Open Your Eyes: Porn Is Directly Correlated to Sexual Exploitation

“It’s the greatest cancer in the churchؙ—it’s too late to say, ‘Well, give it time and lets pray about it.’” -Chuck Swindoll

Over the last three years of working with individuals across the country, one thing has become very clear to me: pornography is impacting our culture in profound ways. Even worse yet, because our culture has become so sexualized and pornified, our churches are being desensitized to how vast the blast radius really is.

While sexual sin is not new, online pornography is more widely accepted, accessible, affordable, and anonymous than ever before. According to a 2018 study by the Barna Group, 68% of Christian men and 33% of Christian women view pornography at least once per month. A study of university students found that 93% of boys and 62% of girls had seen Internet pornography during adolescence.

Technology is hastening sexual abuse and exploitation across the globe. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) says, “This reality—combined with a toxic deluge of pop culture messages normalizing harmful attitudes and behaviors—is rapidly transforming forms of sexual abuse, violence, and exploitation from the intolerable to the fashionable and ‘normal.’”

Need evidence?

Exploitation starts with pop culture.

Popular streaming sites like Netflix offer unlimited access to shows and movies that carry a common theme: sex. Music artists write songs about love and sex, and these songs are played on radio stations across the world. How about shows like HBO’s Game of Thrones, which shows graphic sex scenes that often include themes of rape and even incest?

Technology nowadays seems to revolve around sex, and young people are the most impacted. With smartphones always in their grasp, they can’t escape.

Related: The 2020 Dirty Dozen List Revealed

If that was not bad enough, sex exploitation has become a growing issue in our culture. When was the last time our churches talked about this dark side of pornography like that? My guess is close to never, and yet, women are being abused and trafficked every single day.

Porn is fueling this abuse and exploitation.

Real life accounts from victims showcases how porn was the fuel to the sexual exploitation fire. Consider this story by Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted and sexual assaulted for years. Her abductor used porn to fuel his abuse against her.

A meta-analysis of 46 studies showed exposure to pornographic material puts people at increased risk for committing sexual offenses and accepting rape myths. (Porn Harms, 2020)  According to NCOSE, pornography is used to train women and children forced into sex trafficking industry, and pimps make porn videos of victims to further blackmail or control them. Child sexual abuse and trafficking is one of the most abhorrent crimes in our society, and its connections to the porn industry are undeniable and must be addressed.

It’s time to engage in war against exploitation.

At Covenant Eyes, we know that pornography is corrupting hundreds of millions of people.  We exist to change the course of history by enabling the world to overcome porn and be restored and transformed. We spend a lot of time teaching individuals, families and church leaders about how using porn affects our mind, body and soul, how it destroys relationships with those we love, and even how it impacts our mental health or physical health. But we also must talk about darkness linked to the porn industry.

We need to have the tough conversations about how the “innocent” porn viewing by our men and women in the pews is fueling objectification and violence against women. We have to own this fact, not ignore it.

Related: Ex-Porn Star Tells the Truth About the Porn Industry

A highly cited study from Dr. Gail Dines found that 90% of porn videos contain some combination of degrading physical and verbal aggression, specifically toward women. That content rewires the brain to believe degradation of women is normal.

I want to challenge Christian men and women to think in terms of the real blast radius their porn use has, even beyond the effect it has on our families. It’s time we engage in the war on sexual exploitation with organizations like NCOSE, who works along side hundred of thousands of other organizations to fight the evil happening in our world.

We cannot address the pornography problem with out calling out its direct links to sexual exploitation. It’s an uncomfortable conversation and people may not want to hear it, but they need to understand that what they watch on their phone or laptop may actually be fueling something that most would agree is a tremendous evil in our would.

Want to get involved? Start with NCOSE.

To learn more about this, I encourage you to join me at the 2020 Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Online Summit. This virtual event creates a one-of-a-kind setting, where people from a diverse range of professional, political, and personal backgrounds, coalesce to be informed, equipped, connected and inspired. Invite your congregation to join this online summit as well; it’s free and a truly powerful event!

Covenant Eyes is proud to be a sponsor of this event and a solider in this war on sexual exploitation. We want to challenge each of you to take a stand and join the movement as well. Together, we can go far!

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to find common purpose with others who believe in preserving respect, intimacy, mutuality, responsibility, and love in human sexual relationships.