Pornography

What’s Wrong With Me

On Thursday, I was asked to write a blog post for a church in Madison, WI bringing awareness to the issue of pornography and masturbation for women. Original post at http://madisonalliancechurch.org/blog/whats-wrong-with-me/.

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What’s Wrong With Me

Growing up in my church’s youth group I remember dreading February. Those of you who grew up attending a church youth group know what I’m talking about. Naturally, Valentine’s Day makes February the sex and relationship month.

The routine never changes. After the youth minister introduces the topic one Sunday in a co-ed message, there are a few weeks, and maybe even a weekend retreat, in which the girls and guys go their separate ways and discuss topics that are more relevant to their individual genders.

In other words, guys talk about pornography and masturbation and girls talk about body-image, eating disorders, and self-harm.

Year after year, I attended these purity retreats and year after year I knew that they wouldn’t apply to me.

The issues that “most” girls struggled with weren’t my issues. My issues were being discussed somewhere else- in another room, at another retreat center.

Yup, you guessed it- I was a preteen girl drowning in a porn addiction and the shame, guilt, and confusion it brought along with it.

Somehow, both our society and the Church has managed to normalize the use of porn and masturbation for guys, but don’t acknowledge it as a serious issue for girls.

This idea is usually based on the assumptions that females are less sexual and not as visual as their male counterparts. These ideas can have drastic effects on girls struggling with sexual addiction, including increased shame and gender confusion. In other words, you end up with a lot of girls wondering what is wrong with them. They feel alone and isolated.

The average age a child first sees pornography is 10 years old. Statistics tell us that 1 in 3 viewers of online pornography are female. We, as the Church, have some work to do regarding how we view girls and women and their sexuality. How are you going to educate yourself and change your thinking on this important issue? How is the Church going to respond?

I have started a project dealing with issues of sexuality, including pornography and masturbation, but also just to explore what it means that we are all sexual beings. We need to redefine sexuality and view it in a more holistic way. Check it out at simplysexuality.wordpress.com.

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7 thoughts on “What’s Wrong With Me

  1. You’ve challenged my thinking in this post. I have always believed there were a few girls off on the fringes that were into porn in a visual way. But, I didn’t think it could really be that many. It seemed like all the girls were the porn stars trying to GET the attention–not GIVING it. You’re stat about 1 in 3 is really a shock. Is that true? Where did you get that stat? I need to see it to believe it! I’ve been thinking about talking with “the guys” in my life about porn but I didn’t really believe that maybe the girls could also use a talk. Hmmm…. going to have to do some thinking about this. Thanks for the awareness!

    • Honestly, I googled porn statistics and came up with a bunch of different percentages and ratios that were all around 1/3. One of the sites I found had lots of stats (http://familysafemedia.com/pornography_statistics.html#anchor6) so feel free to peruse them! The hard part with porn stats is that they become outdated so quickly because of technology, so even that page is from 2006 which makes me wonder what the stat would be nowadays.

      I think it’s interesting that you said, “It seemed like all the girls were the porn stars trying to GET the attention–not GIVING it.” It seemed like a pretty even split of the attention for me, between the male and female porn stars. That’s probably because at that point in my life I had developed an attraction for women as well as men. It also probably depends on the types of porn one watches. Just a thought.

      If you ever talk about porn with the guys and/or girls in your life, I’d be interested in hearing how you go about it!

      • I would love to share how I’ve been going about talking to people about my addiction. I think that might make a great post because there might be others who would like to “come out” to their friends but just aren’t sure how. I think I’ll post that shortly. Thanks for the idea!!

      • Yes! I’ve had the opportunity to speak on the subject at a few different youth groups/youth summer programs, but I’m always interested in how others go about it!

      • Thank you for those links. They were very interesting. Someday I’m going to write a book. Maybe you could help me with a chapter I’m thinking about which I think should be about a woman’s view of porn. I’m sure you’ve got a lot you could contribute to something like that. Thank you for your support. This has been so helpful. I wanted to let you know I’ve created my “Who Am I” page. I was afraid to expose my identity, but now I’ve taken the plunge so stop by and let me introduce myself to you!

      • That’s awesome. I would love to contribute to your book! God put it on my heart a few years ago to start sharing my story, so I’m just trying to follow the things he sets before me everyday and step into the opportunities he gives me. I will definitely stop by your “Who Am I” page!

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