Jonathon Van Maren

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Another study confirms porn functions like a drug, and it’s destroying teens

Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon

June 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – While a few lonely experts with obvious agendas are still attempting to defend the porn industry, the rest of society is rapidly coming to the sickening realization that the sexual social experiment of 24-7 digital toxins getting pumped directly into the minds of an entire generation is going very, very badly. Just last month, for example, a report issued in the United Kingdom described how online porn use had transformed high schools into “battlefields,” with girls expected to act like porn stars and boys using online smut as a guide for how to live life. Testimonies like this from teens were the norm:

Everything you see on social media is reinforcing the worst things about ‘lad culture’. Pictures of women like porn stars with slogans like ‘What every lad wants his girl to look like’…My friend wanted his girlfriend to dress like a porn star and do what a porn star would do. Porn is so easily accessible. You see guys watching it in the classroom on their phones [and] on the bus.

Additionally, another major study released last month, which you can read in full here, also details the devastation wreaked by online pornography across our culture, and confirms the growing consensus that porn is a public health crisis. The study, which surveyed 6,463 students (2,633 males and 3,830 females) between the ages of 18 and 26, indicated that almost 80 percent of the students had been exposed to pornography (a number that I found low). The effects of this were extraordinarily disturbing. One key finding highlighted what some of us have been warning about for some time: That porn functions like a drug, and that users will continue to escalate to harder and harder-core versions of pornography in order to feed their addiction. From the study:

Tolerance/escalation: The most common self-perceived adverse effects of pornography use included: the need for longer stimulation (12.0%) and more sexual stimuli (17.6%) to reach orgasm, and a decrease in sexual satisfaction (24.5%)……The present study also suggests that earlier exposure may be associated with potential desensitization to sexual stimuli as indicated by a need for longer stimulation and more sexual stimuli required to reach orgasm when consuming explicit material, and overall decrease in sexual satisfaction.....Various changes of pattern of pornography use occurring in the course of the exposure period were reported: switching to a novel genre of explicit material (46.0%), use of materials that do not match sexual orientation (60.9%) and need to use more extreme (violent) material (32.0%)…

Interestingly, the study also found that 10.7 percent of males and 15.5 percent females self-reported daily use and addiction, with virtually no difference between males and females in regard to addiction rates. Typically, porn addicts are slow to admit that they have a problem, so that is actually a very high rate of users willing to admit that they feel addicted to online pornography. Even among those who do not think they are addicted, the study indicated that withdrawal symptoms are common: 51 percent had attempted to quit at least one time, with 72.2 percent of those experiencing one or more symptoms of withdrawal, including loneliness, libido decrease, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, trembling, aggression, depression, erotic dreams, and attention disturbance.

Unsurprisingly, the younger people were when they were first exposed to porn, the more likely they were to suffer from negative effects, with the highest likelihood found in those first exposed at age 12 or younger (and keep in mind that the average age of first exposure to porn keeps on going lower, and now sits around age 11). The study’s authors cautiously suggested that further research may indicate long-term damage to adults from being exposed to porn at young ages. In fact, the majority of the study’s participants both stated that porn was a public health crisis with many adverse social effects and declined to support public policies restricting access. Addictions, as we know, are hard to break.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll keep saying it until people truly realize it: Pornography is the number one threat to our communities, our churches, our families, and our marriages. Many Christians are steeling themselves for what might come next in the culture wars. Many communities are preparing for the external threats of secular totalitarianism. But pornography, leaking into our homes from the screens of every device that can sustain an Internet connection, is poisoning the very relationships and places that we will need if we are to survive the cultural onslaught we will be facing in the coming years.

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Jonathon Van Maren

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.