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Survey reveals rapidly changing trends in porn usage


Changing habits on porn usage -- includes women. Photo: Jonas Smith/Flickr/Creative Commons

Changing habits on porn usage — includes women. Photo: Jonas Smith/Flickr/Creative Commons

A survey conducted by Barna Group, a national survey company, and Josh McDowell Ministry uncovered changing views on pornography among American teenagers and young adults. Having written over 145 books, Josh McDowell is a popular Christian speaker and writer on contemporary culture.

The survey, entitled The Porn Phenomenon, looked at how widespread porn usage is in both America and the church. The results warn that the porn landscape is changing rapidly due largely to easy internet access.

Perhaps most revealing is that most of those surveyed consider a lack of recycling a greater sin than viewing porn. While 32% of young adults and teens viewed porn as “usually or always” wrong,  56% said not recycling was “usually or always wrong.”

A second troubling trend is that a persons first viewing of porn is coming at a younger age. The survey discovered that 27% of the young adults (ages 25-30) viewed porn before puberty. This compared to only 13% for the next older age group — GenX (35 and 55 years of age).

In a matter of five years, the number of pre-puberty children viewing porn has doubled.

The survey also asked how often teens and young adults are viewing porn today:

  • 13-17 years of age: 8% daily, 18% weekly and 17% at least once a month
  • 18-24 years of age: : 12% daily, 26% weekly and 19% at least once a moth
  • 25-30 years of age: 8% daily, 17% weekly 20% at least once a month

Of course, the biggest problem is the easy access to porn on the internet and at least 50% of teens reported running into porn on a weekly basis, even when they are not looking for it. The temptation is always there.

Another changing trend is the growing porn usage among females. According to McDowell, it is growing at a faster rate than for boys. The survey showed 33% of women between the ages of 13 to 24 actively seek porn at least once a month, compared to just 12% of women over the age of 25.

One bit of positive news is that most pastors (86%) and youth pastors (79%) state they are not struggling with porn. However, of those in this group who do, 5% of pastors and 12% of youth pastors describe themselves as addicted.

With a significant number of ministers struggling with porn (14% for pastors and 21% of youth pastors), McDowell suggested churches need to move away from their current one strike and you are out mentality when it comes to porn use among ministry staff.

Typically, churches and ministries fire staff if it discovers they have a porn problem. McDowell said firing should be a last resort and only happen if they refuse to repent and deal with the issue.

Because of this fear of losing their job, McDowell believes the current policy actually hinders pastoral staff in seeking help with their porn problem. Typically they go underground to keep it secret, instead of repenting and seeking help for their problem.

Sources:

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