25 Sep Stealth Threat to Families
September 25, 2013
After two years of marriage, Lynn realized that her husband was addicted to pornography. He was often on the computer most of the night, and was late for work so often that he lost his job–which meant he was on the computer most of the day as well. Depressed, confused, and frustrated, Lynn sat in the same room with him, holding their little child, and trying to get her husband’s attention, who ignored them both. His pornography addiction–and the sexual abuse that followed–led to the inevitable divorce, and the devastating emotional scars that would haunt Lynn for years to come.
It is unbelievable that pornography is often marketed as a harmless or even healthy pastime. In reality, it is one of the most stealth, ominous threats to families across the world. Respected neurosurgeon Donald L. Hilton, Jr., M.D., states that pornography produces an addictive neurochemical trap akin to crack cocaine. “Pornography wants you,” Dr. Hilton says, “It wants your husband or wife, it wants your son and daughter, your grandchildren, and your in-laws. It doesn’t share well, and it doesn’t leave easily. It is a cruel master, and seeks more slaves.” Gordon S. Bruin, M.A. adds that “since the introduction of the internet, pornography has become a worldwide pandemic.” The truth is that pornography is dangerous to individuals, families, and societies.
Pornography is harmful to individuals. Dr. Hilton explains that pornography actually shrinks the frontal lobes of the brain, similar to the brain damage caused by car accidents and drug abuse. He continues, “Patients with frontal lobe damage exhibit a constellation of behaviors we call frontal lobe syndrome.” Frontal lobe syndrome includes the following behaviors:
- The patients are impulsive, in that they thoughtlessly engage in activities with little regard to the consequences.
2. They are compulsive; they become fixated or focused on certain objects or behaviors, and have to have them, no matter what.
3. They become emotionally labile, and have sudden and unpredictable mood swings.
4. They exhibit impaired judgment.
Neuroscientists confirm that addiction is addiction is addiction. No matter whether the source comes from external drugs or “natural addictions such as pathological overeating, pathological gambling, and sexual addictions,” it is still an addiction. Pornography is a real, physical addiction.
Pornography hurts marriages and families. Licensed Mental Health Counselor Dolores T. Puterbaugh points out that pornography is based on deception, and “any act of deception creates a small brick in a wall that mars the intimacy of the married partners.” In addition, Canadian-born author and Marriage and Family Therapist, Jill C. Manning confirms that just one household member using pornography impacts the entire family. Dr. Manning testified before a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee that pornography undermines the stability of family relationships by decreasing parental time and attention towards children, and increasing the stress in the home from parental job loss and financial strain or separation and divorce.
Dr. Manning also explained that pornography use by a parent increases the risk of children’s exposure to pornography, which can leave lasting negative impressions on the child, lead to earlier onset of first sexual intercourse, and undermine their success in future relationships.
Pornography even impact entire societies. As noted in UFI’s Guide to Family Issues: The Harms of Pornography, “Private behavior can have public consequences. . . in the nations where the availability of pornography proliferated, rapes and sexual assaults increased dramatically.” In addition, Dr. Hilton asserts that pornography actually contributes to the demographic decline of nations. “Biologically, it destroys the ability of a population to sustain itself. It is a demographic disaster. The author Tom Wolfe said, ‘The bigger pornography gets, the lower the birthrate becomes.’”
Noting that many countries are now below the 2.1 fertility rate needed to sustain a population, Dr. Hilton explains, “There is a direct correlation between the growing cultural dominance of the sexual revolution and the diminishing birthrate, and while causation may not be proven, it is strongly supported by the pheromone effect of pornography.” While Dr. Hilton freely admits that many things contribute to demographic decline, he argues that the “biological factors of human sexuality and family stability are primary and, in my opinion, haven’t been appropriately weighted.” Citing Cambridge anthropologist J.D. Unwin’s research that examined 86 cultures over 5,000 years, he notes, “cultures that had no restraint on sexuality, without exception, deteriorated into mediocrity and chaos.”
With such a bleak picture, what can be done? Recognizing the seriousness of pornography addiction is a good beginning. Recovery is possible but it is not easy. According to Dr. Hilton, successful intervention “must recognize the problem as a full addiction, and treat it with the same consideration given to alcohol or chemical substances.” Most families find that a trusted addiction recovery program is necessary to achieve lasting success for everyone involved, including spouses and others indirectly affected by a family member’s pornography use. In today’s world where pornography is available on every mobile device, it is more important than ever for parents to have open, ongoing conversations with their children about the dangers of pornography, and to model self-restraint and healthy relationships in their own lives.
As an organization dedicated to preserving the family we plead with concerned citizens everywhere to:
- Educate yourself and others to the seriousness of this concern.
2. Articulate it’s dangerous effects not only to the individual but also to the family and to society.
3. Lobby for laws in your community that help limit the exposure and harm of pornography.
Thank you for helping United Families International preserve a future for families!
President, United Families International
For information about the harms of pornography and the road to recovery:
Educational Events to Attend:
•“Ignite the Light in a World Darkened by Porn,” Fort Wayne, Indiana, Oct. 5. Go here for details.
• “Families Fighting Pornography,” Gilbert, Arizona, Nov. 2. Go here for details.
- “Southern Utah Regional Conference,” St. George, Utah, Nov. 5. Go here for more information.
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