by Heather Zeiger. Reprinted with permission from Salvo Magazine, www.salvomag.com.

Pornography is 35 percent of all downloads on the Internet. One popular porn website receives 64 million visitors each day, the equivalent of 729 visitors every second. In 2016, humans watched 92 billion videos from this site, an average of 12.5 videos per person on earth. This adds up to 4.6 billion hours of pornography watched in a single year, or more than 5,000 centuries’ worth of pornographic footage.

The vast majority of the footage shows male aggression toward females in the forms of physical violence and abusive language. Women in their 20s often portray teenage girls in these films, and, sadly, actual children are often featured in porn videos.

Economics of Clicking on Porn

  • Globally, pornography is estimated to be a $97 billion/per year industry.
  • The U.S. accounts for $12 billion of that total.
  • Child pornography is a $3 billion per year industry.

Prevalence of Porn in U.S.

  • Men: 81% of teenage and young adult men have looked at porn, and 67% do so monthly. 65% of men over 25 have looked for porn, and 47% seek it out monthly.
  • Women: 56% of women under age 25 have looked for porn, with 33% doing so monthly. 27% of women over age 25 have looked for porn, 12% monthly.
  • Internet exposure: 71% of young adults say they come across porn on the Internet at least once a month, even if they are not looking for it, and almost 50% say this happens weekly.
  • Messages: 62% of teens and young adults have received a sexually explicit image, and 41% of this age group have sent one.

Moral Views on Porn in U.S.

  • According to a 2017 Gallup poll, 36% of people find pornography morally acceptable.
    According to a Barna study, only 32% of teens and young adults, say viewing porn is usually or always wrong.
  • A 2015 Gallup poll found that 43% of men thought viewing pornography was morally acceptable, but only 25% of women thought so.

Violence and Escalation

  • Child porn: According to the FBI, one website on the Tor server (used for anonymity) had 1.3 million images depicting children subjected to violent sexual abuse. Another child porn site was found to have 200,000 registered users. This site was accessed 100,000 times during one 12-day period.
  • Abuse of women: In a 2010 study of 50 popular pornography videos, 88% of the scenes contained physical violence and 49% contained verbal aggression. Shockingly, 95% of the victims (mainly women) appeared to have either a neutral or a positive response to the abuse.
  • 36% of young adults watch pornography for tips on things to try in their own sexual relationships.
  • Escalation to more extreme material: In one study, 49% of men who used pornography regularly reported looking at material that they previously either had no interest in or had found disgusting.

Sexual Dysfunction

Prior to 2006, erectile dysfunction in men under age 40 was rare. However, several studies show that since 2006, when pornography became widely available online, erectile dysfunction has increased significantly, including in men as young as 18. Such studies indicate that addiction to Internet pornography has the same neurological indicators as drug addiction. Pornography addiction strongly correlates with sexual dysfunction.

Individuals who stopped using pornography as part of their treatment for pornography addiction often found that their sexual dysfunction went away as well.

A 2014 survey at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, primarily among military personnel, studied the incidence of pornography-induced sexual dysfunction among people aged 20 to 40. Based on responses from 314 men and 48 women, the study found:

  • 81% of men viewed pornography at least some of the time.
  • 27% of men experienced sexual dysfunction.
  • 22% of men who preferred intercourse to pornography had some sexual dysfunction.
  • 31% of men who used pornography with intercourse reported dysfunction.
  • 79% of men who preferred masturbation with pornography reported having sexual dysfunction.
  • 38% of women viewed pornography at least some of the time.
  • 52% of women experienced sexual dysfunction, although no significant correlation was found between their dysfunction and pornography use.

Pornography is pervasive in our culture, and that, even though some say it is a personal choice, porn has devastating consequences for society.