The Porn Circuit

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Science shows us why porn is highly addictive. Learn how our neurochemistry is easily hijacked by porn to create compulsive behaviors, and discover how the brain can be rewired to escape porn's allure.

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26 thoughts on “Bringing Rape Culture to Light

  1. Great Article, but having 3 daughters, thought I must make a slight correction on Beauty and the Beast. It is not Belle’s love that changes him, it is his learning to love her. It is very clear both in the narration itself at the beginning of the movie and near the end. To break his spell, the beast must learn to love and be loved. He changes in part because her kindness is winsome to him, but in the movie he lets her go because he loves her. She discovers, after he lets her go, that she loves him as well., Still, I don’t want my daughters marrying a beast. We also watch Cinderella a lot. Overall, I would guess that Princess stories help girls to avoid these kind of men and understand gender roles better.

    • Good point about Beauty and the Beast. Many of the Disney kids’ movies do a good job of demonstrating heroic self-sacrifice and other positive traits, even if the relationships shown wouldn’t be healthy in the real world. After all, Disney’s goal is to tell an entertaining story in 80 minutes, not portray a 100% perfect example of healthy manhood and womanhood. Still, it’s good to use a critical eye on all media, and train your kids to think critically as well.

  2. I find the point on the Bechdel Test to be immensely helpful in regards to my writing as an author. I’m taking a creative writing class at college and our class has be wrestling with the integration of our Christian faith and our writing as we go to a Christian liberal arts college.

    Per the recommendation of the professor, reading other works of fiction to write our own fiction stories allows us to write better. This morning, I was particularly frustrated by a short story that depicted a graphic sexual encounter and just as its readers can get drawn into its content, I too was drawn in. I immediately felt sick to my stomach that sexually charged writing has this affect on its readers and I turned to God and told him this frustration.

    That being said, this note of the Bachdel test has come at a good time. I want to glorify God with my writing, but when sexually charged writing exists in the world, it disappoints me to and threatens to derail my own writing.

    However, you have given me hope for my writing that I can use strong female characters who are not a part of the sex culture to portray the beauty and God made humanity of woman instead of an objectified character. The wikipedia article on the Bechdel test states, “The Bechdel test is used to identify gender bias in fiction.” This can directly apply to my writing as one way that I can look objectively for bias in my writing that could in some way lead to the objectification of women.

    In some way, I now see more hope for writing that despair.

    • Give your female characters female friends and interests beyond men, and you’ll do better than a lot of writers out there.

  3. That is all fine and interesting but where is the gospel? where is the gospel when it comes to teaching your children the reasons why we follow God’s commandments? Why? Because He died for us, he suffered, died and rose again to pay for our sinful lives so that we might spend eternity with Him in heaven. We don’t watch porn because of what Christ did, we don’t murder because of what Christ did, we don’t blame the girl of rape because of what Christ did. People who do are not taking serious the payment Jesus suffered for them.

    • In the interest of keeping an already lengthy article tolerably short, I chose to focus on raising awareness of the issue, not so much on providing detailed solutions. You’re right that the Gospel should be central to our discussion of handling sin, so I invite you or any other commenter to weigh in on this.

  4. It should not surprise us that Rape has become more prevalent in all societies, Western and Asian, including the United States and India. This has taken place over a period of several decades as most of the sexual morality that once was considered normal has completely disappeared and is now considered abnormal. In other words, the virginity of unmarried persons was assumed for many generations but as Freudian attitudes have become more prevalent virginity has taken on a negative attribution.

    Today the fornicator, male or female, is glorified and there is no price to pay for said sinful behavior. A man who impregnates a woman can simply pay for the abortion/murder of the human fetus and the impregnated woman can simply get an abortion/murder performed as easily as going to the dentist. There is little opprobrium today and, in fact, there are many Godless people who defend abortion as a good thing.

    Child sexual abuse is a separate matter but it is my understanding that we now have close to one million sexual predators in the United States. Children are no longer safe and the situation is not likely to improve.

    Ultimately, until the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa have a genuine return to real sexual morality, Rape, Child sexual abuse and Abortion will continue. The modern day Freudian mind-set focused on masturbation, fornication and other sexual pleasures may appear to be beneficial but it is a total disaster in the long term. The consequences of the sexual revolution include widespread venereal diseases including AIDS, rampant divorce, Child sexual abuse, Rape, Abortion, psychological problems including depression and Suicide.

