Since her first days, the Church has preached in favor or healthy physical relationships among men and women. The word used by St. Paul for UNhealthy sexual relationships is porneia. From this root, we get a modern term, “porno-graphy,” for unhealthy sexual images.
It’s surprising to me how often I interview couples for marriage and discover that one or both don’t think that pornography is necessarily detrimental to a marital relationship. I use anecdotes from pastoral ministry and my own reading trying as I might to disabuse them of this notion… but sometimes I get the sense they’re just smiling and nodding.
Today the Washington Post Outlook section published a wonderful article (LINKED HERE) on the wide-spread and curiously silent scientific research proving that porn is hurting us as individuals and as a society. Just a few highlights: The average age for a boy to view porn for the first time is 11. Porn has been proven to dispose men to violence toward women, including sexual assault. The porn industry hides statistics about the instances of STI’s among their performers. Internet pornography is more frequented that major sites like Netflix, Hulu and Youtube… combined.
This is an insidious social ill that dwarfs the effects of its predecessors in ways we are only beginning to discover. But the Church offers resources to begin breaking the porn cycle. Check out some of the information / resources available form the Archdiocese of Washington’s Family Life Office at this LINK