What’s so bad about pornography?

New book, "THE PORN MYTH: Exposing the Reality Behind the Fantasy of Pornography," uses science to investigate effects of porn on brain and relationships

Author Matt Fradd (photo from Catholic Herald)

Virginia, Utah and South Dakota have declared pornography a public health crisis. And notable figures in Hollywood, including former Playboy model Pamela Anderson and actors Terry Crews and Russell Brand, have spoken out against the dangers of pornography, a big business that generates $10 billion to $12 billion in the United States alone, according to NBC News. But the commonly held belief is that pornography is a harmless and even beneficial pastime.

Author Matt Fradd separates the myths from the facts about porn, drawing on the experience of porn performers and users, and the expertise of neurologists, sociologists and psychologists, to demonstrate that pornography is destructive to individuals, relationships and society in his new book, THE PORN MYTH: Exposing the Reality Behind the Fantasy of Pornography.

Fradd provides insightful (and nonreligious) arguments, supported by the latest scientific research, to discredit the fanciful claims used to defend and promote pornography in THE PORN MYTH. He explains the neurological reasons porn is addictive, helps individuals learn how to be free of porn and offers real help to the parents and the spouses of porn users. Backed by recent research on pornography’s harmful effects on the brain, Fradd is part of the growing wave of passionate individuals trying to change the pro-porn cultural norm by inspiring others to pursue real love and to avoid its hollow counterfeit.

All of the royalties from THE PORN MYTH will go to help Children of the Immaculate Heart, a non-profit corporation operating in San Diego, California, whose mission is to serve survivors of human trafficking.

For more information, to request a review copy, or to schedule an interview with Matt Fradd, please contact Kevin Wandra (404-788-1276 or KWandra@CarmelCommunications.com) of Carmel Communications.

Full story at Christian Newswire.

How pornography harms people – and what to do about it

One of the most commonly believed myths is that pornography doesn’t hurt anyone, Fradd said. But Matt Fradd has found that pornography harms people personally, relationally, and societally.

On the personal level, a 2014 study from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin found that frequent pornography use in men was associated with decreased brain matter in certain areas of the brain.

Women [who consent to producing pornography, as opposed to those who are forced or coerced] are perpetuating a system that robs women, as a group, of empowerment, Fradd said, such as women who are sex trafficked while participating in the porn industry. By some estimates, two million women and girls are held in sexual slavery at any given time.

It’s part of the reason why Fradd is donating all of the proceeds of The Porn Myth to Children of the Immaculate Heart, a non-profit corporation operating in San Diego, Calif, whose mission is to serve survivors of human trafficking.

Pornography use in marriage is one way that porn harms relationships. According to Fradd’s research, a survey of 350 divorce lawyers reported in 2003 that pornography was at least part of the problem in half of all divorce cases they saw.

Another commonly believed myth is that marriage will solve a porn addiction, which shows a misunderstanding of the psychology of addiction in the first place, Fradd explains.

But pornography can also damage the relationships of a single person looking for love.

A 2011 TED talk by psychologist Philip Zimbardo said that studies showed a “widespread fear of intimacy and social awkwardness among men,” and an inability to engage in face-to-face conversations with women, Fradd wrote.  

“Why? Zimbardo says this is caused by disproportionate Internet use in general and excessive new access to pornography in particular. ‘Boys’ brains are being digitally rewired in a totally new way, for change, novelty, excitement.’”

And Zimbardo is not alone in his observations. As Fradd notes, neuroscientist William Struthers wrote in 2009 that “With repeated sexual acting out in the absence of a partner, a man will be bound and attached to the image and not a person.”

In other words, men can start preferring pixels to people.

“People find themselves viewing more and more disturbing pornography, and the reason for this is because of a decrease in dopamine in the brain, which happens because of the addiction one has, and they end up seeking out more graphic, violent forms of pornography just to boost the dopamine enough to feel normal,” Fradd said.

“People don’t wake up when they’re 30 and decide to look at child porn or feces porn or something disgusting like that. These are big things that people spiral into, and the industry has to keep pushing the envelope because it’s addictive,” he added.

While the statistics of pornography can be disturbing and depressing, Fradd stressed that there was still hope. He devotes several chapters in the book to protecting children from pornography, dealing with pornography in marriage, and getting help for those addicted to pornography.

Fradd himself has spent years in ministry to those with pornography addictions, and helps run the site Integrity Restored, which offers numerous resources to help those struggling with addictions and those in ministry to them.

