John-Henry Westen

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Porn devastates another family: Josh Duggar and America’s epidemic

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September 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Porn has devastated yet another family -- this time in front of the entire world.

Last week, former "19 Kids and Counting" star and family values advocate Josh Duggar was found to be among the 36 million people who used the cheating website Ashley Madison. This revelation came one month after Duggar's fourth child was born, and three months after he admitted to teenage molestation.

For fans, Duggar’s infidelity was heart-breaking. Duggar did not downplay his actions, saying that he was "the biggest hypocrite ever" for "espousing faith and family values" despite a self-described "secret addiction" to "viewing pornography on the internet" that led to him being "unfaithful" to his wife.

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As Josh and his family try to find healing, it is again time for America to consider the real harm of pornography to individuals, families, children, society in general, and even those in the porn industry.

According to numerous studies, Josh's infidelity after viewing pornography is disturbingly common. In 2004, therapist Dr. Jill Manning found that 56 percent of divorces involve a spouse with a porn obsession.

In 2011 marriage therapist Dr. Kevin B. Skinner wrote in Psychology Today that "there is a tremendous cost to society, whether we acknowledge it or not," when it comes to the relationship between porn and divorce.

Non-marital relationships also suffer from pornography. Last month, researcher Mary Anne Layden, Ph.D. told more than 100 people at a Capitol Hill panel that for many young men, pornography is "sexual obesity." Layden said that pornography "is causing catastrophic outcomes" for how men and women view sex.

"What information is it feeding [young people]?" Layden asked. "It is telling them this: there is no such thing as too much sex, and there is no sexual behavior that is harmful, toxic, or traumatizing, and that sex is not about intimacy, caring, love, or respect."

Porn tells young people that "sex is not about marriage or having children. Sex is casual, recreational, adversarial, and it is non-intimate," Layden said. "In fact, you don't even need to know your partner, because sex with strangers is the best and most intense time for sex, and you can see the consequences of that in hookup culture on our college campuses."

Sex trafficking and other abuses of women have also been linked to pornography. Self-described "radical feminist" Dr. Gail Dines, a professor of sociology and women's studies at Wheelock College, told me that "we know that trafficking is increasing -- which means demand is increasing. As an academic, a sociologist, and mother, I believe it is the way men are shaped by society," said Dines. "The biggest sex educator of young men today is pornography, which is increasingly violent and dehumanizing, and it changes the way men view women."

Sharon Slater's documentary, "The Porn Pandemic," describes how this perverse sex education can lead to young men acting out their unreasonable sexual fantasies, sometimes in ways that land them in jail. And still other men bring pornography with them when having sex with trafficked women or prostitutes -- who are often one and the same, contrary to the public image of women freely entering and leaving the porn industry.

In John 8:11, Christ forgave the adulterer even as he admonished her to "go and sin no more." This same warning can apply to America, which permits the porn industry to thrive on the backs of broken men and their families. As Josh and his family grapple with his addiction and infidelity, it is time for America to take a hard look at its green light for an industry that peddles addiction, abuse, slavery, and deadly illnesses.

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John-Henry Westen

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John-Henry is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews.com. He and his wife Dianne and their eight children live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout North America, Europe and Asia. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum an annual strategy meeting for pro-life leaders worldwide. He co-founded Voice of the Family and serves on the executive of the Canadian National March for Life Committee, and the annual National Pro-Life Youth Conference.  

He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization.  He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.  

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.