BYU Unraveling Pornography Club teaches students to rise above addiction

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Leadership members from Unraveling Porngrphy club meet.
Leadership from the BYU Unraveling Pornography Club meet to discuss the agenda for this semester’s events. (Brian Peine)

BYU’s Unraveling Pornography Club strives to help BYU students and their loved ones overcome pornography addiction.

Unraveling Pornography is an anti-pornography group that began in 2010, which was around the same time the movement Fight the New Drug started.

The club has similar themes as Fight the New Drug, but its main goal is to stop BYU students from perpetuating the idea that there is no such thing as a pornography problem in the BYU community.

2017 Unraveling Pornography Club President Andrea Rane said the purpose of the club is to try and create social change and make people realize pornography addiction should not be a hidden thing; it is real and it is out there.

Fight the New Drug aims to build healthy relationships between partners as they overcome pornographic addiction. The Unraveling Pornography Club also has this same motive to help build stronger relationships with loved ones struggling with the addiction.

“People will come to the events and learn skills and information to help them have conversations to those who have the problem,” Rane said. “We have discussion groups to teach them how to talk about pornography in dating relationships and be able to have a curriculum with their friends.”

Rane said she believes being able to talk with loved ones about addiction is healthy.

The club has activities once a month with speakers who teach how to have discussions with friends in certain scenarios, such as imagining being in their situation, knowing when is the right time to talk and considering how to bring up the topic.

2016 club president Rachel Denton focused on giving a survey once a month to hundreds of BYU students to find out what questions they had about pornography.

“Immediately, responses began to pour in,” Denton said. “We sorted all the questions and from there, decided what the topics of our education week would be.”

Over 500 students attended the club’s Pornography Education Week in Nov. 2016 to hear speakers such as Co-founder of Fight The New Drug Clay Olsen. The club aims to continue this week of events every year.

Another speaker during the 2016 week was the Executive Director of the Utah Coalition Against Pornography Vauna Davis. The coalition is another group seeking to educate the community about the impact of pornography and solutions for the epidemic.

“The goal is to educate the public of the harms and solutions of pornography,” Davis said. “The organizations and leaders come together to network how to make a bigger impact on helping society with the problem.”

Another way the BYU community tries to fight pornography addiction is through Snapchat. Former Unraveling Pornography Club President Malissa Richardson started a petition called #NoThanksSnapchat in 2016.

Her goal was to do something about the inappropriate content users viewed every day in the featured section on Snapchat.

Petitions like Richardson’s encouraged Snapchat to change its policy in Jan. 2017. According to the policy, Snapchat can only post content that is appropriate for audiences as young as age 13, but the policy has not been enforced yet.

“Pornographic content is still available, and I’ve been working on finding out why,” Richardson said. “It will be a process, but it’s important not to give up on doing what’s right.”

Richardson said she believes it is irresponsible of Snapchat to expose sexual content on the app, especially to minors.

More information about the Unraveling Pornography Club can be found on the group’s Facebook page.

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