The Catholic Letter

Pornography Addiction and How It's Damaging Catholic Society

The Victims Of Pornography

The Victims Of Pornography

Most men know why looking at pornography is wrong.  But many men, some of them deeply ensnared in the clutches of an addiction, tell themselves little lies to help justify it to themselves.  Things like, "What's the big deal--as long as I'm not looking at child pornography, then everyone is a consenting adult.  This woman wants people to look at her body.  I want to look."

For those still telling themselves these lies, let's take a look at just how pornography is hurting people--a LOT of people.  Pornography victimizes a lot of people... in many different ways.

  • You: The number one victim of the pornography industry is you... and countless other men who have been ensnared by its seductive allure. You're trapped. You've tried to stop looking and you can't. This alone turns you into a victim. But when we add the fact that viewing pornography is a sin (a mortal sin), we can see that the industry is literally trying to kill your soul. The industry is willing to sell your soul, put you into hell, so that it can extract money from your pocket. This doesn't release you from responsibility-your sins are still yours. But it allows us to really consider how much we're being used. Someone else is now in control of our most intimate passion. It ought to infuriate us. Pornography has destroyed jobs, marriages, families, and has brought men to financial, spiritual, and physical ruin. Even if you haven't reached that ultimate low spot yet, even if you're still falling, please wake up and realize what's really at stake.
  • Your Spouse: When you got married, you took a vow. You promised to give yourself to your wife completely. You promised to keep all sexual relations (in mind, body, and soul) between yourself, her, and God. Every time you view pornography, masturbate, think of pornography, think of other women while having sex, or even look through the lingerie ads to arouse yourself, you violate her rights as a wife. Pornography stole her husband. Don't ever think your spouse is being too rash if she enforces a strict "no porn" rule in her house. She has every right, as she's been personally assaulted by it.
  • Your Children: Just as you were a target for the industry, so will your children be... if they aren't already. Both men and women alike are being bombarded daily with images. But so are young teenagers (have you seen the commercials during teen-targeted sitcoms?). And even, it's sad to say, very young boys-even as early as 8 & 9 years old. And it's not just that they're being targeted. There's the fact that the time you spend viewing pornography would be much better spent with your family. Like your spouse, your children have had something stolen from them. Their father. Their role model. He now belongs to something else, and believe me-they miss him.
  • Actresses: The industry goes after girls at a very young age. We won't even touch on the underage illegal industry-just the legal portion of it destroys the lives of hundreds of women every year. An 18 year old girl finds out that she can pay off her shopping debts and get out of the financial bind she's in just by taking part in a flick or two. She's young, naive, and still trying to prove to her parents that she can ‘make it on her own.' And so she does something that she'll regret for the rest of her life... and something she can never erase. Not only will the movie itself (she has no control over where and when the producer sells this movie) follow her for the rest of her life, the sin will also. Her memory of it and her shame will never go away. Sometimes, shame can bring us closer to God. But for some women, for those who can't quite see God's mercy, it pushes them further away from God and brings them to despair. Perhaps even to the point that they get more heavily involved in the industry and never look back to think about the possibility of accepting Christ.
  • The Public: Have you ever parked in front of a peep show or a porn shop and watched the people going in and out? Are those the kinds of people you would want to have around your family-your kids? A neighborhood is made up of people, including the people who have become a slave to their sexual passions... or sexual perversions, which pornography addiction often leads to. People used to purposely avoid living in neighborhoods that promoted such shops. But now that kind of stuff is in every home in America, being transmitted over a few wires. Easy to get to, easy to hide. Pornography no longer has a ‘lair'. It's destroying the public from the home now. Every year, thousands of more men are being sucked in. Men with families, who are, by degrees, losing their manhood.
  • Women in General: Remember our first axiom? Women are beautiful. They have a right to be beautiful. We have a duty to view their beauty in awe and reverence. Pornography degrades women. In the minds of men, it turns women into nothing more than sexual toys. A play thing to be used in secret and then cast off. Little by little, as a man becomes more addicted and more oppressed, he loses all respect for women and their beauty. A creation of God-one of his most wonderful gifts-is turned into an object. Women who have respected themselves and God their entire lives are now thought of and treated worse than animals. This is a tragedy-one that can only be fought by completely eliminating pornography from our lives.
  • The Unborn: Yes, that's right. The unborn. Pornography must have women to film. Women, having sex, become pregnant. Birth control, no matter what kind, does not always work. Eventually, most women in the industry are faced with a decision: kill my child and continue my career or stop making films. The number of abortions performed directly because of pornography is staggering. Every time you view pornography, you're taking part in that.
Enough victims for you?  Can you see clearly now that it doesn't matter if we're talking about consenting adults?  Pornography is a killer.  It is destructive to everyone, not just those who take part in it.  It is never right.  It is never permissible.  Soft or hard, it is something we must fight against, both in our minds (by not viewing it or thinking about it) and in our lives (by voting against it locally and urging others to avoid it at all costs).