Making people less than human.
People would be up in arms if someone would think of me as just a disability. Think of me as just a crip. Think of me as less than human.
But as the news of a few weeks ago has shown, some people still think of women as a sexual object and not a human being.
As a porn addict, I was guilty of that. (See “My Dirty Little Secret”.) Anyone who watches porn is part of the problem.
I am referring to the Stanford student who raped a girl behind a dumpster at a party. Behind a dumpster as if she were garbage. If you want more information, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_v._Turner and for the girls impact statement go to http://tinyurl.com/hcb9ol5. Her statement was powerful. As I was reading I was becoming angry and disgusted, as a lot of people around the country were as well.
After awhile I began to realize that I’m not any better than that kid. I’m not a rapist but when I was watching pornography I was viewing the women on the screen as objects to be used for my pleasure. That is exactly how that young man treated his victim.
According to a study published in Child Abuse Review in 2009,
“exposure to pornography helps to sustain young people’s adherence to sexist and unhealthy notions of sex and relationships…” and “consumption intensifies attitudes supportive of sexual coercion and increases their likelihood of perpetrating assault.”
While not all viewers of pornography become rapists, men who regularly watch are 22% more likely to commit a sexual crime (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOLAJw7kVcA). Also, according to a study in 1988 by researcher Dr. W. Marshall “86% of convicted rapists said they were regular users of pornography, and 57% admitted direct imitation of pornographic scenes when they committed rape.” It might be an old study but it was at a time when you had to go to an “erotic bookstore” to find most porn. Today you simply have to turn on your computer.
Let’s take it a step further. By viewing and purchasing pornography we, as a society, are contributing to sex trafficking. You may be scratching your heads wondering what watching porn has to do with sex trafficking. I will do my best to explain. For better explanations I recommend the following videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5hcvd3TrHc and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGdMi-oC9nM
When an adult is coerced or deceived into prostitution – – or maintained in prostitution through one of those means after initially consenting — that person is a victim of trafficking. What is prostitution? Having sex for money. What is someone in the porn industry doing? Having sex for money.
Contrary to what the industry claims it isn’t always consenting adults. I don’t have a figure but when I did a search on YouTube for porn and sex trafficking I found story after story of young girls coerced into prostitution and pornography. It always starts innocent enough but eventually they find themselves doing things they never agreed to and some even being brutally raped.
I hope this post has opened some people’s eyes. So many people think watching porn isn’t hurting anyone. Not only is it hurting the women involved but it’s warping men’s perception of women. And society as a whole’s perception. Young women are starting to believe it’s okay to be treated like sex objects. All of this further perpetuates the problem of sexual abuse on women and sex trafficking.
How much longer are we as men going to put our momentary pleasure ahead of the safety and dignity of our wives, girlfriends, and daughters? I am so glad I decided to get help for my addiction to porn. Every time I think about the connections I just wrote about it makes me sick. It makes me sick to think I was part of the problem.
It is only God’s grace that keeps me from being overwhelmed by guilt. But at the same time, some days, it’s the only thing keeping from falling into porn again. It’s only been six months, so I can’t let my guard down. Unfortunately, as an addict, temptation will probably never completely go away. But temptation isn’t sin, acting on it is. Every day is a little easier than the last.
If you have a problem with porn yourself, you need to get help for you and your family. When I finally came to grips with my addiction, first, I put a filter on my computer with Covenant Eyes. Then, I told someone who I could confide in. He became my accountability partner. Then, we read together the book Breaking the Cycle: Free Yourself of Sex Addiction, Porn Obsession, and Shame, by George Collins, MA . This is where I started. If you need any advice in starting, please contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org