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The Barna Group releases ten main findings in landmark study of pornography

The Barna Group releases ten main findings in landmark study of pornography

In JAN 2016 we covered a preliminary release of a major study of the use of pornography in the US. The study was conducted by the Barna Group in 2015 and covered thousands of people in the US from teens to older folks. The study had been commissioned by the Josh McDowell Ministries and is now available for purchase, The Porn Phenomenon ($40). The Barna Group has released the ten main findings of the research in a report titled, Porn in the Digital Age: New Research Reveals 10 Trends.

Those ten findings are;

  1. There is Moral Ambiguity Toward Porn, Particularly Among Younger Americans
  2. There are Varied Opinions About What Constitutes Porn
  3. 1 in 3 Americans Seek out Porn at Least Once a Month
  4. Age, Gender and Faith Practice are the Three Biggest Factors in Frequent Porn Use
  5. Young Adults Use More Porn—and are Less Likely to Say It’s Bad for Society
  6. Teens and Young Adults Rank not Recycling As More Immoral Than Viewing Porn
  7. Most Porn Users Say it Doesn’t Bother Them to Use Porn
  8. Very Few Adults Feel a Sense of Guilt When They Use Porn
  9. Most Porn Users are ok With how Much Porn They Use—But Practicing Christians are Divided
  10. Few Adults are Actively Trying to Stop Using Porn

Follow the link to the report for trendy, but easily understood, graphics and a breakout on each of the findings.

What do these findings bode for the Church in the near future? For the long term? For your parish? For your family?


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JC Fisher

[test – test – test: this post seems not to have gone through when I first hit “Post Comment”]

“There are Varied Opinions About What Constitutes Porn”

Yeah, until there’s agreement on this one, all the other statistics are basically bogus.

ANYTHING can be abused—from the most sacred art to, well, (IMO) holy erotica.

But “porn” (again, IMO) is an invention which is intrinsically abusive (where the employees of the porn-manufacturer are harmed, and/or have less-than-complete consent, e.g. if financial desperation or addiction is involved).

If there IS no intrinsic abuse, however, I don’t think it’s porn (just “not my cup of tea” erotica—which again, CAN be abused, if consumed to unhealthy excess).

It’s a difficult subject, not least for these subjective distinctions.

Lionel Deimel

Some people take off their clothes for money; others do it for personal gratification. I can understand the former; the latter, not so much. In any case, I think Christians have lots more important ills to worry about than pornography.

Paul Woodrum

For some, the guilt and negativity contribute to making the exploitation exciting and profitable. However, just saying, not all pornography is built on exploitation but its potency depends on violation of purity codes that need to be examined and re-examined.

Paul Woodrum

True, there is exploitation in the sex trade, but isn’t it caused, at least in part, by the guilt and negative attitudes toward human sexuality that are ingrained in the purity codes of Judaism, Christianity and Islam? The forbidden factor is certainly part of its appeal.

What if the person(s) in the picture, instead of being exploited, is joyously celebrating their sexuality as a part of their spirituality as Prince did in his music and life, an expression that made him both fascinating and liberating to his audience?

Perhaps because of it’s power and association with love, sexuality is a part of our humanity about which we seem to have the most ambivalence. I have a premonition changing social attitudes toward sexuality are a big factor in the church’s increasing irrelevance even as new purity codes, especially concerning children, replace old ones binding adults.

Harry M. Merryman

If I’m understanding Paul’s argument, it is that the “forbidden factor,” which results from puritanical attitudes, creates a market for pornography. If there weren’t a market, there would be less exploitation.

I don’t agree with this analysis. As with all forms of exploitation and abuse, the issue is power. Throughout the Ages, there is ample evidence to suggest that very often those with power will use and exploit those who are vulnerable or powerless. Jesus’ special concern for children, the outcast, the poor and downtrodden–those who have little power or status–is particularly relevant if we’re speaking about exploitation, sexual or otherwise.

Cynthia Katsarelis

One could look at art instead!

For me the morality question is where does it come from? Much of that industry exploits women and children. I don’t have an easy answer, but it should be discussed. Knowing that the person in the picture is an exploited slave might make it less appealing.

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