Pornography has become a huge problem. Statistics can vary and admittedly be misleading, but I downloaded the 37-page 2014 Annual Report by CovenantEyes which I believe is the most accurate and comprehensive. Let me summarize some of the most disturbing statistics and then I will address the topic.
The report starts out saying that it is hard to determine the size of the "industry."
"The adult Internet is the fastest expanding segment of the U.S. adult entertainment market."
– Free Speech Coalition
According to Websense, in 2004 the number of porn sites went from 88,000 in 2000 to nearly 1.6 million. Yet, recent statistics I found outside this report show this number expoding. MetaCert, "with over 7 million unique domains (or 700 million pages / 35 billion URLs) classified, it is by far, the world's largest database of Internet pornography. In August 2013 they released the following infographic:
Revenues are obviously high, although they went down between 2007 and 2011, due to the amount of free pornography available online. I found a statistic elsewhere that stated, "Worldwide pornography revenue in 2006 was $97.06 billion. Of that, approximately $13 billion was in the United States (Internet Filter Review, 2006)."
The next section of the report looks at the people in porn:
In 2008, Shelley Lubben, founder of the Pink Cross Foundation, reported:
A 2012 survey of 177 porn actresses demonstrated porn stars are more likely than the general public to have:
- - marijuana (79%)
- hallucinogens (39%)
- ecstasy (50%)
- cocaine (44%)
- methamphetamine (27%)
- tranquilizers (26%)
- heroine (10%)
The report then goes through habits and demographics:
"After an analysis of 400 million web searches from July 2009 to July 2010, researchers
meaning that people's search curiosities "are clustered together into a relatively
small set of common interests."
By and large, men prefer images and graphic sex sites; women prefer erotic stories and
Between March 1999 and January 2001, Alexa Research examined 10 of the leading search
engines and more than 9.1 million unique search terms. "Sex" was the #1 most popular search
term. "Porn/porno/pornography" ranked #4. Also in the top 20 search terms were "nude/
nudes," "xxx," and "playboy."
The report then looks at mobile porn and there are alarming statistics:
After an analysis of more than one million hits to Google's mobile search sites in 2006, adult queries were demonstrated to be the most popular query category, with more than 1 in 5 searches being for pornography.
According to Juniper Research, by 2015:
Next, the report looks at it's effects on marriage:
- 1. Increased marital distress, and risk of separation and divorce
2. Decreased marital intimacy and sexual satisfaction
4. Increased appetite for more graphic types of pornography and sexual activity associated with abusive, illegal or unsafe practices
5. Devaluation of monogamy, marriage and child rearing
6. An increasing number of people struggling with compulsive and addictive sexual behavior
The next section in on pornography and teens:
"Never before in the history of telecommunications media in the United States has so much indecent (and obscene) material been so easily accessible by so many minors in so many American homes with so few restrictions."
– U.S. Department of Justice
"Research reveals many systemic effects of Internet pornography that are undermining an already vulnerable culture of marriage and family. Even more disturbing is the fact that the first Internet generations have not reached full-maturity, so the upper-limits of this impact have yet to be realized"
– Jill Manning,Sociologist
There are a lot of disturbing statistics, for example:
In 2008, more than 560 college student responded to an online survey:
- 93% of boys and 62% of girls were exposed to pornography before 18.
- 83% of boys and 57% of girls have seen group sex online.
In 2010, 14 to 16-year-olds from a north London secondary school were surveyed. They found:
- - Nearly a third looked at sexual images online when they were 10 years old or younger.
- 81% look at porn online at home.
- 75% said their parents had never discussed Internet pornography with them.
There are a lot more statistics but it is clear that our children are being exposed to porn at incredibly young ages and most of them have been exposed to it.
The report then reports on young people and sexting, then reports on young adults:
One of the most disturbing statistics was the following, "In 2009, Michael Leahy released results of a survey of 29,000 individuals at North American universities.
51% of male students and 32% of female students first viewed pornography before their teenage years (12 and younger)."
