Pornography is a topic that people tend to veer away from discussing. It is an uncomfortable subject. Of course it is. However, it is necessary to discuss if we are going to remedy our culture’s rampant sickness. Pornography is intricately connected to the sex-trafficking industry, an industry in which children and young women are kept in brutal captivity for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Various studies show that when pornographic content is viewed, the viewer’s mind becomes increasingly calloused to the brutalities of the sex-trafficking industry, which include rape, coercion, sexual violence, and the general idea that women are objects existing for the purpose of providing sexual pleasure. The psychological effects that pornography has on the mind cannot be denied; the harm done to both the viewer and the viewed cannot be denied. It is critical to address today’s pornographic culture for what it is: a hub for sex-trafficking and a gateway drug for future pimps and johns.

Pornography is not an issue that remains neatly within secular culture and refrains from infiltrating the Church. 64 percent of Christian men view porn at least once a month along with 15 percent of Christian women. So what’s the point here? Porn stars are actors and actresses being paid for their performances, right? “Force, fraud, and coercion” are not involved in the industry because those women choose to be there. That’s what culture tells us. It tells our youth, our boys, who on average view pornography for the first time at the age of 12, that pornography is normal. Culture tells us that we are meant to crave it. It tells us that those women who are being objectified and degraded choose this as their “profession” and find pleasure in their own “performance”. That is what the johns and pimps want us to believe. A former porn star expressed, with regard to one of her films, that “Every time someone watches that film, they are watching [her] being raped.” Her story is not uncommon. Many women, and youth, are coerced into the pornography industry, where they find themselves trapped. They are sex-trafficked, used for commercial sex. They provide paying customers with sexual gratification and entertainment at the cost of their own wellness and at the hands of modern day slave-drivers. This is the reality. This is what both the secular and faith community need to know, and this is a problem that must be addressed for us to effectively fight against the sex-trafficking industry.  

Pornography not only harms the human beings who are trapped in the industry, but it also directly harms the viewer’s psyche. Watching pornography can turn into an addiction that has similar addictive effects on the mind as alcohol or drugs. Youth are getting a hold of pornography more easily than ever before because of new technology and less oversight with regard to internet usage. Adolescents who view the explicit material are more likely to believe that sex is a commodity. They are more likely to view women as objects that can be used to gratify sexual fantasies with no emotional attachment, and they may lose sensitivity to instances of rape. Women are not thought of as human beings but as sexual toys without souls. They are viewed as material items that can be punched, ripped, and abused to satisfy the viewer’s craving. Their incessant rapes will be regularly viewed by about 40 million intrigued eyes across the nation, including 200 thousand porn addicts in the United States alone, many of them unaware that what they are witnessing would ordinarily be considered a crime scene. But this is what they search for. This is what pornography glorifies.

Valuable human souls are raped multiple times on a daily basis, and today’s culture glorifies this by fueling the demand in hiding, as if sexual brutality is something that we were made to enjoy. Our pornographically fueled culture is destroying our youth, our women, and our men. We need to show our fellow human beings that we value and love them more than our culture values the porn industry. So let us call pornography what it is: a hub for sex-trafficking and a gateway for future pimps and johns.

*Article Correction: A correction was made in this article on 8/3/16. Originally the article stated 200 million porn addicts in the U.S and was later changed to reflect the correct statistic of 200 thousand porn addicts in the U.S.  

Resources:

Gilkerson, Luke and Dehaas, Ron. “Stop the Demand: The Role of Porn in Sex Trafficking.” CovenantEyes, 2014, 1-19.

Covenant Eyes. “Pornography Statistics: 250+ facts, quotes, and statistics about pornography use (2015 Edition). http://www.covenanteyes.com/pornstats/, 1-37.

“Internet Pornography by the numbers; a significant threat to society.” Webroot. http://www.webroot.com/us/en/home/resources/tips/digital-family-life/internet-pornography-by-the-numbers.