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America Has a Pornography Problem

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Objectifying women, exploiting performers abused as children, and wasting billions of hours per year, pornography is an underrated threat to our society.

America has a pornography problem. In 2017, Pornhub received 28.5 billion unique visits to their website. That breaks down to 50,000 porn searches per minute, and in case you were really curious: 800 searches per second. And that’s just for one website.

Americans have watched three times as much porn in 2017 as the next highest porn-consuming country – the United Kingdom. Is that cause for concern? Some might say that there are economic benefits to the industry. However, pornography is extremely harmful for all parties involved. Here’s why:

Pornography exploits sexually abused children. According to a study from 2012, 36.2 percent of pornography actresses reported to have been sexually abused during their childhood, further inflaming the already prevalent issue of child sexual abuse. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, 20 percent of adult females recall an incident of sexual abuse or assault during their childhood. Because of this disparity, when you watch pornography, you are likely exploiting child sexual abuse victims.

Pornography ‘animalizes’ women. This should be the most obvious argument against porn, one on which religious and non-religious people can agree. For a country that has made such tremendous strides towards equality, pornography consumption may be the single biggest cultural force that degrades women. Psychology Today argues exactly this idea. They reject the term “objectification,” arguing this:

“Instead, we seem to be getting something that might be called animalification—treating a woman as though she lacks the capacity for complex thinking and reasoning, but at the same time, treating her as though she was even more capable of having strong feelings and emotional responses.”

Pornography exacerbates rape culture. Pornography has serious ramifications on the way people view each other. According to a survey cited by Fight the New Drug, 46 percent of adult porn users believe images of “sexual acts that may be forced or painful” are not “wrong.” A study done by professors at UCLA, NYU Law School, and the University of Copenhagen, concluded that there was a significant correlation between pornography consumption and attitudes supporting violence towards women. Not surprisingly, violent pornography consumers were far more violent in their attitudes concerning women.

Pornography destroys natural sexual orientation. A study conducted in 2012 revealed that among pornography actresses, 67.1% were bisexual. Among the rest of the American public, that number is a mere 1.8%, according to research conducted by the Williams Institute. One might think pornography would have some positive effects on eroticism among other things, but instead, it destroys sexuality altogether. This holds true for both producers and consumers of porn. A significant percentage of supposedly straight porn consumers engaged with homosexual pornography in 2017, particularly lesbian porn.

Pornography is a huge waste of time. People watched 4.6 billion hours of pornography on one porn site in 2016. We are wasting billions of hours watching people perform sexual acts on one another.

Pornography is addictive. According to a University of Cambridge study, porn addicts resemble drug addicts in more ways than one. “In many ways, they show similarities in their behaviour to patients with drug addictions. We wanted to see if these similarities were reflected in brain activity, too,” stated researcher Dr. Valerie Voon. The study concluded that similarities were indeed reflected in brain activity. You can find the complete findings here.

As a society, we are quickly becoming numb to the idea of pornography. Only 32 percent of our teenagers and young adults believe pornography consumption is “usually or always wrong.” 56 percent of the same demographic believe not recycling is “usually or always wrong.” When we are more uncomfortable with not recycling than we about pornography, we have a problem.

Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that 57 percent of Christian pastors and 64 percent of youth pastors admit to struggling with porn currently or in the past. Pornography has infiltrated all facets of our culture and society, from elementary school-aged children to pastors of large churches. The only way to reverse the problem is to either fight the cultural battle, which seems all but lost, or to consider legislative solutions such as have taken place in Iceland, a country where pornography may not be produced or sold.

Alex Baltzegar is a contributor at Merion West, where he writes about American politics. His columns generally address issues of particular interest to Merion West’s more conservative readers. Originally from California, Alex now lives in North Carolina.

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