Pornography and the Internet Gateway to Childhood Addiction


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Thirty years ago, pornography was difficult to access, forcing people to pursue the back rooms of bookstores, up their cable bill to receive specific television channels or find other, subtler methods to gain their materialistic sexual enjoyment. Today, porn is blasted from every facet of the media, just a click away for those seeking pleasures.

The average age for exposure to pornography is eleven years old and recent studies have observed that almost a quarter of minors who discover porn do so before they turn ten. This growing pandemic of perverse sexual stimulation is accompanied further by an increasing interest in hardcore pornography videos. Children have been found searching videos on the popular site PornHub using horrifically explicit keyword terms. No longer are pin-ups in store windows satisfaction enough for those pursuing masturbatory pleasure; because of the recent rise in variety and accessibility of pornographic materials, young people are becoming increasingly dulled to the world of sex and nudity. This desensitization has led to many children becoming addicted to porn long before they reach adulthood.

When in the proper context, sex can be beautiful, procreative, and loving. Distorted, it becomes violent, abusive, and unnatural. The traditional act of sex between a man and a woman within the confines of marriage for the purpose of creating a child no longer exists in the modern cultural view of sex. Now, the sexual act is privatized; in other words, it is none of our business how other people choose to occupy their free time if they are doing something that makes them “happy,” and they are not harming anyone in the process. There are some parents who “feel that pornography is a normal part of growing up and learning about sexuality.” But there is certain physiological data gained in recent years that show that viewing porn at such a young age so frequently does harm someone: themselves.

With the introduction of high-speed Internet, this new-fangled global phenomenon of the 21st century has allowed the porn industry to target entire populations in a matter of seconds. Consumers can reach pornographic material in a few quick clicks from the comfort of their bedroom. This speed and diversity of content only furthers the path to exposure among a wider range of people. Anyone, no matter what age, can access videos, websites, books, pictures, and other methods of sensual satiation, all from their nearest electronic device. Alongside this technological increase, statistical data of dangerous, measurable consequences, such as a rise in erectile dysfunction, depression, social awkwardness, and an overall increase in sexual perversions has risen. An example of this last effect might be seen in the violent rape culture portrayed in the popular book series turned movie trilogy, 50 Shades of Grey. “The movie glamorizes and normalizes abusive sex.” We must protect our youth from the dangers of early exposure, lest they become enslaved by it and fall victim to believing this kind of sex is good.

Dr. Benjamin Wiker, a professor of Human Life Studies at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, elaborates in his book, In Defense of Nature, on the artificial, hyper palatability of the sex industry; that is, how the unnatural character of porn is what draws consumers deeper into an addicted state. The overstimulation of the brain through consistent exposure to pornography easily enslaves people, hardwiring their brain to desire more unnatural pleasures as they slowly become desensitized to softcore porn. Eventually, any human sexual act will no longer be enough of a physical high for them, hence the physical development of the negative effects like ED and increased perverse sexual attractions.

This influx of porn is constantly advancing because it is seen by society as private, consensual, and nobody’s business. But it is our business. We need to reveal the dangers and normalize talking about pornography addictions as a struggle, not as something to be celebrated. Peter Liver, director of ChildLine, a charity dedicated to helping young people struggling with porn use, stated that “one in five 12 to 13-year-olds thinks that watching porn is normal behaviour.” Not only does this reflect poorly on the family dynamic they have been raised in, but it also raises implications about sexual actions condoned by society, the family writ large. Until we return to a traditional view of sex and boldly step up to help children who struggle with pornography addictions, our society will continue to devolve into a culture obsessed with individualized sexual pleasures, a culture devoid of any understanding of the true meaning of love.

Colleen Farabaugh is a senior at Franciscan University of Steubenville. A passionate Catholic, she uses her writing to articulate her beliefs in a clear manner, so as to logically assemble all of the facts of a given situation. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, hiking, and singing.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.

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About Colleen Farabaugh

Colleen Farabaugh is a senior at Franciscan University of Steubenville. A passionate Catholic, she uses her writing to articulate her beliefs in a clear manner, so as to logically assemble all of the facts of a given situation. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, hiking, and singing.

colleen_farabaugh on Instagram @colleen_farabaugh

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