Yes, It Is

face-shocked“Porn.  Is it a problem for women?”

That’s the question my friend Libby posed as we searched for a workshop topic.  It didn’t take me long to respond, “Yes.  Why wouldn’t it be?”

We had our topic.  We also had our work cut out for us.

When I first asked my boss about resources for women dealing with porn– I didn’t want to google “women+porn”–he asked, “Are you sure that’s worth your time?  I don’t think it’s a problem for women.”  I convinced him there was good evidence to believe it is.  He put me in contact with a psychologist specializing in men’s pornography addictions.  This new contact doused the workshop idea with doubt.

We  created a survey for Christian women about pornography, their involvement with it, things that contribute to it, and resources they have to deal with it or to help others deal with it.  Our survey, a decidedly unscientific and improvable instrument, backed up our hunches.  Finding more information at that time was difficult but not impossible.

What did we learn?  Women struggle with porn addictions.  Christian women are not exempt.  Most of the resources available are designed for men.  Scant but growing support for women exists.

Since our original workshop I’ve updated and shared the presentation a number of times within the missions’ community.  Last night as I shared what I’ve learned with a group of ladies from my mom’s church, I realized the resources I’ve found need to be in a single, accessible place. These helpful websites now reside as links on a tab here.

My area of expertise is lies elsewhere, but I know this is important.  I don’t want those who struggle to think there is no hope.  If you know someone who needs these resources, help her.

photo courtesy of brainloc

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7 Responses to “Yes, It Is”

  1. Ginger HuntAugust 30, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    My dear Sheryl,
    Thank you for addressing a topic that most would never consider. In the same way we used to say silly things like, “Well, divorce isn’t a problem for Christians,” it’s time to realize that whatever is going on in the secular world also exists in our churches. And it’s a big mistake to ignore it- it won’t go away that way.
    As always, I send my love.
    Ginger
    p.s. Started school today. 61 kids, grades K-3 . I am still alive, but just barely!

  2. TirzahAugust 31, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    I have a book for you…more of an icebreaker but I have an idea to go with it.

  3. SherylAugust 31, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    Tirzah—I’ll look forward to seeing you and the book! Thanks for looking out for me!

    Ginger—You really are superwoman! Still alive is admirable. Thanks for the encouragement to press on with a topic many would like to ignore. You’re the best!

  4. Annie SkilesSeptember 1, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    It’s a very pertinent topic! Good job on addressing it! It’s not something many people like to address. A good resource for both men and women is a book called: Pornified: how pornography is ruining our lives, families, and culture. (I think that is the second part to the title). Other books that may be a resource on how girls struggle with image is: Prude, Female Chauvinist B*****, and the Lolita Effect. It is really quite scary to see what kids are exposed to and to see how they handle it. As a teacher, these books can show what and how to deal with the kids you see in class.

  5. SherylSeptember 1, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    Thanks for the affirmation, Annie! Thanks, too, for the book suggestions. I’ll definitely check them out.

  6. RobertSeptember 4, 2010 at 5:22 am #

    Here are some stats to support your hunch: “In the first three months of 2007, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, approximately one in three visitors to adult entertainment Web sites was female; during the same period, nearly 13 million American women were checking out porn online at least once each month.” (Found it on CNN)
    I’ve also read several articles over the past few years that provided surprisingly high statistics (at least I was surprised). I’m not sure why your psychologist contact didn’t know this information, since it’s been out there for years.

  7. SherylSeptember 4, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    Thanks, Robert! I’ve found a lot of other sources that corroborate this information. The last few years have been an eye opening dive into this research. My hunch has been more than supported.

    As far as the psychologist contact goes—my hunch is he is so focused on men and their pornography addictions and the havoc it causes in their families that he hasn’t lifted his eyes to see women and their involvement. Just a hunch.

    Thanks again for another resource!

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