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30 DAY PORN FREE CHALLENGE

30 DAYS OF ADVICE TO HELP YOU STAY PORN FREE

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How Porn Dehumanizes

by Mike Stonehill on August 27th, 2012 in Men

Does Porn dehumanize people? Excuse me for being blunt here but if you really have to think about this you may have assumed room temperature. I just read a story a few days ago where there were about 40 arrests made across the United States and overseas involving a child porn ring that included emails sent where they talked about kidnapping and eating children. Personally, I actually almost threw up when I read that. Am I saying that if you look at a naked woman you want to eat her? Of course I am not saying that. But do you think those involved woke up one day and just said, “ I think I want to eat a human today.” It is always a gradual decline of sin.

 Romans 1:28 says, “Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.”

 God desires us to do the opposite of that and empowers us to do that.

Titus 2:11-13 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”

 Hab. 2:15 “Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies.”

 How does God expect us to think about others? Just how important is it to God how we treat others?

     The greatest commandment-Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

 Let’s define dehumanize.  (From Wikipedia)

     Dehumanization describes efforts to mitigate one’s sense of humanity (in its most idealized form), or efforts to undermine one’s access to basic human rights. It is often accomplished by treating one like a non-human animal and can occur discursively (e.g., idiomatic language that likens certain human beings to non-human animals, verbal abuse, erasing one’s voice from discourse), symbolically (e.g., imagery), or physically (e.g., chattel slavery, physical abuse, refusing eye contact). Dehumanization also takes the form of undermining one’s individuality (i.e., the creative and interesting aspects of his or her personality), or preventing one from showing compassion towards others (a characteristic often linked to a sense of humanity).

 Dehumanization may be carried out by a social institution (such as a state, school, or family) or via an individual’s sentiments and actions. Dehumanization can be unintentional, especially on the part of individuals, as with some types of de facto racism. Other minoritized and marginalized individuals and groups (based on sexuality, gender, (dis)ability, class, or some other organizing principle) are also susceptible to various forms of dehumanization.

 I found this enlightening article on Oprah’s website. (No I don’t visit her site, I disagree with just about everything she stands for. But Google pointed me there. Curse Goggle…) Please note points 2 and 3.

     According to Rabbi Shmuley, pornography is incredibly harmful and destructive to marriages. Pornography subtlety undermines male respect for women by detaching a woman’s personality from her body, reducing her to a mere sexual commodity, he says. This in turn bores men and leads to dissatisfaction with their own wives and an inability to create a fulfilling, authentic sex life based on mutual respect for their female counterparts.

Rabbi Shmuley outlines the five main reasons why porn has a negative effect on marriages:

  1. Porn is a drug that leads to addiction. “It gives you a hit, it gives you a high that cannot be sustained unless you have massive exposure to it,” Rabbi Shmuley says. As such, he says men often consume more and more porn, which can lead to distancing themselves from their loved ones, losing their jobs, etc.
  2. Porn is a form of sexism. Women are commoditized and objectified in porn, which puts them on an unequal footing with men. Rabbi Shmuley says this leads men to regard women as subordinate. “He sees breasts and genitalia,” he says. “He sees the walking gratification of his material urges. So, he can’t relate to that woman because there’s no person—all he can do is use that woman.”
  3. Porn portrays all women in one of four degrading, dehumanizing categories. They’re either a “greedy gold-digger,” “mindless playmate,” “insatiable nymphomaniac” or “one who craves pain,” Rabbi Shmuley says. “It gives you the most insidious view of women,” he says. This can lead to an inability to form meaningful romantic relationships and even violence against women.
  4. Porn makes men get bored with their own wives. “Excessive exposure to the incredible variety of naked bodies that you see in porn makes men feel permanently dissatisfied with their wives’ bodies,” Rabbi Shmuley says.
  1. Porn cultivates a single standard of beauty that no real women can live up to. Again, Rabbi Shmuley says this leads men to be mistakenly dissatisfied with reality as it pertains to sex.

 Does porn dehumanize? Absolutely, from the “minor” degree of disrespect and devaluing, to the extreme of demonic and detestable actions. I believe mans strongest need is to know we are loved and valued. We have the ultimate fulfillment of that need in the fact that our Creator sent His Son to die for our sins so that we could experience forever the love of that same Creator. He also asks us to do our best at loving those that we are on this journey with.  Porn objectifies men and women. The act of making love is intended to be a representation of the perfect love the Father has for us. Using some nameless large breasted woman to fire up our passions for selfish gratification or misdirected marital sex is not the design. Selfless sacrificial love is the plan God has for us to interact with others. Porn does not lend itself to that. It only causes our thought process to overemphasize things that create imbalance and unhealthiness. Some will argue against this, saying it only betters their marital bed. But at best it is a cheap substitute for Gods design.

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  • Jacob

    I think this famous criticism of porn can be misleading and one-sided. I don’t think its the majority experience. There are too many stars and fan clubs to take the argument seriously.

    Secondly, porn for women does somewhat the opposite things: it makes people larger than life, explores their thoughts and feelings, creating unrealistic expectations that their husbands cannot fulfill.

  • nevarbird

    I do not like generalising porn, as it is a field built upon serving niches. There is a lot of variety on offer, and an industry dedicated to matching each viewer up with what they enjoy seeing. If someone wanted to see women abused like slaves, that is what they will find. If they want to see romance and respectful relationships, they will find that instead. An individual’s exposure to pornography reflects their own desires and search-queries.

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