Summit Lecture Series: The Worldview Behind Porn with Sean McDowell, part 5

Summit Lecture Series: The Worldview Behind Porn with Sean McDowell, part 5 July 28, 2015

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Many leading experts in addiction attest that pornography is one of the most difficult habits to break. Sometimes even harder than crack cocaine!
You see, when you take a drug, it feels good the fist time. But, to get the same high in the ensuing times you take the drug, you have to take more of it or a harder drug.
The same is true for pornography.
The same images or videos don’t offer the same high as when you first began viewing porn, so you have to watch more or “harder” stuff in order to achieve the same sensation. This leads to addition in the same way that drugs do.
“I’ll quit later.”
Can you see how naive this statement is?

Another chemical in the body related to all this is Oxytocin. It is known as the “bonding” hormone that triggers feelings of trust. It’s in men and women, but primarily in women. It is most often released in a woman’s body and it creates a natural desire to bond with a man. They’ve actually done studies where they had people playing board games like Monopoly – where players had to financially invest with or avoid other players – and they snuck Oxytocin in the participants’ drinks. They learned that the people who took Oxytocin were much more likely to trust other people with their finances than those who did not.
Now, the Bible says that one purpose for sex is to be fruitful and multiply. The second purpose that the Bible lays out in Genesis 2 is “the two shall leave their father and their mother and become one.” So, as God designed it, sexual activity is not just a “spiritual oneness”, but a bodily, emotional, and biochemical oneness as well.pregnancy-oxytocin
You see, in a woman, Oxytocin is mostly released during three different occurrences in her life: When she give birth, which leads to a “motherly bond”; When she nurses her baby, which leads to a further bond between her and her children; and third is during sexual activity, which creates in her the desire to connect with her partner in an unrivaled closeness and intimacy. In fact, it isn’t isolated to sexual activity. Oxytocin can be released during an affectionate hug, in a kiss, or even in a back rub. Which is why I often tell my students that if their better judgment says that they shouldn’t trust somebody, they shouldn’t even hug them – stick to hand shakes and fist bumps! During a hug, your body very well may release chemicals that cancels out rational thought.
“I’ll quit later.”
Can you see how naive this statement is?

Somebody who has Oxytocin released at certain times – say, when they look at pornography – has their mechanism damaged that is supposed to be intact when they get married to someone for the rest of their lives. Therefore they are at a handicap when it comes to bonding with their spouse in the manner that they were designed. The same goes for people who have multiple sexual partners before getting married.

In men, there is a chemical called Vasopressin, which is the “monogamy molecule” that causes bonding in males. It’s the equivalent to Oxytocin. It actually causes an unequaled bond between a man and his wife and kids.prairie_voles
There’s an animal out in our fields that is wrought with Vasopressin. It’s called the prairie vole. These “hamsters” are monogamous! They find a single partner and remain with them for life. All due to Vasopressin in their systems. Scientists have actually done studies where after the prairie vole had found its partner and bonded, the scientists removed the animal’s Vasopressin. In no time, the hamster started mating with other prairie voles in its colony. This is one powerful chemical!
Now, of course, we humans are much more than irrational animals, but this chemical does contribute heavily in shaping our behavior.
And yet when we look at pornography or we are engaged with multiple sexual partners, the bonding mechanism that God has placed in us becomes damaged.
And yet people simply say, “I will quit later.”

Michael Leahy wrote in his book “Porn Nation” about how he grew up in a home where he was exposed to pornography at 11-years-old. For decades, it was a consistent part of his life that he hid from everyone else. He got married to a woman he loved dearly. They had kids. All the while, he had an ever-growing need for more and more and more hard-core pornography. Eventually, he cheated on his wife. She found out about it and divorced him. Michael writes that he tried and tried to kick his habit and just couldn’t. Not until he was totally broken – when his wife had found another man and they got engaged. It wasn’t until that point when he realized that everything he had was gone and broken and he was prepared to submit to God’s will and get better.
But one thing Michael learned was this:Michael_Leahy

“The majority of the college women I have spoken with tend to assume that most guys will eventually abandon pornography as well – especially when offered real sex as an alternative. But what most of today’s college women don’t understand is that it’s unlikely many of their male counterparts will ever cease to have some kind of a relationship with pornography, especially those who have become such avid consumers by the time they’re in college.”

This is due to the fact that for so many men, pornography is simply easier. A real girl can turn you down; she takes work; she might cost money; she might not be in the mood. But with pornography, she is always smiling; she’s always available; she’s always eager to offer you an “instant fix”, so to speak.

Even in the secular world, we see admissions of this. Singer John Mayer has been on record saying, “I’ve kind of given up on having sex with women. It’s a lot easier just to masturbate to porn.”

That’s where our culture is headed. It’s too much work.

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