Transcript: Is Porn Wrong?





Is Porn Wrong?

A Study Guide

“You can get a large audience together for a strip-tease act - that is, to watch a girl undress on stage. Now suppose you come to a country where you could fill a theatre by simply bringing a covered plate on to the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let everyone see, just before the lights went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food? And would not anyone who had grown up in a different world think there was something equally queer about the state of the sex instinct among us?” - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I. A Few Statistics

Today, more than 200 million Americans have access to the internet. One research study revealed that 40 million adults in the United States - that’s nearly 1/5 of all Americans with web access - are consistently viewing web-based pornography. Tragically millions of under-aged and impressionable children are among that 40 million. Before the internet came on the scene the average age of those exposed to pornography as 12 years old. Some researchers say the average age is now 8 years old.

II. Child Access to Pornography

The internet brings graphic sexual images . . . right into homes, and the pornographers don’t care that kids have access [to porn]? Yes. That’s why this is big business. Any attempts to legislate the matter yields screens from porn purveyors about freedom of the press and freedom of speech. But really, “it’s all about the Benjamins,” as the kids say. Money, not civil liberties, is driving this industry. Each year, the US porn industry takes in 52.8 billion dollars. That makes the porn industry’s income more than the combined revenues of Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Netflix, and even EarthLink.

III. Porn’s Impact on the Family

A Brief Statistic: Nearly 50% of all family relationship problems are related to use of the internet. Real life relationships are exchanged for the long hours of fantasy derived from the computer, leaving spouses and children feeling neglected and unimportant.

Pornography’s Toll on Children: It's easy for children to explore the internet for extended lengths of time and without anyone knowing. 42% of internet users between the ages of 10 and 17 report seeing online pornography in the past 12 months. Our view of life is developed from the models to which we are exposed, particularly at early ages. We internalize what we see and hear and based upon the conclusions we draw, our identity is shaped.

So consider how viewing those images effects the view that boys and girls have of each other, of themselves, and of the world in general?

How is a person’s value defined? What will children look for in an inmate relationship with another person?

The dynamics of how individuals function and relate to each other is permanently distorted by the early perception of individuals as sexual objects, rather than whole people.

Dangers to Brief Porn Exposure: These images are not only powerful they are highly addictive. The addiction primarily effects men but women are also addicted to both cyber-porn and and cyber-sex.

How to Know if You’re Addicted to Porn: There are a number of inventories available online. Taking one of those is using the internet in a healthy way. In general, addiction means you keep doing something in spite of negative consequences.

Some indicators of addiction include: Spending increasing amounts of time viewing porn sites on the internet, sexual discussions online, and the amount of time spent that way interferes with responsibilities and relationships. Such a person will attempt to hide their porn-viewing habits. They may minimize and and rationalize their behavior. Others in their lives may have expressed concern about their behavior. You might even feel bad or guilty about your behavior.

Don’t believe you can stop on your own. Many addicts have tried to stop or curtail their behavior but they failed.

The Nature of Porn Addiction: Addiction occurs in both the brain and the soul. Addiction in the Brain: The brain has a pleasure chemical called dopamine. Viewing sexual images causes a release of large amounts of dopamine and this creates intense pleasure. With continued viewing, the brain becomes accustomed to this release and demands more and more dopamine. Addiction in the Soul: Addiction occurs because we all long for something to fulfill us, and the sexual images . . . gives us a sense of validation and fulfillment. We are able to pursue our most base passions in the anonymity of cyber-space.

VII. Potential Fall-Out of Being Addicted to Porn

Addiction is also a form of mental and emotional infidelity that tears marriages apart. The impact upon the faithful spouse is as devastating as if the person had a physical affair

VIII. How to Prevent or Stop Porn-Addiction

Intervene as soon early possible. Install software on your computer that blocks pornographic websites. Counseling can help individuals and couples who want to work through the addiction and the damage done. There are numerous support groups geared toward helping addicted individuals. The internet can be more of a blessing than a curse . . . so let’s not condemn the internet. However, if all other interventions fail, then the out of control cyber-porn user may need to get rid of their computer until the addiction is remedied and they can control their behavior.

IX. Where the Porn Problem Begins (and Ends)

The Problem Lies Beneath: People have always looked for something that they sense is missing because God designed us with that awareness. So man fills his life with his own creations--hobbies, career, technology, possessions, and even good deeds, but none of them brings peace for very long. Apart from God, we will always be aware of our emptiness. Thus we will devise ways to fill it without success.

Ultimate Solution: God wants our awareness of our need to draw us back to Him. Ultimately, only God has the missing piece to our souls and its deep satisfactions. We do not need to blame ourselves for hungering, we need to hunger after the one who truly satisfies. Cyber-porn and cyber-sex leaves us even more empty because God made us as sexual beings so that we may connect with our life-long partner in the sexual intimacy meant only for marriage . . . given by God to bring a husband and wife together as one. Fulfilling sexual desires outside of this God-intended union only leaves us reminded of how lonely we really are. Cyber-sex and Cyber-porn enhances that aloneness. With the help of the Holy Spirit, Christians can conquer [pornography].


Key Scriptures:

2 Corinthians 3:17


Recommended Further Reading:

Authentic Human Sexuality: An Integrated Christian Approach, by Judith K. Balswick and Jack O. Balswick

Illusions of Intimacy: Unmasking Patters of Sexual Addiction and Bringing Deep Healing to Those Who Struggle, by Signa Bodishbaugh and Conlee Bodishbaugh

Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis

More than Desire: Hope for Women in the Shadows of Pornography, by Ashley Weis

Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, by John Piper

Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain, by William K. Struthers 


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