The truth is out. We live in a pornified culture. What is once a surreptitious act is now an audacious fact. A survey conducted recently shows that 9 out of 10 boys were exposed to porn. And they are between the age of 13 to 15.
It reports that "experts say the findings are worrying as such content can affect children's studies, self-esteem, interpersonal relationships and their attitudes and behavior towards love and sex. If addiction sets in, it may lead to various forms of dysfunction and sexual crimes."
In today's technology-inspired world, 54 percent of boys said "they searched for it intentionally on the Net while 43 percent of the girls stumbled upon it while surfing online."
In one reported case, a boy 10 peeped into his dad's room and saw naked people on screen. He then searched for it out of curiosity and became hooked. As the addiction grew, he "engaged in cyber sex on online forum and chat rooms to experience "another level" of sexual fantasy and experience." When his parents found out, he ran away from home.
In another case, a chief executive of Agape Group Holdings chanced upon a group of students (sec 2 and 3) from an elite school watching Japanese porn movie and spoke to them. Their reply? "The leader of the group said he knew about the site after he chanced upon it on his father's iPad." When probed further, the teen argued "that pornography was art and a form of sex education that would prepare him for manhood."
The boy's father was called in and he challenged the teacher: "What's wrong with it? He is growing up."
Lesson? I wonder, is the father right? Is this part and parcel of growing up?
Let's face it. If Jesus' standard of (mental) adultery is strictly adhered to, at some point in our life, we husbands/fathers are all guilty of it. It's just a matter of degree. There is just no point being self-righteous about momentary mental lapses that is a culmination of boredom, curiosity, moral oversight and temptation succumbed. We are only human.
But where does a father draw the line? Is it a case of do-what-I-say-and-not-what-I-do, or worse, do we fathers justify it by saying that these adult materials are meant to accelerate your growth and maturity son?
Picture this (pun seriously unintended): Is watching a couple, or a group of strangers, engaging in sex of varying unimaginable postures all for the sole purpose of extracting as much self-pleasure as possible while treating the women in the act as a means to one's hedonistic end in any way educational, maturity encouraging or growth spurring?
Growing up is a splendor of many things, but watching naked people engaging in sex in a way that is degrading, humiliating and demeaning is definitely not a recipe for responsibility and maturity. We fathers should know better.
While marital sex edifies, porn desensitizes. While marital sex promotes intimacy, porn provokes promiscuity. And while marital sex honors the body and the partner, porn dehumanizes the body and the partner. Porn addiction in essence reduces all relationships into a mindless intercourse of perverted desires. It is devoid of commitment, responsibility and love.
The last thing we want our son to be is to be breast-centric or vagina-centric, and instead of respecting and enjoying a relationship for life, they only view the whole intimacy act as a one-sided self-pleasuring extraction that lasts only for as long as he is satisfied.
The danger is that our porn-addict son - via our implicit encouragement - may go into a marriage expecting reality in the bedroom to conform to the fantasy in his mind. When the reality-fantasy line is blurred, his wife will become just another sex object (ordered to perform) rather than a human being to be loved and given oneself for. When that times come, love would mutate to lust, and boredom in the bedroom usually morphs into excitement and thrills seeking in a series of one-night stands.
Let me end with this quote by Theodore Dalrymple: "It is a mistake to suppose that all men...want to be free. On the contrary, if freedom entails responsibility, many of them want none of it...The aim of untold millions is to be free to do exactly as they choose and for someone else to pay when things go wrong."
So, enduring freedom (the freedom that transforms you for the better) is about responsibility. It is about keeping healthy and robust boundaries that grow you inside out. Freedom without responsibility in this case is an entrapment where insatiable lust meets insatiable demands.
For this reason, we fathers hold a sacred responsibility to our sons. We want them to grow up strengthened and matured by the responsibility that comes with enduring freedom and not the freedom that imprisons them with oppressing desires that they can't control. Most of all, we want them to grow up respecting, honoring and elevating the opposite sex, and not degrading, demeaning and objectivizing them. Cheerz.