Here are the facts:
Young people are more accepting of pornography than ever before.
This isn’t us talking. This is directly from the Barna Group, who recently published an exhaustive report on porn and attitudes about it. They surveyed over 3000 people, and the results are astonishing. Here are just a few of the eye-opening stats they collected about teenagers and young adults when it comes to porn:
Younger adults and teens are more likely than older adults to use porn for boredom, curiosity and fun.
When they talk about porn with friends, 89% of teens, and 95% of young adults say they do so in a neutral, accepting, or encouraging way. That is, only one in 20 young adults and one in 10 teens say their friends think viewing pornography is a bad thing.
32% say viewing porn is “usually or always wrong” compared to 56% who say not recycling is “usually or always wrong.”
The report also notes that pornographic activity is progressively moving more and more into the digital world.
71% of adults, 85% of teens and young adults who have viewed pornography did so using online videos.
Worse yet: porn is out there whether your kids are looking for it or not:
Nearly half of young adults say they come across porn at least once a week—even when they aren’t seeking it out.
Nearly three-quarters of young adults (71%) and half of teens (50%) come across what they consider to be porn at least once a month, whether they are seeking it or not.
What can you do about this?
For starters, you can make your home a safe place to be online with the help of XXXchurch and Circle. Circle is a brilliant new way for families to manage content and time across all devices, letting parents filter content, as well as limit screen time and set a bedtime for every device.
You also need to be having plenty of age-appropriate conversations with your child about porn and sex. If you’re stumped about how to do this, we suggest this handy ebook, Touchy Subjects: Talking To Your Kids About Sex, Tech, and Social Media in a Touchscreen World. It’s easy to read, approachable, and down-to-earth.
The Barna Group’s survey wasn’t entirely about kids, by the way. They also had a lot to say about pastors:
Most pastors (57%) and youth pastors (64%) admit they have struggled with porn, either currently or in the past.
Overall, 21% of youth pastors and 14% of pastors admit they currently struggle with using porn.
About 12% of youth pastors and 5% of pastors say they are addicted to porn.
87% of pastors who use porn feel a great sense of shame about it.
55% of pastors who use porn say they live in constant fear of being discovered.
The vast majority of faith leaders who struggle with porn say this has significantly affected their ministry in a negative manner. It is not clear why, but youth pastors are twice as likely as pastors to report this kind of unfavorable impact.
Only 8% of pastors think that a pastor should resign his/her position if s/he is struggling with porn. Most pastors think s/he should deal with the struggle through counseling or accountability. In contrast, 41% of adult Christians think that pastors should be fired or asked to resign if they are found to be using porn. Younger Christians are more likely to take a grace-filled approach.
If you’re in the ministry and any of these points resonate with you, please consider turning to My Pilgrimage for help.
This is a completely new way of thinking about porn and about how to leave it behind for good. And there’s a special version just for pastors. It’s confidential, it’s discreet, and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever tried before, so go here to learn more.
Oh, and one last thing we noticed while reading over this report:
93% of pastors and 94% of youth pastors say [porn] is a much bigger or somewhat bigger problem than it was in the past.
Despite the awareness of the problem, most churches do not have programs specifically designed to assist those struggling with porn use.
If that’s you or your church, then we invite you to visit us at XXXchurch.com. We’ve been helping churches deal with porn issues since 2002 and we have tons of resources for individuals and small groups that can help you help those in your church who need freedom from this ever-growing struggle. Young or old, men or women, pastor or parishioner – porn affects everyone.