“Men are visual, women are not.” This is what every book on pornography, and male/female physiology told me.
“Men are visual, women are not.” This is the phrase that ran through my head when I overheard female high school classmates talk about the baseball boy’s uniforms or Taylor Lautners shirtless scenes in the Twilight movie series.
“Men are visual, women are not.” Is probably a phrase you’ve heard as well, and I want to let you in on a little secret…it’s a lie. Men are MORE visually stimulated than women, but women are not immune to what they see. Women struggle with pornography addiction too, it’s not just a man’s problem.
The numbers for pornography usage among women is considerably lower than that among men, but, as Covenant Eyes research shows us, the numbers are still staggering. Consider the following:
60% of girls are exposed to pornography before the age of 18.
We’ve written a lot about how we need to actively shield our sons from pornography and educate them about sex; the same is true of our daughters.
18% of women use porn at least once a week.
Nearly twenty percent doesn’t seem all that bad when you compare that number to the nearly seventy percent of men who do the same. That being said, 1 in 5 is still not good, and the percentage is only going up.
15% of Christian women say they watch porn at least once a month.
I realize the word “Christian” here is being used in the broadest sense, but still, the fact that the number of those women who both use porn and profess Christ is fifteen percent is staggering.
These numbers may seem low, especially when compared to the men, but we must remember that any porn is too much porn and that these numbers are climbing higher and higher each passing day. Why is this? It has a lot to do with the culture we live in.
Television shows, commercials, billboards, books, magazines, and websites are just a few of the places you can routinely find sexualized material. By “sexualized” I’m referring to anything that points us towards sex. This could be a revealing bikini, or two people fully dressed walking out of a nightclub together to hook up.
It’s true what they say “sex sells” or at least the perverted version of sex media outlets display sells. Everywhere you look you’ll find constant reminders that you need to act on your sexuality. Guys, you need to look and smell good for ladies. Ladies, you need to dress this way and do these things in order to get a man. These messages are constantly beaten into our brains, leaving us confused about what sex really is in the first place.
Over and over again we see men and women both being objectified based on appearance. Men AND women. These commercials paint the picture that women are just as visual as men, that women view sexuality purely through the lens of physical, discarding the lenses of emotional and spiritual (women don’t do this and neither do men).
Not all women are created equal; some are more visual than others. Add on top of that the fact that we have a culture where men watching porn is the norm, and have boyfriends/husbands trying to recreate the production they spend so much time watching. When the world is constantly pushing women towards porn, it’s no surprise that some women struggle with it.
There is more I wish I could say about our sexualized culture, but I think I’ve said enough already. Pornography is a struggle that can engulf anyone. Luckily, men and women can both be pulled out of its deadly clutches. How?
They need to hear that their addiction is not uncommon. They need to hear that it’s conquerable. They need to be able to be honest without fear of condemnation from those they’re speaking with. They need to hear that Jesus loves them even if they’re struggling with this addiction.
Man or woman it doesn’t matter who you are. We’re all in this together. The person struggling with porn addiction isn’t perverted; they’re a soul, a soul that God desperately wants back, and a soul that God immeasurably loves. Let’s help them find their way back to Him.
The following video was recorded by popular British vlogger SincerelyOghosa. Not that long ago this video of her confessing her long time porn addiction went viral. It’s this video that pushed me into studying the issue of women and pornography addiction a little further. Take some time to watch it. You’ll be glad you did.