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Ethics & Religion
Column #2,034
August 6, 2020
The Devastation of Pornography
By Mike McManus

Millions of men have become addicted to pornography. They spend hours each day watching beautiful women have sex with men. Sadly, "Porn is destroying our relationships, hurting our families, and perhaps most frightening of all, fundamentally changing the way our children develop sexually," concludes Pamela Paul in her landmark book, Pornified: How Pornography is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships and Our Families.

A new study which interviewed 350 divorce lawyers, found they asserted that pornography played a significant role in 60% of divorces. "Porn is ruining marriage," they say.

John Matthews, a divorce attorney, says that in most cases, spouses deny porn use. Matthews reports porn is cited among complaints of "Constructive Desertion." Meaning the spouse is at fault for emotionally abandoning their partner, and withdrawing from quality time that could be spent with his wife in physical intimacy." In fact, he says, "I have had many cases where the husband won't even touch his wife, and several cases in which spouses have not had sex in three or four years."

The burning question is if divorce lawyers have been raising the red flag on porn use in association with divorce, why aren't more people paying attention? A new study presented at the 2016 American Sociological Association annual meeting suggests that men and women who "begin to consume pornography partway through their marriage are more likely to get divorced than their non-porn consuming peers."

Researchers have been able to analyze how pornography jmpacts marriage over multiple years. The new paper uses data from the 2006-2014 General Social Survey. Researchers can see how attitude motivations have changed over time. Out of 5,698 responses, 1,681 said they had watched an X-rated movie. Those who did so were more likely to split with their partners during the survey. The chances of divorce? For women, that number tripled.

Most of the men - between 55% and 70% - watched porn to begin with, and very few ever quit.

However, couples who attended a worship service at least once a week, were less likely to divorce. The Lord is a strong believer in marriage - and will bless believer marriages. That's the only good news in this bleak column.

Unfortunately, pornography is becoming so acceptable that to express disapproval brands a critic as unsexy, reactionary or intolerant.

Among men in the U.S. Army, erectile dysfunction has bumped up to 40%. This is an
effect of pornography. They cannot please their women. What percentage of erectile
dysfunction is among young men? That used to be a problem of the old guys.

Pamela Paul, author of Pornified, interviewed more than 100 people in depth and reported on a Harris poll. In most of her personal interviews, respondents had not discussed the issue with anyone else - not their wives or girl friends.

"Countless men described9 how, while using porn, they have lost the ability to relate or be close to women. They have trouble being turned on by "real" women, and their sex lives with their girlfriends or wives collapse. These are men who seem like regular guys, but spend hours each week with porn - usually on line," Ms. Paul reports. "And many of them admit they have trouble cutting down use, once they become accustomed to the easy excitement and release of Internet pornography. They also find themselves seeking out harder and harder pornography."

Of course, many mothers and fathers (even those who use porn themselves) are particularly upset by the idea their children will look at pornography. Unfortunately, there is nothing parents can do to block it from their children.

Pamela Paul conducted 100 in-depth interviews to see how their lives were being touched "and often radically transformed" by pornography. "In most cases, this was a subject they hadn't discussed with anyone else - not their wives or girl friends, nor their friends or therapists.

"Countless men described how, while using porn, they have lost their ability to relate, or be close to women. They have trouble being turned on by "real" women. and their sex lives with girl friends or wives collapse," she writes.

No wonder half of America's marriages have ended in divorce since the 1970s.

Ms Paul asserts, "What strikes me is that pornography has become so prevalent, it Is unavoidable. More than half of 18-to-24 year olds - the first generation to reach puberty in a pornified America - say it's hard for them to go online without seeing pornography. It is truly ubiquitous.

Another crucial finding, especially moving forward, is that so few American adults believe that pornography should be unrestricted. Somehow, there's this prevailing notion that everyone is OK with porn."

Not this columnist.

I believe we must fight this plague for families and for a decent America.

Copyright (c) 2020 Michael J. McManus, a syndicated columnist and past president of Marriage Savers. To read past columns, go to Hit Search for any topic.


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