Pornography. What do you think of when you hear that word? For many wives of pornography addicts, this word sends chills down the spine. In fact, in a recent survey of 63 wives of self-identified sex addicts, 70 percent met most criteria for a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. When you think about porn, we bet you don’t think of PTSD.
Maybe you don’t know that two-thirds of women involved in the pornography industry in the United States also suffer from PTSD. Now, compare that with 11 percent of Vietnam veterans who struggle with the disease.
Contrary to our culture’s belief, pornography is harmful on many levels. For those of you who don’t know, this week is “White Ribbon Week,” raising awareness of pornography and its many facets. This week at WAR, Int’l, we want to draw your attention to pornography as an issue that fuels sex trafficking, child exploitation, and sexual violence.
In the last several years, porn has grown increasingly violent. In fact, 88 percent of all porn videos involve some kind of violence that can include slapping, punching, spanking, or gagging. The same study also showed that 49 percent of scenes contain verbal aggression, including name-calling.
One of the reasons porn flourishes in today’s society is because of its accessibility. Men and women no longer have to go to a store to rent a porn video or buy a copy of Playboy. Twenty years ago, those who bought porn did so by passing the magazine or video through the hands of a sales clerk. Today, this is not the case. The Internet can be a great thing, but with a world of information at our fingertips has also come the ability to bypass the average sales associate when it comes to purchasing porn.
It’s also important to note that 13 percent of all erotic, sexual searches on the internet in 2013 were for child pornography. Pornography is not an issue primarily focused on adult women. While pornography becomes increasingly violent, the desire for young children also grows.
Covenant Eyes, an organization which produces internet accountability software, recently did a study of 13-17 year olds that showed 83 percent of boys and 57 percent of girls have seen group sex online. Sixty-nine percent of boys and 55 percent of girls have seen same-sex intercourse online, and 39 percent of boys and 23 percent of girls have seen sexual bondage online.
This issue goes beyond choosing not to watch pornography. Do you know what your children are looking at online? Do you know who they are talking to? If recent studies show that 92 percent of teens report going online daily, and 24 percent go online “almost constantly,” parents need to become circles of protection around their children.
This week, we want to encourage you to start a conversation about the porn industry. Research this issue more on your own. This is the perfect opportunity to talk with your children about it and start an open conversation among your immediate family members. Being a safe haven for your circle of influence is a powerful thing.
Here are a few ways to combat the rise of pornography from right where you are.
- Wear a white ribbon or the color white throughout this week.
- If you are struggling with your own addiction, we want to encourage you to seek out a local Sexaholics Anonymous group. We want you to know you are not alone and there are people who want to help.
- If you are the spouse/significant other of an addict, start a support group. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org for a resource guide.
- Develop rules in your house regarding internet use, and talk to your children and grandchildren about the dangers of pornography.
- Host a movie night with friends and show a film such as Somebody’s Daughter, The Price of Pleasure, or Nefarious: Merchant of Souls. Start a discussion within your own circle of influence.