Category Archives: Pornography

People Are Not For Sale

By Angela Tooley

It was a few years ago when I first heard the term – sex trafficking.

What? People taken and used as sex slaves?  Modern day slavery in a country that outlawed slavery over 150 years ago?

Sadly, this is the horribly true reality.

How did this happen?  What are the conditions that allow such a monster to exist?  Well let’s just start with the Super Bowl. A “market” drives demand for prostitutes every year in each Super Bowl city. For this reason,

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

As I’m learning more it is heart breaking to me that children and adults are trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labor. It happens through the means of force, abduction, fraud or coercion. It is indeed modern-day slavery as criminals profit from controlling and dehumanizing human beings. This trafficking exists in every corner of our country and throughout the world.

So how does pornography play a part in sex trafficking? The links between pornography and sex trafficking are undeniable.

  • Pornography is used as a “tool” to train young children and women so that they will “know” what to do in performing sex acts.
  • Pornography users often seek to act out what they have viewed in porn.
  • Pimps are operating more and more online as it becomes easier to connect with potential buyers and to remain anonymous. Most social media sites including Facebook and Snapchat as well as classified ad sites like Craigslist and the infamous Backpage have become “virtual brothels” where one can quickly find prostituted women and children to engage in sex acts.
  • As addictions to pornography increase, users seek more and more disturbing and violent material.
  • Porn users do not and cannot distinguish between trafficked women, prostitutes, and porn stars. [1]

All of these things fuel pornography and in turn fuel the global sex trade by driving demand into mainstream society. One should never ever think that viewing pornography is harmless.

Pornography is prostitution on screen.

The onscreen image is a human being, someone who is a daughter or son, a sister or brother. There is no excuse to allow trafficking to exist because

PEOPLE ARE NOT FOR SALE.

[1] The National Center on Sexual Exploitation. (2011, April 19). Talking Points: Porn & Trafficking. Retrieved from Porn Harms Research: http://pornharmsresearch.com/2011/04/trafficking/

Six Things To NEVER Do If Your Child Looks At Porn

If you discover your child is looking at pornography:

  1. DO NOT PANIC

This moment is not about you. Put your feelings (i.e. fear, anger, disappointment, etc.) aside and focus on your child. Show your child that you love, support, understand, and want to help. Unfortunately, porn is common among teens. One study found that 93% of boys and 62% of girls were exposed to pornography before age 18. (1)

  1. DO NOT IGNORE

As an adult, I learned that my parent’s knew I was looking at their pornography. They never mentioned it to me because “boys will be boys.” Oh how I wish they had helped me. I suffered under this addiction for thirty-five years!

  1. DO NOT ASK FOR (OR EXPECT) A CONFESSION

Only 22% of adults confessed when confronted by their spouse even with evidence. (2) Do you think your child or teenager is more likely to confess than these adults?

Instead of asking “Did you …?”, say “I discovered …” in a matter of fact tone. Remember we set aside feelings of fear, anger, and disappointment?

  1. DO NOT INTERROGATE

Avoid asking “why”. Use concrete questions: When did this start? How often have you looked at porn in the last month? How do you access the pornography? What can I do to help you stop?

Then Listen. Validate their feelings even if positive. “I could see how that would be exciting for you.” Validation just means you understand not necessarily agree.

  1. DO NOT MAINTAIN THE STATUS QUO

Your child’s promise to never do it again is not enough. Believe their sincerity but don’t believe in their self-control. Do whatever you can to block your child’s access to porn. You don’t let the alcoholic keep going to the bar.

  1. DO NOT GO IT ALONE

Remember that fear, anger and disappointment you set aside? You need someone to express your feelings. Your child likely needs the same support. Call us (972-342-0753 or 214-415-4555) or email us here at Noble Choices. This is our specialty. We want to help.

(1) Chlara, S., Wolak, J., & Finkelhor, D. (2008). The nature and dynamics of Internet pornography exposure for youth. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 691-693.

