The Porn Phenomenon: A Comprehensive, Ground-Breaking New Survey on Americans, the Church, and Pornography


The Porn Phenom3

Josh McDowell, David Kinnaman & Roxanne Stone

By Dan Wooding

NEW YORK, NY (ANS) – In the most comprehensive, ground-breaking, in-depth and wide-ranging study to date on pornography among the American population and the Church — research reveals a younger exposure to pornography, increased desensitization and an escalating usage of pornography.

According to a news release from Worldlink Media, these results are particularly evident among teens and young adults, who are watching porn and seeking it out more than any other generation.
“Pornography violates all relational values between the individual and self, the individual and society, the unity of our families and our moral fabric and fiber as a nation,” said Josh McDowell. “When we objectify and demean life by removing the sanctity of the human person, our future is at risk.”

 

Key Findings in the Study:

Close up on a boy with a mobile phone

Close up on a boy with a mobile phone

TEENS AND YOUNG ADULTS
* Twice as many young adults ages 25-30 first viewed pornography before puberty than did the next generation—Gen X.
* More than one quarter (27%) of young adults ages 25-30 first viewed pornography before puberty.
* This is significantly higher than the GenX cohort, of which only 13% started viewing porn before puberty.
* Teens and young adults have a cavalier attitude toward porn.
* When they talk about pornography with friends, 90% of teens, and 96% of young adults say they do so in an either neutral, accepting, or encouraging way.
* Only one in 20 young adults and one in 10 teens say their friends think viewing pornography is a bad thing.
* Teens and young adults consider “not recycling” more immoral than viewing pornography.

* Less than one-third (32%) say viewing porn is “usually or always wrong” compared to the more than half (56%) who say not recycling is “usually or always wrong”.
According to the study, young adults are watching more porn and seeking it out more than any other generation.
* Among ages 13-17: 8% daily; 18% weekly; 17% once or twice a month
* Among ages 18-24: 12% daily; 26% weekly; 19% once or twice a month
* Among ages 25-30: 8% daily; 17% weekly; 20% once or twice a month

And their friends are too:

* Half of young adults say “most” (32%) or “all” (17%) of their friends regularly look at porn. An additional 21% say about “half” their friends do.
* Nearly half of young adults say they come across porn at least once a week—even when they aren’t seeking it out.
* Whether they are seeking it out or not, 16% of young adults say they come across porn daily and 32% do so weekly; an additional 23% say they do once or twice a month.
* 8% of teens say they come across porn daily and 21% do so weekly; an additional 21% say they do so once or twice a month.
Another shocking fact that was discovered was that teenage girls and young women are significantly more likely to actively seek out porn than women over age 25.
* 33% of women, ages 13-24 seek out porn at least once a month compared to 12% of women over age 25.
Most teens are “sexting” – either on the receiving or sending end of sexually explicit images.
* 66% of teens and young adults have received a sexually explicit image and 41% have sent one (usually from/to their boy/girlfriend or friend),

PASTORS/THE CHURCH

Another fact that came out in the study was that 70% of Christian youth pastors have had at least one teen come to them for help in dealing with porn in the past 12 months.

Most often, those kids were:The Porn Phenomenon1
* High school boys (92%).
* Middle school boys (57%)
* High school girls (23%)
* Middle school girls (10%)

One shocking discovery was that 21% of youth pastors and 14% of pastors admit they “currently struggle with using porn”. The study also revealed that about 12% of Youth Pastors and 5% of Pastors say there are addicted to porn, 87% of pastors who use porn feel a great sense of shame about it, and 55% of pastors who use porn say they live in constant fear of being discovered.

GENERAL POPULATION/ALL ADULTS

Half of daily users watch porn for “fun”:
* 54% of people who actively seek out porn on a daily basis, do so because “it’s just fun.”
The study found that pornography has gone almost completely “digital”.
* 71% of adults, 85% of teens and young adults who have viewed pornography did so using online videos.
* Magazines, graphic novels, on-demand videos and cable or rented/purchased DVDs have almost completely lost the market share, with each scoring less than 10% (aside from a slightly higher percentage of 50+ adults using DVDs).

Some say, “I know it when I see it.” The study added that porn is “notoriously difficult to define”.  So, how do Americans define it? Turns out, it’s more a question of “function than form”. If it’s used for sexual arousal, it’s porn. “It’s as simple as that,” said the news release.

* When asked the question, “What makes something porn?” The top two reasons given were: ….70%: if it’s watched/listened to/or read specifically for the purpose of sexual arousal, and ….60%: if you masturbated while watching/listening to/or reading it.

The findings were announced at a news conference on Tuesday, January 19th at 10 AM Eastern time at The Omni Berkshire Hotel, 21 East 52nd Street in New York City.  A wide-ranging, nationally-representative audience of nearly 3,000 participated in four online studies, including in-depth surveys among the general population, American teenagers, Christian pastors and the Christian church.

The research study was conducted by Barna Group, a visionary research and resource company focused on the intersection of faith and culture. The study has been commissioned by Josh McDowell Ministries, a Cru ministry based in Plano, Texas.

Presenters at the news conference were: David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group (https://www.barna.org/); Roxanne Stone, editor in chief of Barna Group; and Josh McDowell, founder of Josh McDowell Ministries (http://www.josh.org/).
David Kinnaman has designed and analyzed research for Easter Seals, Habitat for Humanity, NBC Universal, the Salvation Army, Sony, the American Bible Society, World Vision, Harper Collins and many others. He has been quoted in major media outlets including USA Today, Washington Post, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and CNN.

Josh McDowell is a speaker and writer specializing in Christian thought, contemporary culture and family relationships. Since 1960, Josh has written or co-authored more than 145 books in over 100 languages including, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict — named one the twentieth century’s top 40 books and one of the thirteen most influential books of the last 50 years on Christian thought by World Magazine. Since 1961, he has delivered more than 27,000 talks to over 25,000,000 people in 125 countries.

Findings also available at: www.pornphenomenon.com.

Note: Josh McDowell says that he has become so troubled with what is going on that, in April 2016, his Josh McDowell Ministry, in partnership with Covenant Eyes, is hosting the “Set Free Global Summit” on the impact of pornography in the church. It will take place in Greensboro, NC, April 4-7, 2016, and you can get further details at their website: http://setfreesummit.org.




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