Pornography is such a huge issue within our culture right now. Most of the resources and materials available to men and women who are struggling with this issue are coming from a religious perspective. Perhaps this is no surprise, as Christians have been given some guidelines from scripture about sexual expression and lust (Exodus 20:14, Matthew 5:28). While I believe that there are many helpful books and resources available for Christians, I found Matt Fradd’s book, The Porn Myth, refreshing precisely because it is non-religious in nature.

Disproving God

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that a good amount of scientific research is under the guise of searching for new truth. Yet, it often seems motivated by disproving beliefs/faith that people have held for a long time. “Aha!” they say. “I have found evidence of evolution, and this disproves the existence of God as creator of man!” As if God is limited by our understanding of genetics and DNA. Can both things be true? There are no easy answers to that question, I’m afraid. I wish there were more studies that tried to bring some of these mysteries together, rather than trying to bring division.

What I appreciate about Fradd’s book is that it uses secular studies and science to indirectly prove what many religiously motivated resources (including the Bible) have been saying all along. I love it when that happens! Another example of this is the “mindfulness” movement that is happening. It is about being present to the moment and resting there. It seems quite similar to what I’ve learned in spiritual settings called “renewing of the mind.” “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Revelation 12:2, NIV). Yet another revolutionary advancement from psychology that Christians have known about (but not necessarily practiced) for years.

The Myths

Fradd’s book addresses many of the myths people believe about pornography. These myths are broken down into sections, making it easy to find a topic that interests you. He tackles porn culture, the porn industry, porn and our sexuality, porn and our relationships, and the struggle with porn. There are also some helpful appendices with quick findings from the experts, resources, and brain studies.

Myth: Porn isn’t Addictive.

One of the myths that stood out to me was “Porn isn’t addictive.” The author explores both sides of the statement. Those who believe what he identifies as a myth would say that sex cannot be addictive. It is simply human nature to pursue sex in whatever form of desire it takes for that person. This attitude is taken, despite evidence that the choices are self-destructive and lives are being ruined. Fradd details the similarities in studies done of those who use substances as an addictive outlet and those who use porn.

Myth: Porn isn’t sex slavery. The actors freely choose the lifestyles they lead.

Another myth is “Porn isn’t sex slavery. The actors freely choose the lifestyles they lead.” This is one that has hit home for me. Even if the actors are well compensated and well treated, what right do I have to use them in this way? What kind of life did the actor have that led them to feel pornography was the career for them? Fradd includes horrific stories of abuses within the porn industry and the effects upon the actors. Much of the money the performers make is earned through prostitution and escorting with the fan base they build. When your value is based solely on how you look and “perform,” this can lead to a whole slew of issues for a person.

If you are interested in reading more about the problem of pornography in our culture, or want to address some of the myths that you believe about porn, I recommend picking up a copy of The Porn Myth. It is an enlightening and helpful read.