Providing a Catholic framework on the truth and meaning of sexuality, love, and family

The Perils of Pornography

Chances are you’ve encountered pornography either on the internet, on your phone, or from friends. Maybe you’ve thought that it’s not a big deal because it’s not something you do with others. However, as you learned in Family Honor, our bodies speak a language. We are called to love others as Christ loved- freely, fully, fruitfully, faithfully, and forever. When any of these aspects are missing, it is not true love and hearts are broken. Pornography separates the language of sexual intimacy from the Sacrament of Marriage and trains the individual using it to expect gratification without sacrifice.

C.S. Lewis explained that trying to isolate the pleasure of sexual intimacy outside of the Sacrament of Marriage—as pornography does—is like trying to “get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out again” (Mere Christianity). Just like chewing food and spitting it out will leave us hungry and unsatisfied, training our minds and hearts to expect sexual gratification instantly and outside of the Sacrament of Marriage will leave us emotionally and spiritually starved and dissatisfied.

Pornography affects both guys and girls and it’s not just about looking at images. Those seeking attention and affirmation can turn to providing images of themselves—perhaps you have friends who have gotten involved in sexting or uploading pictures of themselves to the internet. If you encounter this, tell your parents! The consequences of getting caught up in using or providing pornography are far reaching, and you don’t have to deal with it on your own.

In addition to images, girls especially can get caught up in books or movies that equate sexuality with love. Maybe you’ve encountered books that give graphic descriptions of the character’s relationships, or movies that have characters jumping into bed with each other on the first date. As you watch and read, be sure to ask yourself, “is this Christ-like love?” “Is this honoring the Sacrament of Marriage?” “Are the characters striving for virtue?” These ideas will shape your relationships. To set yourself up for healthy, holy and happy relationships, be sure to surround yourself with good models in real life and in your entertainment.

Listen to an explanation of why pornography is not a victimless crime:

Jason Evert explains “Porn: What’s the Harm”:!

Jason Evert explains the effect of pornography on the brain:

We need God’s grace to resist temptation and increase virtue in our lives. Frequenting the Sacrament of Confession makes God’s forgiveness a reality in our lives and gives us the grace to avoid sin in the future. Receiving the Eucharist at Mass every Sunday—and other days if we can—nourishes us with Christ’s body and blood. The temptations the world offers can seem overwhelming, but be confident that Christ gives us all the tools we need to avoid sin and resist temptation in our journey to heaven.

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