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Protecting Our Children

How Porn Affects Women and Girls

By JoAnn Hibbert Hamilton

People seem surprised when I say that girls and women, as well as boys and men, get involved with pornography.

In the past four years as I have lectured, I have visited with hundreds of people. Some have shared with me the fact that they had daughters who were just curious, had gone into lesbian sites, and therefore became involved with pornography. Some girls got involved in chat rooms and then moved to other pornography as their curiosity increased. Others became desensitized as a result of seeing magazines in store checkout lines and then reading them.

Many of the sexual teen and adult magazines encourage young teens to experiment with sexual perversions, against the wishes of their folks. Magazines claim that this activity is not really sex. Also, sexual novels encourage young girls to enter the world of pornography.

Some girls are just plain curious about what it is that guys are looking at and then get caught in the addiction. Movies, television, and videos question traditional values, leading some girls to react by making more permissive choices in behavior as well as in the clothing that they wear. Sexual conduct becomes common as it is seen over and over.

We need to teach our girls, as well as our guys, the quickness of addiction and their need to not pursue curiosity with sexual matters. We need to teach them that their marriage can be a wonderful, God-ordained experience and that pornography puts a third person in the marriage. Pictures teach and pornography makes deviant things seem okay.

A common problem in marriages is that husbands who are involved with pornography will often convince their wives that if they watch X-rated or porn videos or movies that their intimacy will be better. Wives often believe this and cooperate. These movies can actually break up marriages because either the expectations of the husband or wife will go beyond the walls of the marriage. I am also aware of wives who got into chat rooms, got involved in pornography, and therefore left their husbands.

Yes, in the past more men have been involved than women, but there is a growing trend for female involvement. The American Family Association Journal, March 2004, p. 20, 21, includes an article by Jason Collum titled “Pornography: A Women's Struggle, Too.” Collum said, “Today's Christian Women magazine recently polled its readers about whether they used pornography, and 34 percentresponded that they had intentionally sought out pornography on the Internet. According to Nielsen NetRatings, nearly one in three visitors to adult Web sites is female.”

In this same article, Dr. Mark Laaser, head of the Christian Alliance for Sexual Recovery and a man who has worked with hundreds of pornography addicts and their families, said, “Historically we would have said women are addicted to romance novels or women are addicted to chat rooms. That's still somewhat the case, but it's changing. If you look at women 30 to 35, in that age range and under, they're getting more visual. They're getting more aggressive. ... Culture is rewiring the female brain. And I literally mean rewiring – neurochemically, neuroanatomically, women are getting rewired to be more visual and aggressive. Sex has saturated nearly every form of entertainment and desensitization can occur easily in such a situation.”

Dr. Laaser also comments that the erotic nature of some tapes sold as “instructional” videos for couples can spur involvement with pornography.

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