Porn, the New Drug

As you might know (if you haven’t read my story: https://virtuousteens.org/about/), this is something that really affected my family. The internet is just full of it. Two clicks can find millions of sexually explicit videos. And it is more addictive now than ever.

A Small History of Porn

It used to be just magazines, that cost a mint, and could only be bought by people over 18. It was strongly frowned upon by most of society. Plus, it was just pictures.

This was all changed with video porn and then high speed internet. Porn suddenly became movies of violent sexual acts, and highly addictive. This is called hard core porn, compared to soft core porn (suggestive billboards) which is around us everywhere.

Just Me???

I wish it was just me who’s struggled. But isn't. In a study done in Canada by University of Alberta, interviewing teens from 13-17, 90% of boys and 70% of girls said they had accessed sexually explicit media on at least one occasion. That’s a very big majority.

A study by the Barna Group in 2016 found that 57% of teens seek out porn at least monthly.

Well then what about Christians? Surely Christians wouldn’t do that? This is what really scares me.

A survey taken by Dr. Michael Lastoria of all U.S. Christian college students found that 39% of the guys viewed porn at least monthly, and 3% of the women did the same. Only 14% percent of men and 80% of women had never seen porn.

So although the number of Christians who use porn is significantly less, the numbers, especially in boys, is still high enough to be quite frightening.

Why is it frightening? Because of what porn does to the brain.

Porn and the Brain

Humans are wired so that when we have sex with someone, we get an oxytocin (sometimes called the joyful brain chemical) spike, which causes us to bond with whatever we are looking at in that moment. In healthy, marital sex, this causes you to bond with your spouse. But with porn, this bonds you to the porn.

When one looks at porn, you get a dopamine hit, much like when you take an illegal drug, but stronger than many drugs. This wears out your prefrontal cortex (your “brain’s brakes”) and strengthens the neural pathways to sin.

There are pictures showing that looking at porn over a long period of time actually shrinks parts of our brains. Again, more than many illegal drugs.

How do I Stop This?

The good news is that if this is you this doesn’t have to be permanent. I recovered, and I’m motivated to help people like you because of the touch of sin in my life. God does not want bad things to happen to us, but I can say with utmost certainty that He can use any situation for our good.

Our brains are amazing things, and if given the opportunity, and a break from porn, it can heal itself.

But in order to do this, we must break free from the chains of sin, and come clean of porn. And there is only one way to do this.

You have to talk. Tell someone you trust. It might be parents, pastor, or teacher. Even a counselor.

I know this is about the hardest thing to do. The shame surrounds us, telling us that it will just get worse. But trust me it doesn’t! It feels so good, like getting a whole heap of hair cut off at once (Sorry guys, I know that doesn’t mean much to some of you). It feels like you stop being a monster and become human again, lovable and acceptable.

This is one battle you can’t win on your own. One of porn’s biggest weapons is secrecy, but when you talk, it completely destroys that weapon.

I pray that you will find the right person to tell, and the courage to talk. And if you do talk, however shameful it feels, know that you are showing extreme courage, and God is proud of you for standing against sin and standing for virtue.

Author image
Eva
Eva is a seventeen year-old God loving teen. She's passionate about God, and helping teens find ways to serve Him through their sexuality. She lives at home with her mentors/parents, Michael and Lisa.

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