• OPINION:One More Item To Add To The List Of Resolutions

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    The beginning of a new year holds a great deal of promise. The promise is that we can and will do better. We should make this the year where we add “No More Pornography” to the list of resolutions.

    Just before Christmas break  parents at various schols across the country were alerted to the  “No Sexting on Campus” rules which were to go in affect when the children returned from Holiday Break. It lead me to the certain thought. The end “pornograhphy-ing” of our society should be at the top of our correction list for 2011. We should make this the year where we add “No More Porn” to the list of resolutions. Why you may ask? Pornography is a 13 million dollar industry that has fueled our oversexed debased communities. The narrow display of sexuality as being a woman’s body barely clothed and a man acting on it must end.

    Grammy Winner, writer and  actor Kirk Franklin spoke with me early last year about his addiction.

    “Growing up, everybody’s got a friend that’s got that big brother that has the stash of porn under the bed,” Kirk said. “From my first look, I was hooked.” Kirk thought marriage would cure his obsession with pornography; that’s when he started realizing how much it was an addiction. He found himself sneaking to watch videos while his wife was sleeping, craving porn more than ever. He once felt so much self-disgust over his porn collection that he drove far away to ditch it. “I tried to go to sleep that night and it was literally like a drug calling me,” he remembers. “About 3 or 4 in the morning, in my flip-flops and boxers, I got in my car and drove back to that dumpster and dug looking for my porn.”

    The numbers are staggering when you take a look at them. Brett Favre’s  recent behavior is more common than we know.

    • More than 70% of men from 18 to 34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month (comScore Media Metrix).
    • More than 20,000 images of child pornography posted online every week (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 10/8/03).
    • Approximately 20% of all Internet pornography involves children (National Center for Mission & Exploited Children).
    • 100,000 websites offer illegal child pornography (U.S. Customs Service estimate).

    Surely there are other ways to counteract the behavior that we see.  Our children are “sexting” each other as young as 12 years old. They are shooting photos and filming videos that are going viral.They are falling in line with the behaviors exibited all around.

    • 9 out of 10 children aged between the ages of 8 and 16 have viewed pornography on the Internet, in most cases unintentionally (London School of Economics January 2002).
    • Largest consumer of Internet pornography: 12 – 17 year-old age group (various sources, as of 2007).
    • Adult industry says traffic is 20-30% children (NRC Report 2002, 3.3).
    • Youth with significant exposure to sexuality in the media were shown to be significantly more likely to have had intercourse at ages 14 to 16 (Report in Pediatrics, April, 2006).

    The US Justice system even notes  that minors are becoming influenced  by the easy accessibility.

    “Never before in the history of telecommunications media in the United States has so much indecent (and obscene) material been so easily accessible by so many minors in so many American homes with so few restrictions.”- U.S. Department of Justice, Post Hearing Memorandum of Points and Authorities, at l, ACLU v. Reno, 929 F. Supp. 824 (1996)

    Families are falling apart due to the addiction that implants unrealistic fantasies in spouses minds.

    • 47% percent of families said pornography is a problem in their home (Focus on the Family Poll, October 1, 2003).
    • The Internet was a significant factor in 2 out of 3 divorces (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2003 – divorcewizards.com).

    The problem isn’t only what pornography promotes it’s what it fails to encourage. Our society actively ridicules men who are gentle and express any sensitivity about sex. Bishop Eddie Long is not the only clergyman to fall victim to sexual weakness.

    • A 1996 Promise Keepers survey at one of their stadium events revealed that over 50% of the men in attendance were involved with pornography within one week of attending the event.
    • 51% of pastors say cyber-porn is a possible temptation. 37% say it is a current struggle (Christianity Today, Leadership Survey, 12/2001).
    • Over half of evangelical pastors admits viewing pornography last year.
    • Roger Charman of Focus on the Family’s Pastoral Ministries reports that approximately 20 percent of the calls received on their Pastoral Care Line are for help with issues such as pornography and compulsive sexual behavior.
    • In a 2000 Christianity Today survey, 33% of clergy admitted to having visited a sexually explicit Web site. Of those who had visited a porn site, 53% had visited such sites “a few times” in the past year, and 18% visit sexually explicit sites between a couple of times a month and more than once a week.
    • 29% of born again adults in the U.S. feel it is morally acceptable to view movies with explicit sexual behavior (The Barna Group).
    • 57% of pastors say that addiction to pornography is the most sexually damaging issue to their congregation (Christians and Sex Leadership Journal Survey, March 2005).

    Many of the superstars of the porn industry were victims of sex crimes at young ages. Much of the industry is made up of traumatized women. Sure it has been going on since the beginning of time. The porn industry is not empowering for us. It is just another industry in which “liberation of womanhood” has been turned into the objectification in the name of feminism. It makes women think about all the things they regret as they get older.

    Karine Steffans regrets  her behavior and no longer sees it as something to be proud of.  She  says of  her infamy.

    I’m not uncomfortable about anything I’ve put in the book. It’s just the truth. Those pictures are fine. They’re pictures from my past, of things that I have done with people I have known. They’re from stages of my life.

    So yes, while sex sells , the human cost is immeasurable when the innocence of our children is being stolen away and the true value of manhood is turned into an animalistic function. Last year  alone The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health conservatively estimates 3% – 5% of the U.S. population suffers from sexual compulsion disorders.

    Internet pornography has destroyed careers, broken up marriages and led to financial ruin and those are just the downsides for adults who became addicted. Now a growing trend has emerged of addicted children—kids as young as 8 years old—who have become exposed and addicted to pornography. Although the trend only surfaced a handful of years ago, research has already been done that draws very ominous conclusions. What has become apparent is the fact that if this new addiction among children is not addressed and quickly halted it can not only destroy the child’s life, but destroy the American culture and society as well.

    Education about human dignity and respect for the body and mind will reduce the desirability and interest for prurient materials. This form of education needs to be done on a global scale. As long as societies exist that promote the unimportance of children, women or even one human being, this dehumanization that makes pornography possible,on these sites will continue. This task seems overwhelming. But, this type of education begins in small ways. At the personal level, to emphatically behave in ways that shout, “This is unacceptable!” from home, to work place and into society is a huge step. Some people take porn addiction with a lackadaisical attitude. They believe that as long as they aren’t involved in the physical act than it is fine. We are not animals we are human beings endowed with the ability to think and choose. It is time that we stop accepting behavior as normal when it is far from that.

    {For more from Oretha Winston follow her on Twitter}

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