14 Nov Young Adults Speak Out Against Pornography
Note from Editor: This is another in our series of articles written by college-age students interested in pro-family policy. United Families International is excited to have a new generation of pro-family advocates who are getting involved.
According to the Fight the New Drug Website (http://www.fightthenewdrug.org/Blog/) in 2006, pornographic search engine requests accounted for more than 25% of daily traffic on the Internet, and 8% of daily emails were pornographic in nature. During that same time, women consumed 30% of the pornography, while roughly 90% of 8-16 year-olds viewed pornography online, and an estimated 80% of 15-17 year-olds had already had multiple experiences with hard-core pornography. Is pornography really that prevalent? We say yes. Here are our personal experiences with how pornography has affected our lives and what we feel can be done to help fight it.
Shaliee, Parker, ID
Pornography has indirectly affected me in that I have seen the impact of it on the lives of boys that I grew up with. Realizing that I had good guy friends who looked at pornography made me sad and disappointed and it always made me wonder what their reasoning’s were behind it. It wasn’t until college that I learned how pornography affects a person’s brain, and how strong of an addiction it can become. I didn’t realize that looking at pornography triggers a pleasure chemical in your brain, which can cause the chemical to be not as easily available when it is overused. I also found out that because this pleasure chemical isn’t as easily available that it makes everyday life activities seem dull and unfulfilling (Hilton, 2012).
I watched these boys struggle in all aspects of their lives. As pornography became a bigger part of who they were and what they did; none of them could sustain healthy relationships with girls, had the desire to go to college, or tried to better themselves as people. They incurred an attitude of “this is as good as I’m going to get, so I better accept it.” Yet at the same time, they kept high expectations for others, especially girls. Watching these changes in the boys in high school was crazy and hard for me to comprehend. However now knowing the research behind pornography, it has made me realize that sadly they just fell into the flow of its addictive tide.
Dana, Jackson WY
We all need to be active and aware of the problems with pornography. While the topic of pornography has never been discussed within my own family, I believe that it has been a persistent issue with many members of it. Growing up, our computer time was never monitored, and my parents never talked to us about the availability of pornography, or the harmful effects it can have. This made my siblings and I feel embarrassed to bring up anything related to the topic. Although pornography may be an uncomfortable subject to talk about it is vital that we teach our children why it shouldn’t be viewed. I would rather try and talk to my children about viewing pornography, in hopes to prevent it rather than finding out that they learned about it through viewing it.
Jaime, Modesto, CA
Pornography is a slippery slope that is slowly catching men and women in a devastating trap. This isn’t an easy trap to get out of. It starts off with those who participate in pornography believing that they can hide it from everyone else. They also believe the viewing of pornography doesn’t affect anyone else. This belief is wrong! Not only does it affect them mentally and physically (through the change in their appearance), it also affects those directly within their homes and families.
I am a living proof of what was said above. Growing up with my brother and my father trapped in the addictiveness of pornography. I have watched the harmful effects of pornography mentally take family members away from the family. They constantly think about how they can fulfill their pleasure without people finding out. Because my father was so caught up in fulfilling his addiction we never had the chance to build a strong father-daughter relationship. This affected me greatly because I wanted SO BADLY to be daddy’s little girl. The only thing I had with my father was soccer. He coached my teams and I knew at a young age that if I wanted to spend time with him I would have to be passionately involved in this sport and make it the most important part of my life. This was the only way I thought I could build a strong relationship with him. I was a very hopeful child, and because of this I kept trying to ignite a flame to our relationship, but it just made things worse. The positive benefits did not outweigh the effort I put into it. There was only hurt feelings.
The light of hope diminished while approaching my adolescent years. I gave up and didn’t try and because of this I disconnected myself from the family. Due to my circumstance I’ve had a hard time in adulthood trusting others, especially men, which has now affected my dating relationships. I have created some sort of a wall that blocks others from reaching my emotions. I did this to prevent more pain from coming into my life, a defense mechanism. This has affected my ability to open up to others and build a deep relationship, where intense emotions are shared.
Another thing I struggle with is my worth and body image. Because of the exposure at a young age my self-esteem was affected. I didn’t take any drastic measure, such as anorexia, bulimia, etc. but mentally I have a hard time accepting the way God has created me. Not only did it affect me but it also affected the rest of the family, especially my mother.
Having a spouse view other women or the next porn queen creates a sense of physical struggles. My mother is a very pretty woman but because she couldn’t compete with 20 or 30 year old women (which most of the pictures are enhanced anyway) she has struggled with her body image. I can remember my mother constantly pointing out her flaws in her body, and most of the time it wasn’t even true. But because she couldn’t look like a still picture, her self-worth was lower than low. I can remember waking up in the middle of the night and finding my mother crying in the dark living room laying in a fetal position on the couch. Sometimes I didn’t know how to respond but I just wanted to comfort her to let her know that I loved her.
Pornography isn’t something to mess around with or to take lightly; it is a very serious thing and before you consider fulfilling your next porn fix just think. Think about those you love, think about the pain and sorrow it can cause families and future families, think about the trap it has on your soul. Please just think and turn away.
These examples show how pornography can have lasting negative effects on people who don’t view pornography, but who know others that do. We can take preventative measures to protect our families by utilizing web protections and being active in each other’s media life. If families work and help each other avoid pornography then as each family is strengthened the community will be stronger. The horrible ripple effect of pornography can be reversed into a ripple effect of fortitude.