Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Plague Among Us

Normally I try to make my posts light-hearted and somewhat humorous as an outlet for my creative side during the dog-days of child-rearing...however, today I'd like to discuss something I don't consider much of a laughing matter: pornography.

I belong to a small message board of Latter-day Saint (LDS) mothers, and recently, there was a thread about the level of concern pornography was for us as wife and mothers. I was absolutely s.h.o.c.k.e.d. to learn that over half of the women polled replied that pornography was of little to no worry to them. These women, all of which are members of the LDS church and know our leaders' great level of concern regarding pornography, simply didn't believe the issue will touch them and their family. I am telling you now...pornography is an issue I strongly believe affects everyone to some degree, whether it is your son, husband, friend, brother-in-law, cousin, or co-worker.

There are 40 million adults who regularly visit Internet pornography websites in the United Sates alone. The largest consumer of Internet pornography is 35 - 49 age group; those are not hormonal adolescents, but men and women with spouses and families. The industry is expanding at an alarming rate: in 1988 there were 1,300 hardcore pornography titles released in the U.S.; in 2005 there were 13,588, and the numbers continue to rise. When I searched the subject of pornography on, I brought up 831 results. Eight hundred and thirty-one. To say the brethren are concerned about pornography is a serious understatement.

Pornography is absolutely devasting to a marriage It takes what is beautiful and sacred and turns it into filth and evil. Pornography degrades sex. It dehumanizes the participants and those who witness it. The sexual side of the marriage is no longer just between the man and wife, but the man, wife, and playboy bunny he's been "seeing" on the side. It hurts wives. It bewilders children. It destroys families and marriages.

One of my biggest concerns is the apathy towards pornography and masturbation that is evident in today's society. Time and time again I have attended classes and read articles that inform me both things are normal and even natural. That as a mother and wife, I should not attempt to prevent and disallow these things, but that I should accept them or even embrace them. When readers and students ask how to counsel our children and help our husbands avoid pornography, we find no help, instead are accused of being narrow-minded and over-protective.

Our children are at high risk. The amount of pornography available is increasingly rising and our children's access to it, whether they're actively seeking it or not. The average age of a child's first internet exposure to pornography is 11 years old. As of 2002, 9 out of 10 children aged between the ages of 8 and 16 have viewed pornography on the internet, in most cases unintentionally. If you don't talk to and protect your children from pornography, who will?

I'm not going to claim I'm not telling you this to alarm you, because I am. I want you to be alarmed. I want you to go to great lengths to protect your families from this plague. This is an imminent danger that we need to address now.

While we can't guarantee that our husbands and children won't be exposed to pornography or seek it out themselves, we can protect our homes from it to the best of our ability. Keep your computer in an open area in your home and, if possible, filter it. Put uplifting messages around it. Talk to your children about what they're looking at on the internet and the dangers that lurk there. Keep talking with them about it. Ask your husband if he's being true to you, physically, emotionally, and mentally. Continue to ask him. Send a picture of your family with him when he's away on business. Help your family avoid the traps. I know these seem like silly, little things, but they will add up and hopefully, protect your family. You can't make the decisions for them, they have their free agency, but you can provide them with a loving, spiritual haven to come home to, giving them a reason and helping them find the ability to stay clean.


  1. This is so true. It is incredibly alarming that my generation (20 something year olds) see pornography as cool and normal. I find it disgusting and degrading. What is even worse is that more people my age will become addicted to pornography, which will ultimately ruin their chances of intimacy with a real human being.

    It is sad, thank you for being so honest about your feelings. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who finds it disgusting.

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  3. I think the biggest issue with porn is the unrealistic expectations it results in.

    If the only naked woman's bodies you see are airbrushed models than your wife's stretch marks seem disgusting instead of reasonably normal.

    This is just as much a problem in romance novels. Those with unrealistic expectations of men who are super buff and hot and can have sex 6 times in a row will find a normal sexual relationship unsatisfying.

    My solution: more naked mom, dad and grandparents!!! ;)

  4. I completely agree and it is something we need to be aware of and realize how easily it can seep into our homes, even unintentionally. Even in TV shows and movies are images being portrayed that borderline pornographic.

    I would also argue that there is another big issue with porn and that is the degradation of the opposite sex, how are we supposed to respect each other as sons/daughters of God when we treat each other as mere sex objects?

    I say it needs to be discussed in homes, I know it is something my husband and I are concerned about and we have discussed ways to prevent those images showing up in our home, especially as our children grow older.

    P.S. I liked your idea of putting uplifting messages by the computer!

  5. I'm suprised by the number of LDS women who think it won't effect their homes and families!?
    The reason we frequent church, temple sessions, scripture studies, for these very reasons; guarding against the temptations of Lucifer.
    Not only are these practices designed to uplift, invite the Spirit and encourage Christlike behavior, but they are there as a form of protection. We cannot simply think that because it has been told to us that it is a Sin, and we shouldn't participate...that that eliminates the worry or NEED for precautionary measures. Especially in this day and age; tt's only going to get worse!!!!
    Thanks for your thoughts on the matter. I have three boys, and quite frankly this is one of my biggest concerns as they reach puberty.
    I love the idea of putting uplifting messages around the if I could get all the parents of my boys teenage friends to do the same. I'm really conflicted by that, too. I will most likely be a helicopter parent...hovering in close proximity, and always chuffing about the "for the strength of youth" pamphlet etc.
    aye me.
    I've rambled.
    Love this blog!

  6. ps i was talking about "when" my boys have teenage in future friends. they have no such teenage friends at the moment

    just incase anyone was wondering ;)

  7. Such good, sound advice! Phillip and I have talked about this subject and it worries us how quietly it can eep into our homes and lives. Few people, I think, just jump into hardcore porn. Just like Aubrey said, it's everywhere. It's on tv, movies, even magazines and advertisements. As a society we are becoming desensitized to "skin" and sex and it is becoming the norm. The more we see it, the less of an issue we may view it as. Little by little Satan can work on us going from a little skin here and there working to hardcore. You are right! We need to keep out the filth to protect our families. One thing that wasn't touched on, as much, is the alarming rate that women are getting tangled in the pornographic web. WE need to protect ourselves as well. We need to keep our gaurds high! In the lesson I gave this week in RS, it taught us that Satan knows us extremely well. He knows when, where and how to tempt us. It was a wake-up call to me! He knows our weaknesses and can use that to our disadvantage. We need to do all we can to combat his attacks on our spirit.
    Anyway...on and on I go. I'll get off my soapbox... ;)
    I love you!! Thanks for the thought provoking read.