Women and Pornography
Paul TautgesPaul Tautges serves as senior pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, having previously pastored for 22 years in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Paul has authored eight books including Counseling One Another, Brass Heavens, and Comfort the Grieving, and contributed chapters to two volumes produced by the Biblical Counseling Coalition. He is also the consulting editor of the LifeLine Mini-Book series from Shepherd Press. Paul is a Fellow with ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors). He and his wife, Karen, are the parents of ten children (three married), and have two grandchildren. Paul enjoys writing as a means of cultivating discipleship among believers and, therefore, blogs regularly at Counseling One Another.
- 2015 Jan 22
In Christian circles, pornography is almost always portrayed as a male problem. However, more and more Christian women are confessing their addiction to the power of lust. In the following interview, counselor and author Rachel Coyle talks about her mini-book Help! She’s Struggling with Pornography. Her booklet is part of the LifeLine Mini-Book series. This interview was originally posted by the Biblical Counseling Coalition.
BCC: "Sometimes people assume that only men struggle with pornography. What prompted you to write a booklet for women battling pornography?”
RC: “Years ago, when I was just beginning my training in biblical counseling, several women approached me for counseling, each with her own story of how she became not just involved, but addicted to pornography. It was interesting that these women all approached me within just a few months’ time and were not acquainted with one another. This experience opened my own eyes to the reality of this problem and how life-dominating pornography can be for women as well as men. I began talking with other women and researching this issue extensively for several years to understand the magnitude of this problem. This resulted in a lengthy thesis paper on the topic which has since been condensed into two articles, one book chapter, and finally, this booklet.”
BCC: “What types of struggles with pornography do women experience?”
RC: “In the booklet, I focus on women who look at pornography as well as women who read pornographic literature such as graphic novels or magazine articles among other things. Some women do not realize that they are addicted to pornography because they do not look at pornographic images, but they read material that conjures up the same kind of images in their minds. For a woman who turns to any kind of pornography as a means of escape, euphoria, or sexual fulfillment, the effect is the same. This is very clear in God’s Word, which I explain in the booklet.”
BCC: “How important is it to have a clear understanding of the definition of pornography?”
RC: “It is vital, especially in reference to a woman’s struggle. Pornography is everywhere, and in our society we have come so far from modesty that many of us do not even know how to define pornography or identify what could be considered pornographic. Billboards, movies, television, graphic romance novels, magazine articles, chat rooms, and even music all have the potential to be a source of stumbling for women who struggle with this issue. In the booklet, I explain the possible dangers of these and other media sources.
BCC: “Tell our readers how you examined the Bible’s teaching on the problem of pornography.”
RC: “Many of the words we use to describe the problems of life are not found in the Bible, for example: alcoholism, bulimia, abuse, and of course, pornography. But this does not mean God does not have the solution. As we understand what fuels those behaviors and how they are rooted in our hearts, we can “re-define” the terms and use biblical words to label our problems. This equips us to efficiently study God’s Word and understand the problem as well as the solution.”
BCC: “How is your booklet different from other materials that address this subject?”
RC: “As you can tell by the title, this book is written specifically for women. That is one key difference, as most books are written for men or are gender-neutral. I identify various sources of pornography that women tend to be attracted to and explain why they may be considered “pornographic,” such as novels and soap operas. On a practical note, the compact size of the booklet allows a woman to be discreet in dealing with her own struggle or helping another woman work through such sensitive material.”
BCC: “Is your booklet only helpful for women who struggle with pornography?”
RC: “It is written for either a woman who is struggling or an individual who wants to help a woman who struggles, but the principles I use to explain the problem and the solution are founded in God’s Word. They apply to any kind of besetting sin; anything that we find ourselves struggling to overcome. Therefore, anyone could read this book and apply the principles to their own personal battle against any habitual sin.”
BCC: “Who should read this book and why?”
RC: “Pastors, counselors, and mentors should read it to take the blinders off and become aware that women (as well as men) can and do struggle with pornography. Women should be addressed from the pulpit along with men. Parents and youth workers should read it to be aware of the potential dangers young women face through various media sources (including PG movies!), which could introduce them to pornography. All it takes is an inkling of curiosity to introduce a young woman into the deadly grip of pornography. Women of any age should read it to learn how vital it is that we filter what we allow into our minds. What we read, look at, watch, and even listen to has the potential to open us up into a world of sensuality reserved for husband and wife alone. Women who struggle with pornography should read this book and know they are not alone! For them, it is a source of hope for freedom from pornography, fixed upon the grace of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
BCC: “Thanks, Rachel, for helping our readers to ponder biblical principles for victory over the temptations we face in our daily Christian life.”
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