No one wants to talk about America's growing addiction to pornography. Certainly not me, but I do quite often because I know it is one of the greatest evils of our day. Like a toxic plague, pornography usage is sweeping our nation and destroying our humanity.
Tragically, the largest demographic consuming internet pornography is children between the ages of 12 and 17. As deadly as pornography is to the innocence and development of our children, it has a stranglehold on millions of men too.
Walk by any magazine stand and you'll see that although porn is difficult to avoid on the internet, "dirty magazines" are still a much sought-after commodity by adult males. While in the airport recently my heart broke at the site of so many men who spend time between flights thumbing through the pages of "soft porn" publications like Playboy. And for crying out loud, they shamelessly do so in their tidy suits in the plain site of everyone.
It will probably shock many of you to hear that these "gentlemen's magazines" have for years featured photos, cartoons and illustrations of children in sexual situations, including association with adults, animals, and sexual assault. So much for "soft porn".
When otherwise "responsible" adults are slaves to the smut, is it any surprise that adolescents are easily addicted when exposed to porn during their hormone driven years? We have never before raised an entire generation on porn, so we don't know how damaging the far-reaching affects will be. A recent edition of Salvo Magazine (a publication I'm honored to serve as a pro-bono senior editor for), entitled, "Silent Bondage" paints a grim picture of the future by outlining the harms we now know our children are currently suffering due to their own pornography consumption.
Salvo features the work of Dr. Judith Reisman, and Dr. Jill Manning, seasoned experts in the dangers of porn. Their research shows that the images "encourage and stimulate anger and aggression" in users and causes them to treat other people as objects. Children who use porn have a lack of interest in marriage and in having children of their own, and are at an increased risk of developing sexual compulsions and addictive behavior.
According to Dr. Manning, the type of porn viewed today, by both adults and children, is "deviant, vile and graphic. Young people are witnessing rape, torture, and all kinds of degrading material." Why would anyone gravitate to such horrible inhumane depictions? Dr. Reisman has carefully studied and documented the effects that exposure to pornography has on the brain - it acts like a drug and can easily capture the "casual observer" and result in serious addiction, causing the user to crave greater quantities of ever more perverse images.
If you suspect someone in your family has a porn problem, arm yourself with truth. This column is much too short to delve into all you need to know in order to protect your family. Visit www.SalvoMag.com where you can order the "Silent Bondage" issue and equip yourself to combat pornography's stranglehold head-on.
If you have a pornography addiction, please get help. At www.VictimsofPornography.org you can connect with counseling resources and hear the victory stories of others who have overcome their bondage. It's critical to understand that consuming porn is never just "harmless entertainment." Your use warps your view of women and of common decency. It breeds selfishness and unfaithfulness. You might as well be having an affair with every woman you gawk at in the glow of the computer or while privately viewing that hotel room porn flick.
Your wife may be silent about your usage, but she's probably dying a little each day inside. I'll never forget the heart-wrenching words of a wife whose husband regularly viewed porn: "It was like my husband had a mistress in our home."
If you use pornography, you use people. You have a problem. Get help.
December 26, 2009
Other helpful resources for couples in crisis include:
Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family. Visit her website at www.HowToSaveYourFamily.com. where you can sign up to receive her free e-newsletter containing the Culture Challenge of the Week and how to fight back. Hagelin is also senior communications fellow for The Heritage Foundation.