- The Washington Times - Monday, September 21, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Culture challenge of the week: pornography

No one wants to talk about America’s growing addiction to pornography. Certainly not me, but I do quite often because I know it is one of the greatest evils of our time. Like a toxic plague, pornography usage is sweeping our nation and destroying our humanity. Tragically, the largest demographic consuming Internet pornography is children between the ages of 12 and 17. As deadly as pornography is to the innocence and development of our children, it has a stranglehold on millions of adult men, too.

Walk by any magazine stand, and you’ll see that although porn is difficult to avoid on the Internet, “dirty magazines” are still a much sought-after commodity by adult males. While in the airport recently, my heart broke at the sight of so many men spending time between flights thumbing through the pages of “soft porn” publications like Playboy.

And for crying out loud, they shamelessly do so in their tidy suits in the plain sight of everyone. It will probably shock many of you to hear that these “gentlemen’s magazines” have for years featured photos, cartoons and illustrations of children in sexual situations, including association with adults, animals and sexual assault. So much for “soft porn.”

When otherwise “responsible” adults are slaves to the smut, is it any surprise that adolescents are easily addicted when exposed to porn during their hormone-driven years? We have never before raised an entire generation on porn, so we don’t know how damaging the far-reaching effects will be.

A recent edition of Salvo Magazine (a publication on which I’m honored to serve as a pro-bono senior editor), titled “Silent Bondage,” paints a grim picture of the future by outlining the harms we now know our children are currently suffering as a result of their own pornography consumption. Salvo features the work of Judith Reisman and Jill Manning, seasoned experts in the dangers of porn. Their research shows that the images “encourage and stimulate anger and aggression” in users and causes them to treat other people as objects. Children who use porn have a lack of interest in marriage and in having children of their own, and are at an increased risk of developing sexual compulsions and addictive behavior.

According to Miss Manning, the type of porn viewed today by adults and children is “deviant, vile and graphic.”

“Young people are witnessing rape, torture and all kinds of degrading material,” she said. Why would anyone gravitate to such horrible inhumane depictions? Miss Reisman has carefully studied and documented the effects that exposure to pornography has on the brain - it acts like a drug and can easily capture the “casual observer” and result in serious addiction, causing the user to crave greater quantities of ever more perverse images.

How to save your family from becoming pornography’s victims

If you suspect someone in your family has a porn problem, arm yourself with truth. This column is much too short to delve into all you need to know in order to protect your family. Visit www.SalvoMag.com, where you can order the “Silent Bondage” issue and equip yourself to combat pornography’s stranglehold head-on.

If you have a pornography addiction, please get help. At www.VictimsofPornography.org, you can connect with counseling resources and hear the victory stories of others who have overcome their bondage. It’s critical to understand that consuming porn is never just “harmless entertainment.” Your use warps your view of women and of common decency. It breeds selfishness and unfaithfulness. You might as well be having an affair with every woman you gawk at in the glow of the computer or while privately viewing that hotel room porn flick.

Rebecca Hagelin is a family advocate and the author of the best-seller “30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.” For more family tips, visit HowToSaveYourFamily.com or e-mail Rebecca@howToSaveYourFamily.com.

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