Mary Eberstadt, a contributing writer to First Things, and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, has an excellent essay on the far-reaching social consequences of pornography, and the sort of multi-pronged effort that is needed to redress the damage. An excerpt:
The data about the immersion of young Americans in pornography are startling and disturbing. One 2008 study focused on undergraduate and graduate students ages 18 to 26 across the country found that more than two-thirds of men—and one out of every ten women in the sample—viewed pornography more than once a month. Another study showed that first-year college students using sexually explicit material exhibited these troubling features: increased tolerance, resulting in a turn toward more bizarre and esoteric material; increased risk of body-image problems, especially among girls; and erroneous and exaggerated conceptions of how prevalent certain sexual behaviors, including risky and even dangerous behaviors, actually are.
In 2004, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reported that 65 percent of boys ages 16 and 17 reported having friends who regularly download Internet pornography—and, given that pornography is something people lie “down” about in surveys as well as in life, it seems safe to say those numbers underestimate today’s actual consumption, perhaps even significantly.
Read the whole thing.
Here’s a good word from Randy Alcorn on the danger of unsupervised computer usage for young teenage boys: