I’m not completely sure how to start this blog as the topic of pornography isn’t A) a usual topic for this blog or B) something that people are really comfortable with. But I think sometimes God calls us to learn about the uncomfortable situations, the ones that make us the most nervous, because those are the ones that He really wants people to start approaching. To make this a bit easier, for you and me, I’ll start with some statistics:
90% of 8-16 year olds have viewed porn on line.
80% of 15-17 year olds have had multiple exposures to hardcore pornography.
1 in 7 of all youths who use the internet receive sexual solicitation on line.
17% of all women struggle with pornography addiction.
70% of women keep their on line activities secret.
20% of men admit to accessing pornography at work.
70% of men aged 18-24 visit porn sites in a typical month.
All these statistics are courtesy of http://www.xxxchurch.com, a website which is geared towards helping men, women and teens fight addictions to pornography. We’re happy to talk about drug and alcohol addictions, but the topic of sexual sin is one that most of us want to avoid at all costs. We’ve kind of accepted that men look at pornography (this acceptance doesn’t make it okay), but what about women and teenagers? Is the Church in any way addressing that? We talk about waiting till marriage before we have sex but then we don’t tackle the issues that come with this. If we want to keep sex sacred these issues need to be addressed, no matter how uncomfortable we feel about it.
If you have a passion for the fight against sex trafficking you should also keep in mind that this a large part of the pornography industry. At the minute on Gemma Wilson’s blog she’s doing a series entitled ‘Pornography: Poison and Prey’ and earlier this week included a guest post from Robin Peake about sex trafficking in the industry:
“There are many lies told through pornography. That viewing it will satisfy your sexual desire. That consumption is harmless and even helpful to building stable relationships. That all those involved in its production are there by choice.
Numerous websites offering free pornographic pictures or videos carry with them a ‘live streaming’ option, where the viewer can see girls – many of whom look much younger than the website’s declaration of age suggests – perform sexual acts. Rows of thumbnail sized snapshots line the computer screen like a block of flats, each window offering the opportunity to see a semi naked girl engaging in typed chat with men and women from around the globe, attempting to woo one of them into parting with their money for a private screening. The ‘room’ generally consists of some sort of background sheeting, behind which lie God knows how many other girls in an unidentified city.
‘They cost less and do more’
Most porn websites offer a selection of free content, much in the same way that a butcher might offer some samples from his deli counter to tempt you into a purchase. The demand for free samples of porn online means that website producers are seeking more output for less money in an attempt to convince browsers that parting with their cash will enable them to view a huge library of feature length films. Cheaper films, mean cheaper actors, and English dialogue is replaced with mutterings in distinctly Eastern European tongues, or cedes altogether to music and moans. A 2005 study claimed that pornographers were travelling to poorer countries where they could use and exploit women and children with fewer risks. Budapest, Hungary was cited as Europe’s capital for the production of porn films because, as one pornography executive put it, Eastern European actors ‘cost less and do more’.”
You can find the rest of the article here.
I’m probably not going to do this topic justice (so thank goodness for blogs that do), but I think it’s time the topic of pornography and sex addiction was addressed by the Church. We need to stop making this a taboo subject because it’s real life for a lot of people, and we need to allow for those people to be open about their brokenness, just like the rest of us.