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5 Proven Ways Pornography Warps Your Mind

Last Updated: March 14, 2014

Luke Gilkerson
Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Your Brain on Porn and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

The following is an excerpt from Your Brain on Porn: 5 Proven Ways Porn Warps Your Mind and 3 Biblical Ways to Renew It.

5 Ways Porn Warps Your Mind

Go back to Part 2.

Finding #3: Watching Porn Lowers Our View of Women

“You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said C.S. Lewis’ Aslan. “And that is both honor enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth.”

The Scriptures tell us both men and women are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28). The implications of this idea are far-reaching. As image-bearers we “reflect” God in a way no other creature on earth does. As far as God is concerned, to assault someone made in His image is a great crime (Genesis 9:6; James 3:9). Knowing we are made in God’s image should impact how we see ourselves and one another.

It is not only men who bear this image, but women as well. In human history the failure to appreciate this fact has led to all manner of abuses to women. And in our increasingly sexualized culture, it is women who are often the most dehumanized as they are constantly rated for the size, shape, and harmony of their body parts. Often pornography, and even mainstream media, portrays women as people who are glad to be used and objectified. It isn’t surprising to find women increasingly devalued in our porn-saturated culture.

In the Zillman-Bryant experiment, the Massive Exposure Group was far more likely to believe women in society really fit the stereotype of the women they saw in pornographic films. In other words, they were more likely to believe all women are really “as hysterically euphoric in response to just about any sexual or pseudosexual stimulation, and as eager to accommodate seemingly any and every sexual request” as the porn girls.

Participants in the experiment were also asked to rate their overall support for women’s rights. Men in the Massive Exposure Group showed a 46% drop in support compared to the No Exposure Group. And among women participants, this drop was 30%.

“Free porn” is a misnomer. Pornography always costs somebody something. And it’s the women and girls in our culture, surrounded by boys and men with porn expectations, who often end up paying the highest price.

Naomi Wolf, writing for New York Magazine, puts it best: “Today real naked women are just bad porn.” The onslaught of porn doesn’t train men to value women as people made in the image of God, but instead trains people to see fewer and fewer women as porn-worthy.

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Read Part 4: “Finding #4: Watching Porn Desensitizes Us to Cruelty

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