Readers’ Forum: Pornography, the unstoppable plague ravaging society

Pornography can be dangerous to both users and those connected with users. (Screenshot from LDS Pornography Video)

When someone says the word “plague,” one may think of the prevalent COVID-19. With more than six million dead, it has affected all in some way and has been on everyone’s minds far too often. However, there is another plague which is less discussed but is ravaging society as well. One that is as damaging, if not more, than COVID-19: pornography.

The growth of pornography is incredible as it becomes more accepted and people become more desensitized and try to justify it. We need to fight against this by revealing it as the vile thing it is rather than turning it into something normal.

Pornography can be dangerous to both users and those connected with users. Pornography use is linked to poor mental health and lower quality of life among adults as well as lower life satisfaction and self-esteem, and more symptoms of depression among adolescents. People tend to lose self-worth as they feel the need to hide and conceal their actions. It is highly addictive and is thus often referred to as the new or rising drug. It is also accessible that “90% of teens have viewed porn online” and 65% of young adult men use it at least once a week, according to Hartford Healthcare. Too many people are suffering from the effects of pornography.

Usage can negatively impact relationships. People tend to hide pornography from those they love, destroying trust.

Despite the damage pornography does, I have seen this nation’s general attitude toward it shift as I have grown up. It is now treated as something normal rather than avoided as it becomes more mainstream. Eighty-six percent of students at one college go so far as to say that “porn can educate people, and 72% said it provides a harmless outlet for fantasies,” according to the American Psychology Association. This scares me.

As I studied more, I found that others think porn fosters a healthier attitude towards sex, improves relationships and decreases stress. Although pornography may make sex seem more normal, is the distorted image of love and sex which is propagated healthy? No. Rather, it creates unrealistic expectations and perverted fantasies which decrease self-esteem and damage trust, which is fundamental for a healthy relationship. People may feel pornography decreases stress but it will only increase anxiety in the long term. The supposed benefits of pornography usage are overwhelmed by the amount of damage pornography does to relationships and individuals.

Pornography is a dangerous disease ravaging society and yet, it continues to grow as people are desensitized to it. Just as we are using all of our resources to fight COVID-19, we need to become more educated and fight the stigma that pornography is a normal part of a healthy person’s life. It is destroying relationships, causing mental issues and is morally wrong.

-Levi Kraus

Fort Collins, Colorado

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