Parenting: Pornography and Our Youth
Pornified: 5 Facts You Must Tell the Next Generation
As I write this, I am on a flight to Fort St. John, BC. Tonight I will speak at an area-wide Youth Event on “What Porn is Doing to Your Future Sex Life”. Oh God, please help these teens to really listen!
I am loaded for bear! I just came back from the Set Free Global Summit in Greensboro, North Carolina. For 4 days, nearly 900 pastors, experts, Christian leaders, counselors, group leaders and recovering sex addicts from around the world gathered to find a way to address the massive cultural landslide into the pornographic abyss. The goal was to discuss ways to help the church wake up to the reality that sexual lust is devouring our kids today in a way that no previous generation has experienced. I had, to that point; grossly underestimated the impact porn is having on youth today.
You know it’s a problem when TIME Magazine, a secular and liberal cultural beacon is warning the world about PORN. It’s true. Check out this month’s cover article (see photo) of the April 11, 2016 edition for yourself:
PORN: Why Young Men who Grew Up with Internet Porn are Becoming Advocates for Turning It Off
Lust isn’t new. Access is! And its effects are tragic.
People have been tempted to get off track sexually for centuries. The book of Job for example, about one seriously Godly man and one of the oldest recorded books in the Bible (1500-1300 BC), registers his commitment on the issue – “I have made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman” (Job 31:1). Sexual temptation is not a new thing.
But ACCESS is! At one time, skin magazines (as they were once called) were only available at a seedy corner store and put away out of view. XXX videos were stored in dimly lit back rooms behind the ‘adult only’ curtains. Now, porn is ubiquitous – and I chose this word deliberately. It means simultaneously everywhere!
We all know that porn is now on TV, via cable, in every home, at every library, in every hotel room, on public display in stores, in theatres and in live venues across North America and the world. That change is significant but it pales beside porn’s real access explosion through the Internet. Porn is now in the hands of and at the fingertips of every person – young and old – that has access to smartphones, iPhones, tablets, notebooks, iPads, laptops, home computers, work computers, Xboxes, Play Stations and more. Porn access is ubiquitous and limitless. Remember – there are no safeguards on the Internet and no adult only curtains. Porn is completely available for any teen and truthfully – actually comes looking for new young viewers.
We’d be wise to remember the 4 A’s behind the growth of porn problem: It’s readily ACCESSABLE – all over all the time. It is initially AFFORDABLE – free for much of it at least for a while. It is virtually ANONYMOUS – tracks can be covered and no one need know. It is incomprehensibly ADDICTING – it draws people in deeper with every click.
What’s sad is that this generation is like a bunch of guinea pigs in a 20-year Porn experiment and nobody knows the outcome. They are the first generation that has been fully cyber-suckled on broadband streaming.
Some of the early results are in and it is not looking good. The recent Barna Research Report The Porn Phenomenon (April 2016) funded by Josh McDowell Ministry and given out at the Set Free Global Summit helps describe what’s currently going on. Some of these stats will unsettle you, I hope.
- This generation is watching more: Within the 13-24 age range, 72% of males and 36% of females are watching porn regularly – daily, weekly or 2/month. Adults 25+ are watching porn far less with males at 55% and females at 17%.
- Christian youth struggle too: Of the 13-24 age group, 41% of practicing Christian males and 13% of practicing Christian females view porn regularly.
- Right vs. wrong fading: While 55% of adults 25+ say that viewing porn is wrong, only 32% of 13-24 year olds say its wrong. This stat alone is a momentous shift in one generation.
- Have we emphasized the wrong message: Teens and Young Adults (13-14) rank not recycling (56%) as more immoral than viewing porn (32%). Being green is more important than being pure.
- Tolerance grows: The more frequently teens use porn, the less wrong they think it is – softening even on issues like rape, violence, nonconsensual sex and sex with children.
- Loss of discretion: 51% of teen and young adult women porn users have sent a nude image via text, email or app – 75% of the time to their boyfriend.
- It’s no big deal: 90% of teens and 96% of young adults have a pretty cavalier attitude when talking to their friends about porn. It’s encouraged, assumed and its morality isn’t discussed. Think where this will take us.
What are we to do? I remember at one point about 15 years ago purchasing and giving out nearly 100 copies of the book Every Mans’ Battle by Stephen Arterburn to every male in my family, extended family and friendship network. As good as that was at the time, there are far better things to do today.
Here are 5 things to tell Millennials – that’s right, EVERY ONE in your world between 13-24 – your children, grandkids, nieces and nephews, pupils, neighbors, Sunday school classes, youth groups and more.
FACT 1: PORN KILLS LOVE
Pornography is about getting. It’s selfish. Real love is about giving. Porn is driven by a desire for pleasure not for a relationship. Very early, the people in the sex videos become like a collection of toys that a young person plays with. Women especially become “objects”. Sex isn’t personal. It’s taking advantage of someone. It is private and fully self-absorbed! It’s all about me. You lose your ability to love well. You treat people as something to conquer rather than someone to cherish.
FACT 2: PORN ERODES YOUR VALUES
Porn corrodes and deteriorates the viewers’ morals. The more extreme and varied the sexual experiences one views, the more these become normal and accepted as okay. Watching porn slowly deteriorates core ethical presuppositions from the teen’s family of origin. Further, the more porn is watched, a teen’s attitude toward viewing it changes. Porn soon is encouraged and seen as no big deal. Teens tend to pretend it’s not hurting anyone else and don’t see how it is affecting them.
FACT 3: PORN NEUTERS YOUNG MEN
Guys, google erectile dysfunction. E.D. means you can’t get it on! Getting addicted to the PMO cycle (porn, masturbation, orgasm) is now causing young men to be unable to have an erection with a real woman. That result of the 20-year porn experiment people don’t want to know but its at the heart of the April’s Time magazine. Their brain gets warped to respond only to porn. Their neurological pathways get high-jacked. Sadly, for a growing number of 20-something men that have been frequent porn users, sexual arousal can now only come via porn.
FACT 4: PORN DISTORTS YOUNG WOMEN
First off, porn is a girl’s issue too. They are getting sucked in at a growing pace. They think watching porn will help them get a guy. There’s a perception for teen women that to be loved, you have to be sexual. The message is a lie. Most porn implies sex is for guys. It gives girls the impression that they are some kind of a pleasure machine. They feel pressured to send naked photos of themselves in hopes to secure the love of their boyfriend. Many do. Reflecting this distortion, a young teen girl was recently, “How do you know a boy likes you?” She replied, “If he talks to you after you have given him oral sex.”
FACT 5: PORN ROBS YOUR INNOCENCE
Every sexual act a teen watches tarnishes the magic of their future connection with their spouse. Sexual intimacy was designed by God to be a life-long journey of committed love, creative discovery and expressive passion within marriage. It has been replaced by countless hours of pre-marital voyeuristic sexual exposure leaving young adults with nothing new, nothing uniquely mutual and nothing left for personal discovery with their future mate. What’s worse, as tolerance grows, harsh and degrading sexual imaging is added – even abusive acts – and they distort a teen’s perception of what healthy sexuality is. Attitudes toward sex are getting jaded. Teens sexual love maps are being vandalized.
Pornified. Where do we go from here? What are some wise steps for you as you read this? The obvious one but maybe assumed is to get help for yourself. You can’t help someone out of a pit you are in yourself. Break the silence with your porn struggles in the next 24 hours.
Further, I challenge you to take these 3 steps to do your part in making a difference in battling the Porn Phenomenon.
STEP 1: LINK to this article on Facebook by going to www.DoingFamilyRight.com, then select the article and click on Share. Then forward it to those you know who work with teens.
STEP 2: Tell 1 person under the age of 20 about what you have read here. Give them an appropriate word of caution in love. Encourage them to check out the amazing porn awareness website for youth – www.FightTheNewDrug.org
STEP 3: Ask your pastor to preach specifically on the problem of Pornography. Invite him to send me an email to email@example.com and I will send him some great message ideas and statistics to make his job easier in sharing this important message in a compassionate way.
I’d love to hear from you. If you need help, seek it here. If you want more resources, email me. You’ll never regret putting your marriage and family first and joining Job in making a covenant with your eyes to stay faithful to one.
© Dr. Dave Currie – April 2016
Feature image used with permission: www.123rf.com/profile_sabphoto/#23198688