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Pornography and Sex Addiction

Introduction

Pornography and sex addiction are some of the greatest challenges facing the society of today. Although many people may not be aware of the actual state of things, pornography and sex addiction represent two controversial issues that cannot be avoided regarding building morally upright society. Pornography involves sexual images from television, magazines, movies and internet that tend to make people think of "great sex". Abundance of freely accessible pornographic materials carries out strong negative effect on sex life of many people; however, there are many who are yet not aware of the extent pornography influences the quality of their sex life.. On the other hand, sex addiction is any sexually-related, compulsory behavior intervening with the normal way of life of an individual that causes pressure on family, and one' work environment. These are some of the main controversial problems that have entered the public arena and have generated much attention in the media in the last decades. The two issues are more of moral and mental rather than health issues, since they have disintegrated the values and norms in the society (Dawson, 2004; Carnes and Adams, 2002). Eventually, the issues are currently more discussed by Christians among other religious confessions in relation to bringing morality back in the society. The two have close relationships as some researchers claim that the main cause of sex addiction is pornography addiction. This paper is aimed at exploring the two issues in the context of modern society. This will also include looking for some of the ways that can be used to remedy the society and restore moral consciousness.

Pornography

Pornography is a creative activity of no literary or artistic value other than arousing an individual. Through the internet, pornography has become available to the general public any time and anywhere. An individual only needs a couple of clicks to watch the explicit pornographic materials. As a result, it is becoming more popular in the world regardless age and religious views., The issue becomes more crucial in marriages where one of the parties becomes a sex addict (Katehakis, 2010). This can be seen from the case of a couple where the wife used to go to bed and the husband stayed awake playing computer games. As a matter of fact, computer games were just the matter to stay awake longer, while the real reason was downloading and watching pornographic materials. Eventually, the husband developed dissatisfaction from his wife and their sex life. Therefore, he resorted to having sex affairs outside the marriage, which finally broke the relationship. According to psychologists, pornography is easily remembered and performed continuously in the mind. This often leads to pornography addiction as the victims want to see more of the images and other sex-related activities. When it comes to the real life of an individual, this becomes a disorder termed as sexual addiction. Psychologists put it clear that the images in mind will have an impact on the real life of an individual; here a parallel can be drawn with an individual who thinks to steal as the only way of satisfying his immediate needs (Collins and Adleman, 2011). The chances of this individual engaging in theft are inevitable. Same can be thought regarding pornography because the images in mind will compel an individual to get them into practice; thus, eventually becoming a sex addict.

Effects of Pornography

One of the main effects of pornography is that it corrupts the people who view it. This often leads them to deviant behavior such as rape of children and violence against women and others. In the modern society, cases of rape, gang rapes and other sexually deviant behaviors have become increasing with pornography being one of the main causes (Kingston and Firestone, 2008). It is more common for people who lack self-control or people whose immediate environment does not provide sexual satisfaction.

Pornography also affects relationships through distrust of a partner. According to recent studies, many of pornographic addicts develop aggressive behavior as well as to engage in deviant behaviors such as multiple affairs. Currently, multiple affairs are one of the main challenges in marriages with men being the most affected. Pornography addicts eventually become sexual addicts which leads to sexual affairs outside the marriage and results in breaking the relationship (Collins and Adleman, 2011). In case such families have children, the latter face psychological challenge whereby they are forced to leave without one of the parents.

Pornography in most cases involves individuals who are out of their own self-control. Most of the actors are usually under the influence of drugs and other substances that make them act in a way they would not be able to under normal conditions. This, additionally, becomes a challenge to the viewers because they feel weaker than the actors, thus, develop the inferiority complex and lowered self-esteem (Earle and Laaser, 2002). Some of them may resort to unhealthy practices such as the use of sex stimulants so that they can become sexually aggressive like the pornographic actors they have seen.

