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Pornography: An Equal Opportunity Destroyer (Infographic)

Last Updated: August 9, 2021

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

Statistics show that the use of pornography is on the rise, especially among young people. For some demographics, we can safely say that pornography use is not the exception anymore: it is the norm.

This infographic was created by Sarah Thomas, who blogs at theoldtroddenlane.com.

Pornography: An Equal Opportunity Explorer

See more infographics on Flickr.

Read more statistics about pornography at covenanteyes.com/pornstats.

Learn more about porn’s impact on the brain in the free book, Your Brain on Porn.

  • Comments on: Pornography: An Equal Opportunity Destroyer (Infographic)
    1. Deanna

      These statistics show that pornography affects women as well, so why then are all of the articles only about male addicts and female spouses? It is very frustrating as a female sex addict to see women addicts ignored in articles and recovery programs. I thought I was a freak until I went to rehab and met other women addicts. Don’t ignore women addicts (and make spouses for that matter) just because we’re the minority.

    2. Interesting but I Disagree

      I tried posting once, but it didnt take. I disagree with this graphic in many ways and think the creator injected her own bias into it to try to sensationalize and scare people. Here is what I disagree with:

      1) Under the children section: She asserts that anyone who sees porn at a young age will have negative and traumatic responses. If a person suffered lasting negative or traumatic emotional responses, they most certainly would not become porn addicts. Addiction to negative stimuli is really quite rare. If anything, the person would never look at porn again, which as we see is not happening. In fact, porn usage increases as people age.

      2) Under the teen section: Sorry. There is no link to porn and multiple partners. The biggest link to multiple partners is called time and dating. If you are single for 20 years, I assure you that you will have more partners than if you were married for 20 years.

      3) Arousal during internet sex interferes with memory? Really? Show me the research. That is just BS. Arousal is arousal. Whether it is internet based or physically based. If arousal caused memory loss, most of the world would have no memory.

      4) I have seen heroin and meth addicts. I assure you that they are nothing like people who look at porn.

      I think America just has a problem with sex. If I see a woman having sex on TV, the world comes to an end. Oh the horror!!! Oh the travesty!!!! But I can watch 200 people get killed and no one cares. The best thing America could do is be real about sex. Stop making it taboo and I assure you, porn usage would go down because after a while, all the porn scenes look the same and the excitement level drops. Then you get bored and no longer look at it.

      You want to know the reality of looking at porn? When I was not dating anyone and I was alone, I looked at porn. When I was dating and with someone, my porn viewing dropped to nearly zero. I still did look at it. My girlfriend knew and it didnt bother her. Only a terribly insecure woman would think it is a problem. Just because I look at a pretty woman on the computer, that does not mean I want to give up the woman I chose to be with. But I will say this — if you are a woman and you aren’t having sex with your husband and he is looking at porn, take the hint. If you are a woman and you gained a bunch of weight and your husband is looking at porn, take the hint.

      At the end of the day, Christians just pummel sex and nudity because of the bible. But here is one thing the bible does not account for. The pain of being alone. If God made it out to be that everyone had someone, then it would be a different story. But everyone doesn’t have someone and the BS that there is someone for everyone is just BS. At least in this world it is. Want to know why there is so many addictions? Because life is painful and I am sorry, the promise of a heaven we can not see is not much of a consolation when you feel that pain.

      • Hi there,

        1. Our experience talking to counselors and psychologists would suggest otherwise. Often children who are exposed to porn at a young age, even when traumatized by it, end up getting hooked on it later in life. If you want a good summary, read Jill Manning’s “Hearing on pornography’s impact on marriage & the family,” from the U.S. Senate Hearing back in November 2005.

        2. Perhaps you think the creator of the infographic is stating causation, not correlation. As far as correlation goes, there is most definitely a connection. As for some specific research, I encourage you to read, “Exposure to sexually explicit web sites and adolescent sexual attitudes and behaviors,” in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

        3. As far as the research goes, you can check out the study published in the Journal of Sex Research from 2012 entitled, “Pornographic Picture Processing Interferes with Working Memory Performance.” That is the original source.

        4. The quote from Dr. Jeffrey Satinover comes from his speech before a senate subcommittee back in 2004. In 10 year’s time, neuroscience has only confirmed his already well-grounded statement. In fact, the American Society for Addiction Medicine changed its definition of addiction back in 2011 because of the volume of evidence for neurological pathways that are behind process/behavioral addictions (like pornography).

        All of this is in our pornography statistics report, as the infographic says.

        (The Bible, by the way, does not propagate the myth that there is someone for everyone. If often gives examples of the opposite.)

        I hear what you are saying about addiction and pain, however. This is true. Many would define pornography as a disorder of love, and I would agree. People who get hooked and stay hooked often do so because of the life they find themselves trapped in—the cage they live in. We would do well to remember that addictions aren’t broken by shaming or criminalizing the problem, but by extending compassion.

    3. Interesting But I Disagree

      I will look into those research reports. Interesting. I am skeptical of government findings though. Many government findings are used to support an agenda already in place. Drug statistics for example. The government will not fund research that proves pot is not harmful, but will fund research where the outcome will be that pot is harmful. Why you ask? Prisons are full of drug offenders. That is a lot of revenue in the form of fines, fees, prison labor, etc. Plus, the consulting firms that give the drug treatment courses are often owned by the very same politicians that pushed the get tough on drugs agenda in the first place. Then you add in the private prisons that are asking for occupancy guarantees. They too are owned by politicians and people in power. There is a lot of money to be made in agendas. America must learn to follow the money to see what is really going on. But we are too foolish to do that. We see we have 1/3 of the world’s prisoners and still warning sirens do not go off in this country. Our fear will be our undoing.

