There is a false perception in society that pornography is a harmless amusement or even sometimes healthy. However, in fact, careful study of the effects of its use leads us to quite different conclusions. The Family Research Council recently published a report regarding its impact on individuals, families, and society.
As the use of pornography increases, the number of marriages decreases. It compromises the abilities to marry and to maintain a marriage. It causes increased dissatisfaction with one’s spouse. One study has shown that more than half involved in pornography became disinterested in their spouses and made use of prostitutes. It leads to a devaluation of the institution of marriage. Marriage is felt to be confining. Thus, there is a direct correlation between the increased prevalence of pornography and divorce.
The study found that pornography often results in poor self esteem for the user and in the inability to relate socially. It gives the false impression that perverse sexual activity is pretty common in society. So, there is a distortion of reality. It also causes the user to see others, particularly women, as sex objects. It often leads to aggression and violence. It is damaging especially to teens when they are most vulnerable as they are learning how to deal with their sexuality.
You can go to the FRC website for more information at www.frc.org.
It is not surprising that the more God is pushed out of society, the more will deviations, like pornography, rise. God created us male and female for a reason. His design is that each and every act of human sexuality is both unitive and procreative and is meant only for marriage. If the two are separated—if sexual activity is believed to be just an act of “love”—then we have a distortion. Is it really love when one is not open to life? The contraceptive mentality, so prevalent in our world, sees pleasure as the object of sexual activity. There may be great verbal expressions of love, but contraception limits love to the partners involved. If love is restricted, is it love?
This way of looking at sexuality has opened a whole Pandora’s box: abortion, extramarital sex, infidelity, divorce, homosexual activity, etc.
I think that if we prayerfully consider how God created us and read the appropriate Church documents, we will have a greater understanding of the gift of human sexuality.