Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Subtle Pull of Pornography

In a troubled and struggling American economy, there is one industry that seems to be in no danger of loss of revenue. And that would be the business of pornography. According to Family Safe Media, the porn industry generated over 13 billion in profits for 2006. If that doesn't shock you, that is more than the COMBINED revenue of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix and EarthLink for that year!

Some other startling statistics:

- There are 4.2 million pornographic websites, which is 12% of total websites.

- Almost 43% of Internet users view porn on a regular basis.

- 20% of men admit to accessing pornography at work.

- 90% of 8-16 year olds having viewed porn online, most while doing their homework.

- Every second, $3,075.64 is being spent on and 28,258 Internet users are viewing porn.

- Every 39 minutes a new pornographic video is being created in the United States.

If these statistics are unsettling for you, they should be. So how did such a generally frowned upon practice become so commonplace within American culture? The website, Breaking Free, recently wrote about the history of porn within human civilization. From drawings on cave walls to the invention of the Gutenberg Press to the photographic camera to movies, Playboy and VCR's to the present Internet age, makers of pornography have remained on the cutting edge of technology in order to offer their product to an all-too-willing public.

Sadly, Christians often find themselves caught in the web of pornography as well. According to that same Family Safe Media study mentioned earlier, 53% of men involved with Promise Keepers viewed porn within the last week. And porn is not just affecting men. In a poll conducted by ChristaNet.com, 20% of Christian women are addicted to pornography.

Because of the widespread use of the Internet and the ease of accessing pornography, even unintentionally, a growing number of people are developing addictive patterns to porn that are affecting their personal lives, families and work. Were it not for addressing my own struggles in this area shortly after entering adulthood, I shudder to think of where it could have led.

I know too many Christian men that are truly seeking to live a godly life affected by this issue to think that any of us are immune from this struggle. Even those of us that serve in vocational Christian ministry are affected. In fact, a couple of courageous Christian artists, Clay Crosse and Kirk Franklin, have been vocal about their own struggles with porn and the healing that God has brought in their life with this issue.

So why does porn get so many into its grip? Walter Kendrick, author of The Secret Museum: Pornography in Modern Culture, has this to say:
"Pornography is always unsatisfied. It’s always a substitute for the contact between two bodies, so there’s a drive behind it that doesn’t exist in other genres. Pornographers have been the most inventive and resourceful users of whatever medium comes along because they and their audience have always wanted innovations. Pornographers are excluded from the mainstream channels, so they look around for something new, and the audience has a desire to try any innovation that gives them greater realism or immediacy."
A casual look at a magazine can lead to perusal on the Internet which can lead to videos and then onto strip clubs and even prostitutes. It is a never ending cycle once the claws of porn have gripped your mind and heart. Like any other addiction, those in bondage to pornography need help from others to find deliverance and healing. If you're someone that is currently struggling with an addiction to porn, I encourage you to read this article by Gene McConnell or visit Pure Online. Then talk to someone you trust that can aid you getting the help you need. If there is not someone in your life that you feel like you can talk to, feel free to shoot me a message.

2 comments:

Luke Gilkerson said...

Thanks for these stats and facts.

You might like this post about some more Christian musicians who are speaking out about pornography problems in the church:

http://www.covenanteyes.com/blog/2008/12/29/christian-musicians-speak-out-to-those-tempted-by-porn/

Please pass this new video along to your students. I hope more and more college students begin to live lives of accountability for their Internet use:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ICTrHtUkx8

scottcrocker said...

Hi Luke,

Thanks for the comments and links.

Scott