Full story at Christian Newswire.

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  1. Linda Maria says:

    It is such a pity, that many Godless, immoral, unprofessional, irresponsible psychologists and counselors, have advised young people to “do what feels good,” instead of growing up and being responsible! Lots of people who “do what feels good,” end up as alcoholics, dope addicts, addicted Las Vegas gamblers, overweight food addicts, porn addicts— etc.!! In the case of sexual sins– this is very serious, as sexual sins are usually Mortal Sins!! Does it “feel good,” to do something WRONG?? Yes, and that is why people often commit Mortal Sins, to begin with!

    • Linda Maria says:

      Well, maybe most counselors and psychologists would not encourage alcoholics to drink more; alcoholism is a known disease. However– it is well-known, that they do encourage poor behaviors, immaturity, and “anti-society” beliefs and “lifestyles!” They are known to encourage drugs, sex outside marriage, gay sex acts of all types, pornography, and uncensored, obscene books, films, and materials!! They are known to be immoral and unstable, promoting immature notions of “freedom of speech,” to include all manner of irresponsible filth and violence! All in the name of false “cures” for problems! A MENACE to society!

  2. Linda Maria says:

    For many decades, I have complained to the ALA (American Library Association) — one of America’s biggest culprits, in ignorant “tolerance” and permissive distribution of pornography, all in the ignorant, irresponsible guise, of so-called “free speech!” In most public libraries, filthy, obscene books, records, CD’s, DVD’s, and etc., are fully and easily available, to be obtained (obtained and viewed, if not checked-out, with a library card!) by even children!! I’ve always said, since the filthy, irresponsible 1960s– “Nothing is “free!” Everything in life, including “speech”– is a RESPONSIBILITY!! The ALA has never agreed.

    • Linda Maria says:

      The laws of God are exact– but God Himself is Impersonal! He has no “favorites,” neither saints nor sinners! If you play with fire– you get burned! It is we ourselves, who may end up in Hell– if we reject God! Best to learn young, not to play with fire, to respect God, to lead a good life, and understand what God asks of you! He will always love us — but we must not turn against Him, with committing serious sins– ever! He sent His Son, to die, to redeem our souls! Morality is always objective– anyone can sin, and anyone can also repent, and anyone can learn to lead a holy life! God is patiently waiting, for us!!

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        Really? It took you four posts to respond to this article?

        Sure, pornography usage has elements that resemble addiction. Let’s figure that out and help people overcome all kinds of addicctions including to porn.

        But what is obscene about your posts is that “God Himself is Impersonal”. No. He is Emmanual. God is With Us. he comes to us in very personal ways – in our hearts, in Scripture, in the Eucharist.

        • Linda Maria says:

          YFC– Yes, God is IMPERSONAL!! Read your Catechism!! God is an IMPERSONAL SUPREME BEING!! God created us, who are creatures, created human beings! All human beings sin!! Including the Saints, who joyfully told of their repentance! Sexual sins are usually Mortal Sins– deadly to your soul! Deadly to your relationship with God! One must immediately go to confession, and receive Christ’s forgiveness, and loving, helpful graces, to “go and sin no more,” and start a new life again, with Him!

          • Linda Maria says:

            The Divine Love of God, is Impersonal, and Eternal– not like human emotions, and not dependent on human feelings— God is a Spirit, and not human! Human beings are created, not the Creator! You cannot do anything to “earn” God’s Divine Love, with “good behavior.” You cannot do anything to “destroy” God’s Divine Love, with “bad behavior,” sin!! It just exists, eternally– regardless of whether or not you “feel” it, or whether you think you “deserve” it or not! It is even there– for atheists to suddenly discover! God’s Love is always there, no matter what!! It is the great “I AM,” Impersonal, Eternal, above and beyond all things, no matter what human beings may think or do!!

        • Scripture also talks about that Hell is waiting for practicing SODOMITES.

          • Linda Maria says:

            Joe, this is true. However, when a person leads a life of unrepentant Mortal Sin, rebelling against God, and thus chooses Hell— they choose it because God gave mankind free will. God never stops loving that person, whom He created! God does not want anyone to go to Hell!! People may end up there, all because of their rejection of God! To life’s end, everyone always has the choice of repentance!

      • God is not impersonal. God has revealed himself to be personal and is defined in Church dogma as a trinity of three persons. God has intellect and will, qualities of persons.

