We haven’t really discussed porn on Every (1) Matters but if we’re trying to combat issues like Sexualisation and Human Trafficking, I think we need to address it. Pornography affects many sectors of society. From the children exposed to it years before they are ready (average age of first exposure to porn is 11), to the slaves forced to perform in the shoots, to the marriages breaking down due to porn addiction. No one is immune to the ill-effects of pornography.
Perhaps our main weapon in working against the cycles of Human Trafficking and Sexualisation is the power to deal with pornography in our own lives.
I know this is a big call but I wanted to at least put it out there…
Porn is a part of just about everyone’s life – whether we like it or not. Sources say 65% of men and 45% of women view pornography. So if it’s such a big problem, what can we do about it? There are many organisationa out there, making themselves available to help people caught in the clutches of pornography addiction. The people at XXXChurch are one of these organisations.
I chatted with Brian McGinness of XXXChurch earlier this week.
“Use of pornography is on the rise and has been for some time now,” he said. “It is also one of the largest growing addictions for senior citizens.”
Brian sites ease of internet access as one possible reason for this rise.
“The fact that you do not have to run down to the local liquor store or adult store makes things a lot easier now. Another thing that has allowed for porn to be widely used is the numbness that our society now has when it comes to sexual images or content buyer walk through you local mall and you will see this.”
“Pornography and porn-inspired images and messages are colonising public spaces,” she said. “Where once young men might go looking for porn, now it finds them. Average age of first exposure to porn is 11.”
“My research on the global porn industry shows that pornography is having massive negative impacts on the lives of so many people – men and women,” Melinda explained. “Porn is increasingly being used as a training manual in sex and relationships for young men and young women. Porn conditions and socialises boys and young men to see girls and women as only of value for the sexual gratification they can provide. Women are reduced to ‘two hands, three holes’.”
Melinda quoted one teenaged boy who said, “Pornography conditioned in me appetites I didn’t have before.”
So what can we do?
Brian of XXXChurch believes that censorship is not the answer.
“We at X3 Church do not believe in censorship,” he said. “God gave us free will and His design of that was very intentional. We will ne’er be able to shut the adult industry down. It is our job to bring awareness to people of the dangers that porn brings with it.”
Melinda believes that while it won’t be easy to turn the destructive impacts around, mandatory internet filtering will at least stop some of the most extreme, illegal forms of porn.
“The industry has been successful in having pornography defended as ‘free speech’ and even good for people,” she said. “Mandatory internet filtering won’t be a quick fix but at least it will stop some of the most extreme, illegal forms of porn, which are already banned in other mediums. It has shown to be effective in other countries.”
On a more personal scale, there a scores of marriages and relationships suffering under the strain of pornography, sex and masturbation addiction. Kristen from We Are THAT Family
has had to fight this exact battle. Along with her husband, she took a big step last year when she blogged a series of posts about their personal battle with pornography in their marriage. If you need resources, information or encouragement in this area, please check out Kristen’s blog – their raw honesty is applaudable.
The issues we’ve discussed aren’t nice and they do cause pain but the best news of all is that God is so much bigger than any of this. He made us with sex drives and he knows how to heal and guide us through it. I’ve read many stories of people who have won the battle against these addictions and they all say the same thing – the level of intimacy they experience with their spouse after defeating their addictions is on a level they could never have imagined. It’s a battle worth fighting and, with God, winning. So please don’t feel disheartened. It’s a battle God has helped people win many times over and is willing to do again and again and again.
If pornography is part of your life; if you struggle with it or your husband struggles with it, seek help. There are many organisations set up to do exactly this. Please talk to your pastor or visit some of these sites to kick-start your recovery or to get some extra help or encouragement.
We Are THAT Family – Kristen and her husband share their journey with brave honesty.
XXXChurch – As well as offering support and hope to those addicted to pornography, XXXChurch provides an accountability program and a 30 day online recovery program.
Melinda Tankard Reist – Melinda’s new book, to be released in September, will look at how the issue of pornography can be addressed, including a section on global activism. She also writes at MelindaTankardReist.com about sexploitation.
Anne Jackson writes candidly about her own battle with pornography addiction.
Porn to Purity – packed full of resources and stories of personal experience.