Thursday, March 18, 2010

Topic: Why do men and women choose to look at pornography? What do you think?

Three "Excuses" for people to lie to themselves.

1. I cannot help myself. I have to look at porno because my wife, husband does not satisfy me. I cannot help it because it is everywhere. I cannot stop myself from looking, after all, they send me email, and I cannot stop myself from opening it. The list could go on and on but the truth is we tell ourselves a lie in order to justify our behavior.
2. It is good for me. I cannot help myself.
3. No one will know. When we tell our self that no one will ever find out what I do late at night while my spouse is asleep. What they don't know can't hurt them.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pornography - Changing the Face of Families

I remember the first time I saw pornography. It was in Seattle Washington. The year was 1977 and I was in the 4th grade at Boulevard Park. One of my classmates who's name has long escaped my memory told me he had something to show me. Before I knew what it was, he reached into his backpack and pulled out the ripped out page of some pornographic magazine.  I stared at the picture in shock. My shock quickly turned to curiosity and then disgust as I realized that what I was looking at was bad. Not because my parents or teachers or religious leaders had told me so... in fact I couldn't even explained why I knew it was bad. There was just some innate part of me that knew, instinctively, that this was wrong.

But why is it wrong? The answers are too large to address in a single blog. In fact the statistics showing the harmful effects of pornography are staggering.  There is, however, a dissection of the argument that holds personal interest for me. At the risk of trivializing the problem lets call it a "pet peeve" if you will. Like colorizing black and white movies or people who drive with no insurance... I could go on and on. The problem is that this "pet peeve" has a greater affect and far more reaching consequences than those listed above.  The problem that I'm referring to is the affect that that pornography has on the family unit today.

To really see the affect pornography has in the family structure you need to first understand the scope of the problem. In the book, Pornography: Research Advances and Policy Considerations by Jennings Bryant and Dolf Zillmann. Statistics estimate that in 2005 there were 42 million pornographic websites comprising 12% of the total websites online with an estimated 420 million pornographic pages. Another study by comScore Media Metrics indicated that 70% of men between the ages of 18 and 34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month.

But most shocking are the statistics as they relate to the family. 47% of families said that pornography was a problem in the home (Focus on the Family poll,  October 2003). In another poll couples indicated that the internet played a significant factor in 2 out of 3 divorces. (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2003 - In testimony given in front of Congress in 2005 Dr. Jill Manning indicated that, "Because the sex industry has an unprecedented proximity to the home and work environments, couples, families, and individuals of all ages are being impacted by pornography in new ways."

The family is the most basic and most important social structure we have. As the internet becomes a larger part of our lives, the negative effects that come with it increase exponentially. There must first be recognition of the problem as it exists.  Increased social awareness of this destructive influence is crucial. But when it is all said and done individuals who struggle with this addiction must step forward and be accountable. Education is needed concerning the realities of this addiction. Understanding and support is needed by friends and families of those caught in this addiction. And most importantly we must give realistic techniques and solutions for anyone caught up in the nightmare of pornography addiction. 

It's never too late, it's never so bad, it's never past the point where you can't begin TODAY to make a change in yourself, in your marriage and in your family.  Visit Keystone Recovery for additional information on how to begin making that change today.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Childhood Epidemic

Last week I baptized our 8 year old daughter Makenna. I recall vividly as she came down the hall in her brand new white dress, smiling from ear to ear. She looked like an angel. In one moment it seemed that all the hopes and dreams I have ever had for her came flooding into my mind. How would she do in school? Would she go to college? My heart ached at the heartbreak she would inevitably feel. I wondered if she would meet and fall in love with someone who saw her as the same beautiful princess I have always seen.

Recently Keystone Recovery met and counseled with a mother and her daughter. The daughter's face revealed a once beautiful young girl who's body and face showed the ravages of long term Methamphetamine use. She was a young girl who's parents probably had the same dreams and hopes for their daughter that I had for mine. And yet thy found themselves wrapped up in the nightmare of their daughter's drug addiction.

In a 2009 study done by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stated that 1.9 million school-aged children and adolescents met the criteria for abuse of, or dependence on, alcohol or illicit drugs. Of these, an estimated 1 million children used illicit drugs. 1.4 million used alcohol, and 518,000 were dependent on both. Finally of the entire 1.9 million children 17 years old or younger who are abusing drugs and/or alcohol, only 134,000 or 7% of those received any kind of treatment. Sadly, that means that 93% of our school aged children do not receive the help or treatment they need for drug or alcohol abuse addiction.

We have an epidemic in this country. Drug, alcohol and pornography addiction ravages through lives and destroys families. Often in the middle of an addictive cycle both the addict and their family have feelings of hopelessness and despair. But addiction can be overcome. With the proper tools combined with hard work and persistence - long-term recovery is possible. However, in order to defeat this epidemic we, as parents must educate ourselves. We must become more involved in our children's lives. We must be aware of the signs of possible drug or alcohol abuse. With the proper education and intervention we can keep our children safe from the dangers of drug use. With love, persistence and the proper treatment we can reclaim our children from the horrors of current drug addiction.