    Finally, the old sexual morality existed for good reasons. We are not the equivalent of other animal species and if we choose to lower ourselves to a lower level of behavior we will reap the consequences, ultimately returning to the jungle from whence we came.

  5. I am utterly blown away. I would first assume a comedian would consider this social ‘suicide’, but that people were actually laughing. In the culture we live in, it seems many people who would otherwise vehemently disagree with such nonsense would speak up, but I’ve noticed a nervous unease between groups of young people that have trouble planting their feet in the ground and saying “Hey! That’s wrong, and I want no part.” I pray that I can be bold enough to be that person in spite of the way the world acts and thinks.

  6. The church is nominally the body of believers in Christ who have received the Holy Spirit. I have quit attending church and instead attend only a small innocuous men’s Bible study to fulfill God’s command to “not forsake the fellowshipping of the saints.” This is my approach after a lovely gal turned her arce and panties in my face after a conversation I had with her. Just prior I told her I was an engineer and promptly received that sanctimonious snarky sideways ‘sucks to be you’ response as she did her deed and I looked away as I have trained myself to do. I spoke with the pastor about it and he said that I have “a spirit problem.” Meanwhile I have seen on more than one occasion what seemed to be her flirtation and extra friendliness with a tattooed married man also at that church. The church is where a young man goes to die.

    In college the Baptist Student Union had something called Christian Challenge. When the yell leader said, “Everybody let’s stand up and praise Jesus,” there would be more pairs of women’s underwear in the peripheral vision than you could see on campus in one day, and the same thing when it was time to sit down and “listen to the speaker.”

    What I know about Christianity today is that sleeping with your future spouse is par for the course and the most frequent way to get married. Check out the divorce stats for Christians, they are no better than non-Christians. Or find the abortion stats, 2 of 3 abortions have a Christian involved, perhaps because many Christian parents appropriately do not attempt a cover-up of their children’s promiscuity by prescribing birth control measures.

    The church cannot or will not discern between those who choose to be single and celibate and those who are ‘single’ and live a player lifestyle. They look at me like a criminal and I have personally been likened by a St. Pat’s day Catholic – one that does not attend mass regularly and likely not a true believer – to a future terrorist on par with Osama bin Laden for my views. Pure puke.

    The church in America including the Baptists, Methodists, other Protestant denominations and the Catholic and Orthodox churches are criminal in thier willful ignorance, indiscretion and addiction to comfort. That is what brings persecution of Christians and their beliefs in America: the lies of those established within the church and the unwillingness to admit their stuff stinks as well and to deal with it Biblically. They seek to stuff, stymie, patronize, paralyze, bamboozle, marginalize and demean the common man for them to have someone to stand on. That says too much about the church. It is a stifling, muzzling, murderous, padantic, insulting, cruel, devastating torture zone where the true believer is the ceremonial black goat, the ‘lone-wolf Christian,’ the one that can stand alone in Christ and present an insufferable danger to the pretty, the polished, and the pre-established. The church is where a young man goes to die and become an institutionalized fairweather pansie. The church has forgotten for Whom it exists – Christ Jesus – who resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Arrogance and prior standing have place in a country club but not a church that represents Jesus Christ and His message of dying to live. Perhaps there are many in the church willing to lay down their life for Christ but confessing Him before men is the first step. The difference between a liberal and a Christian in America is that a liberal can tell you proudly what they believe though they cannot conjure a legitimate reason for it.

    In a world where being a Christ-follower is always cause for ostracization by the powers that be, it is particularly troubling that those Christians with a comfortable life give a flatulent pass at those who struggle to do the right thing in the midst of persecution. They can wear a jacket that says North Face on both sides, accuse you of being a conspiracy theorist on your birthday as you navigate hell – oops I meant work, work for a pro-life counseling center, have a significant other of more than ten years, and live in a house not their own as you standby for their everpresent petulent twits.

