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.

Dating Apps with Teens are Dangerous for Adults

Deceptive Teens Phone(This is the second of a three-part series on the dangers of dating apps and teenagers. See the first in the series here.)

It is obvious to tell teens on dating apps their vulnerability to sexual predators. What is not so obvious is the danger to adults when teens use these apps.

In June, a Houston man used the dating app Plenty O’ Fish to meet an 18 year-old woman. After talking online for three days, the woman invited him to her apartment. When he arrived, the woman claimed to need to take a phone call. When she left, two male teens approached with a gun. When the man had no money and refused to take them to his car, the teens shot him. The man survived by playing dead and calling 911 when his attackers fled. The girl was only 14 and had done the same scheme with another victim.

In Indiana last month, a nineteen year old man used the app, Hot or Not, to meet a 17 year-old girl (“of age” in Indiana). The two meet and have sex. It turns out the girl was only 14. The girl testified at his trial and admitted lying about her age. She said, “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you my age. It kills me every day, knowing you are going through hell and I’m not. I want to be in trouble and not you.”

However, even if the sex was consensual and even if the girl did lie about her age, it is not a defense under most statutory rape laws. After a short jail sentence he is listed as a sex offender for 25 years. As such, he cannot live with his parents because his brother is 15. He is forbidden from using computers or smart phones to communicate with minors the rest of his life.

These stories aren’t just important for adults to reconsider their use of dating apps. Teens need to know them as well. The Indiana story shows what a young teen can do to someone they care about when they lie about their age in these apps.

For a list of these apps see my previous article on dating apps.

ABC 13 Eyewitness News. (2015, July 6). Police: Man played dead after being shot in southwest Houston. Retrieved from News: http://abc13.com/news/police-man-played-dead-after-being-shot-in-sw–houston/831467/
Kasparian, A. (2015, August 5). How a dating app hookup landed a teen on the sex offender registry. Retrieved from Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/2015/08/teen-listed-as-a-sex-offender-for-dating-app-hookup/
Phillips, K., & Fitzpatrick, D. (2015, August 4). How a dating app hookup landed a teen on the sex offender registry. Retrieved from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/03/us/dating-app-sex-offender-registry/
Shay, M. (2015, July 10). Charges dropped against teen accused of luring shooting victims. Retrieved from ABC 13 Eyewitness News: http://abc13.com/news/charges-dropped-against-teen-accused-of-luring-victims/840675/

R.E.S.T. to Avoid Pornography

Young Couple at Beach at Dusk --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisMy battle with pornography began in the third grade. It is a battle I still fight every day.

Every day? The rest of my life? It sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?

My Lord Jesus Christ gives me hope.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

Sounds great, but how does that work?

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” – Mark 14:38

Notice that first word? Watch. It wasn’t just prayer. I am also to watch so that I will not fall into temptation.

Now every day in prayer, I watch for temptation. Since my desire is for Jesus’ REST, I use the word “R.E.S.T” as an acronym to help me watch.

R is for relationships. Is there anything in any of my relationships that is a problem? Wife, daughter, mother, boss, co-workers, friends, customers, etc. Any strife that disturbs my REST? The strife doesn’t have the slightest connection to pornography. However, I may turn to porn to feel better (temporarily!) instead of turning to God.

E is for emotions. Do I have any strong emotions disturbing my REST? Depression, anger, disappointment, disillusionment, anxiety, hurt, nervousness can motivate a turn to porn. I have also learned that strong positive feelings of accomplishment, excitement, and even happiness can lead me to porn as a “reward.”

S is for spiritually. How am I doing with God? Am I surrendering the battle to Him? Am I having my daily prayer time? Am I in the place of servant and He in the place of Lord? If not, I will fail in the battle against porn. He doesn’t fail.

T is for tired. Am I getting enough sleep? How am I doing physically? Hungry? Sick? Hurting? Nervous Jitters? Physical ailments disturb my REST and can take my focus off of God and allow me to turn to pornography.

Fighting pornography every day is a weary and burdensome task. Watch and pray to Jesus. He gives REST.

Are you a Hypocritical Parent?

Finger PointWhen I was two years old, a drunk driver swerved and hit our car head-on. My parents and my injuries were so severe that my grandparents were told my dad and I would not likely live through the night.