This was a survey published in 2009, so it was conducted several years ago. 29,000 people is a large sample size and the exposure of porn to preteens must be significantly higher today.I found a statistic elsewhere that stated, "20 percent of teens have sent or posted nude or seminude photographs of videos of themselves." (Gwen Schurgin O'Keeffe, Kathleen Clarke-Pearson and Council on Communications and Media Pediatrics; originally published online March 28, 2011)
The next section reports on porn in the workplace and these numbers are very disturbing.
I even had to deal with this issue when I owned an IT firm and had a number of people work for me. I caught one person, who was a Christian, with porn images on their office computer. The statistics in this section were somewhat old which makes it even more disturbing.
The report then goes on to report on porn among churchgoers.
According to data taken from Internet users who took part in the General Social Survey for the year 2000, regular church attenders are 26% less likely to look at porn than non-attenders, but those self-identified as "fundamentalists" are 91% more likely to look at porn. In 2003, 34% of female readers of Today's Christian Woman's online newsletter admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn. In August 2006, a survey reported 50% of all Christian men and 20% of all Christian women are addicted to pornography. 60% of the women who answered the survey admitted to having significant struggles with lust; 40% admitted to being involved in sexual sin in the past year.
The report then addresses porn among Pastors.
This became an issue at my current church (Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale) when our Founder and Sr. Pastor Bob Coy got caught in adultery and admitted to an addiction to Internet porn. The report says this is not uncommon. In 2002, of 1,351 pastors surveyed, 54% said they had viewed Internet pornography within the last year, and 30% of these had visited within the last 30 days.
The report then talks about the psychological correlations. This is a lengthy section with some very current statistics.
The report then concludes with a section on pornography and violence.
There are obvious correlations to sex abuse/rape, rape fantasies, violence, victim humiliation, pedophilia, etc.
Now let me address this topic. If these statistics are accurate, if the sample is representative, then you have probably watched porn. It is one thing to accidently have a pornographic popup show up while "surfing," and it is another thing when our curiosity or desires lead us to search it out. Thankfully God is very clear on this issue... He hates pornography, he equates it with adultery (Matthew 5:27-28), and porn can very easily destroy your life and much worse, land you in hell (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6, Hebrews 13:4 and other verses). Admittedly the first reference talks about who will not "inherit" the kingdom of God as opposed to who will not "enter" it, but there is no debate that pornography is a serious sin. If Christ equates it with adultery, and people were stoned for adultery, then we understand it's seriousness. When we just look at it from a natural point of view, we see pornography is addictive like heroin:
"[M]odern science allows us to understand that the underlying nature of an addiction to pornography is chemically nearly identical to a heroin addiction." – Dr. Jeffrey Satinover
"Pornography triggers a myriad of endogenous, internal, natural drugs that mimic the 'high' from a street drug. Addiction to pornography is addiction to what I dub erototoxins—mind altering drugs produced by the viewer's own brain." – Dr. Judith Reisman
Pornography has very destructive consequences as made clear in the CovenantEyes 2014 Annual Report. For example, it destroys marriages. Pornography will make your spouse less attractive, you'll want more partners. That's what you're doing, seeking other partners, by looking at porn.
It also has a lot of negative psychological correlations. These are detailed in the report.
Surprisingly the report doesn't say much about child porn (aka kiddie porn) but this is obviously another huge problem. Children are being exploited throughout the world. As we saw earlier in the report, the most popular category of sexual searches was "youth." There is a disturbing trend toward child porn. There is an increasing trend towards younger victims and greater brutality; according to Flint Waters, an investigator with the federal Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, "These guys are raping infants and toddlers. You can hear the child crying, pleading for help in the video. It is horrendous." Back in the 1990's the United States Department of Justice estimated that pornographers had recorded the abuse of more than one million children in the United States alone. That number continues to skyrocket with the increased interest in child porn. This has led to an increase in sexual abuse. According to the Mayo Clinic, of the U.S.A. based on case reports of those under treatment, 30% to 80% of individuals who viewed child pornography and 76% of individuals who were arrested for Internet child pornography had molested a child. After sex offender treatment, 80–85% of inmates convicted of possessing or distributing child pornography admitted that they had molested children, according to two studies.
In spite of international cooperation, less than 1 percent of children who appear in child pornography are located by law enforcement each year, according to Interpol statistics.
