An anonymous reader wrote:
Shouldn’t a person have the right to watch or read whatever he pleases? As long as he watches or reads in the privacy of his own home, and nobody gets hurt, what difference does it make?
PORNOGRAPHY HURTS THE USER.
The individual who reads and watches pornography does not come away unscathed. Paul wrote, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:7,8). God promises one will reap “corruption;” who would dare disagree with Him?
What a person “sows” in his mind determines how he acts. Solomon wrote, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. . .” (Proverbs 23:7a), and, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Someone observed, “Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a character.Sow a character, reap a destiny.”
Just as with alcohol and drugs, pornography is both addictive and progressive. It is undeniably addictive. The percentage of people addicted to pornography is reaching epidemic numbers. According to an MSNBC.COM survey, 10% of respondents indicated they are addicted to sex or Internet pornography. Other estimates range from 3-8%, which would indicate that at least 8.7 million Americans are addicted to pornography (and the number may be as high as 29 million). Sex addiction is not gender specific, as one might imagine. Half of cybersex addicts are men, and half are women, with men preferring pornography pictures and women preferring sexually explicit chat rooms (however 23% of women preferred pictures).
Why is pornography addictive? Beyond the obvious-that it partially satisfies the human sex drive-Dr. Alvin Cooper, clinical director of the San Jose Marital Services and Sexuality Center in San Jose, California, found that people engage in online sexual activities to break away from their daily routines, explore fantasies, relieve stress, and spice up their sex lives.
Pornography use is progressive in that one needs more and more to satisfy cravings. It starts small, innocently enough. It grows to what one has aptly described as “athlete’s foot of the mind.” It never goes away. It always asks to be scratched, promising relief. To scratch, however, is to cause pain and to intensify the itch. It progresses to greater amounts of time devoted to it, and it progresses to greater perversions-more extreme types of pornography. The user needs rougher and more sexually shocking material to achieve the same level of arousal each time. For example, simple “swimsuit porn” turns to more daring pictures, then to pictures of younger and younger girls. Eventually, this can turn to interest of sex with children, sex with animals, and even to “snuff movies” where the sex act ends in murder.
PORNOGRAPHY HURTS WOMEN.
The Bible’s command for men to honor women (1 Peter 3:7) is sadly lost in a modern world. The National Victim Center now estimates that at least one woman is raped in the U.S. every 46 seconds. Why so man rapes? Many experts point to the increase in the use of pornography.
- Exposure to pornography increase the inclination to believe that women like to be hurt, to be humiliated, to be forced to do things that they do not want to do, or to pretend to be forced to do things that they really do want to do. Researchers reported that in the field of violent/pornographic movies, prolonged exposure to X-rated as well as R-rated films caused male college students to be “desensitized” to rape and violence and more accepting to the rape-myth that women say “no” when they mean “yes.”
- Dr. Sal Pellicano, veteran prison chaplain for prison systems in Florida, North Carolina, and New Jersey reports that during his 15-year career, 100% of the inmates he has known who have been incarcerated for a sex crime were pornography users.
- A study released by the University of New Hampshire revealed that states with the highest readership of porn magazines such as Playboy and Hustler also had the highest rape rates. Researchers Murray Straus and Larry Baron also found “an unusually high correlation” between sex magazine readership and the rape rate in all states. They stated, “The fact that sex magazine readership is strongly and consistently correlated with rape supports the theory that porn endorses attitudes that increase the likelihood of rape.”
PORNOGRAPHY HURTS CHILDREN.
- Human Development Specialist Dr. Shirley O’Brien of the University of Arizona found that child pornography victimizes as many as 600,000 children in the United States each year. Victims often include children as young as three and as old as eighteen.
- The typical serial child molester will abuse more than 360 victims over the course of his lifetime. He is usually able to abuse 30-60 children before he is even caught for the first time.
- 74% of female adolescents who had sex before age 14 reported that it was involuntary.
- It is estimated that one in three girls and one in seven boys are sexually molested by age eighteen.
- 20% of children using Internet chat rooms have been approached by pedophiles.
- 30% of teenage girls said they had been sexually harassed in a chat room, and only 7% told a parent about the harassment, as they were worried that their parents would take away their Internet use.
- 89% of sexual solicitations are made in either Online Chat Rooms or Instant Message. By the way, 13 million teens use Instant Messenger and 25% of teens participate in Real Time Chat.
- 95% of 15 to 17-year-old-teens go on line; 83% have Internet access from home; and 29% have Internet access in their bedroom. Only 33% of teens have a filtering service on Internet at home and 43% of teens do not have rules at home about Internet use.
- 53% of teens have been exposed to pornographic materials on the Internet; 31% of kids age 10-17 from households with computers (and 24% of all kids 10-17) say they have seen a pornographic website
- 91% of the first exposure by a teen to pornography was during benign activities, such as research for school projects or surfing the Web for other information. Pornographic Websites often disguise themselves by using common search terms used by children, such as names of popular teen games, TV shows, actions figures, and even the White House, to lure teens in hopes that they become future paying users. Once exposed to pornography, teens often seek it out again, and many eventually become addicted.
- Some counselors estimate that the average age for a boy to be exposed to hard-core pornography is now eight and a half years old, and for a girl it is eleven years old. Focus on the Family reports that the average age of first contact with pornography for males has dropped from 11 years old to five years old.
- Children spent 64.9% more time on pornography sites then they did on game sites in September 2000. In addition, 27% of children age 17 and under visited an adult website, of which 21% were 14 or younger and 40% were female.
- Adolescents ages 12-17 are among the age groups most frequently exposed to pornography.
- UNICEF reports that one million children each year are forced into prostitution and used to make pornography. Children are reported missing at the rate of 750,000 per year, 62,500 per month, 14,423, per week, 2,054 per day, and 85 per hour or 3 children every 2 minutes.
PORNOGRAPHY HURTS SOCIETY.
An estimated 3,500-5,000 people in the U.S. are murdered each year by “recreational killers.” Most of them feed on pornography. Serial killer Ted Bundy, in an interview just before his execution, said
Listen, I’m no social scientist, and I haven’t done a survey. I don’t pretend that I know what John Q. Citizen thinks about this. But I’ve lived in prison for a long time now. And I’ve met a lot of men who were motivated to commit violence JUST LIKE ME. And without exception, without question, EVERY ONE of them was deeply involved in pornography. There’s no question about it. The FBI’s own study on serial homicide shows that the most common interest among serial killers is pornography. Well-meaning, decent people will condemn the behavior of a Ted Bundy, while they’re walking past a magazine rack full of the very kinds of things that send young kids down the road to be Ted Bundys. But I’ll tell you, there are lots of other kids playing in streets around this country today who are going to be dead tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day and month, because other young people are reading the kinds of things and seeing the kinds of things that are available in the media today.
Is it any wonder that the Bible instruct Christians to think on that which is PURE? Paul wrote, “Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8; see also 2 Corinthians 10:5). Wayne Jackson notes, “Pornography, sexually explicit movies, etc., have paved the way for many an act of rape, adultery, incest, homosexuality, and other equally vile sins. . . . One simply cannot feed upon the impure and be pure!” (Matthew 5:28; 2 Peter 2:14).