Once addiction sets in, the user has a whole new set of problems, because addiction damages the part of the brain that helps you think things through to make good choices— the brain’s limit setting system. For more than 10 years, studies have shown that drug addictions can cause the brain’s frontal lobes to start shrinking. While “frontal lobe” sounds really technical, basically it’s the part of the brain that controls logical problem solving and decision making. But recent studies have found that it’s not just drugs that cause that kind of damage—the same problems show up with other kinds of addictions, such as overeating, Internet addictions, and sexual compulsion.
The movie Don Jon, which was written, directed, and starred in by Gordon-Levitt, features a good looking macho man who has no trouble with the ladies. However, he finds that regardless of all the beautiful women that he meets, and then after getting into a relationship with his dream girl, he realizes he is severely addicted to internet porn and openly admits that real women/real sex can never compare to porn.
In an interview talking about his character in the movie and the message of the film, Gordon-Levitt said:
“Everything in Jon’s life is sort of a one-way street. He is not connecting or engaging with anyone. That goes for the women in his life… It’s an item on a checklist. He doesn’t listen; he just takes. At the beginning of the movie, he is finding that dissatisfying because there’s the sequence where he brings a young lady home from the bar and he is comparing her to this checklist that he has gotten off of what he likes to see in a pornography video. Obviously, a real human being is not going to map onto that because there is a fundamental difference between a human being and an image on a screen.”
Since the movie, Gordon-Levitt has been open about his feeling about how the media and pornography depicts people and relationships. What a boss.
FTND note: In sharing this article, it is not our intention to make the claim that behind every violent sex crime is a pornography problem.
Gold Coast Violence
A concerning new trend tracked by welfare workers at the Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence is shining a light on the increased number of women who have been raped and subjected to violence. According to community forums, the Gold Coast’s domestic violence crisis is being driven by men consumed by their interest in pornography that depicts these harmful behaviors.
This week, Centre director Di McLeod addressed more than 50 community stakeholders and detailed the shocking violence which included women being coerced into group sex and being strangled and choked. Much of the violence had occurred after women were forced to have non-consensual sex, and their injuries required them to obtain treatment in the emergency room at local hospitals.
“These levels of physical and sexual violence are bordering on and including behavior that would meet the criminal code definition of torture,” Ms McLeod told the Problem with Porn conference at Southport. “What used to be an uncommon story is now very much an everyday story involving women of varied ages and diverse backgrounds.”
56% Increase in Referrals
In the past five years the Coast centre had experienced a 56% increase in referrals from emergency departments of local public hospitals, the forum was told.
“Sometimes the sexual violence is committed by a just-met partner, but in cases where the woman has knowledge of the offender’s habits she has often identified that the offender is a regular consumer of pornography,” Ms McLeod said.
The forum was told it was clear not everyone who viewed pornography would commit sexual and domestic violence “because some men who use pornography don’t rape.” In fact, most people who view porn do not act out in violence. However, the experiences of these women focus heavily around their abuser’s porn habits
“But what research is finding and what we are seeing at our centre is that pornography is clearly influencing sexual expectations and practices between intimate partners, so that the correlation between pornography, rape and domestic violence can no longer be ignored,” McLeod said.
Fantasy vs. Reality
The key finding by welfare workers was those viewing porn could not see the difference between fantasy and reality and believed “women are up for it 24-7.” The increased reporting figures were due to the extent of the injuries, as well as many women now feeling more empowered to report what happened to them.
Anti-porn activist and author Melinda Tankard Reist highlighted an email she had received a year ago from McLeod warning about the concerning trends on Australia’s Gold Coast.
“If we don’t address this, you will be more overloaded with clients than you already are,” Tankard Reist said.
Her research showed the average age of exposure to pornography was 11 but that introduction was far beyond boys just “viewing bare breasts” and often involved youth watching rape porn.
“I believe it is an act of child abuse to expose our children to this. Everywhere I go schools are reeling, they are playing catch-up (to deal with this issue),” Tankard Reist said.
School Girls Judged
Interviews with young schoolgirls revealed their bodies were being judged by some male students and rated as porn stars. Some girls who were hoping for a warm relationship were told her by their boyfriends “give me a blow job and I’ll give you a kiss.”
