WARNING! This article is intended for the purpose of educating adults and parents on the affects and dangers of pornography. It may not be suitable for younger audiences. Parental discretion is advised.
The harm of pornography on adults, children, marriages, relationships and society is without a single doubt has been proven beyond any shadow of doubt. Still, there are those who would say that the harm of pornography has been fabricated by Bible-thumping Christians who say that they just don’t like it as an ‘artistic form’ of journalism or the movie industry, but there is no doubt in anyone’s mind when you look at the statistics of the harm of pornography. The dangers of pornography are real, they are dangerous, and they are taking a toll on every culture that allows it to continue.
Throughout the history of our nation, Americans have instinctively known the dangers of pornography, and, as our nation’s moral beginnings would have it, we as a society have resisted its intrusion for the most part. Even as late into the 20th century as the 1970’s, Americans have been repulsed by the idea that such an industry would even make an attempt to open for business in our communities. Times have changed though. We have begun to see the negative affect of pornography on our families, our communities, and our culture as adult book stores, theaters, and behind the counter sales of adult-oriented magazines have found their way in to our everyday life.
As the 20th century came to a close we have watched the dawn of the information age and all the advances in technology become a part of our everyday lives. Of all that has come with this new era in society, the Internet has by far been, and still remains to be the most impacting of all modern day advances that have affected the way we live. All over the world, millions of people use the Internet every day. It is estimated that in the United States alone an estimated 250,000,000 men, women, and children access the Internet on an average day. This number is far greater on a worldwide scale. Whether it is for conducting business or to catch up on news, to check the weather, obtain travel information, pursue an educational endeavor, or simply to communicate with family and friends, the Internet has become (and will remain) a constructive and vital part of our everyday lives.
Pornography Goes Online
Most who use pornography live a life of lies concerning their addiction. But for some, whether married, single, young or old, male or female, there is an increasingly destructive aspect that the Internet is playing in our lives. It is the part that allows Internet users to access pornographic and adult-oriented Web sites with little more than a few clicks of a mouse. In deed, in the time that you will read this article, millions of adults and children alike will be going online for a very different reason than for a constructive reason – instead, it will be solely for the purpose of looking at pornography. Computer Pornography, also called cyberporn, has become so popular that it has become a billion-dollar business.
A writer from the Wall Street Journal sums up the basis of this growing dilemma in a clear observation. “Find a Web site that is profitable and chances are, its business and content is distinctly pornographic.” The writer went on to explain why people turn to the Internet for pornography. “Customers can view explicit content without having to slink into a sleazy bookstore or even visit the back room of the neighborhood video shop. Customers can peruse even the worst that cyberporn has to offer in the privacy of the home—or office.”
Some proponents will argue that there is no harm in being exposed to or the regular viewing of pornography. This is simply not true. The evident says something completely different. There was a time when there was no need for research data to tell us that pornography was harmful.
Yet, as pornography has entered the mainstream and society has begun to lose its instinctive moral adversity against such material, researchers have stepped up to prove what we once instinctively knew. Studies now prove that pornography and other sexualized media have the capacity to drastically alter the user’s brain chemistry and functionality. Whether or not one becomes addicted, virtually no one is immune to the mental, emotional, spiritual, and even physical affects of viewing pornography.
In post-addiction surveys, the overwhelming majority of those who have been freed from their addiction to pornography have said that the practice of viewing pornography and its affects on them were both humiliating and desensitizing to their moral conscience.
Relationship to Child Molestation
Pornography’s relationship to child molestation is enough reason to have it outlawed in the view of most law enforcement agencies. In a study of convicted child molesters, 77 percent of those who molested boys and 87 percent of those who molested girls admitted to the habitual use of pornography in the commission of their crimes. Besides stimulating the perpetrator, pornography facilitates child molestation in several ways. For example, pedophiles use pornographic photos to demonstrate to their victims what they want them to do.
They also use them to arouse a child or to lower a child’s inhibitions and communicate to the unsuspecting child that a particular sexual activity is okay: “This person is enjoying it; so will you.”
Rape and Sexual Violence
Pornography’s relationship to rape and sexual violence are undisputed by intellects and law enforcement agencies. According to one study, early exposure (under fourteen years of age) to pornography is related to greater involvement in deviant sexual practice, particularly rape. Slightly more than one-third of the child molesters and rapists in this study claimed to have at least occasionally been incited to commit an offense by recent exposure to pornography. Among the child molesters incited, the study reported that 53 percent of them deliberately used the stimuli of pornography as they prepared to offend.
Sex Industry Statistics
– $57.0 billion revenue world-wide(1)
– $12.0 billion of this is US revenue, more than all combined revenues of all professional football, baseball and basketball franchises or the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC (6.2 billion). $2.5 of the $12 billion is related to internet porn. (1)
Porn on the Web
– 25% of total search engine requests are porn-related. (Top three searches: sex, mp3 and hotmail.) (2)
– 8% of total emails are porn-related. Average daily pornographic emails are 4.5 per internet user (1)
– 12% of total websites are pornographic (1)
– 100,000 websites offer illegal child pornography (1)
– Child pornography generates $3 billion annually (1)
– 90% of 8-16 year olds have viewed porn online (most while doing homework) (1)
– Average age of first internet exposure to pornography is 11 years old (1)
– Largest consumer of internet pornography 12-17 age group (1)
– 20% of men admit accessing pornography at work(1) – 13% of women admit accessing pornography at work(1) – 53% of Promise Keeper men viewed pornography the previous week in one study(1) – 10% of adults admit having internet sexual addiction(1)
Affecting Business Productivity
– 70 percent of all internet porn traffic occurs during the 9-to-5 workday. (2)
– Nearly one out of three companies has terminated an employee for inappropriate web use. (2)
– According to Internet Data Center research 30 to 40 percent of employee internet activity is non business-related, costing millions of dollars in productivity. (2) This does not mean all the activity is porn related. For example, the cost to businesses in lost employee productivity from the internet broadcasts of the Starr report and the Clinton grand-jury video was in excess of $450 million, according to a study reported by ZDNet. (2)
Business and Legal Ramifications
Internet porn introduces the issue of a hostile work environment relative to internet use. Whereas lewd jokes, questionable bulletin board items or inappropriate comments used to put companies in hot water, employees today are accessing websites that promote hate groups, pornography and illegal activities. Viewed by an offended co-worker, any of these cyber-activities can bring lawsuits upon a company.
Several Fortune 500 companies have created an “acceptable use policy” for internet usage, including a disclaimer about the dangers of the internet, a summary of appropriate and inappropriate uses of the internet (i.e., no personal commercial uses, no illegal copying, etc.), a statement about avoiding frivolous use (i.e., downloading large personal files, engaging in chat rooms, etc.) and a ‘no expectation of privacy’ statement that waives privacy rights over any materials sent or created using the company’s computer network. (2)
1. From http://www.internetfilterreview.com/internet-pornography-statistics.html
2. From http://www.websense.com/products/resources/wp/hr_wp.pdf
Note: The data here reflects statistics that are 6 years old. In every category mentioned, the statistics are dramatically higher today than they were at the time of this article first appeared on another blog of mine. If you have more recent data, please let me know.