According to a new Gallup survey released this week, 43 percent of Americans now consider pornography to be “morally acceptable,” a seven percent spike from last year and the highest level since Gallup’s Values and Beliefs survey began in 2011.
The 2018 survey notes, “Compared with a number of demographic traits or characteristics that help shape a person’s moral perceptions of pornography —including gender, age, importance of religion in one’s life and marital status—two subgroups saw a big year-over-year spike in their acceptance of pornography.
These are nonmarried individuals and men aged 18 to 49.”
The percentage of nonmarried respondents who find pornography morally acceptable was 50 percent, an increase of 15 percent. Married individuals accepting pornography was at 35 percent.
Gallup reports 67 percent of men aged 18 to 49 said pornography is morally acceptable, up 14 points from 2017. But women’s age categories also revealed higher percentages. Women aged 18 to 49 showed a four-point increase and women 50-and-over jumped seven points.
The survey confirmed that the shifting perceptions of porn also affects the church. For those who claim that “religion is very important” to them, 22 percent said pornography is morally acceptable, a six-point rise over 2017. For respondents saying that “religion is fairly important,” there was an 8 percent increase (from 42 to 50).
The Church Is Not Immune
These results are a wake-up call for the church. Christians must strongly proclaim that pornography is both morally unacceptable and also harmful to individual and relationships.
Dr. Richard D. Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, said, “Americans who want to see moral reformation or “re-formation” in their culture should do all they can to confront and minimize pornography’s impact on the nation’s citizens, especially its young people. Pornography is the propaganda for a paganized sexual morality which will submerge our culture in a tidal wave of sexual deviance if uncontested and uncontrolled. Every church, temple, mosque and synagogue in America should consciously seek to be part of a pornography-free counter culture, which attempts to inoculate its membership in age-applicable ways against pornography’s seductive blandishments.”
With 68 percent of men in the church viewing porn on a regular basis, it is hard for the church to take the moral high ground. Healing must start from within. Thankfully there is a movement of men who are breaking free from pornography through a powerful cinematic DVD series called the Conquer Series.
Pornography Also Affects the Human Brain
According to Madlen Davies, science reporter at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, “When porn addicts watch X-rated material, the “addiction” part of the brain lights up on scans, Cambridge University researchers discovered in 2013. The brains of young men who are obsessed by online pornography ‘lit up like Christmas trees’ upon being shown erotic images, a pioneering study has found. The area stimulated—the part of the brain involved in processing reward, motivation and pleasure—is the same part that is highly active among drug and alcohol addicts.”
Dr. William M. Struthers, associate professor of psychology at Wheaton College, summarizes some of the dangers to both the brain and personal relationships:
If we understand sexuality as being first about intimacy, then viewing pornography becomes a voyeuristic invasion of the sacred space of another. Instead of being life-giving, it becomes destructive for the viewer as well as the one involved in its production. It provides a false, or counterfeit, way of feeding the need for intimacy. On a cultural and social level, men and women are portrayed as objects for our consumption. The undeniable message here is that people are pieces of meat for our consuming pleasure and entertainment. If that is how the brain is being forced to respond to these images, the objectification and commoditization of people will seep into other parts of the viewer’s mind. It will affect the way he views people when he is not watching porn. The regular consumer of porn will begin to find that he fantasizes throughout the day about sex. Each woman he sees will be seen through a pornographic lens. People become an object of consumption or a competitor against whom they compare themselves. They will be evaluated as to their stimulating ability. It should come as no surprise that that these consequences can destroy a marriage, family, ministry, or career. While it offers the promise of intimacy and connection, pornography only delivers isolation, disconnectedness, and depravity.
Porn Is Not Only a Moral Problem but a Brain Problem
Dr. Lawrence Tucker is a psychiatrist and a diplomat of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. In the Conquer Series, Dr. Tucker shows how brain scans of a porn addict and a cocaine addict reveal significant areas of deactivation when compared to a normal brain. As America’s attitudes to pornography change, the brains of our nation are being shut down.
Cognitive dissonance explains how someone will either change their attitudes and beliefs to match their behavior or change their behavior to match their beliefs. The growing number of people viewing porn as morally acceptable is a symptom of a country hooked on pornography. The only way back from slipping headlong into moral depravity is for men to make a stand and find freedom from porn.
Freedom From Pornography
A proven way to begin a process to combat pornography in your life is the Conquer Series, a powerful two-volume cinematic study that uses biblical teaching and proven principles to help men conquer prom and walk in freedom.
Each of the two volumes contains five lessons and a bonus disc. Study guides and a personal journal are available to help each man maximize the impact and effectiveness of the series.
The Conquer Series is a no-nonsense, practical and interactive experience that will enable men to break free from pornography addiction and live a life of freedom.
Find out more about the Conquer Series at ConquerSeries.com.