From a spiritual point of view, pornography invites demons into your soul and this is a very real thing. I have participated in many exorcisms. An ex-girlfriend, people at church, a close friend from Asbury University who was a missionary kid...There is also a controversial concept called "soul ties" which has some basis in Scriptural truth but is a speculation. This concept takes the spiritual tie between married couples and applies it in a negative sense. For example, advocates often quote Genesis 34:2-3, "And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. And his soul cleaved unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spoke kindly unto the damsel."(KJV) An article on this position can be found HERE. Regardless of your position on soul ties, pornography is extremely harmful spiritually and seperates you from God while giving the enemy access to oppress, and even possess in the case of the unbeliever. It also seperates us from fellowship with true believers. Paul commanded us in 1 Corinthians 5:11 to avoid any believer who is sexually immoral, etc. This will hopefully lead to conviction and quick repentence because fellowship is destroyed, not only with God, and one's spouse, but also other Christians.
Pornography also invites masturbation (Jude 23). Masterbation is always sin, unless you are with your wife or husband, and thinking about them. God takes your thoughts seriously because fantasies and your thought life are serious. They influence you greatly. According to research and studies, women fantasize a lot and prefer erotic stories and romance sites. So it is particularly important for women to be aware of the influence these fantasizes have on their minds. See The Batle For Your Mind for more information on this battle. God even takes semen seriously. "When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Any clothing or leather that has semen on it must be washed with water, and it will be unclean till evening (Leviticus 15:16-17)."
There is more I could say but I pray that you see the dangers and completely avoid pornography. Admittedly this is extremely hard in this sex-crazed culture where even images on TV are pornographic, and even innocent surfing can lead to pornographic popups or ads. It is essential that we remain prayerful and in relationship with our "Power Source" (Jesus Christ) so we have to strength to resist all sexual temptation. We need genuine accountability and safeguards which is another loaded topic. If you are addicted to pornography or have recently looked at pornography, please get help. Please contact me so you can address it and I can pray for you. There are also a lot of resources out there that will help you.FOOTNOTES:
1. Free Speech Coalition, WHITE PAPER 2005.
2. Jennifer Davies and David Washburn, "San Diego's adult entertainment goes uptown, upscale and online (first of two parts),"
Union Tribune, Oct. 18, 2004. http://legacy.utsandiego.com/news/metro/20041018-9999-lz1n18adult.html (accessed Dec. 27,
3. Paul M. Barrett, "The new republic of porn," Bloomberg Businessweek, June 21, 2012. http://www.businessweek.com/printer/
articles/58466-the-new-republic-of-porn (accessed Dec. 27, 2012).
4. Shelley Lubben, "Ex-porn star tells the truth about the porn industry," Breaking Free, Oct. 28, 2008. http://www.covenanteyes.com/2008/10/28/ex-porn-star-tells-the-truth-about-the-porn-industry (accessed Dec. 27, 2012).
5. James Griffith, Sharon Mitchell, Christian Hart, Lea Adams, and Lucy Gu, "Pornography actresses: An assessment of the damaged goods hypothesis," Journal of Sex Research (November 2012): 1-12.
6. Ogi Ogasa and Sai Gaddam, A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the Internet Tell Us About Sexual Relationships. (New York: Plume, 2011).
7. Geoff Nicholson, "Web surfers prefer sex over MP3!" Mar. 23, 2001. http://www.mp3machine.com/news/773 (accessed Dec. 27, 2012).
8. Maryam Kamvar and Shumeet Baluja, "A large scale study of wireless search behavior: Google mobile search." CHI 06: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2006): 701-709. http://www.kevinli.net/courses/mobilehci_w2012/papers/googlemobilesearch.pdf (accessed Dec. 27, 2012).
9. Juniper Research, "Videochat and subscription services to drive mobile adult revenues to $2.8bn by 2015, Juniper Report finds," Oct 14, 2010. http://www.juniperresearch.com/viewpressrelease.php?pr=210 (accessed Dec. 27, 2012).
