decision Tuesday.

“The decision to no longer stock the material is a business decision driven by the time, money and energy required to facilitate buying habits, combined with decreasing demand,” Army Lt. Col. Antwan C. Williams, Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) public affairs chief, said in a statement.

According to the Department of Defense, sales of adult magazines have fallen 86 percent since 1998.

Phillip Cosby, State Director for the American Family Association of Kansas and Missouri, says profit margin shouldn’t be a motive for pulling porn off the shelves.

“To see that they removed it, that’s a good thing, but the reasoning, to say it was just purely economics and cyberspace porn has outpaced porn in magazines, was hardly leadership,” he said. “The military certainly had an opportunity to make a statement about, in general, the sexualized culture and the violence that we see even today, with the man named Castro.”

A spokesperson for Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri says the base’s exchange store carries adult magazines and they have not yet been removed. He said the base is “not privy” to a timeline for removal of the magazines. A request for information from Scott Air Force Base in the Metro East was not immediately returned.

Cosby, a 22-year veteran of Army, warns of an “increased sexualization” both in the U.S. military and American society in general. That sexualization, according to him, is to blame for the proliferation of sexual violence in the military.

“The military had a moment when they could have said ‘we get it, we believe in the connection of sexualized images and soldier violence related to sexual crime.’ Instead, they just kind of flinched and said it’s all about money,” he says. “So it was a win but still discouraging in that they didn’t show real leadership.”

In an editorial on the American Family Association’s website, Cosby posted a photo of adult magazines at Fort Riley in Kansas, a sign of dark times, in his opinion.

“We’re just bombarded with this and technology has certainly made our lives easier but there’s a dark side to it as well as far as just the moral fabric of our nation being torn apart. Childrens’ innocence, the predatory nature of sexual predators, marriages falling apart, pastors falling out of the pulpit. There isn’t any segment of society that isn’t being impacted.”

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