What We Aren't Acknowledging About Pornography
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Health and Wellness

What We Aren't Acknowledging About Pornography

The Effects of Pornography On Us

What We Aren't Acknowledging About Pornography

There is an elephant in the room, and we aren’t acknowledging it.

Your 15-year-old son watches porn. Your 13-year-old sister has been exposed to porn. While this may not be the exact case for you or your son/daughter, sister/brother, statistics are showing that 90 percent of 8-16-year-olds have been exposed to porn and the average age of exposure is 11 (guardchild.com)[1]. As the internet has been public for the everyday citizen, people are able to access almost anything imaginable at the touch of a button, and the porn industry has grown along with the internet. 69 percent of 11-14-year-olds have cellphones (webmd.com) [2], and are also able to have access to the private browsing mode, clearing history, and dark sides of the internet. Parents want to believe that they know what is going on in their kids' lives, but only 12 percent of the parents whose kids were watching porn knew about it. What is causing kids to be accessing such things at a young age?

Well, when magazines from the mail sit out and there’s a Victoria Secret or bikini magazine, when walking through the mall, watching a movie, or doing homework on the computer, images and scenes can be seen. Our society has normalized parts of the body that should not be seen at such young ages. Four out of five 16-year-old boys and girls are regularly accessing porn [3]. Now, not all kids get addicted and exposure is common, but of those who do get addicted, there are serious consequences. As the website www.fightthenewdrug.org explains, there are three categories that are affected by pornography. The heart, the brain, and the world [4].

For your heart, porn can lead to anxiety, body-image issues, low self-esteem, insecurity, and depression. Due to the ideas and graphics displayed in porn, it is shown that people are only worth the sum of their body parts. Ever wonder why girls are suffering from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and other eating disorders? Part of the reason is the concepts that society portrays and what is promoted. As addiction gets deeper and deeper rooted, the people no longer know how to connect with other real people and form connections that way. When we leave behind the porn and the ideas from porn, we are able to engage our hearts and minds with one person and connect beyond the worth of their body [5].

For the brain, porn works in the same way as a drug. The neural pathways that get formed become more and more commonly used, and the dopamine levels released aren’t enough to fulfill the desires anymore, so the watcher has to watch more and more hardcore porn to reach the amount needed to fulfill it [6].

As for the world, we can see the results in teens and young adults who grow up with access to porn so easily. People are trying more experimental ideas, hurting their partners, and there is more common mental issues. Maybe not all are linked to porn, but some are stemming from the addiction to porn.

While there are several stories of celebrities renouncing their addictions to porn and leaving the world of pornography, there are also stories of porn stars leaving the world of pornography that show such problems with the industry.

As Dr. MaryAnne Layden says,

“Once [the pornography actresses] are in the industry, they have high rates of substance abuse, typically alcohol and cocaine, depression, borderline personality disorder the experience I find most common among the performers is that they have to be drunk, high, or dissociated in order to go to work.” [7]

After listening to some of the videos put out by these ex-porn stars about why they left, it all relates to this. The work they were doing was abusing, objectifying, and harmful.

One of the most successful porn stars, who was a 4-time winner of Adult Video News Best Actor Award and won more awards, quit porn. He started because he did not have any food and needed money. After making his first porno, he recalls thinking about how easy it was, but also remembers “What have I done?” going through his head. He had to do drugs to make the movies to get the money to get the drugs to be numb for the movies to get the money and the cycle went on and on, until one day he left and never came back. (www.fightthenewdrug.org) [8]

From Tayna Burleson, an ex-porn star (Jersey Jaxin) says, “Guys are punching you in the face, you get ripped, your insides are coming out of you. It is never ending. You’re viewed as an object- not as a human with a spirit. People do drugs because they can’t deal with the way they’re treated”. [9]

Why are these videos, images, ideas being passed on to our sons and daughters, to the next generations? Sex is obviously in the world, but why are we normalizing the pornography industry and what they do? The article The Porn Industry’s Dark Secrets opened my eyes to what the industry really involves. Some, not all, of the pornography that is out there, is from kidnapped or raped girls and then recorded. There is a story in there about how a mentally handicapped girl was kidnapped by a couple, and forced to produce porn, and the couple sold it to a company and was put on the front cover of Hustler Magazine Group [10]. Ninety percent of free pornography on the internet is bought rather than made and it comes from some cases like this [11]. For everyday people, I have to ask how can you continue to support the industry if it comes from such places? It’s similar to people not buying clothes from stores that use sweatshops. So why do we continue to support and normalize the drug of pornography?

I used websites to find all the facts.



[3] Ogi Ogasa and Sai Gaddam, A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the Internet Tell Us About Sexual Relationships. (New York: Plume, 2011).


[5][3] Paul, P. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, And Our Families. New York: Henry Hold And Co., 105.

[6] www.fightthenewdrug.org - Hilton, D. L. (2013). Pornography Addiction—A Supranormal Stimulus Considered In The Context Of Neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology 3:20767; Pitchers, K. K., Vialou, V., Nestler, E. J., Laviolette, S. R., Lehman, M. N., And Coolen, L. M. (2013). Natural And Drug Rewards Act On Common Neural Plasticity Mechanisms With DeltaFosB As A Key Mediator. Journal Of Neuroscience 33, 8: 3434-3442; Hedges, V. L., Chakravarty, S., Nestler, E. J., And Meisel, R. L. (2009). DeltaFosB Overexpression In The Nucleus Accumbens Enhances Sexual Reward In Female Syrian Hamsters. Genes Brain And Behavior 8, 4: 442–449; Hilton, D. L., And Watts, C. (2011). Pornography Addiction: A Neuroscience Perspective. Surgical Neurology International, 2: 19; (Http://Www.Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov/Pmc/Articles/PMC3050060/)

-Angres, D. H. And Bettinardi-Angres, K. (2008). The Disease Of Addiction: Origins, Treatment, And Recovery. Disease-A-Month 54: 696–721; Zillmann, D. (2000). Influence Of Unrestrained Access To Erotica On Adolescents’ And Young Adults’ Dispositions Toward Sexuality. Journal Of Adolescent Health 27, 2: 41–44.

[7]Judith Reisman, Jeffrey Sanitover, Mary Anne Layden, and James B. Weaver, “Hearing on the brain science behind pornography addiction and the effects of addiction on families and communities,” Hearing to U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, Nov. 18, 2004. http://www.ccv.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Judi...

Senate_Testimony-2004.11.18.pdf (accessed Jan. 29, 2017).


[9] Peters, R. W., Lederer, L. J., And Kelly, S. (2012). The Slave And The Porn Star: Sexual Trafficking And Pornography. In M. Mattar And J. Braunmiller (Eds.) Journal Of Human Rights And Civil Society 5: 1-21; U.S. Attorney’s Office For The Western District Of Missouri. (2010). Woman Tortured As Slave, Victim Of Trafficking And Forced Labor. Press Release, September 9. Http://Www.Justice.Gov/Usao/Mw/News2010/Bagley.Ind...

[10]Dolf Zillmann, “Influence of unrestrained access to erotica on adolescents’ and young adults’ dispositions toward sexuality,” Journal of Adolescent Health 27 (Aug. 2000): 41-44.

[11].Judith Reisman, Jeffrey Sanitover, Mary Anne Layden, and James B. Weaver, “Hearing on the brain science behind pornography addiction and the effects of addiction on families and communities,” Hearing to U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, Nov. 18, 2004. http://www.ccv.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Judi...Senate_Testimony-2004.11.18.pdf (accessed Jan. 29, 2017).

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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