FacebookTwitterYoutube

Tom Scotus

Porn, The Modern Medusa

Medusa

According to Greek mythology, everyone who looked directly at Medusa turned into stone. Her hair was comprised of writhing snakes. What a dreadful sight! Yet, it was a captivating sight. One who looked upon her could not turn away.

The graphic depiction of human sex, pornography, is a lot like that. Once one views it, it captivates one’s attention. These images are so powerful they have been artfully imbedded in magazine advertising for many years. If you don’t think viewing porn is addictive, consider these stats: Every second over $3,000 is being spent to view porn, and over 28,000 people are viewing porn online. Every 39 minutes, a new porn video is being created is the U.S. The porn industry has larger revenues than Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Yahoo, Apple and Netflix combined.

So what does porn do to the human mind? One thing it does is over stimulate it. The brain reacts to many “normal” stimuli to create interest, arousal, excitement, joy, fear, etc. The super stimulating visual effect of porn is like no other. Over time, the mind will compensate by becoming less sensitive to stimuli in general. Meeting an old friend, listening to music, holding your child, walking on the beach, smelling your favourite food, etc., will not be as “arousing” as it once was. This is the desensitizing long-term effect of viewing porn, which especially tends to numb the brain’s “finer” sensibilities. Recently, I read a magazine article written around 1970 in which the author ridiculed the belief that compulsive porn consumption leads to a life of “doldrums.” But this is exactly one of its long-term consequences.

Another major effect of porn consumption is to destroy one’s trust in human goodness. The innocent mind tends to believe in the innate goodness of others. My three-year-old boy, for example, loves to meet strangers. He smiles at everyone he meets and says, “Hi.” People usually react in a warm and joyful way. However, porn displays human nature at its worst. Porn glorifies original sin and celebrates rebellion against God. Even without the aid of religion, we simply “know” that there is something very evil about porn. This is one of the reasons it is so captivating. Evil is very seductive and alluring. What the eye sees, the brain believes. Long-term exposure to porn tends to create a distrustful, cynical, impatient, and even hateful attitude towards others.

By captivating the attention, desensitizing the mind and hardening the heart, porn, like the ancient Medusa, turns the viewer’s emotions into stone.

Experts have been studying the effects of porn on the human mind for many years. According to their research, long term porn consumption also tends to: 1) interfere with one’s ability to learn, 2) impair sexual performance, 3) create negative and false views about women and sex, 4) create a desire to “act out” what has been viewed, 5) turn one’s focus “inward,” 6) create a desire for more bizarre forms of porn, 7) impair relationship skills, 8) lead to depression, anger, feelings of alienation and apathy, 9) encourage feelings of inferiority.

Sex, as God intended it to be, is not perverse. The “marital act” is meant to be life creating, an expression of love and a symbol of unity. Holy matrimony is also a symbol of God’s covenant with the Church. God meant sex to be intensely pleasurable, a foreshadowing of the ecstasy of heaven. Porn is so evil because it takes such a wonderful thing and drags it into the gutter. God’s design for sex is about love and life; porn’s depiction of sex is about hatred and death.

If you have never viewed porn, don’t start. If you are a porn viewer, stop. If you “can’t” stop, it’s because you are addicted. Don’t give up and consider yourself a “lost cause.” Throw all your porn into the garbage. If you “can’t” stay off internet porn sites, put up filters, keep your office door open, or even cancel your internet service. It might seem impossible for you to break the porn habit. Don’t give up. Turn to God for help. Pray, pray, pray. God will do what you cannot.