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Women and Porn

Women and Porn

If you think men are the only ones who are addicted, think again.

For years I've heard the stereotype that pornography is only an issue for men. Church accountability groups and sermons on the dangers of pornography have long been directed at men, while it's been assumed that women don't deal with those types of issues.

But research is starting to show that pornography isn't only a man's problem. Marnie Ferree, a licensed marriage and family therapist, is a former sex addict and director of Bethesda Workshops, a organization that offers faith-based clinical intensive treatment for sexual addiction and co-addiction. In a recent online article, "Women Struggle, Too (with Sexual Addiction)," she suggests that "one-third of sex addicts are women, and eventual information will reveal women comprise nearly one-half of those who are sexually addicted."

But even with these new findings, women struggling with pornography still seems to be news to us. A subject that used to be "a guy thing" is trapping hundreds of women into a mentality that says, I am alone and abnormal, an outcast. "The enormous shame that surrounds sexual sin is experienced exponentially by female strugglers," writes Ferree. Few women are willing to risk the possible judgment …"

Katie (not her real name) first started looking into this issue five years ago when she confessed to her college women's Bible study that she'd been struggling with an addiction to internet pornography. God had been speaking to her for several years, saying, Tell someone. Just tell someone about it, Katie. Before she confessed she was totally trapped in the lie that this was too secret, too personal ever to share with anyone. She'd never heard a woman speak about an addiction to internet pornography, and when she finally did decide to confess—it was a sermon specifically directed to the men in the congregation that moved her to action. Thankfully, God moves in many ways to restore us to himself.

Katie's specific struggle was not unique, especially for her age group. Ferree reports that

A growing number of women are looking online at the more traditional kind of pornography. Generally speaking, most women who choose visual material are younger females, ages 18–34. This generation was raised in a media-saturated culture and is more accustomed to visual stimuli. Advances in neuroscience indicate that our media-driven culture is literally altering the human brain—and not just men's. Today's young women seem equally visually oriented. It is no surprise, then, that females are drawn to pornographic pictures.

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From Issue:
Today's Christian Woman, 2010, February
Posted February 10, 2010

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