Social effects of pornography

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Pornography is the depiction of the sexual act, and viewing of pornography has a number of negative effects on individuals and society. Although sex itself is a healthy action within the confines that God has placed on it (that is between a man and a woman who are married to each other), the depiction of the sexual act outside of these bounds is dangerous to the mind and soul. Pornography is freely available all over the internet, in bookstores, and in movie theaters. "The extent of pornography is shocking. Nearly 900 theaters show films rated NC-17, and more than 15,000 "adult" bookstores and video stores offer pornographic material. Adult bookstores outnumber McDonald's restaurants in the U.S. Each year, nearly 100 pornographic films are distributed to "adult" theaters, providing estimated annual box office sales of $50 million." [1]

Effects on Individuals

The most notable effect of pornography on the individual is that it causes the propensity to be focused on lustful thoughts and this can lead to dangerous obsessions with thoughts of fornication. It also causes people to abuse themselves, in violation of Matthew 5:29-30 [2] Studies has shown the exposure to pornography causes men to become more anti-social, more likely to be aggressive with women, more likely to rape, and more likely to consider rape as a heinous act unimportant.[3] Married men become more likely to abuse their wives.[4][5] Even "soft-core" pornography causes people to become more interested in harder and harder depictions of sex. Eventually, this blurs the line between fantasy and reality causing the aforementioned increase in likelihood to rape, and also an increase in likelihood of molesting children.[6]

Effects on business

As more and more business is performed on the internet requiring office internet connections, the threat of pornography being viewed at work has increased exponentially. This leads to a number of issues, beginning with the basic time lost in productivity to people viewing pornography instead of working. This lost productivity likely adds up to billions of dollars. As a result of their employees' immorality, businesses must spend money to build firewalls, block websites, and employ IT professionals to manage these systems. When someone is caught viewing pornography, there is no other choice except to terminate that individual which then increases costs related to hiring a replacement for that individual. Lastly, a work environment where pornography exists would be hostile to female workers, and could be considered one of the few real examples of sexual harassment.

Effects on society

In 1985, Ronald Reagan's Attorney General Ed Meese appointed a panel of clinical and psychological experts who determined that pornography stimulates negative attitudes and has negative effects for individuals and society and that it can impair the mental and emotional health of children and adults.[7] Liberals have criticized this study and claimed that pornography should be protected as free speech, even though the Founding Fathers couldn't have possibly intended that filth be allowed to be as widespread as it is. Not only does society have to deal with the increase in violent crime against women that pornography brings, but it also leads to a degradation of morality. Society has to spend money to incarcerate and rehabilitate those criminals who are inspired by pornography, and to treat the victims of it.

Effects on crime

Japan, which is known for their rape fantasy pornography, has the lowest number of reported sex crimes in the industrial world, but Japan has an emphasis on woman's "honor" in their culture which makes victims of sex crimes less likely to report it. However, a 1995 study comparing sex crime statistics since 1972 when pornography changed from completely and totally prohibited to freely available with no age restrictions found that:[8]

sex crimes in every category, from rape to public indecency, sexual offenses from both ends of the criminal spectrum, significantly decreased in incidence. Most significantly, despite the wide increase in availability of pornography to children, not only was there a decrease in sex crimes with juveniles as victims but the number of juvenile offenders also decreased significantly. We hypothesized that the increase in pornography, without age restriction and in comics, if it had any detrimental effect, would most negatively influence younger individuals. Just the opposite occurred. The number of victims decreased particularly among the females younger than 13. In 1972, 8.3% of the victims were younger than 13. In 1995 the percentage of victims younger than 13 years of age dropped to 4.0%; a reduction of greater than 50%. In 1972, 33.3 % of the offenders were between 14-19 years of age; by 1995 that percentage had decreased to 9.6%..

Biblical attitudes on Pornography

Though the Bible doesn't specifically mention the modern concept of pornography, there are a number of verses which illuminate God's intentions as to how we should treat pornography.

  • Matthew 5:27-28, "You have heard that it was said, "You shall not commit adultery;" but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart."
  • 1 Cor. 6:18, "Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body."
  • Col. 3:5, "Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry."


  2. "If your right eye offends you, [then] cut it off and throw it from you... If your right hand offends you, [then] cut it off and throw it from you."
  3. Edward Donnerstein, PhD. Pornography and Violence Against Women, 1980.
  4. Russell, Diana E. H. (1990). Rape in Marriage, rev. ed., Bloomington: Indiana University Press
  5. An empirical investigation of the role of pornography in the verbal and physical abuse of women. Sommers,E.K. and Check,J.V. Violence and Victims 1987 2: 189-209.
  7. Report of the Surgeon General's workshop on Pornography and Public Health. Koop,C.E. Amer. Psych. 1987 42: 944-945