A popular magazine found in many counselors’ offices, recently published articles written to normalize and justify pornography. These articles suggest that pornography is harmless and can be an effective tool to help couples. Further, these articles claim pornography should be viewed not only by men but should also be enjoyed by women. These articles suggest that pornography is only harmful when it creates unnecessary guilt caused by teachings of religious zealots.
These articles lie. Pornography does pose a serious threat to our society and to the sanctity of marriage. It undermines the quality of healthy relationships. I applaud the recent movement to declare pornography a serious health hazard that should be banned. These movements include the website Fight The New Drug, which details how the poison of porn affects the brain and ruins lives. Also, premier relationship researchers John and Julie Gottman published the article “Open Letter on Porn,” stating how the use of pornography poses a threat to the intimacy of couples.
We have the benefit of reliable studies and reports published by scholars, who are not religious zealots and that leave no doubt about the destructive nature of pornography. Pornography is a billion-dollar industry that cares nothing about who they harm. Who do you think is behind this movement to normalize something so despicable? Who will benefit the most from a push to justify this addiction and to have it in every home?
Porn’s harmful effects in the home
Many young children already have been exposed to porn from discovering it in their homes, on their dad’s computer or on the top shelves of the bookcase. Their friends have shared it with them on their cell phones or tablets. Wives have had their hearts broken by their husbands’ addiction to porn. These wives feel objectified by their husbands’ lust; normal sexual relationships have vanished, empathy and compassion have disappeared, and women’s dreams of healthy relationships have been crushed.
Boys’ exposed to porn develop distorted views of girls when they delve deeper into the darkness of their addiction for the rush of distorted sexual activity. Girls and women have been made to believe that, to be considered sexually desirable, they must dress immodestly and have their bodies sculpted so they can imitate what appears in pornographic images.
Wives feel that they cannot compete with the women portrayed in porn. In fact, pornography propaganda claims it is the wives fault when their husbands stray. Women who pose for the pornographers’ cameras are seriously abused and traumatized. They too are victims of the trade. No parents would want their daughters exploited this way.
Some porn sites portray violence toward women which lead some men to think that this is what women want or deserve. This violence destroys sensitivity needed for an intimate and sensitive connection. As a result boys and men do not learn to treat girls and women with kindness, courtesy and respect.
Porn creates unrealistic expectations
Porn creates a supernormal experience that cannot be duplicated in normal couple relationships. Consequently, pornography reduces the satisfaction for both. Those addicted have the false impression that their partners should be ready on demand for intimacy. Pornography prescribes that husbands are to dominate, and wives must willingly submit. How does such thinking promote a quality relationship in which both partners feel equally valued? How many divorces can trace pornography as the root cause?
These articles tell men and women that the use of pornography is normal and natural. It claims that since it doesn’t effect anybody else, no one is harmed. The reality is that it does negatively affect men and the women in many areas of their lives.
The damage of a pornography addiction
The addict does not realize the spiritual damage caused by sexual addiction until they are overwhelmed with guilt and shame. Guilt is knowing you are doing bad, and shame is feeling you are bad. This leaves the addict in isolation, cut off from God and from normal, healthy relationships. These two things: God’s love and the love of others are the very things needed for successful recovery.
Just coming out of the shadows and admitting one needs help is the first step. Those addicted to drugs can eventually have the poisons eliminated from their bodies; but those addicted to porn have all the sordid images in their minds and readily available for instant recall – that makes recovery harder. However, recovery is possible. I repeat: recovery is possible. Addicts can overcome their addiction with hard work and divine assistance.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Dr. David Coombs’ website. It has been modified and republished here with permission.
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