The following guest article is a fitting capstone over the last few weeks for our brief series on the topic of addiction. It was written by Beckie Lindsey and originally published on her blog on July 17, 2017. Beckie is a gifted author and committed follower of Jesus whom I am privileged to include in my list of special friends and colleagues. You will find this piece to be more than insightful because in addition to her spiritual perspectives, there is statistical information about the plague of pornography and links to resources for any who might want to explore more.
It’s no secret that the digital age has made pornography more accessible and pervasive than ever. Just a click or tap away, technology has ushered porn into the mainstream culture where it has become increasingly accepted.
There have been numerous studies and stats compiled in recent years to help us understand more about who is using pornography and its effects. Below is a compilation based on a few of the current studies along with some helpful sites for pornography addiction.
The intention behind this article is to bring awareness, show scientific evidence of the damages of porn, and provide hope. I’ve seen first-hand how porn can tear relationships apart. I know too many Christians who are “hiding” their addiction out of shame. I am fortunate to attend a church that offers help for those who are struggling with the effects of porn addiction. However, many churches do not offer anything, leaving those who struggle to remain in darkness.
There is hope with the light of God’s love and forgiveness, but the first step is acknowledging porn for what it is: A LIE. Human beings are designed for intimacy and relationship. Porn is a counterfeit for what we were designed for. It is warped, degrading, and isolating. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the stats.
The internet’s largest portal of porn was founded in 2007, and has grown to hold over five million videos viewed by over 75 million visitors a day. (Forbes, May 25, 2017)
That portal reported the following numbers from 2014.
Please keep in mind this is just one site, however, it is worldwide.
• Total visits: 18.35 billion
• Number of videos viewed: 78.9 billion; 11 videos for every man, woman, and child on earth.
• The most searched term: Teen
• 23% of the site’s viewers are women
• The U.S. is Number 1 in per capita page views.
• Average viewing time by an American: 9 minutes and 40 seconds.
• 45% of porn is viewed on smartphones, 44% on desktop PCs, and the rest on tablets.
• On Christmas day, porn traffic drops by 18%.
• Porn traffic on the Superbowl dropped 22%
Statistics reported in the site’s year in review, January 7, 2015
• 30% of all internet traffic is pornography.
• The world’s largest porn site transfers 29 petabytes of porn a month
• In the U.S., 52% of pornography is accessed on smartphones; 10% on tablets.
• Worldwide, 51% of porn is accessed on desktop computers; 49% on smartphones and tablets.
The Inquisitr, December 26, 2013
In the US
Who is using porn?
Is porn truly unhealthy?
What are the results of the increase in porn?
In April 2016 Barna Group released its landmark study after interviewing thousands of American teens, young adults and older adults about their views on and use of pornography. The following stats are taken mainly from this survey, but also in combination with other sources and studies.
• 13% of women admit to accessing porn at work
• 70% of women keep their cyber activities secret
• 17% of all women struggle with porn addiction
• 9.4 million women view porn monthly
A growing number of women are using what is referred to as erotica. Pornography generally deals with objectification, whereas, erotica forms a relational connection. The rise in e-reader sales and the popularity and acceptance of erotic fiction. E.L. James’. bondage-themed Fifty Shades of Grey and its two sequels have brought the genre into the mainstream.
The statistics show that:
• Women favor chat rooms 2x more than men.
• 1 of 3 visitors of all adult web sites is a woman.
Practicing Christian Females 25+
5% use porn (2013 annual report on Covent Eyes states 20%)
Men use porn more frequently than women by a wide margin. Four times as many male adults 25+ use porn than female adults (47% compared to 12%).
Men admitting to accessing porn at work: 20%
US adults who regularly visit internet pornography websites: 40 million
55% of men use porn.
Practicing Christian Males 25+
23% use porn
Teen Females (13-24)
36% use porn
Practicing Christian Teen (13-24)
13% use porn
Teen Males (13-24)
72% use porn
Practicing Christian Teen Males (13-24)
41% use porn
Young Adults (18-24)
Among each of the generational groups, young adults 18-24 are the most frequent porn users. Almost six in 10 young adults (57%) seek out porn either daily, weekly or monthly.
Young Adults Use More Porn—and are Less Likely to Say It’s Bad for Society
Around half of adults 25 and older say viewing porn is wrong (54%), and among teens and young adults 13-24, only a third say viewing porn is wrong (32%).
• Most pastors (57%) and youth pastors (64%) admit they have struggled with porn, either currently or in the past.
• Overall, 21% of youth pastors and 14% of pastors admit they currently struggle with using porn.
• About 12% of youth pastors and 5% of pastors say they are addicted to porn
• 87% of pastors who use porn feel a great sense of shame about it.
• 55% of pastors who use porn say they live in constant fear of being discovered
Although these numbers might be shocking, practicing Christians are more than three times less likely to use porn than other teens and adults (13% compared to 42%), and young adults (57%) are much more likely than both teens (37%) or adults 25+ (29%) to be a frequent porn user.
Effect of Porn Use
An article in HuffPost, January 7, 2015, states 87% said that their partner’s online cheating (by porn or other means on the internet) had a negative effect on their relationship. 41% called their partner’s online cheating significant, while 35% said it caused an end to the relationship. From a survey taken by Robert Weiss, a counselor who works with sex addiction.
I highly recommend reading the scientific research revealed in“Fight the New Drug: 15 Scientifically Proven Reasons Why Porn Isn’t Healthy for Viewers or Society”.
The reasons are as follows (read article for scientific research):
• Porn can change and rewire your brain
• A porn habit can escalate into twisted territory
• Porn can get addictive
• Porn can affect your sexual tastes
• Porn can affect your brain (similar to a drug)
• Porn can damage your sex-life
• Porn is full of lies
• Porn can damage love
• Porn can leave you lonely
• Porn can hurt your partner
• Porn can warp a healthy view of sex
• Porn is inseparably linked to prostitution and sex trafficking
• Porn can seriously hurt your family and personal life
• Porn is connected to violence
• Porn is changing to be more shocking and hardcore than ever
The internet is a great vehicle for pornography because it’s accessible and anonymous. We must consider seriously the effects porn is having on individuals and societies at large. Our youth’s brains are becoming rewired in how they view sex and relationships. It is time to shine the light on the immense damages of porn. Every human being deserves God’s design for real love and intimacy without the toxicity of porn.
If you or someone you love is struggling with porn, below is a list of some great, discrete online resources to get help.
Beckie Lindsey is an award-winning writer, poet, freelancer, and blogger. She is the editor of Southern California Voice, a division of One Christian Voice, LLC., a national news syndicating agency. She is the author of devotions, a devotional study journal, and the upcoming YA novel, Beauties from Ashes. Beckie is passionate about the Word of God and desires for others to not only know the truths of the Bible but experience them personally in daily life. She and her husband, Scott have three adult children, two adorable cats and live in California. Learn more about Beckie at https://beckielindsey16.com/
To follow Gallagher’s Pen for more “Right Side Up Thinking ~ In an Upside Down World”, sign up just below the Search box in the upper right sidebar for regular email notifications of new posts.