(2) Steffens, B., & Means, M. (2010). Your Sexually Addicted Spouse. Far Hills, NJ: New Horizon Press.

Eight Reasons Sexual Harassment is not Reported

By Angela Tooley

I’ve always loved Rosie the Riveter. Rosie represents the empowerment of women in the World War II work force. She is tough and ready to meet the challenge of that time.

Today females are being challenged to find empowerment in another arena – defending themselves from sexual harassment. Harassing behavior exists from bullying to physical violation. Decades ago numerous costly lawsuits changed the workplace and gave young women like myself a voice to speak against such harassment.

I wonder what has changed?

Why does it seem like that females are defenseless against this dehumanizing attack?

  1. Pornography normalizes this behavior by the perpetrator.
  2. Pornography normalizes the acceptance and the conformity of the victims.
  3. Women feel they have to put up with this to advance their careers due to the glass ceiling of unequal pay and/or opportunities as men.
  4. Women want to avoid embarrassment.
  5. Women do not want to jeopardize their reputation.
  6. Women don’t think anyone will believe them.
  7. Women don’t believe it will do any good.
  8. Women, especially young ladies who have grown up with pornography may not have ever realized that they can so no to unwanted advances.

Those who have already come forward have been truly brave. Those who still need to come forward will need support.

For anyone reading this who has been a victim, and for anyone who feels like it is too late to be helped; we pray for you every day. There is help and hope, and we would love to share that with you.

For anyone who has been the perpetrator, there is help and hope for you, too.

The daily revelations of inappropriate sexual behavior have been stunning: entertainers, executives, politicians, journalists, teachers, and clergy. Sadly, I expect the revelations to continue and to eventually hit too close to our homes.

How will you respond?

Men and women, we are all empowered to say NO and to end any acceptance of these kinds of inappropriate behaviors.

Noble Choices stands with you as we:

  • educate about today’s pornography culture
  • empower youth to do the right thing
  • foster safe environments
  • provide recovery resources

This is for all of us.

We can do it!

Eight Factors Common in Childhoods of Sex Addicts

I am a huge baseball fan and the postseason is great. Last year in the 10th inning of the decisive game of the World Series, Chicago Cub Ben Zobrist drove in the winning run.

Was this just about an opportunity? Or was this path set much earlier: the Houston Astros who first drafted him? His high school coach who convinced him to try out? His whiffle ball games with his friends at age 8?

It was the opportunity AND the path.

What about a person struggling with pornography? Is it just about an opportunity? Or is it about a path that had been set many years before? Again, the answer is both.

Patrick Carnes lists eight factors common in families of sex addicts.

  1. Addiction.

This can be alcohol, gambling, nicotine, eating, drugs, sex, or pornography. Often it is a combination.

  1. Secrets.

This “elephant in the living room” is having a huge impact on life but everyone pretends it is not there.

  1. Rigid and authoritarian.

There is only one way to do things. There is no give and take.

  1. Sex-negativity.

Sex is always negative, dirty, bad, sinful, or nasty.

  1. Sexual duplicity.

Parents do not live up to their standards about sex. There are affairs, pornography, sexting, etc.

  1. Little intimacy.

Family members are disengaged. There is little sharing of feelings or vulnerability.

  1. Neglect.

This could be capital N neglect: sexual, physical, emotional abuse or a lack of food, shelter, clothes, or safety. It could be little n neglect: lack of attention, empathy, or love.

  1. Compartmentalization.

People act one way in one situation and something totally different in another. There is an overreaction or under-response to life’s problems.

Are any of these factors present in your home? King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 22:6, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Apparently, that is true negatively and positively.

Carnes, P. (2015). Facing the Shadow: Starting Sexual and Relationship Recovery (Third ed.). Carefree, AZ: Gentle Path Press.