None of us were wearing seat belts. We were lucky to survive.

Every memory I have of my dad driving us in the car anywhere is his “obsession” with making sure we all had on our seat belts.

Was my dad a hypocritical parent?

I mean he didn’t wear a seat belt when he was younger. What right did he have to force his children to do something that he wasn’t even able to do when he grew up?!!

This logic is absurd, isn’t it? My dad was now acutely aware of the risks of not wearing a seat belt. He loved his family so much that he would do everything to protect us.

Change the topic from seat belts to sexual activity or pornography or drinking or drug use. The logic of the hypocritical parent is still absurd.

Yet it is one of the top reasons I hear from parents as to why they don’t address these issues: “I can’t ask my children to do what I was unable to do myself.” I am glad my dad didn’t have that problem with demanding that I wear a seat belt.

You should not have that problem either. If you love your kids, do everything to protect them even if it means being a hypocritical parent.

In reality, asking your children not to make the poor choices you made does not make you a hypocrite. It makes you a good parent.

12 Dangerous Dating Apps for Teens

Woman phone-Masked man(This is the first of a three-part series on the dangers of dating apps.)

A fourteen year-old girl feeling (like most young teens) lonely and unsure of herself, turns to her smart phone.

She installs the app MyLOL claiming to be the “#1 teen dating site in the US, Australia, UK and Canada.” She meets a young teen boy who finally gives her the attention she can’t get at school.

Two months later they arrange to meet for the first time at her home when her parents are away. The young teen boy proves to be a 28 year-old taxi driver. After sexually abusing her, he returns three days later to her school. The girl tells her teacher who calls police who arrest the man.

The police find that he had been in contact with other young girls through MyLOL. He pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual activity with a child and is now in prison.

MyLOL markets itself to 13 to 20 year olds and claims to monitor posts for illegal activity and nudity. However, the age of users is not verified.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) calls MyLOL a “playground for pedophiles.” The NSPCC is

“calling on all teen dating apps and websites to take immediate steps to protect their young users. … For many young people socializing … through mobile phone apps is part of everyday life. So it’s vital that when they sign up to an app they aren’t exposed to adult sexual content or have encounters with adults that puts them at risk of being sexually abused.”

Parents this is just one app of many to keep away from your teen’s phone. Here is a list of teen dating apps that pose this danger:

  • Hot or Not
  • Meetme
  • MyLOL
  • Omegle

Dating apps for adults are also dangerous for teens and are not difficult for teens to bypass their age requirements:

  • Badoo
  • Bumble
  • Coffee Meets Bagel
  • Happn
  • Hinge
  • OkCupid
  • Plenty O’ Fish
  • Skout
  • Tinder

Conway, P. (2015, February 9). 6 Adult Dating Apps Teens Are Using Too. Retrieved from Common Sense Media: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/6-adult-dating-apps-teens-are-using-too

DailyMail.com. (2014, January 24). Teenagers joining ‘playground for pedophiles’ MyLOL website to avoid being checked up by Mum on Facebook. Retrieved from Daily Mail News: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2545658/Teenagers-joining-risky-websites-avoid-check-Mum-Facebook.html

MyLOL. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.mylol.com

Philby, C. (2014, August 11). Teenage dating apps are hunting ground for adult abusers. Retrieved from The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/teenage-dating-apps-are-hunting-ground-for-adult-abusers-9662817.html

Woda, T. (2015, May 1). Teen Dating Apps That Are Bad News. Retrieved from uknowkids: http://resources.uknowkids.com/blog/teen-dating-apps-that-are-bad-news

Cyber Rape

Speak UpAt age 23, Holly had a new boyfriend.

When Holly moved away for grad school, they dated long-distance. “To keep the intimacy alive” she sent him naked photos and a personal sexual video.

However after three years, it ran its course and they had a “normal breakup.”

Several months later, Holly’s naked photos were all over the internet with her full name, email address, job title, where she worked, and other details.

“My stomach just dropped and I felt ill.” Holly worked to remove the photos but they kept coming up on more and more sites.

Then it got worse. She received an email with her photos. “Get in touch concerning your pictures. There’s also a nice video. Have [they] seen them? It’s 8:15 where you are. You have until 8:37 to reply. Then I start the distribution.” The email listed the email addresses of Holly’s co-workers and boss.

