We affirm that sex is an act of love, trust and vulnerability, and therefore should be reserved for marriage, where husband and wife are committed to loving and serving each other.
However, pornography is used by most British and American men, whether married and/or Christian. Porn has been found to increase negative attitudes towards women, decrease empathy for sexual abuse victims, and increase sexually aggressive behaviour.
Therefore, we ask that the neurological and relational effects of pornography are realistically addressed in sex education programmes, and that churches address the issue more directly and encourage accountability among their members.
I had seen porn--belonging to a relative--before I was 10, and it was something I regularly came across on a shared computer during my early teenage years. It was something boys read on the bus to school, or shoved videos of it into your face. From the very first moment of exposure, it changed how I saw myself, my body, and men. It gave me a strong sense of dissatisfaction with how I looked, fear of being rejected as a result, and the notion that men’s purest desire was to exploit women. I believed that the way to a man’s heart, then, I would have to objectify and exploit myself. Simply put, it made me doubt the reality of love and the possibility of trust.
I have seen many girls try to model themselves on porn stars, fearing that otherwise they will not be enough, and I have seen it become normalised- something seen as an inevitable part of male sexuality that women should accomodate. Naked selfies are taken even by young teenagers in the hope of winning over a boy. From what I have seen, it never wins them respect, and is often widely shared among peers as though it were a Page 3 spread.
Any talk of equality between the sexes tends to mean that there should be more porn for a female audience, rather than general resistance to it. But porn has been connected to human trafficking, sexual abuse within the industry itself, increased rates of infidelity, and sexual dissatisfaction with ‘real’ women. The answer cannot be more porn; it has to be a higher view of sex.