According to a 2013 survey conducted by Catholic news site, LifeSite News, 70 percent of males age 18-24 visit pornography sites at least once a month. It’s a staggering number that looks to only grow larger as our society becomes further and further desensitized the sexual content and access to pornography continues to become more available.
The long term effects of pornography on our society are yet to be fully seen, but we are already able to witness one of its most damaging consequences—the way our culture views women.
To fully understand this phenomenon, let’s take a look at how one typically views the women involved with pornography. It starts by scrolling through dozens or more thumbnail pictures of women on full display until you find one that catches your interest. From there, the typical person may spend a few minutes on the video at most before moving onto another one. In each case, the girl of his fantasy is only a click away. For a man addicted to pornography, this process may repeat itself day after day, month after month, ingraining itself into his mind.
Now let’s take a look at how this process goes in reality, how real life dating and interactions appear when viewed through the lens of pornography. To do this, envision for a second a day in the life of a hypothetical porn addict we’ll call Adam. After months and years of repeating the process involved in viewing porn, Adam starts to view the women he passes on the street the same as he views the women who fill the pornography sites he visits. Every woman he passes is instantly evaluated on how she might look in a pornographic scene and is subsequently measured against the standard of the thousands of porn stars he has viewed before. As you can imagine, this is a tough standard for any woman to live up to, but what happens when Adam does find a woman that catches his interest is even worse.
You see, Adam is used to the women he finds interesting being only a click away. It is engrained in him that the women he finds attractive are hollow shells that exist only to fulfill his sexual desires and he expects that attaining them should be quick, easy, and guaranteed. Of course, this attitude makes it difficult for Adam to actually attract women in the real world. He comes off to them as shallow, forward, and entitled—not a good combination for finding a date. These failures only serves to fuel his sexual frustration and consequently, fuel his pornography addiction. It’s a self-defeating process that can destroy what might have otherwise been a perfectly healthy sex life.
Let’s say that Adam does find a girlfriend though. What now? At first he’s ecstatic. He finally has an outlet other than pornography to fulfill his fantasies. The problem is that to Adam, that’s all his new girlfriend means. She isn’t a complex person with hopes and dreams and feelings. She’s a body. To him, she’s a physical replacement to pornography, and that come with expectations. When she doesn’t meet those expectations, Adam is ready to be done with her, to move on to the next option just as he has done all his life.
Pornography, when taken completely by itself, may be harmless. But when we start treating real world dating and sexuality the same way we treat porn, danger is ahead. The problem is that after months and years of addiction, it becomes impossible to separate the way we approach reality to the way we approach fantasy. Our brains are pretty good at compartmentalizing data, but eventually it all begins to run together, and when it does, the way we view women is forever changed for the worse.
For more insight how pornography changes the way we view women, check out this video. It’s a bit more of a religious perspective, but still contains plenty of great points.
Author – John M. Mcginley