In the previous blog I raised the fact that for many people porn presents a real biological issue and can justifiably be classified as easily addictive. However that doesn’t answer the question I posed towards the end as to whether there’s anything wrong with porn in and of itself.

I remember the moment when I was about 9 or 10 that I accidentally opened my first ever spam email and saw a pornographic image. My response was immediate embarrassment and shame, so I closed the page straight away. I think that attitude would have been the same with almost everyone of my age. But by the time I had my next encounter with it (age 14), the tide had shifted dramatically and boys were showing off about the kind of stuff they were looking at online. Since then I’ve noticed that it’s pretty much assumed of all teenagers, young men and even older ones now, that watching porn would be part of their weekly routine. For some it’s a clear badge of honour to show off about and for others it’s just a personal habit. But all in all it’s an accepted/affirmed thing to do. Most people would justify this prevalent use of porn as basic freedom of choice for those involved and those watching. That’s not always true because often the women are bound up in sexual slavery and you won’t be able to tell whether that’s the case in the video you’re watching or not. But even if it were completely free choice for all involved, I wonder whether we as a culture are using our ‘freedom to choose’ in quite the right way?

Below I will lay out a few thoughts I have been considering since starting to do my own research. This blog will be a general thoughts section, looking at the topic from a wider perspective and then in the next blog I will write a more concentrated piece aimed at professing Christians. To any non-Christians reading, I would strongly encourage you to stop giving your support to the porn industry, but I would actually like to suggest that there’s a bigger problem in your case. There is the matter of eternal life, which will not be sorted out by stopping porn consumption. The truth is that any and every sin has separated you from God and the most pressing item on your agenda should be getting right with Him. To find out how that is possible please visit our website.

General thoughts:

  • Most guys would like the porn industry to keep producing material, as long as it didn’t involve their sister or mother. Why is it ok unless it’s someone you care about?
  • Culture campaigns for women to make their own decisions in life. But at the same time the sex industry, which is mainly driven by the desires of men, is one of the largest industries in the world.
  • Paedophiles are being publically persecuted more severely in the media; meanwhile the number of searches for ‘teen porn’ by grown men has tripled in the last 8 years.
  • All people want to become more confident in who they are, but at the same time the pressure is getting stronger on girls (and guys) to look and perform like the actors and actresses they see on the screen. I see no other explanation for how revealing and provocative clubbing outfits have become.
  • The women in the industry are generally treated as objects by their male co-performers, directors and their audience. One ex-performer said, “It’s never ending. You’re viewed as an object, not as a human with a spirit.” Is that how any human being should be treated?
  • A basic survey found that 88% of scenes in porn films contain acts of physical aggression, and 49% of scenes contain verbal aggression. Why do we cringe if we see this sort of behaviour in a tube carriage or on the news, but tolerate/ignore it when it’s labelled as ‘porn’?
  • In a day when ‘marriage for everyone’ is such a hot topic, the porn industry, which undermines faithful relationships and weakens marriages, is still growing.

“Research reveals many systemic effects of Internet pornography that are undermining an already vulnerable culture of marriage and family. Even more disturbing is the fact that the first Internet generations have not reached full-maturity, so the upper-limits of this impact have yet to be realized” – Jill Manning, Sociologist

If pornography addiction is viewed objectively, evidence indicates that it does indeed cause harm in humans with regard to pair-bonding.” (Hilton & Watts, 2011)

  • While there is still a social stigma around adultery, a huge percentage of erotic novels and films glorify having affairs and promiscuity.
  • We’d fund research to tackle the spread of harmful STDs and at the same time we’d support an industry that sees nearly all its performers becoming infected at some point in their career.

Another TED talk; this time it’s focussing on the social effects of porn.

It really doesn’t take a genius to compile a case against the porn industry and from arguments I’ve heard, it does take a spin-doctor to make it sound appealing. But understandably most people would stand firmly in the camp of, ‘don’t tell me what to do in my spare time!’ My basic response to this is that we’re happy to be told to do stuff when it benefits us (Apple do it all the time), so the real problem must actually be something else. Ultimately, I just want to suggest that our actions, emotions and thoughts seem to be very different outside the bedroom than inside it. And I’m worried that our internal (bedroom) nature will start to change our external (boardroom) nature, rather than the other way round.

Now if you’re a Christian or are interested in the argument that comes out of the Bible against porn then have a look at the next blog.