GodsDesign Sampler FULLSAMPLER-compressed - Page 52



How and When to Tell Your Kids about Sex
instance, found that men who viewed a few hours of violent pornographic
movies were afterward more likely to believe statements like Women who
are raped really enjoy it or Many women secretly want to be raped. Notably,
the men were even more likely to agree that they would commit a rape if
they were certain they would not be caught!12
The extreme pornography of today is fostering a surge in sexual addictions. Until recent years, we have been skeptical that such a thing as “sexual addiction” really existed, reflecting the skeptical reaction of most of
the Christian world13 and the mental health community.14 Our opinions
have become more open; sexual addiction appears to be a helpful way
to understand the real and dangerous phenomenon of compulsive and
dysfunctional use of pornography,15 one that is increasingly widespread
among young men and increasingly contributing to the academic as well
as the personal and relational maturation problems of this group.16 There
are alarming reports of growing problems that appear to be associated
with heavy pornography use, such as the failure to develop key social
and interactional skills necessary for dating and marriage, increasing tendencies toward social isolation and loneliness, cultivation of a basically
­self-­centered orientation toward couple sexual intimacy, and grotesquely
inappropriate expectations of what acts and body types would constitute
a normal sexual relationship in marriage.17
The best way to understand the problem of sexual addiction to pornography is to begin with a perhaps idealistic sketch of how things are
“supposed to work.” Flash back to an idealized ­small-­town setting approximately a hundred years a­ go—­a time when Christian moral values were
the norm and before television existed. In such a setting, families and
communities were much more intertwined interpersonally; families often
lived in multi­generation homes (with three or even four generations living together) in communities small enough that most people knew almost
everyone else in town.
In such a context, work was often close to home and afforded room
for relationships. Entertainment and recreation were largely interpersonally
based; ­children—­and everyone else for that m
­ atter—­played together and
often enjoyed singing together, reading to each other, and playing games.
In such a context, an adolescent was exposed to a rich array of relationships
from which to learn and absorb interpersonal relational patterns. When he
(we will use a male for this hypothetical example) began to develop romantic feelings, he would begin awkward attempts to build a relationship and
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