      America is very much a reactionary witch hunt society but often those witch hunts are done for economic gain or to take away some freedom. Porn will be used as such. I see a day when no computer will come with a hard drive. Everything will be placed in the cloud. It will be sold to the people as a way to keep things secure and your children safe!!! Of course, it actually will just be an easier way to collect every piece of information on every soul in America. You wonder where the anti-Christ is going to set up operations. Look no further than the good ole US of A. He is putting in the infrastructure to do so. In fact, he is working both sides of the agenda. For example, he creates dysfunction by using intolerant prudish puritan attitudes. Our churches have become a place that cast stones and have driven away so many lost sheep. Puritanism made sex so taboo. That of course had exactly the opposite effect and made it flourish. (This is the current state of affairs.) Then he is going to work the other side, by making laws which on the outside sound good, but ultimately, will serve to curtail many freedoms. It is kind of like the Patriot Acts. Sounds good on the outside. Until you read them in their entirety. Which of course no one really does. Americans have the attention spans of gnats. All I can say is for America to be careful for what you wish for because you just might get it.

      Even though, I agree with you about half the time Luke, I think you do a tremendous job. I just am a firm believer we have to get realistic about sex. Making it more taboo is not going to make it less desirable I assure you. You may laugh, but the best thing a Christian can do is be a match maker. Set your friends up. Set people up who are lonely. Like I said. When I was lonely, I looked at porn. When I was with someone, it dropped dramatically. I am not a rarity either. All my friends do this. Male and female. Don’t think for a moment women are not porn addicts. They are addicts in different ways. They watch porn but many get hooked on the attention from doing porn. Women love attention. They crave it. We should write more about the vain nature of women. I guess that is how the devil works. Women are vain and entice often. Men are lustful and respond to the enticement. Like I said earlier, the devil works both sides of everything.

      Christ was wise to this. That is why he told people to forgive and turn the other cheek. That act stops a lot of suffering from a devil that works both sides. I will again use prison as an example. The devil creates havoc in society. Crimes happen. Our media sensationalizes crimes. Then the masses cry out. Protect us!! Protect us!! Then we get tough on crime. Lock millions up and saddle them with felonies for life. This of course destroys generations of families. It also virtually assures the fact more crimes will occur because you just made it impossible for millions of people to live. So on both ends, the devil worked the system. He played us all for fools. But just imagine if we did what Christ said. We were merciful and forgave. We gave jobs to felons. Not held felony records against people. Lives will be rebuilt. Families restored. Treatment occurs. Crime goes down. More peace happens and often, the only way people learn to give mercy is if they receive it first.

      Christ was no fool. Too bad we don’t listen to him as much as we should. We are too busy checking off rules and regulations.

      • Thanks. As for any these being “government” findings, they aren’t. Even the Senate subcommittee hearings are presentations delivered to Congress by outsiders, not presentations generated by some government agency.

        I am glad to hear you agree with me at least half the time. :)

        I’m not sure if you think I think I’m unrealistic about sex or that I make sex more taboo somehow. If so, I’d love to know why you think that, because it certainly isn’t my intention.

        I hear you on the loneliness thing, and I’m all for matchmaking (I had a real lack of that in my life personally, which is why I went on eHarmony, eventually finding my wife there).

        Also, we have many, many articles here for women who struggle with porn, so this isn’t something we are overlooking.

      • Interesting But I Disagree

        Oh no Luke, I don’t think YOU are unrealistic about sex or make it taboo. Our society does. We use sex to sell everything, but then on the flip side, society makes it taboo. It is like we are literally bi-polar. This mixed message has caused a lot of problems. But I truly believe if we made it less taboo, things would level out. I have been overseas where they have nude beaches and people have sex on those beaches (in tents of course) and those cultures have much less problems than we do. America really is out of control relative to the rest of the world. America is richer and things here are nicer. Things are more sanitized here. But make no mistake, the way other countries approach things are often much better. We by far consume the most porn and we have to seriously ask ourselves why? What is going on in America that we do this the most? You ever notice what we do with sex. We by far arrest the most people for prostitution and destroy lives doing that. We have men serving decades in prison for consensual sex that harmed no one. We will destroy a life over an incident that does not cause harm. Where often the woman does not press charges but rather the state does. Go have consensual sex with your loved one and see if that compares to sitting in a prison cell for decades. There are more false rape allegations than people admit. (I worked in a prison program and I have literally seen letters to inmates where the victims admitted to lying. I held them in my hands and there isn’t a person in this world that can tell me otherwise.) But on the flip side, we use sex to sell everything knowing that it will shape behaviors. Then when we see that those behaviors have completely been shaped (increased porn usage, increased prostitution, underage girls going after older men in droves) —- we deny it is all happening. We have literally no sense of perspective on this issue.

      • I won’t try to comment on the state of sexual ethics and norms in other nations (such as rapes, prevalence of sexual addictions, etc.) since I have not read the most recent data. If you know of any good sources on that, let me know.

        Anecdotally, I will say that I entirely agree that addictive, destructive, and compulsive sexual behaviors are most definitely impacted by one’s own cultural environment, and when there is a high degree of regulation, taboo, and control, this can bring about a great negative impact. I see it all the time from the perspective of the church. While I think sin is sin, there are some sins that get an extra dose of shame in church culture, and this can send the unintended message that some stigmas don’t get washed away, even when God’s grace is involved. This is unfortunate, because it often perpetuates these hidden and destructive habits.

        That said, where a shame-based culture brings about sexual dysfunction, we also know that shameless cultures can as well. I don’t think either is the answer.

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