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The Porn Pandemic Infecting Teens and Young Adults

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For everything that God created and called good, Satan has perverted, and perverted in such a way as to do the most harm to the height of God’s creation, mankind.

God pours out grace and mercy that leads to abundant life here, and life eternal with Him. The Father of Lies pours out titillating promises that lead to disease and death and heartache.

Progressive society spouts “Love is love!” and promotes any and all lasciviousness as another “form of love.” But the proof is in the results. Are hearts healed or broken? Are bodies honored, or dishonored and objectified? Do the activities give life, or death and disease?

Pornography is more than an immoral industry, more than a mere form of “adult entertainment.” Entertainment is defined as “an event, performance, or activity designed for amusement or enjoyment.”

But there is nothing amusing or enjoyable about an industry that demeans and objectifies women and children, a business that profits from the corruption of souls and ruination of lives.

Decades ago, porn was packaged in magazines that mostly men bought. Magazines often hidden from moms and wives. A “dirty little secret.”

But with the advent of the information age and digital technology, porn has found a niche offering depravity via the internet. Such ready accessibility entices more and younger consumers daily.

Josh McDowell Ministry and Barna Group just released the findings of a study, abhorrent findings.

THE PORN PHENOMENON: A COMPREHENSIVE, GROUNDBREAKING NEW SURVEY ON AMERICANS, THE CHURCH, AND PORNOGRAPHY: Impact of Internet Pornography on American Population and the Church

From The Study: “Pornography has gone almost completely digital”
Use Is Particularly Evident Among Teens And Young Adults

In the most comprehensive, ground-breaking, in-depth and wide-ranging study to date on pornography among the American population and the Church — research reveals a younger exposure to pornography, increased desensitization and an escalating usage of pornography. These results are particularly evident among teens and young adults, who are watching porn and seeking it out more than any other generation.

“Pornography violates all relational values between the individual and self, the individual and society, the unity of our families and our moral fabric and fiber as a nation,” said Josh McDowell. “When we objectify and demean life by removing the sanctity of the human person, our future is at risk.”

The findings were announced at a news conference on Tuesday, January 19th at 10 AM Eastern time at The Omni Berkshire Hotel, 21 East 52nd Street in New York City.

The key findings are dismal:

Twice as many young adults ages 25-30 first viewed pornography before puberty than did the next generation—Gen X.

More than one quarter (27%) of young adults ages 25-30 first viewed pornography before puberty.

  • This is significantly higher than the GenX cohort, of which only 13% started viewing porn before puberty

Teens and young adults have a cavalier attitude toward porn

  • When they talk about pornography with friends, 90% of teens, and 96% of young adults say they do so in an either neutral, accepting, or encouraging way.
  • Only one in 20 young adults and one in 10 teens say their friends think viewing pornography is a bad thing.

Teens and young adults consider “not recycling” more immoral than viewing pornography.

  • Less than one-third (32%) say viewing porn is “usually or always wrong” compared to the more than half (56%) who say not recycling is “usually or always wrong”

Young adults are watching more porn and seeking it out more than any other generation.

  • Among ages 13-17: 8% daily; 18% weekly; 17% once or twice a month
  • Among ages 18-24: 12% daily; 26% weekly; 19% once or twice a month
  • Among ages 25-30: 8% daily; 17% weekly; 20% once or twice a month

This alone is breathtaking, “Less than one-third (32%) say viewing porn is ‘usually or always wrong’ compared to the more than half (56%) who say not recycling is ‘usually or always wrong’ ”

Romans 1 would seem to be a narration of 21st century America:

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

. . .

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

Think about this: a generation of young people has easy, and at times accidental, access to the most vile, sexual material. Viewing porn will shape their hearts and minds, taint future relationships.

Pornography degrades the women and children who pose for the pictures or act in the films. Porn hardens and warps the hearts of any who view it, the repercussions which can last for a lifetime.

How pervasive is this pandemic, this tsunami of immoral “entertainment?”

Nearly half of young adults say they come across porn at least once a week—even when they aren’t seeking it out.

  • Whether they are seeking it out or not, 16% of young adults say they come across porn daily and 32% do so weekly; an additional 23% say they do once or twice a month.
  • 8% of teens say they come across porn daily and 21% do so weekly; an additional 21% say they do so once or twice a month.

Most teens are “sexting” – either on the receiving or sending end of sexually explicit images.

  • 66% of teens and young adults have received a sexually explicit image and 41% have sent one (usually from/to their boy/girlfriend or friend)

70% of Christian youth pastors have had at least one teen come to them for help in dealing with porn in the past 12 months

  • Most often, those kids were:
  • high school boys (92%)
  • middle school boys (57%)
  • high school girls (23%)
  • middle school girls (10%)

In fact, it’s pervasive enough that, though I am unmarried and have no children, I know of families in my church dealing with this blight touching their teens.

In the Gospel of John we read Christ’s words:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Pornography is such a thief: porn twists the original intentions of sex — intimacy within the covenant relationship of husband and wife, and procreation — into an addictive, soul-killing activity.

It’s high time the church fully heeded the admonition of Peter, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

The enemy of our souls is on the move; the minds and future of the younger generation are at stake. We must fight with prayer and discernment and be indefatigable in our efforts to stop this plague.

First published at Illinois Family Institute



 

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