Therefore, pornography has disintegrated morals in the society since sex traditionally was associated with privacy. Adult video performers are after making money or finding means of earning a living; thus, they will not find it difficult to engage in public sexual practices (Collins and Adleman, 2011). This has made sexuality gain a different meaning in the society since it has been publicized. The effect of X-rated movies to the younger generation cannot be underestimated. Wrong understanding of sexuality, children under the age of 12 engaging in sexual practices, illegal activities in the society such as drug consumption among others result from the negative impact of pornography (Carnes and Adams, 2002).

Pornography at a Global Level

Since most of the pornographic materials are accessed through the internet, they are available in almost all nations in the world. In many countries selling pornographic materials is a criminal activity punishable by law. This, however, is still a challenge, since what the internet content is not easy to control (Dawson, 2004). The social media has also become a key player in promoting pornographic materials, especially through the chats; teenagers here represent the biggest risk group as the most active social networks users. It is also evident that, in many countries, sexual exploitation of children under either 21 or 18 years is a criminal activity. This means that they should not be involved in any pornographic acting; however, on the internet, we see that children pornography is on the increase (Collins and Adleman, 2011)). Therefore, pornography is a global challenge that has made it difficult for courts to develop clear guidelines on how to prosecute victims of the same. It is likely that in the nearby future pornography will become part and parcel of all the cultures in the world.

Sex Addiction

Sex addiction is defined as sexually-related behavior intervening with the regular way of life of an individual and causing stress on loved ones, family and one' working environment. Some scholars have used sexual dependency and sexual compulsivity as terms regarding sexual addiction. Sex addiction is an epidemic affecting almost 10 percent of the population with men being the majority (Katehakis, 2010). As mentioned above, the main cause of sex addiction is pornography; thus, the two terms are closely related to each other. Sex addiction becomes explicitly evident in cases where the addicts make sex a priority more important than friends, work and their families. They reach a level where they are ready to sacrifice all they have for sexual satisfaction. (Carnes and Adams, 2002). The is also evident for married individuals who have engaged in multiple affairs since they will always be finding ways of finding time to meet their partners in privacy, which eventually makes them attach less significance to other activities and issues such as work and family.

Research has shown that most of the sex addicts begin with online sex through the online sex chats. Thus, intrusive thoughts start reflecting their offline behavior and, as the Dr. Al Cooper put, the online sexual behavior becomes the "crack cocaine" of sexual compulsivity (Dawson, 2004). As many people can testify, sex addiction exists, but to many, it is complex and not easily defined. Sex has been there since time immemorial; thus, the only addition to it is an addiction. Many people would argue that sex addiction is not a new concept, but in the modern world where technology is the leader, sex addiction has taken a deeper meaning. The main answer to the problem is the internet that has made sex accessible within relative anonymity.

Apart from pornography, there is a number of behaviors that often lead to sex addiction. These behaviors include chat lines, web sex, rape, prostitution, partner sex, sex cinemas, child pornography, exhibitionism and multiple affairs among others (Earle and Laaser, 2002). All the latter behaviors can become addictive; however, they are not the real problems as the problem is the relationship to the behavior. The absolute criterion of sex addiction problem is when one finds it hard to stop doing any of the behaviors identified. Therefore, when it comes to understanding the real problem, pornography is not the case; the problem is the relationship to pornography. The same case with alcohol whereby alcohol is not a problem, but the problem termed as alcohol addiction is the relationship of an individual to alcohol. Generally, addiction is a condition of the brain that challenges control.

Sexuality in the context of modern society seems to have no definition. Normal sexuality was held by some virtues and norms in the society, but as the culture went through different changes over the years, the virtues and norms have been disintegrated. Some traditional perceptions of sexuality such as commitment have been skewed. Research also shows that many of sex addicts come from families that were abusive and dysfunctional. This indicates that with time, sexual addiction will, probably, arise to the main problem in the society.

Sexual addiction often results to risk taking such that the victims engage in sexual activity without estimating its at the negative sides. Consequently, in most cases, the outcomes of sexual addiction are negative since the whole life of the individual is usually affected. They are not in a position to make rational decisions about their sexuality as they become risk takers. This often makes it hard for them to survive and manage relationships (Collins and Adleman, 2011). Their social life also becomes corrupt besides being hurt emotionally and physically.

