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 - divorcewizards.com) 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.