Issue Brief: Harms of Pornography
Porn is the new drug
Never before in history have pornographic images and content been so readily accessible. Anyone who has device that is able to obtain an internet connection is but a click away from such images, which unfortunately includes children. The unparalleled accessibility of pornography today is also coupled with how much more extreme, graphic, and can often even infuse sex “with hatred and humiliation.” The content that was non-existent or even just hard to get in yesteryear are now easily accessible, affordable or even free, and obtainable without ever having to share identifying information keeping the user anonymous and “safe” in their secret indulgence.
Pornography is so much more than just an “innocent distraction” and should be seen as the toxin that it is. Ponography “destroys relationships, steals innocence, erodes compassion, and breeds violence.” It has literally been labeled as a public health crisis in states like Arizona, because of the immense harms that it causes. There are many within society that do accept pornography, however, and no longer consider it a taboo issue. However, it is important to note the evidence that shows the harms to children, family and society that it causes.
Harm to Marriage and Families
There are a number of studies that show the association between pornography usage lowers committment and increases rates of infidelity, ultimately being a major cause of eliminating legitimate intimacy. Individuals often must continue to project pornographic images in their mind in an attempt at maintaining normal intimacy as they experience decreased enjoyment from the norm. This may be partially contributed to a heightened critical view of the physical body of their spouse. For many that know of their spouse’s pornography usage, they may feel a sense of betrayal and humuliation even. Their feelings ultimately lead to a loss of self-esteem even because of the constant comparison and need to feel as if they are competing.
The likelihood of a spouse that uses pornography committing adultery or even simply having a positive view towards committing adultery is increased. The marriage bed ought to be held in honor (Hebrews 13:4) as God quite literally commands that married couples not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14). The Bible also gives adultery as an acceptable reason for divorce (Matthew 5:32), which is a reason that many cite as the reason for their divorce even today. The probability of divorce after infidelity is already present, but there are also multiple studies showing cases of divorce also involve heightened use of pornography by one spouse.
Harm to Children
Pornography is not just an issue within the marriages or among adults, unfortunately. The internet age has lent itself to making pornography more easily available to minors as well. A study reported that almost 49% of college males saw pornography for the first time even before they were 13. Young people having access to graphic and even violent pornographic images makes it a very dangerous way for them to be “educated” on sex.
At the very least, pornographic usage among minors can lead to risky sexual behavior, especially as it aids in an unhealthy view of sex that objectifies women. The images that they witness do not just affect their view of sex and women, but it an overall danger. The number of minors that are being found convicted of possessing child pornography is also increasing. There is also a number of sources that mix violence with pornographic images. Mixing sex with violence only increases the aggressive proclivity that minors may already have and their likelihood of sexually assualting another or may also increase the likelihood of being a victim to sexual assault themselves. Minors are still maturing mentally and emotionally. The exposure to extreme themes is more than they are able to process; this notion is no different for pornography. Exposure to pornography can cause literal psychological harm to children.
Pornography Harms Society Overall
The damage to our society because of pornography is because of the environment it creates that is essentially sexually toxic. The individuals that use pornography have no way of knowing the behind the scenes production and if those within the images are being forced, coerced, or even trafficked. Over 70% of individuals that are sex trafficked are involved in the production of pornography, meaning that the “actors” are actually victims; victims that have the proof of their humiliation, and degradation on the internet to be watched for the selfish enjoyment of others. Studies have also shown that men who watch pornography are more likely to pay for sex; this includes younger males as well, who are also more likely to not just buy sex but also sell it themselves. Pornography essentially commercializes sex, leading to its incorrect view. Viewing of pornographic images literally rewires your brain and is toxic in nature. It deteriorates “romantic, family, and work life” and acts like a literal drug, always pushing for a new high.
An analysis on almost 200 videos from the biggest provider of pornography, uploaded over a span of time, found that almost half the videos showed some level of “visible aggression,” about 15% of which was nonconsnsual. This gives a mental signal that such aggression is acceptable and even expected. This directly promotes violence to women and increases the likelihood that pornography users will commit sexual offenses. Because of its brain rewiring capabilities, pedophiles also use it to groom minors for abuse by altering their view of what is normal.
- 01. Pornography is not harmless. It demolishes relationships and intimacy, destroys purity and innocence, and breeds violence against women.
- 02. The increased availability of pornography fuels addictive behaviors.
- 03. It objectifies women and connects sex with violence.
- 04. It encourages and enforces aggression against women in a sexual context, leading to increased likelihood of committing sexual offenses.
- 05. The pornographic industry is predatory and targets children by exploiting their vulnerabilities and stealing their innocence.
- 06. Compulsive sexual behavior, as encouraged by pornography, leads to adultery and emotional distress in women.
- Pornography: Marriage’s Silent Killer
- Porn University: What College Students are Really Saying About Sex on Campus by Michael Leahy
- The Public Health Harms of Pornography
- National Center on Sexual Exploitation
- Protect Young Eyes
- Covenant Eyes
- Fight the New Drug
- More Americans Say Pornography is Morally Acceptable
- Human Trafficking Hotline
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