Topkin, M. (2009, July 13). Tampa Bay Rays’ Ben Zobrist has taken a surprising path to today’s All-Star Game. Retrieved from Tampa Bay Times: http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/tampa-bay-rays-ben-zobrist-has-taken-a-surprising-path-to-todays-all-star/1018198

Not Recycling versus Pornography

By Angela Tooley

I often have conversations with individuals who are not aware of the dangerous nature of pornography. Of course, as a part of my work I share this fact as much as possible.

Do you know pornography’s growing prevalence in our culture and its dangers?

The Barna Group released a landmark study last year showing a shift in morality as values are eroding. Teens (ages 13-17) and young adults (ages 18-24) were asked to rank the following actions as to whether they were morally wrong.

  1. Stealing 88%
  2. Adultery 75%
  3. Lying 71%
  4. Not recycling 56%
  5. Thinking negatively of someone with a different point of view 55%
  6. Overeating 48%
  7. Wasteful consumption of water or electricity 38%
  8. Jealousy 32%
  9. Viewing pornographic images 32%

Be sure to take a good look at that again. Did you notice that not recycling is considered a greater danger to our society than having future generations who are unable to have lasting, meaningful relationships because they thought pornography wasn’t wrong?

The study also confirms that pornography is not just a problem for men. 67% of male teens and young adults and 33% of females are seeking out porn on a frequent basis.

That is 1 in 3 females!

Pornography isn’t much better when we get over the age the age of 25: 47% of men and 12% of females frequently seek out pornography.

Even among Christian women ages 18-24, 56% viewed pornography at least once a month. For Christian women over the age of 25, it is still 27%.

If that wasn’t enough, 49% of all women surveyed think of pornography as acceptable.

Sobering. Clearly there is much that needs to be done in educating ourselves and those around us about the harm of pornography.

Barna Group. (2016).The Porn Phenomenon: The Impact of Pornography in the Digital Age. Ventura, CA: Barna Group.

Parent Corner

Welcome to a new feature of Noble Notes, Parent Corner. In this spot of the newsletter, we will give parents ideas about how to use the information in the feature article. We are excited to offer this new feature periodically.

  1. Give your teens the list of nine actions above. Ask them to rank them in order of the worst to the least worst. Then discuss their list and their reasoning. Be careful not to judge their answers as right or wrong.
  2. Ask your teens how they thing their classmates as a whole would rank the list. Discuss what makes them think they would rank them this way.
  3. Share the way you would list them and why but again being careful not to claim the “right” answer. Offer it simply as another point of view.
  4. Quote the statistics about females viewing pornography. Ask if that is their experience with the females at their school.
  5. Ask your teen what they would do if they were offered pornography to view. This could be via text, YouTube, website, etc. Offer ideas and what you would like them to do.

Your Escape Room

Have you heard the latest craze? Escape rooms.

People pay $30 to be locked in a room. They have sixty to ninety minutes to solve a series of puzzles to find their way out. An escape room in Dallas should clear a million dollars just this year. You can find them all over the world even in Iraq and Iran.

Escapes have always been popular: movies, reality shows, books and songs. What are we escaping from though? Actor Nicolas Cage gives us a clue,

“As a child, superheroes provided an escape for me from my mundane existence, from my lack of friends or my inability to communicate well with people.”

We all have something from which we want to escape.

What is your escape room?

Some of us have socially acceptable escape rooms:

  • television/movies
  • video games
  • exercise
  • Facebook
  • workaholism/success/wealth

Some of us have addiction escape rooms:

  • pornography
  • alcohol
  • drugs
  • gambling
  • eating
  • sex

Our escape rooms become the very thing from which we cannot escape.

1 Peter 4:1-2 beautifully expressed in The Message gives us our true escape room:

Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want. (MSG)

We try to escape our suffering instead of going through it like Jesus did. Yet it is that very suffering that brings us our freedom.

Follow Paul’s yearnings in Philippians 3:10:

All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death, in the hope that I myself will be raised from death to life. (GNT)

So when you feel that temptation to go to your escape room, ask yourself:

  • What suffering am I trying to avoid?
  • How is God wanting me to be like Him in this suffering?

Then remember His promise:

 Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want. 

