A Hidden Epidemic
When we reflect on the pandemic’s negative effects on our lives, we immediately think of things like isolation, loneliness, job loss, anxiety about the future, disappointment, and most certainly grief. One negative effect that may not immediately come to mind, though, is the rise of pornographic consumption. We shouldn’t be surprised to find that we are seeing a rise in pornography usage, since the pandemic has caused so many of us to be isolated at home, unable to associate with others as freely, and in need of a defense against our rising anxieties. Although the use of pornographic content may seem like a secret occurrence, its effects can impact more than just those who indulge.
Consumption circa COVID-19
Even before the pandemic began, pornography usage had been a widespread issue. For our church that is mainly Christian and middle class, the consumption of pornographic content was already high. Many causes can be attributed to these statistics. To begin, pornography is widely accessible. If you have a smart phone, tablet, or computer, you can happen upon pornographic material fairly easily. Additionally, it is readily available. Pornography sites can simply appear on your search engine and, in many cases, are completely free to the user. These sites are anonymous—no one has to know what you are doing in the privacy of your bedroom, office, or living room. The result of these factors has been a rising epidemic of pornography usage and is now worse than ever.
For many of its users, pornography gives way to adverse consequences. In many cases, its occurrence starts very young, even in prepubescence, as a form of entertainment. Over time, it can morph into an anxiety defense. However, continued and prolonged usage leads to a tolerance in which more and more is demanded for the same result. Another consequence is an attachment disorder with one’s spouse, in which the user is more attached to his or her sexual fantasy rather than to a real partner.
It’s Never Too Late
If this describes you or someone you love, there is help. Therapies and support groups are available that can assist individuals in stopping one’s use and consumption. Brentwood Baptist is offering a support group for men this Spring that will be an excellent resource for any who would like help in getting freed from the trap of pornography. If you are in need of help, don’t let embarrassment keep you from receiving the assistance and support that you need. Seeking help may be the best thing that you can do for yourself.
“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” —Romans 12:2