Holly did not respond. The photos were emailed to her boss and co-workers and went viral within three days. Her boss called her in to explain. Holly eventually quit her job.

Now three years after the break up, “I felt like the only thing I could do was part from that identity that had been completely defamed.” She legally changed her name to Holly from her birth name.

Six months later she was going to present her doctoral thesis at a conference. Her naked photos appeared on the web with her new name and with the date, time and location of the conference. “They said something like why don’t you go check her out and see if she’ll have sex with you for money.”

Fearing for her safety, Holly backed out of the conference and went to the police. Since she was over 18 and voluntarily gave the pictures and video, there wasn’t anything they could do.

Holly didn’t give up. She went to her state attorney’s office who took her case. Holly, now age 29, became the first person to sue an ex for their distribution of revenge pornography. “It is really cyber rape. It’s just another way of exploiting women.”

(Jacobs, H. (2013, September 8). A Message From Our Founder, Dr. Holly Jacobs. Retrieved from End Revenge Porn: http://www.endrevengeporn.org/?p=422)
(Miller, M. E. (2013, May 9). Miami Student Holly Jacobs Fights Revenge Porn. Retrieved from Miami New Times News: http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2013-05-09/news/revenge-porn-miami-holly-jacobs/full/)

12 Stages of Intimacy

Holding HandsAs a teenage boy, I would talk about how far I got with a girl with the terms, first base (kissing), second base (touching above the waist), third base (touching below the waist), and home run (sex). Even as I got married I considered this the four stages of intimacy.

Boy was I wrong.

Desmond Morris discovered twelve stages of intimacy. Couples who followed these stages developed a deeper bond by spending time at each stage. Couples who rushed through or even skipped stages didn’t have as strong a bond and were more likely to divorce.

Deep down teens want a meaningful marriage that doesn’t end in divorce. We can help them by teaching them the Twelve Stages of Intimacy and the importance of spending time at each step.

1. Eye to body. You notice the person. You are interested.

2. Eye to eye. Your eyes meet. You notice each other. You are interested in each other.

3. Voice to voice. You talk. You call. You text. You email. This should be a pretty long stage. You start emotionally bonding.

4. Hand to hand. You hold hands. It may be accidental touch that is kept in contact or deliberate. You are special.

5. Hand to shoulder. You put your arm around their shoulder. This publicizes your relationship.

6. Hand to waist. Your arms around each other’s waist. You know this person about as well as you know your best friend, and you like what you know.

7. Face to face. You hug and kiss. You start physically bonding which is an extension of the emotional bond you have taken time to establish.

8. Hand to head. You run your fingers through their hair. They cradle your face. You stroke their face. This shows a deepening trust.

The following steps are best saved for marriage.

9. Hand to body. This is what I called second base as teen. For obvious reasons, the following steps progress rapidly once started.
10. Mouth to body.
11. Touching below the waist. Third base.
12. Intercourse. Home run especially if you have taken the time bond at the previous 11 steps.

Morris, D. (1971). Intimate Behaviour: A Zoologist’s Classic Study of Human Intimacy. New York: Kodansha America, Inc.

Positive Reasons to Save Sex

Intimate Couple --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

When you encourage teens to save sex, are you negative or positive?

Too often we are negative.

  • Don’t get pregnant as a teenager.
  • Don’t get an STD.
  • Don’t get emotional scars.
  • Condoms don’t fully protect you.

What about positive reasons to wait?

A recent study looked at whether the age of first sexual experience predicted romantic outcomes as an adult. The study put the age of first sexual experience into three categories:

  • age 14 and under
  • age 15-19
  • age 20 and up

Which group was significantly more likely to have satisfying adult romantic relationships? The age 20 and up group. Their findings held true even when they tested for other factors including body mass index, attractiveness, or differences in teenage dating.

The study defined a satisfying adult romantic relationship as having the following factors:

  • stable
  • satisfying
  • a partner who shows love and affection
  • enjoyment of day-to-day things with partner
  • happy with the way conflict is handled
  • avoidance of aggression
  • avoidance of victimization

If that wasn’t enough, saving sex until the 20’s also was linked to

  • higher achievement of educational goals
  • more income as an adult

Teens deserve the truth about teen pregnancy, STDs, condoms, and emotional scars. Just don’t neglect teaching the hope and reward from saving sex.

 

Christine Kearney. (2012, October 18). “Age Of First Sexual Experience Determines Relationship Outcomes Later In Life.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/251640.php

Harden, K. P. (2012, September 25). True Love Waits? A Sibling-Comparison Study of Age at First Sexual Intercourse and Romantic Relationships in Young Adulthood. Psychological Science. doi:10.1177/0956797612442550

The University of Texas at Austin. (2012, October 18). Does True Love Wait? Age of First Sexual Experience Predicts Romantic Outcomes in Adulthood. Retrieved from http://www.utexas.edu/news/2012/10/18/does-true-love-wait-age-of-first-sexual-experience-predicts-romantic-outcomes-in-adulthood/

What Accountability Looks Like

Men discussionAccountability partners are a great help in the fight against pornography.

James 5:16: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

However, many people are surprised that their confessing to and praying for each other is not always bringing the healing. Well, confessing is a bit more than just saying “I looked at porn last Tuesday.”

When I managed a staff of employees and something went wrong, I led them through an examination of the process that led to the mistake. We then determined if we needed a new way of doing things to avoid the mistake in the future.

Accountability is the same way. Identify the series of steps that led to the sin. James 1:14-15 explains this process. I’ll number the steps so you see them clearly.

“Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own
1. evil desire and
2. enticed. Then, after
3. desire has conceived, it gives birth to
4. sin; and sin, when it is
5. full-grown, gives birth to
6. death.”

Covenant Eyes has produced a wonderful resource called “Christian Accountability: A Discussion Guide.” This list of over thirty questions includes the following.

1. On a scale of 1 (HELP!) to 9 (Stable), rate the following:

  • I have actively avoided known triggers of sexual temptation or titillation.
  • My time with technology or media has not displaced time with God, family, friends, work, or my neighbors.
  • I am resting completely in what Christ has done for me-not obsessing about my own failures nor putting stock in my own performance.

2. When it comes to my habitual sins, is there a time of day, a place, a person, or a mood that tends to open the door to more tempting situations?

Covenant Eyes. (2013, April 5). Christian Accountability: A Discussion Guide. Retrieved from Accountability Questions: Discussion Guide For Accountability Partners : http://www.covenanteyes.com/lemonade/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Christian-Accountability-Discussion-Guide.pdf

Teaching Kids About Same-Sex Marriage

Same Sex MarriageThe Supreme Court’s ruling about same-sex marriage is a monumental change in our culture.

Noble Choices is not changing. We still help people see all of their choices and empower them to choose the highest quality of life. We must now help people make Noble Choices about marriage.

Here are five things parents should do to help their children with this choice.

1. Talk about it!
It is uncomfortable. We fear being judgmental or hypocritical. We are unclear what or how to say it. Do you fear that talking about it will “spoil their innocence,” or “make them desire it?” A 2014 study of 118 evaluations of sex education programs found that 99% did not increase the start of sexual activity. 56% actually showed some positive results. The most effective programs encouraged youth to have genuine talks with their parents.

2. Save sex for marriage.
Saving sex for marriage (same-sex or not) is still the best choice for health, emotions, and success of the marriage. Nothing changes for this value.

3. Acknowledge the choice.
Like it or not, your children have the choice of same-sex marriage. “This is not an option” closes communication and denies their reality. I have always listed abortion as an option in dealing with a teen pregnancy. This allowed me to address abortion and show other options as better. The same approach should be taken with same-sex marriage.

4. Teach the positive.
From an early age, teach your children what you believe about marriage and why you believe it. Teach more about what you are “for” than what you are “against.”

5. Acceptance is not approval.
God gives us freedom to choose His way or not. If we choose another way, He still loves us and wants the best for us even if He does not approve. We should be like God. You already do this with a host of other issues: drinking, divorce, smoking, using God’s name in vain, over-eating, church attendance, etc. We must now do it with same-sex marriage. Your children will encounter others who choose same-sex marriage. Talk about how to respond to them.

Fish, H., Manlove, J., Moore, K. A., & Mass, E. (2014, December). What works for adolescent sexual and reproductive health: lessons from experimental evaluations of programs and interventions. Retrieved from Child Trends: http://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/2014-64WhatWorksTeenSexualReproHealth.pdf