There may not be a sin more widespread than that of pornography (except for maybe pride). We’ve written about the rampant use of porn among those that claim Christianity but what about those who don’t hold any religious affiliation? According to this infographic posted on Huffington Post 70 percent of males and 30 percent of females in the U.S. views porn regularly with that number rising weekly. The point is also made that porn is viewed more frequently than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined and accounts for 30 percent of all data transferred across the internet.* Even still, porn isn’t the problem, but a Band-Aid.
For many people porn is a release, at least it starts out that way. People don’t just wake up one day thinking “I’m going to look at some porn today”. First time viewers often have it thrust upon them, other times however their first view of porn is in response to something else.
I looked up “why do men look at porn” on Google and was astonished to find many answers like this: (this was on a women’s Q&A forum btw)
“They probably watch it out of boredom.”
“It’s something they like. Some men like cars, some men like porn.”
“They aren’t satisfied with your looks.”
“It’s relaxing for them”
These same answers occurred over and over again, all of them failing to address the root of the problem (though the “satisfied” answer may be true in some cases). What comes next in this article is an opinion resulting from things that I have observed in my own life and in the lives of those close to me: porn use comes as the result of an emotional issue. Over time porn is viewed because it becomes habitual, but it doesn’t start out that way. The more you watch porn the more your brain becomes trained to seek it out because you have to see it, though you may not necessarily want to. Porn becomes a habitual problem but starts out originally as an escape from an emotional problem.
From what I’ve observed, it seems that guys often turn to pornography when they’re:
Or just to feel good
Don’t get me wrong, lust has its place on that list too, but lust isn’t even the root of the issue. Maybe instead of asking “why do we view porn?” we should ask “why do we lust?” In the movies the emotionally crippled figure often turns to drugs or alcohol to escape their problems. In the real world what’s easier to hide and more readily available than drugs and alcohol? Porn.
Here’s the point: too often men and women with pornography problems are told to set up website blockers and bounce their eyes. These are helpful tips, but they don’t do a good job dealing with the root of the issue. You can bounce your eyes all day long and still have a desire to look at pornography because of the worry or stress that exists in your life. It’s in this way that porn is a Band-Aid “solution” to a greater emotional problem.
At the end of the day, those struggling with porn addiction need to constantly ask themselves the question “why am I doing this?” and those free from this struggle ought to always ask the one struggling “how can I help you?” (Gal. 6:1-2). Regardless of why we look, we need to always remember that we can’t overcome pornography until we’re willing to open up with each other and help each other out.
Disagree? Tell us why in the comment section below.
*I’m aware that Huffington Post may not be the best place to cite for statistics like these, but the infographic provides its sources at the bottom of the page. Note: the infographic also includes a URL for a porn site, so don’t click the link it provides at the bottom.