Pornography, which is the depiction of graphic sexual acts, has tremendous effects on anyone that continuously engages in its viewing. It distorts a person’s concept of the nature of sexual relations which in turn can alter his/her sexual attitudes and behavior. Below are some of the effects pornography has on its viewers.
1) Effects on the Family
Married men (this can also apply to women) who regularly engage in pornography are more likely to be dissatisfied with their wives and can become detached emotionally from them. Wives may not be aware that their husband is viewing Pornography but they do notice a difference in his attitude toward her. His change can be due to the fact that Pornography viewing makes you numb to “normal” sexual relations. The more you are exposed to, the more you want it. It’s like a never ending vicious cycle. It may not just be the wife that’s suffering, if children are present they will be affected by their father’s pornography viewing as well. A consequence of pornography viewing can be a loss of interest in family relations. That also means less time spent with children. All the addict can think of is how to satisfy his cravings. Another problem can arise if a child becomes exposed to the pornographic material or accidentally finds his/her father engaging in Pornography. This can very much distort the child’s perception of his/her father and the child’s image of healthy sexuality in general.
2) Effects on the Individual
One of the effects of pornography on the individual is that the person becomes desensitized to the type of pornography they are viewing. Think of a drug addict that needs to periodically increase his dosage to have the same kind of feeling they use to get with less of the drug. The same happens with pornography, for example looking at a Playboy is not going to last for very long. The next thing they may switch to is Internet pornography. This will go on and on. Their desire for Pornography will increase and their point of satisfaction will continue to rise as well. It will take more and more to have the same effect on him.
3) Effects on Marriage
Imagine all this going on while being married? Do you think that this man who is engaging in pornography viewing will actually still have interest in his wife? Do you think his wife could actually meet his standards now? Most likely not! She is not going to be enough for him anymore. This is extremely harmful for the marriage. The husband may actually lose complete interest in his wife and his wife in return may have feelings of betrayal, mistrust, loss, devastation, and anger in response to finding out about her husband’s addiction.
4) Effects on Adolescents
Exposure to pornography in adolescent years can come about accidentally or not. A majority of adolescents become exposed to pornography accidentally on the Internet. While the initial reaction may be disgust or shame that can quickly change to fascination and enjoyment. Pornography can bring about a curiosity in the adolescent that can lead to the intentional search of material. The more access an adolescent has to a computer, the easier it will be for him/her to access the material. This is why it is important, as parents, to have filters on your computers and have your children supervised while on the computer. This can be as simple as having them in the same room with you while being on the computer.
5) Pornography and the Media
The media plays a key role in all of this. I think we have become numb to certain sexual explicit material nowadays. If people from a decade ago were exposed to what we are exposed to these days, I think they would be in complete shock. We are constantly bombarded with sexual material, whether it is in magazines, TV, radio, or the Internet. It is so prevalent that we do not even realize how much we are consumed by it. That in itself is very sad. Our culture is all about sex and then you wonder why people become addicted to pornography. Almost every show on TV and every commercial contains sexual material inappropriate for any child or adolescent.
Pornography is not beneficial no matter who the consumer is in the family. It can be a child, adolescent, young adult, or adult, the effects of pornography are detrimental to either one. The effects differ depending on the life stage you are in but as mentioned above, simply put, the use of pornography may temporarily bring satisfaction to you but in the long term it will only bring damage to your life. It’s more than an addiction, it’s not simply having the need to view sexual material, you become desensitized to normal women, to what is considered to be normal sex. In the case of marriage, you may lose your desire for your wife and time with your children. As a child, you may adopt a distorted view of healthy sexuality. As an adolescent, you may initiate a habit that can have tremendous consequences. The tragic irony is that, while the desire for the highest levels of sexual fulfillment are likely the motive for many adolescents’ first peek into pornography, the attainment of that universal longing is most likely to be had through monogamy and regular participation in meaningful relationships.