10. Juniper Research, "Mobile adult subscription revenues to reach almost $1 billion by 2015," May 2, 2012. http://www.juniperresearch.com/viewpressrelease.php?pr=306 (accessed Dec. 27, 2012).
12. Juniper Research, "Mobile adult video users to triple on tablet devices by 2015," June 11, 2012. http://www.juniperresearch.com/viewpressrelease.php?pr=317 (accessed Dec. 27, 2012).
14. Juniper Research, "Smartphones & low cost data drive traffic to mobile adult paysites, with subscribers forecast to reach 35 million by 2015," Nov. 23, 2010. http://www.juniperresearch.com/viewpressrelease.php?pr=216 (accessed Dec. 27, 2012).
15. Jill Manning, "Hearing on pornography's impact on marriage & the family," U.S. Senate Hearing: Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights, Committee on Judiciary, Nov. 10, 2005. http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/testimony.cfm?id=e655f9e2809e5476862f735da10c87dc&wit_id=e655f9e2809e5476862f735da10c87dc-1-3 (accessed Dec. 27, 2012).
16. U.S. Department of Justice. Post Hearing Memorandum of Points and Authorities, at l, ACLU v. Reno, 929 F. Supp. 824, 1996.
17. Jill Manning, "Hearing on pornography's impact on marriage & the family," U.S. Senate Hearing: Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights, Committee on Judiciary, Nov. 10, 2005. http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/testimony.cfm?id=e655f9e2809e5476862f735da10c87dc&wit_id=e655f9e2809e5476862f735da10c87dc-1-3 (accessed Dec. 27, 2012).
18. Chiara Sabina, Janis Wolak, and David Finkelhor, "The nature and dynamics of Internet pornography exposure for youth," CyberPsychology and Behavior 11 (2008): 691-693.
19. "Put porn in its place," Psychologies, Aug 2010. http://www.psychologies.co.uk/put-porn-in-its-place (accessed Dec. 27, 2012).
20. Michael Leahy, Porn University: What College Students Are Really Saying About Sex on Campus (Chicago: Northfield Publishing, 2009).
21. Steven Stack, Ira Wasserman, and Roger Kern, "Adult Social Bonds."
22. Ramona Richards, "Dirty little secret," Today's Christian Woman, Sept. 2003. http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2003/september/5.58a.html (accessed Dec. 27, 2012).
23. ChristiaNet, Inc., "ChristiaNet poll finds that evangelicals are addicted to porn." Marketwire, Aug. 7, 2006. http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/christianet-poll-finds-that-evangelicals-are-addicted-to-porn-703951.htm (accessed Dec. 27, 2012).
24. Brenton Evans, "Till porn do us part," FireProofMyMarriage.com. http://www.fireproofmymarriage.com/dload.php?file=_images/_needhelp/InternetSafety.pdf (accessed Dec. 27, 2012).
25. Reisman, Sanitover, Layden, and Weaver, "Hearing."
27. "The Child Porn Pipeline Part Three: A child victim's story of betrayal and despair". Buffalo News. 2008.
28. Levesque, Roger J.R. (1999). Sexual Abuse of Children: A Human Rights Perspective. Indiana University Press. pp. p66. ISBN 0-253-33471-3.
29. Ryan C. W. Hall; Richard C. W. Hall (April 2007). "A Profile of Pedophilia: Definition, Characteristics of Offenders, Recidivism, Treatment Outcomes, and Forensic Issues" (PDF). Mayo Clin Proc 82 (4): 457–471. doi:10.4065/82.4.457. PMID 17418075. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
30. Software Tracks Child Porn traffickers On-line, USA Today 16th April 2008
31. Friedman, Emily (2007-09-28). "Clues Caught on Tape Key to Child Porn Cases". Abcnews.com. New York: American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved 2008-12-14.SUGGESTED READING: Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain by William M. Struthers
Treating Pornography Addiction: The Essential Tools for Recovery by Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World by Joshua Harris
For Women: Sexual Sanity for Women: Healing from Sexual and Relational Brokenness by Ellen Dykas (Harvest USA) Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World by Joshua Harris (Study Guide for women) by by Josh's wife, Shannon More resources can be found at http://www.throughtheflame.org/resources.php
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