        God does have favorites: there are the elect and the reprobate. The elect have been predestined from before creation to glory whereas the reprobate will be permitted to die in mortal sin and suffer eternal punishment. Among the elect not all enjoy the same degree of beatitude; some are given greater union with God.

        The belief that God loves all equally is false. God loves all, but not equally. God’s love is the cause of goodness in creatures; so creatures who are better are loved more by God, for they would not have more goodness if God did not love them more,…

        • Linda Maria says:

          Sawyer, God’s Love is not human! Sometimes it is presented that way — but actually, God is very great, unknowable, eternal, omniscient, and impersonal– the great “I AM!!” His Divine Love is not human, not personal, not dependent on anything at all! It is always there, like the sun shining, in good times and in bad, for atheists, criminals, and saints, alike!! Same for the mentally retarded, for those in a coma, for the brain-injured, who cannot understand the concept of “God”– God exists OBJECTIVELY, the Creator— independent of us, the created beings!!

          • Linda Maria says:

            The person who repents of great Mortal Sins– as St. Augustine did– has the exact same chance to become a Saint, as the person who was blessed to never commit any Mortal Sins (like possibly, St. Monica, St. Augustine’s mother). An atheist may suddenly have a huge conversion experience, and discover– “oh, there is a God, objectively, and He has been here all this time, with His love for me!” God loves all creatures (us) that He created, impersonally. We cannot “earn” nor “lose” His Divine Love, by good or bad actions!

        • Linda Maria says:

          Sawyer, some are more purified, and are closer to the Creator– thus, the varying degrees of saintliness. However, God’s great Love is still there, in the same measure– for all alike, saint and sinner!! All sinners are equally capable to become purified, and be mystically, totally “married to God.” Some may appear to receive great gifts of sanctity, above others– but in Purgatory, we can attain higher states of sanctity! God is ultimately a great Mystery, which we can never fully know nor understand! (Best not to get into Biblical — non-Catholic–“predestination” concepts!)

          • Linda Maria says:

            Sawyer, all of our souls are made in God’s Divine Image, originally! God cannot make anything evil, or corrupt, or disfigured — because God is PERFECT! Through Adam’s Fall, we lost our original state of grace, and many sicknesses, evils, corruptions, disfigurements, and death itself, entered this world— yet, we are saved, by Christ’s Redemption!! All who are baptized in our Church, and seek to devoutly follow Christ’s teachings, are given the same chance for eventual union with God, the Beatific Vision– as the Catechism states!!!

  3. Anyone who would want to do something as disgusting as make sexual contact with feces would have to be pretty sick. It should not require religious teaching to know that one should not do such things. The extraordinary amount of personal disgust should be enough to make a reasonable person nauseated. It is amazing that human beings can sink to such low levels. The mass depravity that we are seeing shows that once the spirit of God leaves us, we revert to being the slime of the earth. If you drive the spirit of God away through repeated serious sin, you start to crawl through the dirt like the serpent. From dirt you came, to dirt you shall return.

  4. Pornography destroys the sanctity of marriage. We used to get marry, protect, and provide for women and our children, yet it is all behind us today. The Church should be fighting this pathway to Hell, yet it preaches who am I to judge and that there is no Hell. Sad.

  5. Linda Maria says:

    In the online version of the “National Catholic Register,” today, there is a news story about a Calif. therapist, David Pickup, who works with gay men of faith. He has a new kind of reparative therapy, for gay men. (In Calif., reparative therapy for gay minors is banned by law.) He has a website, http://www.davidpickuplmft.com. This therapist says that a lot of gay men he has treated, started out with deep emotional wounds at an early age, and dis-identified with masculinity. This affected them later, and they felt sane-sex attractions. With therapy, they were able to begin to identify with masculinity, and many have become heterosexual!

    • Linda Maria says:

      Perhaps many men who get into the evil of pornography, have something wrong with them, and need to talk to a therapist, also.

  6. Linda Maria says:

    The great Saints, such as St. Francis of Assisi, or St. Mother Teresa, for example– are so totally EMPTY OF SELF— and filled with Christ, that they are transformed completely– they are no longer attached to the body and its needs, the personality and the ego and its needs, etc. They only exist for God! They see with the impersonal eyes of Christ, love with the impersonal Love of Christ, and understand more, with His Divine understanding, beyond our own — they see all, help all, and love all, with the Divine Love of Christ– not of themselves!! Like Christ, they, too, became “Impersonal,” a tool for God, empty of self!!

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