By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
The author of a new study on the effects of pornography says this “quiet family killer” is responsible for increased infidelity in marriage, higher divorce rates, and the corruption of a sense of normal sexuality in users of all ages.
The study, titled “The Effects of Pornography on Individuals, Marriage, Family and Community,” was authored by Patrick F. Fagan, Ph.D, a trained psychologist and former Deputy Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary. He is also Director of the Center for Research on Marriage and Religion at the Family Research Council (FRC), which produced the study.
Among its major findings, the report found that men who regularly view pornography have a higher tolerance for abnormal sexuality such as rape, sexual aggression and promiscuity.
Married men report feeling less satisfied with their marital relations and less emotionally attached to their wives. It also leads to a loss of interest in good family relations and is a major factor in divorce.
According to the study, pornography users “increasingly see the institution of marriage as sexually confining, have diminished belief in the importance of marital faithfulness, and have increasing doubts about the value of marriage as an essential social institution and further doubts about its future viability.
“All this naturally diminishes the importance for them of having good family relations in their own families.”
The study cites a survey of divorce lawyers that found 68 percent of divorce cases involved one party meeting a new partner over the internet with 56 percent of all divorce cases involving one party having an “obsessive interest” in pornographic websites.
“This is a ground-breaking review of what pornography costs families trying to create a life together. Men, women and sometimes even children are saturated by sexual content, and more significantly, are told that it has no real effect. It’s just a little amusement,” Fagan said.
“Pornography corrodes the conscience, promotes distrust between husbands and wives and debases untold thousands of young women. It is not harmless escapism but relational and emotional poison.”
Fagan said that although the steady drop in marriage rates is well known, the impact of pornography on marriage has been little discussed. “The data show that as pornography sales increase, the marriage rate drops,” he said.
“And underlying the social trends is the impact of pornography on family formation. It’s a quiet family killer.”
The main defenses against pornography are close family life, a good marriage and good relations between parents and children, with parents maintaining vigilance with their child’s internet use.
To read the report, visit http://www.frc.org/pornography-effects
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