    There is no reason for a single Christian to attend a house of whoreship to be further tempted and falsely accused at what is supposed to be a place to come closer to God. Personal revival starts with the individual before God and His Son Christ Jesus by reading and obeying His Word. No building nor pompous suppository of festive crass indifference is the work of the Holy Spirit. Sports are god, education is god, family is god, romance is god, America is god, money is god, image is god, the green lawn is god, and none of them are God. The heroes are the prophets of God in the Old Testament, destitute and afflicted vagabonds that were sawn in two, torn asunder, who forewarned of God’s judgment upon Israel and who told of Christ’s first coming, of whom the world was not worthy. The Biblical canon is closed and needless suffering does not bring those who are apart Christ closer to Him. A simple and quiet life including fellowship with other Christian non-V.I.P.’s will do just fine. Everyone is a V.I.P.

    • A lot of thoughts here, Rhett. I’m not exactly sure the connection of this rant to the topic of the article, but I could just be overlooking it. Can you elaborate more on what this has to do with rape culture and rape myths in the broader culture?

    • Hi Rhett,
      I am from Hong Kong and my church’s Man Ministry brought over the Pure Desire course (by Dr. Ted Roberts) from East Hill Church, US. It deals with exact problem you are talking about, where most if not many churches are ignoring or dont have the resources to face – the sexual addiction instead of restoration in God. A place where broken man like me can come together with other men to support, to be healed by the Lord and to set our moral standard back on the lord. My point is, there are still hope in the Church community. God places difficulties and sufferings so that we can go preserve them with faith in him to grow strong.
      The Pure Desire course is such a great tool and I encourage those who are/ were struggling with sexual addiction like me to break from addiction and isolation, stop using our own means to numb pain but to rest totally in the lord!

  7. I liked your suggestions for helping to counter the culture should rape ever come up in conversation. I’d thought about The Little Mermaid’s (parenting failure, rewarded disobedience and lovestruck marriage) but never about Beauty & The Beast and abusive relationships. Wow! It really does encapsulate what our culture imagines should happen with a “bad” guy.
    Thanks for sharing the Bachdel Test. I’m going to have to try that out. I think there will be a lot of movies that fail. It will be an interesting experiment and a new perspective.

  8. BDSM- I can assume this is some violent porn/ sexual practice but writing out the acronym might help me understand what “the guys” are talking about without looking where I’d rather not.. Out of habit I almost Googled it but thought better of it.

    Great article. Love The Bechdel Test.

    I appreciate how you laid out the three research based theories on how porn affects rape and the public’s view of this violence.

    • Good call on not Googling it. It’s an overlapping acronym that stands for Bondage/Discipline (BD), Dominance/Submission (DS), and Sadism/Masochism (SM). It covers a broad spectrum of voluntary sexual violence.

  9. Much of the focus of articles, media reports is on how women should protect themselves and what increasingly women have to deal with. However i think there has to begin to be an entirely different focus and that is on men, They have to decide for themselves what sort of human beings they want to be. Most users of porn are men. Are they realising what they are actually doing to themselves as human beings when they use it? Do they spend any time reflecting on their actions? Do they ask themselves – do i want to be influenced by all this misogyny and violence? Or do i want to be a spiritually enlightened fun loving man who teaches my sons, nephews colleagues a better way of being. Men have to start taking responsibility for themselves, their actions and their sexuality.

  10. Thanks for writing this article Lisa. As someone who has been down the horrible road of porn addiction, I appreciate your candor and openness about this topic. I have recently found freedom from the slavery I was in and can relate to the story of Aslan tearing off the costumes of the child. That is almost exactly how I have felt over the last few months. But the freedom that God has given me is nothing short of pure beauty. I don’t deserve it, never will, but I came understand that God’s love is freely given which was a turning point for me.

    To respond to Rhett Larson’s comment, I understand where he’s coming from as I have experienced the same feelings at many churches. But what I think needs to be said is that we are all deeply flawed with this thing called ‘sin,’ all of us. As Christians, we probably already know that, but it should come as no surprise that God’s church is also filled with other people who are also flawed and are in need of grace. Even women who dress perhaps a little too provocatively for our sin filled minds. While you may have a ‘spirit problem’ and the women at your church may have a ‘wardrobe problem,’ you are both in need of grace, which God abundantly provides and is offering you right now. This is not something you can earn, nor something that we need to be in a right mind to receive. It just simply is. Much like God simply is: He is the great I AM.

