I hope you found that video both sobering and heartbreaking. Sexual addiction/pornography addiction has become pandemic. It can no longer be ignored. It destroys marriages, families, friendships, careers, and lives. Let me share some statistics with you.
- 50% of Christian men and 20% of Christian women are addicted to pornography
- 70% of porn visitors online admit that they keep it secret
- Ages 12-17 are the largest consumers of internet pornography
- 62% of parents with teenagers are unaware they have accessed objectionable website
- 90% of children ages 8-16 have viewed pornography on the internet
- 1 in 3 porn viewers are women
- 70% of men, aged 18-24, visit porn sites in a month
- 12% of websites on the internet are pornographic
- Nearly 25 million pornographic sites are in existence
- Every second, over $3,000 is spent on internet pornography
- Over 28,000 internet users are viewing porn every second
- 40 million Americans are regular users of porn sites
- 25% of all search engine requests are pornography related
- 68 million searches are conducted a day that are pornography related
- 35% of all internet downloads are pornographic
- There are 116,000 searches for child pornography daily
- The average age at which a child first sees porn online is 11
- Every 39 minutes a new pornographic video is being created in the U.S.
Most people have no idea how addictive pornography actually is. They think that it is just looking at pictures or videos. How can looking at pictures be addictive? The addictive process is multifaceted. The more one continues to view pornography he or she becomes behaviorally conditioned to continue doing so. The sexual drive is a natural drive that God created and it is extremely powerful. The brain also chemically reinforces the addictive process because the use of pornography provides the brain with potent chemicals. Eventually the use of pornography is the brain’s primary way of getting its needs met, and the addiction becomes extremely ingrained. The addiction to pornography is also promoted through a social context. Many would say this is part of “being a man” and that it is perfectly healthy. All of these factors coalesce into a powerful addiction.
So just how powerful is the addiction to pornography? One experiment was conducted where rats were habituated to the drug Heroine. The rats were then given the option to receive a dose of Heroine or an electrical impulse that stimulated the sexual pleasure centers in their brains. The rats chose the electrical impulse every time. That is extremely telling.
So why has pornography become such a problem? Because the addiction is rooted in shame and shrouded in secrecy. No one wants to come out and admit they have a problem. The shame and secrecy actually feed the addiction. The only way to break free is to take the first step and admit it is a problem to someone else.
You probably noticed from the statistics that the church is heavily impacted by this addiction. Christianity clearly teaches that lust and pornography are wrong. Pornography is prohibited along with every other form of sexual aberration. So with the Biblical proscription against pornography, why is it such a raging problem? Could it be that people are afraid to approach the church with this problem because they are scared of being condemned and judged instead of helped and loved? Have we created an environment in church that actually feeds the problem? What if the church promoted the teachings of Christ? That people are broken and desperately in need of some loving people to hold their hands and walk them through dark nights of the soul. Maybe more people would find the strength to be removed from the bondage of pornography if Christians would create an atmosphere of safety in churches, where we promote the idea that we are all sinners. Where we take off the masks instead of pretending like our outer Sunday best is a reflection of what is inside.
Parents, did you notice the statistics about kids? Don’t bury your head in the sand and assume that your child would never look at pornography. On the contrary, the weight of the evidence says that your child will look at pornography or be approached to do so. Talk to your kids about this topic. Let them know the dangers. Give them the freedom to come tell you when they mess up. Don’t punish them for being honest. Instead, praise them for their bravery to admit there is something in their life that shouldn’t be there.
Chances are extremely high that someone reading this struggles with pornography. Let me promise you something. You will never kill this monster on your own. It is like fighting a nine-headed hydra. Cut of one head and two grow back. I have worked with enough people to know this is a fact. Do not lie to yourself and tell yourself you will stop or that you can quit. It will not happen. Instead, tell someone. It is the brave thing to do. Know that there are probably people you know that struggle with the same thing. Maybe if you are brave they could be too. Would you take the first step and tell someone? Would you do yourself a huge favor and deal with this immediately? I hope you will.
Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.
If you read this and know that you struggle in this area but are too scared to tell someone you know, would you send me an email? You don’t even have to give me your name. Just start there. I would love to give you some information, resources, and ideas of where to go from here.