After watching the film Fifty Shades of Grey, many teenage girls believed that being stalked by a man was romantic, Tankard Reist said.
“They feel the equivalent of being a sexual service station for the boys and guys,” she said.
Why is it that society openly speaks out against rape and abuse, yet doesn’t condemn porn that fetishizes and promotes this behavior and worse?
The stories above are from real people who are getting hurt, and porn’s influence is a part of that. That is not okay. Stories like these provide all the more reason why viewing pornography is unhealthy and sometimes even dangerous. It’s a shorter jump than you’d think from watching something in porn to wanting to imitate it in real life.
Porn and Crime
Did you know that a correlation has been found between people who view pornography and people who commit sexual crimes? Now, we’re not saying that watching porn will automatically make someone become a serial rapist, but the way pornography affects a viewer, it can definitely influence their judgment in an unhealthy way. This is why porn is connected with sexual violence.
While we are not saying that everyone who watches porn is going to turn into an attacker, we are pointing out the fact that porn isn’t as harmless as the porn industry and society would have you think. Don’t buy the idea that porn doesn’t influence the viewer’s thinking, sexual preferences, or understanding of what consent means.
Pornography is Harmful
The facts are clear: pornography is harmful and research is proving it. No matter what people say to try and make pornography seem normal or harmless, there’s enough evidence out there that says it’s not. With porn being so available, affordable, and accessible, we have to be informed on its real harms on real people.
We’re a group of passionate and innovative problem-solvers who want to make a difference in the world. Our mission is to raise awareness on the harmful effects of pornography through creative mediums.
Pornography used to be a matter of personal opinion. Some people felt it was natural, normal, and even expected it to be consumed. Others felt it was “bad” or “wrong” due to their own religious beliefs or political views. However, few people, if any, seemed to have concrete evidence to support their points of view.
As young college students not too long ago, we came across the recent science of how porn affects the brain and we were shocked! After further study we began to find that porn not only had negative effects on the individual, but that pornography’s influence was causing huge problems in relationships, tearing apart families and that production of pornography was often inseparably connected to the world of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. The research was clear that pornography has negative neurological effects, is damaging to relationships, and is impacting our society as a whole. Most of all, we couldn’t believe that all this was happening and nobody was talking about it! We quickly became passionate about educating the world (specifically teens) and raising awareness on the issue. In 2009, we officially became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and began this campaign.
We are the first generation in the history of the world to face the issue of pornography to this intensity and scale. We’re also the first generation with a scientific, fact-based understanding of the harm pornography can do. With that knowledge, we feel the responsibility to share with others that porn harms the brain, damages relationships, and affects society as a whole. Our movement uses nothing but science, research, and personal accounts to bring this issue out into the open and get people talking about something that has previously been considered taboo.
By choosing to Fight pornography, FTND followers can help shape their own lives for the better. By spreading this message to others however, they hold the power to shape history. From that simple idea, Fight the New Drug and the ‘Porn Kills Love’ movement was born.
WE ARE THE FIRST GENERATION IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD TO FACE THE ISSUE OF PORNOGRAPHY TO THIS INTENSITY AND SCALE. WE’RE ALSO THE FIRST GENERATION WITH A SCIENTIFIC, FACT-BASED UNDERSTANDING OF THE HARM PORNOGRAPHY CAN DO.
Fight the New Drug exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects using only science, facts, and personal accounts.
With an all-inclusive approach, we carry our anti-pornography message across borders of religious beliefs, political agenda, and social backgrounds by presenting it as a public health issue, rather than as a moral, political or religious argument.
As a nonprofit organization, we at Fight the New Drug give live presentations on the harmful effects of pornography in schools (public and private) and universities throughout North America. In just five years, we have toured the country and presented our message to over 300 schools reaching hundreds of thousands of teens. We are also delivering our message through social media and have gathered a massive following that has created a powerful social movement online. In addition to spreading awareness, we also assist young people who are already struggling with porn addiction through our unique online program: the Fortify Program. As we present our message, not only do we educate teens on the harmful effects of pornography to allow them to make an informed decision but we also give them a place to turn for help, as so many are silently struggling and are too ashamed or embarrassed to reach out for help.