 

Study on Porn Use

A recent study shows that porn use is worse than we thought. And we thought it was pretty bad.

The Barna Group surveyed a representative sample of U.S. adults.

Men age 18 to 30 who viewed pornography more than once a month was 75%!

It wasn’t much better for men age 31 to 49 which was 59%.

Viewing porn more than monthly was relatively the same across all income levels and education levels and specifically was:

  • 69% of Hispanic men
  • 64% of Black men
  • 49% of White men
  • 56% of non-Christian men
  • 52% of Christian men
  • 62% of non-married men
  • 40% of married men

Roughly 1 out of every 5 men either said they were addicted to pornography or were unsure.

Particularly alarming was the rate of women using pornography.

While less than 10% of women over 30 view pornography more than once a month, for women 18 to 30 it was 34%!

Income and education levels also had little differences among the rate women viewed porn more than once a month. Specifically:

  • 14% of White women
  • 12% of Hispanic women
  • 7% of Black women
  • 22% of non-Christian women
  • 10% of Christian woman

However, there is a problem among married women.

  • 19% of married women view porn more than once a month
  • compared to only 10% of non-married women.

Where do you fit in this study?

Maybe you only view pornography a few times a year or even less. Before you think you don’t have a problem, let me tell you that was the rate of my porn use. It still caused me great pain. I never could quit until I started admitting I had a problem and got help. Please do the same. The freedom and restoration of your sexuality is worth the work. Call me at 972-342-0753 or email me. I can help.

As a parent, teacher, or youth worker, what are you doing about this problem among our young adults?

Just this month, I have had three churches and one school pull back from having my pornography presentation because of resistance from their parents about addressing this topic. Their fear is that if we talk about it, the students will become more curious and therefore more likely to try it. There is not a single study that shows addressing sexual issues with young people increases their likelihood to engage in that activity. Call me at 972-342-0753 or email me or submit our online scheduling form. Let’s protect our youth.

2014 ProvenMen.org Pornography Addiction Survey (conducted by Barna Group). The survey results are located at www.provenmen.org/2014pornsurvey/pornography-use-and-addiction.

Age to Teach Kids About Sex

CB016218I do not remember the exact age when my parents told me smoking was bad for you. It was very young though. When we saw people smoking, my dad said they were making stupid choices.

I do remember the exact age when I was offered cigarettes. I was ten years old. I was playing with some friends down the street. They started smoking, offered me some, and gave me the typical peer pressure when I refused. I went home and told my parents immediately.

My parents had prepared me for that moment. I knew what to do. To this day I have never smoked.

What is the best age to have the porn-talk? or the sex-talk? It is the same as smoking. You need to do it BEFORE your child is faced with making a decision about it.

You’ll hear everywhere that the average age a child first is exposed to porn is eleven. I researched the source of this quote and found it in a study dated 1969! You think the average age might be lower now? Yeah, me too.

Can you have the porn-talk too early and create curiosity or spoil innocence? There is not a single research study that shows talking about it too early increases it. Most studies show a decrease.

I never seem to hear parents having the same worry about other dangers: crossing the street, talking to strangers, or smoking. We shouldn’t about pornography or sex either.

I do not remember the exact age when my parents told me pornography was bad for you. Because they never did.

I do remember the exact age when I was offered pornography. I was ten years old. My parents did not prepare me for that moment. To this day I fight a daily battle not to use pornography.

Fifty Shades of Curiosity and Justification

Tie1I remember getting on the World Wide Web for the first time in the early 1990s and being fascinated by it. I had heard about its pornography.

As a youth minister, I had fifty shades of curiosity and justification:

  • I needed to know what everyone was talking about.
  • I needed to see if it was really that bad.
  • I needed to be able to talk about it firsthand.
  • I needed to be able to help others.
  • I could handle it even if others could not.

I promise my intentions were noble.

My response was not. That experience transformed an occasional struggle with pornographic magazines into an obsession that I still have to fight to this day. I so wish that I had never gone down that path.

