With the increase of technology, pornography can enter your home without you even knowing it. According to a 2009 study by Research & Markets, approximately 80% of homes in America had at least one computer. That means four out of every five houses on your block have a computer. In 1991, before the birth of the internet as we know it, there were fewer than 90 pornographic magazines published in the United States. Today, 30 million people are logging on to some 300,000 porn sites daily. Pornography has become a 12 billion dollar-a-year industry. Sex sells, and it’s selling out our daughters, sisters and little girls that we grew up with.
Porn has truly become part of our mainstream culture, no longer hidden behind neon lights and brown paper bags. Pornography that was once considered hardcore is now viewed as normal. It has become so commonplace that no one seems to bat an eyelash at the risqué lingerie catalogs that are delivered right to their mailboxes. Recent research shows that acts of aggression against women are the norm in pornographic videos, which contribute to the degradation and victimization of women. Maybe not so surprising, the perpetrators of the violent acts in these videos are almost always men. This harmful and subversive pornography portrays that women love to have pain and violence inflicted on them. In reality, however, most women participating in the making of porn videos say that they don’t even like sex, and that they commonly abuse drugs and alcohol to sufficiently numb themselves before “performing.”
This increased prevalence of boundary-pushing pornography is affecting how young girls today view themselves, their bodies and the relationships they have with the opposite sex. The unrealistic expectations that young men have of girls can lead girls to behaviors such as dressing provocatively, being sexually promiscuous, developing eating disorders and spending money they don’t have on breast implants or other plastic surgery. This trend has the potential to cause devastating, lifelong issues for these young girls. They try to find acceptance from men through external physical beauty and sexual performance; a drastic departure from how God defines true beauty, value and worth.
Additionally, pornography can many times be nothing more than prostitution and sex trafficking. Many porn actresses that have left the lifestyle recount being verbally, physically and/or sexually abused as children. This leaves these girls vulnerable to those looking to take advantage of their beauty and innocence in order to turn a profit. While pornography initially appears glamorous and provides an easy way to make money, that appeal almost always fades into feelings of despair and depression, leaving the girls feeling even more unworthy and unlovable than they were to begin with. However, controlling porn agents and producers, much like pimps, can make it very difficult for a girl to leave the industry no matter how miserable she becomes. The girl then becomes trapped in a lifestyle that she despises. It is doubtful that any of the young girls who participate in pornographic films had dreams of selling their bodies for a living when they were little girls.
A Way Out
By the grace of God, there is hope. Erotic dancing, pornography and prostitution are damaging to a girl’s mind, body and soul. Quite often girls coming out of these trades suffer from severe post-traumatic disorder. There are now faith based ministries that help girls come out of the sex industry. These ministries offer counseling, emotional support, and help transitioning out of the industry into “normal life.” The following are a few of the organizations that are reaching out to girls and women formerly
Pink Cross Foundation
The Pink Cross Foundation is a faith-based charity focusing on reaching out to the adult film industry, both women and men. Pink Cross also reaches out to those struggling with pornography addiction, offering education and resources based on biblical truth.
Pink Cross was founded in 2008 by former porn star Shelly Lubben and her husband Garrett. Shelley, who was a porn actress and prostitute in the 90’s, experienced major abuse during her time in the porn industry. Subsequently, she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depressive Disorder, Impulse Control Disorder, and struggled with substance abuse. Lubben also contracted two sexually transmitted diseases while in the porn industry.
After accepting Jesus Christ and enduring eight difficult years of recovery at The Champions Center church in Tacoma, Washington, Shelley was able conquer the demons of her past. Ten years later, Shelley began her mission to go back to the porn industry to reach out to porn stars and sex workers by offering help and hope. Shelley, through the Pink Cross Foundation, is on a mission to eradicate the damaging illusion created by pornography, and to help women and men overcome pornography addiction.
Hookers for Jesus
Hookers for Jesus is a faith-based organization that addresses the realities of sex trafficking, sexual violence and exploitation linked to pornography and the sex industry. They reach out to children, teens and women that need assistance escaping sex slavery. They are involved in urban ministry outreach and community awareness, and also run Destiny House, a Las Vegas transition house for former prostitutes.
Annie Lobert is the founder of the grassroots organization. Lobert was first trafficked as a teen, and spent many years as a stripper, escort and prostitute. The mission of Hookers for Jesus is to Hook (outreach), Help (transitional housing), and Heal (full restoration back into society). Their vision is to promote spiritual, physical and emotional healing in the lives of those that have been affected by sexual trauma and other related forms of abuse in commercial sexual exploitation. Hookers for Jesus is committed to going wherever God leads in order to bring freedom to those that are captive in any form of sexual exploitation, whether that be stripping pornographic films or prostitution.
XXXChurch.com is an online resource that champions the fight against pornography addiction through a system of awareness, prevention and recovery. XXX Church highlights the issue through social media, news media and the internet. In addition, XXX Church representatives travel the world, visiting porn conventions, colleges and churches to raise awareness about the destructive and addictive nature of pornography. XXX Church is the largest site online and most recognized voice on the issue of pornography. Their site offers tools, resources and blogs to help prevent pornography from becoming a devastating force in one’s life. XXX Church offers an powerful software for internet filtering and accountability. They also offer biblically-based recovery solutions including prayer, accountability groups, online workshops and more.
XXX Church came out with the innovative “Jesus Loves Porn Stars” campaign in 2004, printing shirts and other material to minister the love of Christ to those in the industry. In 2006, XXX church came out with the “Jesus Loves Porn Stars Bible,” which they distribute free of charge at porn conventions around the globe. At the Erotica L.A. Convention in 2006, for example, they handed out 3,000 of these Bibles in a single day.
These ministries are doing their part, now it’s time for you to do yours. First of all, you must realize that viewing or purchasing pornography directly contributes to the abuse and degradation of women whom God loves. Porn is not just “no big deal.” Those are daughters, sisters, moms and friends in front of that camera and on that strip club stage; girls who are selling their bodies at the expense of their very hearts and souls. Refuse to participate in or condone any activity that exploits women sexually. Secondly, pray. Pray for the girls who are trapped in the lifestyle. Pray that God will use the above ministries and individuals to reach out to those who are in the sex industry and to those who are addicted to its product. Lastly, get personally involved. Consider partnering with one of the above organizations through financial support. Use a resource such as XXX Church to get equipped to minister to those in your life who may be struggling with pornography addiction. Who knows, God may even be calling you to go hand out “Jesus Loves Porn Stars” Bibles at the next area porn convention! As Romans 10:14 tells us, “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?”