Think. Discuss. Act. Pornography

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The Effects of Porn, with Fight the New Drug

Introduction

Why should we take the time to discuss pornography?—Because it’s rampant. And because it’s highly addictive. Just like we take the time to learn about and understand epidemics of drugs like heroin—we need to take the time to understand this “new drug”: pornography.

Watch this video from Fight the New Drug: “We Need to Talk…About Porn.”

What are your initial reactions to this video? Do you agree? Are you moved to action? Do you think they’re being overly dramatic? Do you think it’s fair to compare pornography to a ‘hard core drug’?

Effects on the Brain: It’s an Addiction

Scientific finds are teaching us more about how pornography works as an addiction. Watch this video from Fight the New Drug on how porn affects the brain:

As explained in the video, viewing pornography causes your brain to release addictive chemicals. Over time, you become desensitized—and need more or harder core pornography to satisfy the desires. The longer you allow this to happen, the more embedded these “pleasure pathways” in your brain become—and therefore the more difficult they become to break. Just like any other addiction, a pornography addiction begins to affect your behavior—perhaps by leading you to find pleasure in things you once considered wrong, perhaps by making you do whatever it takes to get the next fix or a higher rush. Like any other addiction, it escalates.  [To learn more, check out Fight the New Drug’s articles on How Porn Affects the Brain.]

Effects on Relationships: “Porn Kills Love”

It should be no surprise that pornography can destroy relationships. Hear one person’s story in this video from Fight the New Drug:

Pornography offers a fake version of love—but an exposure to this artificial, air-brushed love can make enjoying real love in real relationships difficult or feel unsatisfying. Porn makes people sex objects and a sum of body parts—and thus real people with all of their quirks and uniqueness and differing desires become bothersome when they don’t play perfectly into a fantasy. Porn—often leading to degrading and violent acts—presents a reality that is the opposite of what real, healthy relationships and sex and love should be. Pornography actually makes sex less satisfying and one’s partner less appealing. Your partner can be hurt emotionally by a porn addiction, as women feel like they can’t live up to the fantasy created by the porn stars or blame themselves for not being attractive enough. Ultimately, as Maria shared, it can lead to an inability make a meaningful and loving connection to real person. [To learn more, check out Fight the New Drug’s articles on How Porn Affects the Heart.]

Effects on the World: Porn and Sex Trafficking

There are integral connections between pornography and sex trafficking and prostitution. Watch this video to learn about the connections between porn and human trafficking:

Behind the scenes, the women in pornography are often coerced, drugged, and physically harmed into playing their roles. Many of them turn to drugs to numb their reality—and many are drugged by pornographers to make them more compliant or act with more pleasure. Porn makes sexual exploitation and sexual violence appear normal and thrilling—contributing to the number of times it’s enacted in real life—and teaches distorted lessons about what type of sex is normal or exciting. Statistically, we cannot deny the correlations between pornography and prostitution, and pornography and sex trafficking. [To learn more, check out Fight the New Drug’s articles on How Porn Affects the World.]

After hearing all of this information–what should we do with it? Fight the New Drug has several ideas for ways to Get Involved. One clear step is to continue to spread the word–just as we would with any other sort of potentially addictive behavior. Second, if you think you or someone close to you is addicted to porn, get help. There are many resources online for internet filters and seeing a counselor might be appropriate. Although there are challenges, it is possible to overcome an addiction. Fight the New Drug has several resources to Get Help, including an online recovery program. This Fortify Program is offered free to users under age 20.

Discussion Questions

  1. What have you learned about pornography through these videos? Was anything particularly striking or surprising to you?
  2. Has this discussion changed your attitude as it was after the first short video or before you participated in it? How so? What new piece of information changed this attitude?
  3. Have you experienced or observed any of these effects of pornography in your life or the life of someone close to you? Tell as much as you feel comfortable of that experience, as well as what you can learn from it.
  4. What action steps do you need to take in light of the information shared today? Do you need to break your own pornography addiction? Do you need to speak out and share information about the harmful effects of pornography? How will you go about taking these steps?

Note: Fight the New Drug offers live presentations for youth from middle school through college. To find out more about these presentations and how to bring their full presentation to you, check out their website.

Diana Gruver

© 2018 CYS

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