There’s a myth out there that suggests that everyone who watches pornography must be some messed up in the head, morally depraved, sexual deviant. Is it true that some people who watch pornography are perverts? Yes. It’s true also that those who watch pornography are watching a perverted version of sex, but the idea that everyone who watches pornography is a morally depraved sexual deviant is simply a porn myth.
How the Myth Spread
If I had to guess how a myth like this spread around I’d guess that it has a lot to do with our minds. We like to make sense of things by separating them and putting them into nice, neat little boxes. For example, if I asked you to write out what a Democrat/Republican believes what would you write?
For the Democrat you might put beliefs like pro-choice, and anti-gun. For the Republican you might write beliefs such as pro-gun and anti-women. Of course what you write out as beliefs depends on which party you tend to align yourself with. Regardless, you can see what I’m getting at. When someone tells you “I’m a Democrat/Republican” you instantly have a list of beliefs (this is our nice and neat box) you “know” they believe. But life isn’t that neat all the time. I have some Democrat friends who are against abortion and for gun rights. I also have Republican friends who are pro-choice and want bigger government.
The point, that I hope I haven’t muddied by bringing politics into the discussion, is that life isn’t as nice and neat as we often think it is. It’s easy to sit back and say “only disgusting perverts watch pornography”, because that sentence is nice and neat. In reality, it’s regular men and women, young and old, married and single that struggle with pornography addiction. Many of these men and women have great careers, stable relationships, and families. Why then do they struggle with pornography? Keep reading to find out.
Who Struggles With Pornography?
For some people, pornography is a result of one’s perversion. For others however pornography is a balm for stress and anxiety. Some turn to pornography out of anger. Others watch it to avoid depression. Many people turn to porn for the same reason that others turn to drugs or alcohol, they’re trying to avoid something in their reality.
I’d wager that many people who are struggling with pornography addiction are struggling with it because of something else in their life. All of us encounter struggles but we all deal with it in different ways. Some turn to alcohol, some turn to binge-eating, and some turn to porn. Anybody can struggle with pornography and when we believe the myth that it’s only perverts that do we run into some serious problems.
The Problem With Believing This Myth
There are two major problems with believing this myth.
First, it causes those that are struggling with pornography to feel stigmatized. We can’t both promote the idea that only deranged sexual deviants watch pornography and then invite those who struggle with it to repent of that sin. When we generalize and label those who struggle with this sin as “perverts” this forces them back into the darkness. Nobody wants to open up and be honest to someone (or someones as it relates to the church) who believes that they are disgusting and perverted.
Second, this myth causes us to be apathetic. I don’t know what you envision in your head when you envision someone who is a “pervert”. I’m going to guess though and say that what you’re envisioning is not your child, grandchild, spouse, or friend. When the news warns us to be prepared for a terrible event, instead of preparing, most of us say “that will never happen to me”. The same is true with porn addiction. “That will never happen to my family.” So many families believe that only to have their family rocked by the revelation that someone in the family has a porn addiction. The sad thing? That could all be prevented if we’d stop believing the lie that only “these kinds” of people struggle with porn and realize that porn can be a problem for anyone regardless of appearance, gender, wealth, age, and relationship status.
Let’s stop believing the myth that porn is only a problem for outliers and weirdos and recognize that pornography is a problem that affects us all. Sorry for the delay of this post. We should have a new post in the series up in a couple weeks. To be alerted when it goes up like our Facebook page.
As always, if you or anyone you know is struggling with pornography addiction you can contact me at my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.