Pornography

         “Children are not necessarily looking at porn for gratification. They are doing so because they are bored and not supervised."   

Petra Boynton, psychologist

Porn-1

Pornography is a picture, magazine, or video that is sexually explicit and is used for sexual satisfaction. It’s normal for young people to be  curious about sex, and some young people see porn as a way to learn more about sex. The trouble is that pornography isn’t real, it often gives the viewer a negative view of him/herself, and it can cause problems in real relationships. 

Porn can lower self-esteem. In a survey for the Channel 4 Sex Education vs. Pornography programme, 60% of the teenagers interviewed said that viewing pornography affected their self esteem and body image. 45% of young women said that they were unhappy with their breasts and would consider plastic surgery and 27% of young men were concerned about the shape and size of their penis.

The thing to remember is that many porn stars—and actors and models—have had plastic surgery and wear loads of make-up. Their photos are airbrushed and adjusted to make them look thinner and taller. Sometimes the picture in the magazine doesn’t even look like the real person! Real people come in all shapes and sizes, and even models and porn stars find it hard to live up to the media’s standards of beauty.

Many of the major faiths suggest that pornography is not appropriate. Within Islam, porn is seen as fornication and is forbidden even in a person’s own home. Sikhs avoid pornography because they believe that pornography can lead to lust (Kaam)—an unhealthy obsession with sex—which, in turn, creates a barrier between humanity and God. Similarly, many Christians see pornography as a sexual sin, one of the passages that is used to back up this opinion is, Matthew 5:28.  Jesus said that “anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart”

Hindu texts, however, are less clear about whether or not pornography is sinful or not. The Kama Sutra, for example, is a guide to love and family life, including a section which has even been called a “sex manual.”[1]In addition, many Hindu temples have statues and carvings that can be described as sexually explicit. However,  many Hindus believe that pornography has a negative effect on relationships. Hindus in Holland are fighting hard against a pornography organisation that uses the name of one of their gods to sanction pornography because they find it insulting to their religion and culture.

Porn ignores a lot of the good things about relationships and focuses on just one thing: sex. Sex between two people who love and care for each other can be a really fantastic way of deepening a relationship. Pornography takes the love out of sex and ignores so many of the good things about relationships: fun, laughter, security, a feeling of belonging, knowing and being completely known by another person. Instead it focuses on just sex, so that it seems like sex is the only thing that matters in a relationship.

Porn can damage the viewer’s relationships with real people. Some people neglect their partners because porn requires less time and effort than a real relationship. What these people don’t realise is that the pleasures of pornography only last for that moment, while the pleasures of a deep and healthy relationship can last and grow for years.  A video doesn’t keep you warm at night or discusses your hopes and dreams for the future.

In some cases, porn can lead to abuse. Porn can be very violent, and then influence people so they think that sexual violence is okay. Also, someone who watches a lot of pornography may begin to think that people exist just for sex. This mindset makes it very difficult to have healthy and normal relationships with people.

Porn can make real sex less satisfying. When someone watches a lot of porn, he/she might think that all sexual experiences should be like the pornographic ones he/she has seen. With all these unrealistic expectations, real sex just doesn’t seem all that exciting.

Pornography can be addictive. The first time a viewer watches porn, he/she may feel sexually aroused. With time, the viewer may need a more extreme or shocking form of pornography to get the same satisfaction as the first time. Other viewers will simply feel as though they cannot help looking at porn, and this may lead to feelings of guilt and shame. [2] An increasing tendency to act out sexually the behaviours viewed in the pornography, including violence during sex. This behaviour frequently grew into a sexual addiction which they found themselves locked into and unable to change or reverse, no matter what the negative consequences were in their life."

Porn can lead to feelings of guilt and shame. For many, especially those from faith backgrounds, porn can be seen as something bad that should be avoided. Many young people of faith have heard that porn is sinful , and a person can feel guilty very easily the first few times he/she looks at porn. However, he/she can become numb to their conscience, and then go from viewing soft porn to watching hard core and even violent porn without really realizing how that happened. Other viewers of pornography may feel helpless because they feel weighed down by guilt for looking at pornography, but cannot seem to stop. 

What it all comes down to is that pornography can be damaging, really damaging. Pornography can damage a person’s self-image and sense of worth, pornography can damage a person’s relationships and long-term enjoyment of life, and pornography can, according to many of the major faiths, damage a person’s spiritual wellbeing.