The places grace empowers us
Thu May 23, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
‘Each next risk is the biggest one’: James MacDonald talks with Mark Driscoll
Wed May 22, 2013
by Mark Driscoll
Tue May 21, 2013
by Amanda Edmondson
From prison to ReTrain: Russell’s story
Mon May 20, 2013
9 types of leaders in Scripture
Mon May 20, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
A Bigger Problem Than "Boys Will Be Boys"
“Boys will be boys” is the response I heard as a young teen from two adults discussing a friend of mine who had been caught with "dirty magazines". Though they did not approve of the actions of this teenage boy, they felt it was better than if he had actually fornicated with a woman. He was, after all, "just" looking at nude photos. When the Internet came along and made pornography easily accessible, parents of curious boys did not realize exactly what the Internet allowed their child to access. On the Internet, there is much more than nude pictures of women.
Easy, anonymous access
Jason Byassee tackled this subject in his article "Not Your Father’s Pornography." In it, he discusses how the Internet has impacted the distribution of pornography. Byassee’s attention to this subject is important because, for the most part, this subject remains taboo. Usually, in their sermons, pastors discuss it briefly and pick up their next point. This may be because pastors feel guilty having also viewed pornography. If Byassee is correct, nearly 50% of pastors have viewed pornography.
Why is porn a problem?
Byassee points out several problems with viewing pornography:
- It sears the conscience,
- Disobeys God, and
- Affects the relationship between spouses.
Clearly, it goes well beyond just the effect on the viewer. The consumption of pornography also involves sex trafficking, sexual and physical abuse, and the devaluing of human life. All of this is paid for by those who view Internet pornography. In 2006, pornography generated $13.33 billion in the United States in 2006. That same year, it generated $97.06 billion worldwide.
Pornography feeds sex trafficking and abuse
Internet pornography is more than just nude pictures of women. It is also hard-core pornography where sex, many times brutal, is conducted on camera for the viewing pleasure of the anonymous watcher. No longer do the pictures of a naked woman satisfy the curiosity of those who view pornography. Now, the people involved in porn must be performing some sex act in order to entice an audience.
To meet this demand, many pornographers have moved to parts of the world where the supply of younger and more vulnerable performers is more readily available. Many of the places they have moved are also major centers for sex trafficking.
The demands for pornography, especially pornography that involves children and brutal situations, continue to increase and the porn industry will seek to meet that demand.
One study has shown that while sex trafficking and its relation to prostitution have received significant attention, many of the trafficking centers in the world are also centers for the production of pornography.
In the study, researcher Donna Hughes points out that American pornographers are moving to Budapest, Hungary, “because of the cheap, available victims. Budapest provides low production costs and lax government regulations and attitudes [toward pornography].” While the link in Budapest between human sex trafficking and pornography has not been shown explicitly, the assumption is that some of the performers did not willingly perform in these productions.
What little research exists tells us two things: pornography viewers are looking for more violent pornography as well as younger specimens to view. Donna Hughes noted the monetary value of pornography to the customer “depends on if it is illegal and the extremeness of the abuse to the victim.” By using the term illegal, Hughes predominantly refers to child pornography. She also notes these films are not made for private consumption, but for public distribution—a fact that should not go unnoticed.
Pictures, acts, violence, sin
Jason Byassee is correct. It is not our father’s pornography and it should not be treated as if it were. The demands for pornography, especially pornography that involves children and brutal situations, continue to increase and the porn industry will continue to seek to meet the demand. The problem goes far beyond “boys just being boys.” It's time to call it what it is and not treat it as though it were a rite of passage for young men.
The pornography problem must not only be dealt with in view of the harm it causes the consumer. It must also deal with the harm to those people involved in the making of pornography—especially those who are forced to participate. Until this is done, alongside the preaching of the gospel, the pornography epidemic will continue.
For more information, check out the free eBook by Mark Driscoll, Porn-Again Christian.
A resource for victims of sexual assault and people who care for them is Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault
Another resource for those struggling with any type of addiction, including pornography, is Redemption: Freed by Jesus from the Idols We Worship and the Wounds We Carry