    The problem I faced for the longest time was the belief that I was forgiven, but was still in my sin. A mentor of mine recently dispelled this lie with a few verses from Romans and Ephesians. God not only provides for our forgiveness through Christ, but he GIVES us his righteousness. Think about that for a second. Every I look at porn and feel crappy about it, I no longer need to feel that God is pointing the finger at me, eternally angry for what I did. Instead, since I am in Christ, I can say, ‘Wow! I should feel ashamed, but God, through Christ has forgiven me! And now he sees Christ righteousness as my own!’ What a relief! This essentially is saying that God loves me no matter what I do! Which is true, since I am in Christ. But if this causes me to take it as a license for sin, I am in a truly bad place. I am asking the wrong question. The correct question should be: Why would I want to go back to my sin?

    Paul admitted to struggles with besetting sin (Romans 7), which should encourage us. But to abandon the church of God because it is full of sinners is to miss the point. After all, God admitted in Genesis that it is not good for man to be alone. We are meant to be in community. But this community should encourage us towards Christ.

  11. My attitude toward women’s responsibility to protect themselves from rape is basically the same as yours, Lisa. Even acting like a tramp doesn’t begin to justify a violent sexual crime.

    But unless I just missed it, I didn’t see anyone place any burden on the men responsible for these possible or actual rape victims. You’re right to point out that rape will never be eradicated, but wouldn’t it be lessened if husbands and fathers took a more active role in the protection of their wives and daughters instead of letting them “fend for themselves” so much? I’m not suggesting that a woman should never be somewhere by herself, but I AM suggesting that a woman accompanied by a man (or even another woman) has to be a huge deterrent to a rapist. What do you think about this angle?

    • That would deter some rapists, sure, although you still get cases like the Delhi rape victim in India, where the male friend of the victim was knocked unconscious before the woman was raped.

      Unfortunately, most rapists don’t just lurk in dark alleyways, waiting for unsuspecting women to walk past. In fact, in two-thirds of rape cases, the victim knows the attacker. This means, in many cases, that the victim (and possibly her parents) knew and probably trusted the man who attacked her. The rapist may have been the brother of a friend of the victim, or a man from her church, or that totally hot football player she’d been crushing on for, like, ever. Sometimes it’s even the victim’s own father or brother. And yes, it’s possible for a husband to rape his own wife, if he’s using violence or other coercive measures to force her to have sex. Quote whatever scriptures you want about a husband and wife owning each other’s body…if either partner is using force for sex, I would not call it an example of husbands loving their wives as Christ loves the church.

      So do the men in the victim’s life play a role? Heck yes, but it’s not as easy as escorting her when she needs to run errands after dark. Probably the best thing for a father to do to help protect his daughter is to demonstrate to her (and to his sons) what a godly man is and does. If a husband shows his kids that a godly man loves, cherishes, and respects his wife, then daughters will look for men who treat them like that (instead of, say, frequenting shady bars looking for any kind of love), and sons will strive to be men like that (instead of being the guys at the shady bars, treating women like conquests). There’s no guarantee the godly girl will never be raped, but she may be better at avoiding the situations in which rape is more likely to occur.

  12. Thanks WasabiJane for a well-written article.

    I don’t want to be part of the rape culture. You have given men an alternative. Do we want to be passive agents trying hard not to look at porn or active “heroes” defending women as more than sexual objects and taking a stand against a prevailing trajectory in our culture? I want to be proactive.

    Let’s fight against the notion that rape is acceptable or that it was the woman’s fault. It wasn’t. It’s the man’s fault for the violent-sexual act and appropriate consequences should follow. I pray that God would change the hearts of those in our culture who think rape should be tolerated. Oh God, show us how terrible rape is in the eyes of your infinite holiness (Hab 1:13). Have mercy on us and forgive us of our sins!

    I also agree completely with your military reporting. I’ve served in the military eight years and that’s the way it is. It’s a crude sexual environment and servicemen have a protected status regardless of their actions. It’s unfortunate, but the way it is.

    Keep up the good work!

    The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. Psalm 14:1 NIV

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