The Problem With Pornography

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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You may be asking yourself why the topic of pornography is appearing on a parenting blog, or why it's relevant amongst the topics I write about. Well, considering that pornography is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, and 56% of divorce cases a year involve issues with pornography and sexual addiction, I believe it's a very relevant topic for parents and families.

Last week, my friend’s text caused a knot in my stomach-

“Could you give me some direction on helping someone through porn addiction?” he asked. “I’m looking for an app or a filter, or something, to help him. He’s struggling with this big time! It could end his marriage.”

It’s no surprise. So many men (and woman) struggle with pornography. Families are destroyed each year due to porn and sexual addictions. The pornography industry amassed over $8 billion in the US in 2012. That figure is growing every year. Pornography is a huge problem. Marriages crumble from it. Families are ruined by it. Careers implode and people end up losing everything. Porn is a drug, in many regards. The reasons are pretty obvious.

Certainly many of you would agree that pornography is immoral. I believe this 100% but not everyone sees it that way because of different moral beliefs. Truth is, however, pornography degrades woman (and men), causes it’s viewers to have a distorted view of sex and relationships, and can actually effect the brain like drug abuse does. Yes, pornography is immoral, and physically destructive, but what I’ve discovered over the years of working with students and adults, who struggle with pornography, is that the destruction extends beyond the immoral. It begins there, but affects a person much deeper than a buzz from a sexually charged image on a computer screen.

Here are 3 reasons why the problem of pornography goes beyond immoral:

1. Pornography creates a false sense of reality.

It allows viewers to live in a state of fantasy. The humans or images a viewer sees on a computer screen, or in a magazine, will never be physically touched by them. They will never look at them face-to-face, they will never have a conversation with them, or a real experience with them. It’s a disconnect from reality. Unfortunately for most viewers, they are hit with this false reality when they attempt to translate what they experience in a state of fantasy to their own marriage relationship. If their partner doesn’t “perform” the same way as the person on the screen they disconnect from him or her. This is why pornography can be so devastating to marriages.

2. Pornography requires no accountability.

Beyond anything physical in a marriage relationship, the existence of accountability over our choices or behaviors is huge. The fact is, once we are married, we cannot just go around behaving however we want with whomever we want. We really can’t do that if we aren’t married either. And, that’s a good thing. Although it sounds restrictive, it’s not. We need accountability to live healthy, productive lives. Our marriages provide much of that. External friendships should provide even more. Pornography demands zero accountability for it’s viewers actions or choices! When you view pornography you are free from any and all responsibility to the human beings you see on the screen. That’s a very dangerous reality!

3. Pornography demands no vulnerability. 

A powerful part of marriage, in particular, is vulnerability. In fact, it’s probably the most binding element of marriage. When you stand naked (emotionally, spiritually, and physically) in front of another human being, it binds you to them- forever! That’s precisely why the connection between married people runs deeper than we can understand. It’s more than just knowing one another well, it’s being intertwined with them. Pornography demands no such thing. It does not require you to bear your soul, divulge your innermost secrets, or show the ugliest parts of your soul. It does not call it’s viewers to be real or authentic. In fact, it does the opposite. You can be completely fake and closed off with pornography and no one will say a thing. No one will demand more of you.

As you can see, the problem with pornography is much bigger than just moral failure. In fact, we could use “moral failure” as the umbrella over all of the other problems (as I’ve listed above) that come with porn use and addiction. The biggest thing is finding help. If you or someone you are close to are dealing with this, find help before it’s too late. As you do, make sure it’s an organization or person that extends grace and loves you, or the person you are close to, and is willing to walk with you without judgement. There is already so much shame involved in pornography use and that tends to be preventative of someone seeking the help they need.

What other thoughts would you add to my list? What are some ways people can find healing?

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.