In Memory of Judith Reisman: Matriarch in the Fight Against Porn

On April 9, 2021, Covenant Eyes lost a friend and ally in the fight against pornography, Dr. Judith Reisman, Ph.D.  

Dr. Reisman was one of the leading intellectuals in the fight against pornography and one of the first to conduct research into the dangers it presents.  She wrote and lectured extensively on the sexual revolution, pornography, and the sexologist Alfred Kinsey.  

Covenant Eyes founder and CEO Ron DeHaas said:  

“Judith Reisman was a matriarch of the movement against sexual exploitation and pornography.  And like a true matriarch, she was in the life of the movement, but also of the movement, the movement was her child, her family.  She was so passionate about this child that you literally could not stop her.  When she spoke at a conference, she was so full of informed vigor that she would still be talking as she was gently moved offstage.  This movement, this family, her child, will have a lonely empty spot at our gatherings from now on.”

Dr. Reisman’s early research into the effects and dangers of pornography helped fuel later explorations into the brain science of porn. 

Testifying before a senate committee in 2004, Dr. Reisman coined the term “erototoxin. “Pornography triggers myriad kinds of internal, natural drugs that mimic the “high” from a street drug. Addiction to pornography is addiction to what I dub erototoxins—mind-altering drugs produced by the viewer’s own brain. 

Years later, numerous studies corroborate Dr. Reisman’s claims.  

In 2011Covenant Eyes interviewed Dr. Reisman. She explained to us the ideological justification for pornography that was developed in the 1950s, which was based on academically questionable and ethically reprehensible research.  

Despite this, it’s the same basis that’s used today to justify the tsunami of porn that flooding our homes through the internet. Not surprisingly, Dr. Reisman received much vitriolic criticism from porn advocates. Marriage and family therapist Dr. Jill Manning said, “She was truly one of a kind. She took many slings and arrows for our movement.” 

In 2016, Dr. Reisman joined Covenant Eyes for the Global Set Free Summit, an international gathering of nearly 1000 pastors, recovery experts, and concerned lay leaders from around the world. The purpose of the summit was to sound the alarm on the problem of pornography in the church.  “You don’t need to be an addict to be harmed by pornography,” said Dr. ReismanPorn is “a social contagion that fuses fear, shame, and lust.” 

Dr. Reisman’s work will not be forgotten.  

Many other researchers, medical professionals, and advocates have taken up the torch that she carried for so many years.

Neurosurgeon and porn addiction expert Dr. Donald Hilton commented, “We will be forever indebted to her for her knowledge and her example of courage.  She will be greatly missed.” 

Ron DeHaas concluded, “For those of us who count ourselves among her children, we must not now relax, but rather hear her charge echoing among us.  Mother, may you be proud of what is yet to come.