The same process is happening with Fifty Shades of Grey. I am amazed at how many Christian women I heard openly talking about reading it and its content. I even saw it carried around in plain view.

This book describes itself as erotica or adult romance. Entertainment Weekly was more direct and called it “an X-rated book.” It is not even well-written. One reviewer on Amazon was so frustrated with the repetition that she counted 164 exclamations of “Oh my” or something similar. It was a New York Times Best Seller and sold at a pace three times faster than Harry Potter ever achieved.

The movie is getting similar poor reviews. The FOX News reviewer called it a

  • “mediocre”
  • “bland”
  • “twisted”
  • “empty of message or meaning”
  • “boring”
  • “pointless film.”

Even so, I still fear it will be as popular as the book.

The reviews are clear that It is not artistic in any way. It is only about sexual stimulation. That is the definition of pornography.

Please, shut down the fifty shades of curiosity going through your head to justify seeing the movie.

Just. Do. Not. Go. There.

(“Best Sellers, June 24, 2012.” The New York Times, June 19, 2012. New York: The New York Times Company. http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/overview.html.) (“Bestseller? Really???” By DS. Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy Customer Review. March 25, 2012. http://www.amazon.com/review/R1LT38SAC0FA4G/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0099579936&nodeID=283155&store=books) (Craig, J. (2015, February 10). FOX 411: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ review. Retrieved from FOX News: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2015/02/10/50-shades-grey-review-mediocre-plot-bland-characters-twisted-subject-matter/) (“EL James’ Fifty Shades Of Grey is fastest-ever seller.” The Independent, June 19, 2012. London: Independent Digital News and Media Limited. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/el-james-fifty-shades-of-grey-is-fastestever-seller-7866435.html.) (Schwarzbaum, L. (2015, February 10). Movies: Fifty Shades of Grey: EW review. Retrieved from Entertainment Weekly: http://www.ew.com/article/2015/02/10/fifty-shades-grey-ew-review) (Other sources withheld due to their explicit nature.)

Groundhog Day Pornography

Groundhog-Day-Movie-stills-51Is your battle with pornography like the movie Groundhog Day? Bill Murray’s character keeps reliving the same day over and over again until he can do it right.

Many of us fight pornography the same way. I always thought I just needed to pray more or work harder. It would work a while but the porn always came back. We try all kinds of different things to quit and even have a little bit of success but eventually fail and find ourselves right back at the start. Most people see their problem get worse despite their own efforts to stop.

The first step to overcoming a pornography problem is realizing you have a problem. I didn’t get better until I admitted I couldn’t quit. Now I wish I had started the recovery process so much sooner. This can be fixed with treatment.

Take this test to honestly evaluate your own behavior. Answering yes to even one question is enough to get help. Email or call me at 972-342-0753. I am a Certified Pastoral Sexual Addiction Specialist. I help people all over the world via phone or video. At least seek out more information about pornography addiction or attend a Celebrate Recovery group.

  1. Would people in your life be upset about your sexual activities online?
  2. Have you used pornography even when there was considerable risk of being caught by family members and/or employers who would be upset by your behavior?
  3. Is masturbation a frequent activity?
  4. Do you feel shame or depression after sexual behavior?
  5. Have you gotten rid of a pornography collection and then started collecting it again?
  6. Do you with some regularity buy, rent, or make your own X-rated videos?
  7. Do you look on TV to find sexually stimulating scenes?
  8. Are you lying to cover up pornography use?
  9. Do you feel like you are not in “control” of your porn use? Do you feel driven to look at it?
  10. Have you told yourself over and over “this is the last time”, and then still do it again?
  11. Do you look at women differently? Do you focus on the sexual areas of their bodies? You know it’s wrong but can’t seem to help it.
  12. Is the porn you look at now more hard-core than the porn you looked at before?
  13. Are you seeking out new variations and types of porn?

(Carnes, P. J. (2007). Sexual addiction screening test.)

(The Turning Point Counseling Services. (2012). Sex addiction self-test.)