The Good News Paradox of Christian Men and Porn
 
The Good News Paradox of Christian Men and Porn
Written By Micah Clark   |   07.19.19

Pornography is a massive problem in America, and likely around the globe as well.  To understand the $97 billion industry in average daily terms, porn sites get more visits each month in America than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.

The pervasiveness of this corrosive material has all sorts of societal ramifications for everyone.  It plays a role in the coarsening of our culture. It leads to relationship problems. It drives an immoral demand that has now made America one of the top sex-trafficking nations in the world.

One must wonder how there could be any good news about this topic.

In a recent interview in The New Yorker, sociologist of religion, Samuel Perry said:

“What I found is that, whatever we think pornography is doing, those effects tend to be amplified when we’re talking about conservative Protestants. It seems to be uniquely harmful to conservative Protestants’ mental health, their sense of self, their own identities—certainly their intimate relationships—in ways that don’t tend to be as harmful for people who don’t have that kind of moral problem with it.”

As you might imagine, many reviews of Dr. Perry’s new book Addicted to Lust: Pornography in the Lives of Conservative Protestants, have liberals grinning over what they think is a huge hypocrisy.  Of course, when liberals talk about hypocrisy they don’t do so as a defense of the moral standard but as a means of discarding that standard.

One might think that given the title of this book, and Perry’s quote above, that he has researched and written about how Christian men are destroying their marriages with their angst over porn, while those who have no problem with porn use do not have similar relational problems, (because it’s no big deal to them).

That may be an interesting theory, but what his book and research actually point toward is much different than the sensational overviews.   According to the Institute for Family Studies, Perry’s research shows that protestant men, who regularly attend church, are actually about the only men in America still resisting the normalization of the use of porn.

As the Institute points out, “across all religious groups in America, people who attend religious services more frequently are far less likely to view pornography. Nominally-Protestant men are nearly five times more likely to view pornographic films as men who frequently (weekly) attend religious services.”

They also remind us that, “adherence to the sexual norms promoted by conservative Protestants— delaying sex until marriage and monogamy within marriage, including (for most) avoiding porn — is consistently associated with greater marital happiness.”

There are a lot more detailed findings on this subject from the Institute which can be read HERE.


This article was originally published by AFA of Indiana.

Micah Clark
In 1989 Micah Clark graduated from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Micah interned as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives’ Republican staff and later became an Assistant Campaign Manager for a State Senator. Micah then served as a legislative assistant for Citizens Concerned for the Constitution. He served as the Indiana Family Institute’s Director of Public Policy, and later as its Executive Director, throughout the 1990’s. Micah is the only person to have served with all three of Indiana’s top statewide pro-family organizations. In November 2001, Micah became the Executive...
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