In light of the recent turn of events I would like to take the opportunity to shed some light on a very serious topic. I will in no way exhaust it but simply spark a thought.
The recent discovery of three young women (Michele Knight, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus) found at the house of Ariel Castro’s in Cleveland, Ohio, have gotten everyone asking “why?”. Why would someone do something like this? Why did he admit it to himself and was even willing to kill himself and yet he did not turn himself in nor did he seek help? There are these and many more questions that we ask when something like this happens.
I do not claim to have the answers all these questions but we should still not neglect to think about how does one make sense of such things. In the recent years we have been able to see that there is a strong effect of pornography on the brain. William M. Struthers, associate professor of psychology at Wheaton College. ” Knowing how it is wired together and where it is sensitive can help us understand why pornography affects people the way it does.” Here are 9 things you should know about pornography affects the brain: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/05/08/9-things-you-should-know-about-pornography-and-the-brain/?comments#comments To summarize the article; porn will 1) hijack your brain, 2) it is highly addictive, 3) it leaves you unsatisfied, 4) desensitizes, 5) ruins sexual character, 6 ) deforms sexual appetite, 7 ) leaves you dysfunctional, 8 ) makes you sexually reliant, 9) demoralizes and bastardizes you every time you watch it.
The topic that I want to talk just briefly is not just porn but the connection between porn and rape. Today Ariel Castro was charged with multiple four charges of kidnapping and three counts of rape. Castro later told investigators he is a “sex addict.” http://abcnews.go.com/US/ariel-castro-cleveland-kidnap-suspect-face-death-penalty/story?id=19139911
The claim I would like to make is that he was not born a “sex addict” but rather that a number of choices he made throughout his life lead him to be that man that he is exposed to be today. I would even go as far as to say that he probably was a “porn addict” before he became a “sex addict”. His excessive exposures to porn most likely lead him to demean women and reassert their treatment as objects feeding his lust. I make this claim because there is a connection between pornography and violence against women.
Pornography and Rape: Is There a Connection?
- The literature in this area is substantial and growing. A few examples follow: In a comparative study of rape rates in the USA, Scandinavia, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, Court (1984) found a connection between the availability of pornography and the level of rape. He specifically refutes earlier studies that purported to show otherwise, particularly in relation to Australia, where the uniform crime data: (actually support the case for an increase [in rape rates after the liberalisation of pornography] quite convincingly (Court 1984, p. 158).
- In the USA, the eight major men’s magazines (Chic, Club, Gallery, Genesis, Hustler, Oui, Playboy and Penthouse) have sales that are five times higher per capita in Alaska and Nevada than in other states such as North Dakota¾and rape rates that are six times higher per capita in Alaska and Nevada than North Dakota. Overall a fairly strong correlation was found between rape and circulation rates in the fifty states, even with controls for potential confounding variables, such as region, climate, propensity to report rape and police practices (Milne-Home 1991; Baron & Straus 1985 cited in United States Attorney-General’s Commission on Pornography 1986, p. 944-5).
- Exposure to pornography of less than five hours over a six-week period resulted in a halving of sentences thought appropriate for rape (Malamuth 1984). Malamuth (1986) links pornography to the level of hostility felt towards women and, further, finds the level of hostility is a significant predictor of sexual violence.
- In New South Wales, in the period 1975-91, a time during which pornography has become increasingly available, there has been a 90.6 per cent increase in the level of rape (Categories 1-3 Sexual Assault) (New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research 1991; New South Wales Police Statistics Unit 1988-89)
- In Hawaii in 1974, restrictions were placed on the sale of pornographic material. Rape figures fell for the following two years. The restrictions were then lifted, and rape immediately increased. (United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation 1973 −78); and
- In Oklahoma County, ‘adult’ stores were closed in 1985, and a 25 per cent decrease in the rape rate occurred over the next five years 1985−90. In the remainder of Oklahoma, there was no such law and no decrease in the rape rate (Macy 1991).
Today we live in a new world with more acceptability to porn and demoralized society. In a society that is no-longer ashamed of being porn addicts but rather proclaim it with pride.
The proper response to the Castro case is not to lock up and turn off the lights, but get up and
1) cry out for God’s mercy,
2) talk to your children about the perversion and dangers of porn and lust,
3) declare war on the porn industry.You don’t have to be political if you don’t want to but if you or someone you know watches porn then stop that behavior at the heart! We must fight lust. We must declare war on sin! Stop supporting the porn industry. Stop supporting men like Ariel Castro. Stop acting like Ariel Castro before it is too late. Start looking at women with respect and love. Start fearing God. Start practicing self control.
This week has been a good reminder that our sins will find us out and although not every “porn/sex addict” will be exposed like Ariel Castro, there will come a day when all will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and on that day it will be too late for change and too late for any hope whatsoever. So Christian, if your struggling with porn today, repent afresh and confess your sins, man up, mature up, and live up to the name of “Christian.” Either you start fighting porn or stop calling yourself a Christian. To the unbeliever come and believe because hope, liberation, and salvation is found in Christ. There is no sin that is too big or too vile that Jesus Christ can not forgive.