Tag Archives: Pornography

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.

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.

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/)

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

Interest in Sex is Dropping

I have written several times how pornography is bad for your sex life. It can cause loss of sexual performance. It can cause lack of satisfaction with sex even with the most attractive partners. It can even lead to preferring pornography over real sex with a person.

Now we are starting to see these effects on a much wider scale. Recent studies are showing that interest in sex across the population of two countries is dropping.

Great Britain showed a 25% drop in the sex rates of people aged 16-44 than the same age group just ten years earlier. One of the most commonly reported sexual problems was simply, “Lack of interest in sex.” The study’s authors list the following reasons for this drop in sexual activity:

  • online pornography,
  • modern technology: Twitter, Facebook, email,
  • worry about jobs,
  • worry about money.

A series of studies in Japan reveals an even worse loss of interest in sex. 45% of women and over 25% of men aged 16-24 “were not interested in or despised sexual contact”. 61% of unmarried men and 49% of women aged 18-34 were not in any kind of romantic relationship, 10% more than five years earlier. 33% of people under 30 had never dated at all.

People explained their attitudes with

  • “don’t see the point of love.”
  • “don’t believe it can lead anywhere.”
  • “Relationships have become too hard.”

Many are turning to easy or instant gratification, in the form of online porn, virtual-reality “girlfriends”, anime cartoons. Or else they’re opting out altogether and replacing love and sex with other urban pastimes.

American rock star, John Mayer, shows we’re likely not far behind Great Britain and Japan when he said,

“I equate sex with tension. Once I have to deal with someone else’s desires, I cut and run. I mean, I have unbelievable [sex] alone. They’re always the best. They always end the way I want them to end. This is my problem now: Rather than meet somebody new, I would rather go home and replay the … experiences I’ve already had. …I’m more comfortable in my imagination than I am in actual human discovery.”

(Haworth, A. (2013, October 19). Why have young people in Japan stopped having sex? The Observer. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/20/young-people-japan-stopped-having-sex)
(Mercer, C. H., Tanton, C., Prah, P., Erens, B., Sonnenberg, P., Clifton, S., . . . Johnson, A. M. (2013, November 30). Changes in sexual attitudes and lifestyles in Britain through the life course and over time: findings from the National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal). The Lancet, 382(9907), 1781-1794. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62035-8)
(Triggle, N. (2013, November 26). Modern life ‘turning people off sex’. Retrieved from BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25094142)

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.

Parent’s Biggest Fears

Child - NoWhat are our biggest worries regarding our kids?

A recent study of over 2,000 American adults revealed the following list:
1. Childhood obesity
2. Smoking
3. Drug abuse
4. Bullying
5. Stress
6. Alcohol abuse
7. Internet safety
8. Child abuse and neglect
9. Teen pregnancy
10. Not enough physical activity
Very good list. Several of them are main focuses of our work at Noble Choices.

What do these worries all have in common?

The need for our children to say, “No.”
Do you teach your children to say, “no”?

Many parents actually do the opposite. They will respond to their child’s “no” with
• hurt
• withdrawal
• guilt
• anger
• threats
• punishment

Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer the following examples of parents not allowing their children to say “no.”
• “Mommy needs to hold you now.”
• “How can you say ‘no’ to your parents who love you?”
• “Don’t talk back to me.”
• “Someday you’ll feel sorry for hurting your parents’ feelings like that.”

Do you allow your child to disagree with you? When your child wants distance or to play something else, do you allow it? If your child argues about bedtime, do you listen, consider, and even change your mind occasionally? Even if you enforce the bedtime, do you do it without withdrawing love? If your child doesn’t want to give affection, do you force it?

How can we expect our teens to say no to smoking, drugs, alcohol, pornography, or teen sex if we haven’t allowed them to say no to anything else while growing up? However, if you teach them it is safe to say “no” and allow them to practice it, they will have ten years of practice before hitting their teen years.

Don’t be a NO NO parent. Be a KNOW NO parent.

Cloud, D. H., & Townsend, D. (1992). Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No, To Take Control of Your Life.Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. (2014, August 11). School violence, gun-related injuries in top 10 child health concerns in U.S. Retrieved from National Poll on Children’s Health: http://mottnpch.org/sites/default/files/documents/081114_top10.pdf

Pride and Pornography

empty-heart-squareI had a high school sweetheart for two and a half years. I proposed to her after graduation. She would later break up with me but this article is not about that break up.

I had previously broken up with her the summer after my junior year. I went on a church mission trip to another state. I was quite smitten with a girl there, and we had a one-week summer romance.

On the drive home, I remember being very confused. I concluded that I must not love my girlfriend back home after all. If I did, I wouldn’t have acted the way I did on this trip. My reasoning was that my behavior on the trip did not meet my value that I loved my girlfriend.

I was left with two choices:
(1) Change my behavior to match my values.
(2) Change my values to match my behavior.
I chose option two. The right thing for me to do was to end that relationship so I broke up with her.

After about a month, I realized I was even more unhappy. I did indeed love my girlfriend and I was not with her. I went back to option one and we got back together.

Was this just the ways of an immature teenager? Possibly. However, I see a lot of adults doing the same thing.

There is a fundamental human principle at work: pride. Option one involves admitting wrong, asking for forgiveness, and working to do better. I had too much pride for that option. I had so much pride that option never even occurred to me. I was miserable trying to live according inauthentic values. I finally turned back to option one.

No one is perfect. We will all get out of synch with our values. Admit your mistakes. Don’t let pride force you to discard your values. Otherwise you may start looking to fill that void with pornography or sex before marriage or other behavior that you not only don’t value but actually hate. Trust me. I know.

Proverbs 16:18: Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Isaiah 32:8: But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand.

My Recovery Celebration

CR Summit(The Celebrate Recovery group that I attend held a special ceremony for my step study group at the completion of our nine-month study of the twelve steps. The following is the mini-testimony I shared.)

Two years ago, I wanted to do a step study for 3 reasons:

  • start a Celebrate Recovery at my church
  • enhance my non-profit ministry
  • gain experience in counseling

I would use my previous struggles of pornography and over-eating for my “issues.”

The ministry leader said, “Perfect timing because we have some step studies starting soon.” Well “starting soon” evidently meant seven months. Then a conflict with one of my graduate degree classes pushed it out a full 14 months!

However, now I was starting for three new reasons:

  • My porn issue had returned
  • My over-eating had returned
  • I was depressed

I see now that those delays were about God preparing my heart.

As we began our work on step four which is our personal inventories, my church sent my wife and I to California to attend the Celebrate Recovery Summit to prepare to start a Celebrate Recovery at our church.

At the final worship service, it all hit home. In tears I wrote the following words on a 3X5 card:

“I hurt from a father who made fun of me and expected perfection. He belittled me and my calling to be a minister. I have lived my life trying to prove him wrong. I have cared more about what others think of me instead of what God thinks of me. I have tried to stay in control of all aspects of my life to minimize my risk of being belittled. I have craved earthly titles to justify my worthiness instead of wearing the name of Jesus Christ.”

I took a nail and hammered this card to a cross.

My wife said, “You just completed step five. I am so proud of you.” I was shocked. This wasn’t about pornography, over eating, or depression. Apparently God was more interested in the deeper issues of my heart.

God used my step study brothers to drive me even deeper. Their sharing reflected an honesty and vulnerability I had never experienced with other men. I love you guys.

Let me close with my favorite scripture from the Step Study:

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!”  –  Isaiah 43:18-19