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Harm of pornography exposed in BBC documentary

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Several young people have spoken out about the negative effects of pornography in a new BBC documentary.

BBC Newsbeat’s 'Brought up on Porn' reveals some stories of pornography addiction and the impact this has on individual’s lives and relationships. 

It comes as a top NHS therapist has reported that many men are experiencing sexual health problems due to their porn use. 

'It is an issue for me and my wife'

One married couple, Bob and Rachel, discuss his addiction to porn which is affecting their relationship. 

"I started to look at it actively probably in Year 8," Bob says. "I quickly found myself addicted, and since then have been trying to work my way away from it… trying to remove it from my life. Obviously it’s hard. It is an issue for me and my wife."

Rachel says: "If you sometimes look at porn now that we’re married, I just feel like, am I not giving you something that you want?"

She continues: "I feel like you cheat on me sometimes, that’s how it feels."

She adds later that sex is about the "ultimate connection" and she believes it is sad that porn has taken away the "beauty and magic" of sexual intimacy. 

Bob is using internet software to hold him accountable and help him overcome his addiction. 

'It’s taken me down some quite dark paths'

One man, who is in therapy for sex addiction, says: "With porn there’s no emotional feedback, there’s no comfort."

"It’s taken me down some quite dark paths that possibly if I had a complete open choice I wouldn’t have gone down. I’ve used it as a means of distancing myself from emotional vulnerability," the unnamed man adds. 

Others speak of how violent or degrading acts seen in pornography have been emulated in real life by their partners, sometimes without their consent. 

Liberated by new life in Christ

One girl, also not named, says that her history of sexual abuse led to her porn addiction, as a "replacement" for her abuser.

"My mind was so used to sex from a very young age that I felt that porn would give me some sense of normality because for me, being molested and being sexually abused was my normality," she says.

"It made me see people as sexual objects and not as people."

She says she has not watched porn for several years and has since found new life in Christ. 

"The way that I feel about myself now and the way that I feel about porn is very different to before.

"I feel liberated and when I became a Christian I kind of just felt someone take a weight off my shoulders."

'We need to bring this out into the open'

Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern, has previously said that pornography can only be defeated if it is brought out into the open. 

"We believe the blood of Christ is the power to break every chain of addiction – and pornography addiction will only fester so long as it remains in the dark. We need to bring this out into the open. We need to talk about this in our family homes, in our churches and in our youth groups, so that we can expose darkness with the light of the gospel," she said. 

Get help for pornography addiction

If you or somebody you know struggles with pornography and would like help, The Naked Truth is a Christian organisation that has created 'Click to Kick', an online support network that works by running regular group sessions. Find out more about how it works here.

Covenant Eyes, a system that provides support through internet accountability and filtering, may also be of interest for individuals or families. 

Related Links: 
BBC Newsbeat Documentaries: Brought Up On Porn (YouTube, BBC Newsbeat)
Easy access to online porn is 'damaging' men's health, says NHS therapist (BBC Newsbeat)
Brought up on Porn: What you've been telling us (BBC Newsbeat)



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