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SEX (Now Do I Have Your Attention?)

There is nothing good about pornography, says columnist Joe Smith

SEX!

Got your attention?

What is it about that word that just sucks us in?  What is it about that word that causes us to stop thinking rationally? 

What is it about that word?

I can’t speak for everyone, I can just tell you about my experience in life.  Some time ago I wrote about how my first image of sex was from a crinkled magazine page found stuffed in a buried coffee can when I was Kindergarten age.  From that moment forward my brain’s thought process can be shown in the pie chart that accompanies this story.

Something about the opposite sex held sway over me my entire adolescence.  If girls had cooties then I wanted them. My biggest problems growing up revolved around girls and sexual images. And therein lies a huge problem for all of us.

Sexual images and sexuality is everywhere. One can hardly watch television or movies or listen to the radio without being bombarded with sexuality. Nothing is taboo when it comes to sex anymore. And I find myself not watching TV with my kids just because they are not ready to process some of the dialogue about sex during prime time.

The gradual coarsening of our culture has led to some pretty scary statistics for parents. According to xxxchurch.com, a non-for-profit that’s main focus is to help those in the porn industry find freedom, 90 percent of 8- to 16-year-olds have seen pornographic images online and most while doing homework. The average age of a child’s first exposure to pornography is 11 years old.  80 percent of 15-17 year olds have had multiple hard-core exposures. And 1 in 7 youths have received sexual solicitations online.

I am not a chicken little nor am I a prude. But this is troublesome. I won’t speak for everyone but let me share my story with you.

As I said earlier I was exposed at a young age. And all growing up, pornography was there. It was easy for me to find and I looked pretty much all the time.  And what began to happen was that girls/women no longer were human beings but things to be desired and sought after. The more I looked at their bodies the more my heart was hardened to their feelings.

I no longer saw a person but a sexual object.

This followed me all the way through college. At a certain point in my life I began to realize that the images and videos I watched weren’t meant for me to see and there was a certain thrill in that. It was a sick fascination that twisted my thoughts and beliefs. I understood that this was a destructive habit but felt almost powerless to its siren song.

And the truly diabolical part was that I was so ashamed of what I was doing that I honestly believed that I was alone in this. I felt that no one would understand my struggle or that I would be looked at as a pervert. I became isolated in a self-imposed prison.

For me, my faith system is what helped break that cycle. And any little remnants that remained dormant in my heart were forever crushed with the birth of my baby girl.

The real truth is, is that I wasn’t alone in my struggle. Millions of people, good men and women, are in the same struggle that I was. And they have devastating effects on marriage and the family.

According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, prolonged exposure to pornography leads to:

  • An exaggerated perception of sexual activity in society
  • Diminished trust between intimate couples
  • The abandonment of the hope of sexual monogamy
  • Belief that promiscuity is the natural state
  • Belief that abstinence and sexual inactivity are unhealthy
  • Cynicism about love or the need for affection between sexual partners
  • Belief that marriage is sexually confining
  • Lack of attraction to family and child-raising

According to sociologist Jill Manning, the research indicates pornography consumption is associated with the following six trends, among others:

  1. Increased marital distress, and risk of separation and divorce
  2. Decreased marital intimacy and sexual satisfaction
  3. Infidelity
  4. Increased appetite for more graphic types of pornography and sexual activity associated with abusive, illegal or unsafe practices
  5. Devaluation of monogamy, marriage and child rearing
  6. An increasing number of people struggling with compulsive and addictive sexual behavior

Both of these groups came from Covenant eyes pornography statistics pdf.

I could go on and on and on. And in the following weeks we’ll take a look at some of the negative effects of pornography on the adolescent brain and social functions. But as you can see there is nothing good about pornography.

When we immerse ourselves in this world we become desensitized to what really happens when the cameras aren’t rolling. Take a look at some of these quotes.

In 2004, Dr. Mary Anne Layden reported before a Senate subcommittee: “Once [the pornography actresses] are in the industry they have high rates of substance abuse, typically alcohol and cocaine, depression, borderline personality disorder. . . . The experience I find most common among the performers is that they have to be drunk, high or dissociated in order to go to work. Their work environment is particularly toxic. . . . The terrible work life of the pornography performer is often followed by an equally terrible home life. They have an increased risk of sexually transmitted disease including HIV, domestic violence and have about a 25% chance of making a marriage that lasts as long as 3 years.” Mary Anne Layden. “The Science Behind Pornography Addiction,” 18 Nov. 2004. Reported in U.S Senate Hearings: U. S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation. Web. 24 Nov. 2009. 

In 1997, Eric Schlosser reported, “The highest-paid performers, the actresses with exclusive contracts, earn between $80,000 and $100,000 a year for doing about 20 sex scenes and making a dozen or so personal appearances. Only a handful of actresses—perhaps 10 to 15—are signed to such contracts. Other leading stars are paid roughly $1,000 per scene. The vast majority of porn actresses are ‘B girls,’ who earn about $300 a scene. They typically try to do two scenes a day, four or five times a week. At the moment, there is an oversupply of women in Southern California hoping to enter the porn industry. Overtime is a thing of the past, and some newcomers will work for $150 a scene.”  Eric Schlosser. “The Business of Pornography,” 2 Feb. 1997, US News & World Report, USNEWS.COM; Money & Business. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <http://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/articles/970210/archive_006163_10.htm>.  

And this next quote may be the worst of them all. It’s from a former actress called Jersey Jaxin.

Tanya Burleson, formerly known as Jersey Jaxin, says, “Guys are punching you in the face. You get ripped. Your insides can come out of you. It’s never ending. You’re viewed as an object—not as a human with a spirit. People do drugs because they can’t deal with the way they’re being treated.”

Does that sound sexy or erotic to you?

We have built a multi-billion dollar industry on the suffering of women in our country so that we can satisfy some sick basest desire without thought or concern for the actual well-being of our fellow man. 

So where does that leave you and I as parents?  How do we stop something so terrible from happening to anyone? 

The real truth is that we can’t.

But what we can do is protect our children from this garbage.  Here are just a few thoughts on ways to do just that:

  • If you or your spouse/significant other has a problem with pornography seek help immediately
  • Get rid of any pornography that may be in the home NOW
  • Put a filter on your home computers (xxxchurch.com has excellent & affordable options)
  • Have your children hand over any mobile devices before they turn in for bed
  • Keep all computers in high traffic areas
  • And most importantly BE AWARE!

The very real reality of pornography is that it’s not a political issue or a constitutional issue, the truth is that it’s a heart issue. 

Do we care enough about people to make a stand on this?

Do we care enough about our wives and daughters and sisters and moms and friends to say we won’t tolerate this? 

Do you love them enough to stop?

 

Katie Larkin May 23, 2012 at 07:58 PM
I found this really informative and shocking. I really like the ideas you have. I think that we must emphasize making love to your spouse rather than sex. How is making love still somewhat taboo, but sex is not. It's unfortunate. Thanks Joe for this article.
Taher khan May 27, 2012 at 03:44 PM
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