A new study from the Barna Group reveals that an increasing number of teens and older adults in America are using pornography because it is less risky than actual sex (Paul Bedard, “Study: Teens, Adults Opting for Porn, ‘Less Risky Than Actually Having Sex,” Washington Examiner, Jan. 27, 2016).
And most U.S. teens are “sexting”—sending explicit images to each other: “62% of teens and young adults have received a sexually explicit image and 41% have sent one (usually from/to their boy/girlfriend or friend).”
The study, titled “The Porn Phenomenon,” is “a comprehensive look at who uses porn, how they use it and why.” The study concluded that “the older the people are, the more immoral they view porn. But for teens, it amounts to a shoulder shrug … Most teens believe that not recycling garbage is more of a moral crime than porn, said the study. It explained, ‘32 percent say viewing porn is ‘usually or always wrong’ compared to 56 percent who say not recycling is ‘usually or always wrong’” (ibid). It seems the environmental movement has succeeded in its aims of shaping the conscience of the next generation, while biblical morality is disappearing. The study also concluded that “while older Americans believe porn is bad, younger Americans ‘believe it is good.’” And “only a small minority of adults who use porn report much ‘guilt’ about porn” (David Kinnaman, “The Porn Phenomenon,” Barna.org, Jan. 19, 2016).
Other major findings concern women using pornography becoming more common—particularly younger women: “More than half of women 25 and under ever seek out porn (56% versus 27% among women 25-plus) and one-third seek it out at least monthly.” Still, male use remains higher: “Among teen and young adult men, 81% ever seek it out and 67% at least monthly. Among men ages 25-plus, the comp[arison]s are 65% and 47” (ibid).
Jesus plainly stated that looking at someone who is not your spouse with lust is to commit adultery in your heart—a terrible problem that must be rooted out lest it ultimately destroy a person (Matthew 5:27-30 Matthew 5:27-30 27 You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery:
28 But I say to you, That whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.
29 And if your right eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you: for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into hell.
30 And if your right hand offend you, cut it off, and cast it from you: for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into hell.
American King James Version×). As with all sin, people need to repent, seeking God’s forgiveness and help to overcome such problems.
For a proper understanding of human sexuality, we encourage you to send for or download our free study guide Marriage and Family: The Missing Dimension . (Sources: Washington Examiner, Barna.org).