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How We Talk About Porn Matters

Last Updated: June 13, 2016

We all know that statistics can be used to tell just about any story you want. One of the reasons we learn to be discerning about polls and surveys is that the answers people give depend on how the question is asked.

A brand new national survey* of 2,518 people age 13 and up asked a similar question in two different ways, and the differences in response show why we need to call pornography a “public health crisis of sex trafficking and pornography.” People really do not understand that the majority of pornography results from sex trafficking.

girl in pain

Of the people who admitted to using pornography at least once a month, the question was asked, do you consider it “always wrong” to view sexual images when the sexual acts are forced or painful?  Only about 50% said that would always be wrong!

Ask the question a little differently, do you consider it “always wrong” to view sexual images when the sexual acts are not consensual? More than 75% believe that it is always wrong.

They’re really the same question–how many pornographic pictures that show sexual acts that are forced or painful do you think are consensual? You might say, well, the girls are getting paid, and they agree to it. If you believe that, you need to hear the evidence flowing from women who have escaped the industry. The truth is, pornography IS sex trafficking, and if we understand that this is a public health crisis, a cause with real meaning, our culture could be turned back to the days when Lucy and Ricky slept in separate beds on TV and in their pajamas.

Incidentally, a cohort of long-time accountable families who have used Covenant Eyes for more than five years also took the survey. More than 90% of them (all ages) agreed that both forced/painful and non-consensual sexual images are always wrong.  They understand the connection.


*All data in this article are from “The Porn Phenomenon” study by the Barna Group, 2016

  1. Bill Barone

    I’ve never realize that God one of the intimacy between only one woman and one man. He’s going very few people ever in my life to help me in this journey to keep me on my God. That said we really need to help each other more more

  2. Oh Please

    Oh please. We want to go back to an era where men and women slept in different beds and in pajamas? Really? You have lost your mind and want to live in a bygone era that will never exist again and an era that wasn’t all that good to begin with. Why do you think the sexual explosion occurred? Because of the prudish nature of the era you want to go back to.

    Also, most women who do porn are not being sex trafficked. The money is good and you don’t have to work 9 to 5. I have gone out with women in the adult entertainment industry and all of them did it for the money. I also worked at some of the largest companies in America. We would would have women who worked there making 60 or 70 grand year and then go home and strip or webcam and do porn. The money is great. Period. There are so many programs out there that help women that if they wanted to get out of porn, they could. Also, as for your surveys — people know what answers to choose. That doesnt mean they believe that.

    I promise you this though. You go back to the puritanical era you want and this will happen all over again anyhow. Whatever you make taboo will be unleashed with a fury. You are seeing that now. Fundamentalist Christians only have themselves to blame for all of this. Them and feminists actually. Ironic isnt it.

    • Chris McKenna

      Hello Oh Please – we probably come at this from different worldviews. At Covenant Eyes, we come from a worldview that pornography is destructive to the men and woman who participate in it and/or are addicted to it. Setting religion aside, science is coming to the same conclusions, even being called a “public health crisis” by the Washington Post.

      No question that many Christians don’t fully understand the role of sex and intimacy as an amazing gift from God. But, I don’t know of any data that supports the notion that Fundamentalist Christians are to blame for “all of this.” Surely, many groups have a role in the pornification of our culture.

      Chris

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