Effects of Sex Addiction

Sex addiction affects every part of an individual' life. Although secrecy may seem to be a mechanism of protection, it will not work forever in perpetuating the behavior. One of the effects that victims undergo is financial difficulties since many of them end up spending more than they can afford, for instance, in downloading movies and pornographic materials from the internet. The condition becomes worse when they have to deny themselves some basic needs so that they can save money to get pornographic materials or satisfy their sexual desires (Carnes and Adams, 2002). Others also end up facing work problems which may lead to lose of job or own business.

A significant number is exposed sexuality transmitted infections (STIs) and depression. Engagement in sexually deviant behaviors such as homosexuality and multiple affairs favors STIs. Some of the STIs such as AIDS and gonorrhea are very painful and bear the huge negative impact on the lives of individuals. These are some conditions that have forced some to commit suicide while others are forced to live out of marriage as their partners lose interest in them. Escalation can also result in physical dysfunction such as erectile and ejaculatory problems besides changes in sexual tastes (Collins and Adleman, 2011). This becomes a challenge more so in marriages since one of the couples will not be satisfied sexually and may be compelled to seek satisfaction outside the marriage.

The minds of individuals also become corrupt, which makes them easily to engage in sexually deviant behaviors. Some of them end up in rape cases, masturbation, homosexuality and others behaviors that are not accepted in the society (Kingston and Firestone, 2008). A number of them become victims of low self-esteem. Undoubtedly, all of the above create a challenge in the relationship, eventually leading to breakups.

How to Overcome Pornography and Sex Addiction

Sex and pornography addiction may be difficult to overcome since the patients have to make decisions to be helped or guided by experts. This becomes a problem since many of the victims do not confess all that they do as they find some things such as masturbation private. Medical practitioners have developed different ways of tackling sexual addiction issue; however, there are some that are widely accepted. One of the widely accepted ways is the victim admitting to the problem. Although there may be marital, societal or professional consequences to the same, admission should be done by all manner of means (Collins and Adleman, 2011). Many of the victims fear to seek help due to the consequences, however, the fact remains that, without admission, the problem cannot be solved amicably.

Since sexual addiction has been acknowledged as an epidemic in our culture, there are many resources available that are aimed at providing information, support and assistance to sexual addicts trying to regain their normal course of life (Carnes and Adams, 2002). The treatment includes various inpatient programs, outpatient programs, after care support programs and self-help groups aimed at addressing the problem. The challenge faced in the treatment process is that many of the victims fail to voice their difficulties (Earle and Laaser, 2002). Some of them only express the common problems, concealing more serious ones such as masturbation and homosexuality among others.

Christian View on Pornography and Sex Education

Many Christians testify that pornography, lust and fantasy have become devastating in their marriages. Statistics show that 50 percent of Christian men have reported problems with pornography. According to Christian leaders, it is only through the scriptures that Christians can overcome issues of pornography and lust. One of the scriptures is from 1 Corinthians 10:13 reads "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (Earle and Laaser, 2002). They associate sex addiction with temptations which the highest has given the power to overcome through faith.

Therefore, Christian leaders have begun educating their followers on sexuality through different groups and programs, so as to eliminate wrong understanding of sexuality which leads to such social threats like sex addiction and pornography (Weiss, 2011). To that effect, different Christian books have also been published.

Conclusion

Pornography and sex addiction are two challenging issues in the society and the world at large. Cultural changes led to the violation of social norms and values. Technology, more so the internet, add to the promotion of pornography in both developed and developing economies. The viewers consider pornography a means to deal with thoughts of sex. Unfortunately, this makes individuals put into practice what they have in mind; thus, eventually become sex addicts (Carnes and Adams, 2002). Different religions and of significance Christianity, have condemned pornography and sex addiction. Apparently, in order to have a better society, long-lasting solutions to these issues have to be developed.