@SchneeOne study, Edelman, found that Utah had the highest rate of
subscriptions to a single distributor of pornography. Stringham used data of
views per capita by state. Using this measure, Utah ranked fortieth. At a
suggestion from Cranney, I developed an index based on Google searches of six
words associated with pornography. Using this measure, Utah ranks forty-first.
If adjusted for age, education or other demographic factors, Utah would rank
even lower. None of these studies can differentiate between use by
members or non-members or active members and less active members. Although it
may exist, I know of no study that compares Mormon's use of pornography to
any other group.I believe that the major take away point is that any
statistic that reflects poorly on Utah is exaggerated and misinterpreted to
signify that Mormons are somehow engaged in bad conduct as a result in their
commitment to the Church.
@Another Perspective" Why doesn't the relief society as part of
their curriculum teach women the importance of being warm, loving and available
when they become married?"Because the term Relief Society
doesn't actually refer to a society of women who want to provide
"relief" to men..."If you thing a man made hungry by the
aloofness of his wife never looks elsewhere"Nobody's
claiming all men don't look elsewhere, we're saying it's his
fault if he's doing something that the wife doesn't consider
acceptable actions of that kind. @C-3PO"Pornography is
something all men are tempted by, even if they don't admit it. Some men are
just stronger than others"All people, there's plenty of
women who look at it too. @SLC345"No so, Utah is known for
the high level of pornography use by internet statistics."In a
way... Utah ranks number 1 in subscriptions. That doesn't necessarily mean
Utah is number 1 in usage (I think other studies that tried to get overall
numbers, put Utah near the middle).
@FatherOfFourTo my knowledge, there is no study that directly compares
pornography use of Mormons to other groups. There are four that use state level
data and the percentage of Mormons within a state as a proxy for Mormon
consumption. The first was by Edelman who provided a single data point that
showed that Utah had the highest subscription rate to a single pornography
provider of any state. People who believe that conservative sexual practices
lead to sexual repression used that single data point claim that Mormon's
have a high rate of pornography use. To my knowledge, there are
three empirical responses to this argument: Cranney on Square Two (peer review),
Stringham on Virtuous Society, and me on Blu Principles. If you are interested
you can find them with any search engine.In short, I believe that
fowersjl is correct. We (Mormons) believe that pornography is dangerous to the
individual and to the family. We are not alone but others certainly believe
that it is not. The difference in these views may be recognized in the name
given this sexually explicit literature. Some call it pornography and others,
@brainoncapitalist - Orem, UT - "@USALover: I think you have an addiction if
you simply can't stop using whatever it is you are addicted to. The
frequency isn't as important as the inability to stop."Now
THAT is wisdom that simply cannot be argued against. I will remember that as I
evaluate my choices and the character of my life. I know I am
learning this: the more I stay away from pornography, the happier and more
content I am.God bless you, brother, in your struggles. With our
Master's help and love, we will prevail! Count on it!
SLC345 said, “Utah is known for the high level of pornography use by
internet statistics.”Really? A study published April 9, 2014
by the third-largest porn site showed that Utah ranked 40th in page views.
Wyoming and Idaho, with large LDS populations, ranked 46th and 49th. One
researcher found a 10 percentage point increase in a state’s LDS
population is associated with an approximate 17% decrease in page views.
“Rather than dealing with it head on the church calls it an
addiction.” How does calling it an addiction preclude dealing
with it? The church does both with its dedicated website which offers several
resources, including a 12-step recovery program. Members are also encouraged to
consider professional help. “We will have LDS people taking
in hushed tones about this poor person that is addicted.” I'm still trying to figure out if this is an actual thing, and if so, how
is it a problem?“It is time for the church to get real and
confront the underlying issues.” What issues? If you have the
answers as to what causes addiction in some individuals, I think social
scientists want to hear from you.
SLC345:Sorry, but you are so wrong.Study after study
have shown that pornography alters the brain chemically in the same ways that
drugs and alcohol do. That the AMA has not issued a statement is of no
relevance to the thousands who suffer.I am a porn addict. My wife
and family have suffered dearly for my choices and addiction. That those who
make money off porn would fight it being called an addiction is clear. @ Bill McGee: Tell the man afflicted with multiple STDs because of his
addiction to lust and sex that he is not self-destructive. The APA is very
susceptible to lobbying and manipulation, and there are billions of dollars at
stake for the porn purveyors....
It is an unfair to make comment that the Relief Society should go out of their
way to emphasize the importance of intimacy. It is the responsibility to come
together as a righteous couple to take care of each other in a manner that is
conducive to our Heavenly Father's gospel teachings. President Kimball has
a wonderful talk titled "Oneness" He talks about the importance of how
intimacy helps tie a marriage together whether spiritually or temporal. Intimacy
should not ever be used as a tool to justify that satisfaction of being abusive
when it comes to love. It is meant to be a sacred bond between a husband and a
wife who honor, respect, and are compassionate, righteous, towards each other.
When intimacy becomes the number one thing above another else and I mean
anything else, it has become an abusive tool against the other spouse. I know
this to be true, because my second marriage failed because it was used against
me. To the point that I would receive almost daily lectures on it. In fact well
written articles by church authorities were twisted and use against me. Read the
The AMA has never issued any statements stating the pornography is an addiction.
It is the therapists that keep the pornography addiction alive to fuel their
incomes. This is a huge excuse the church has allowed to grow to handle the
large amount of Utah LDS people looking at pornography. Someone stated that
pornography is everywhere. No so, Utah is known for the high level of
pornography use by internet statistics. Utah use is over the top and rather than
dealing with it head on the church calls it an addiction. Sorry, it may work
for them but no one else believes the hype and spin the church places on this
problem. You are right it is an indication of much larger issues and until the
church confronts those issues we will have LDS people taking in hushed tones
about this poor person that is addicted. It is time for the church to get real
and confront the underlying issues.
I would appreciate it if the Church would also fight against tyranny as much as
it does against pornography. Tyrannical governments have caused more deaths
While the challenge is real, we need to be more accurate. According to the new
DSM, you cannot be addicted to porn. It does not meet the standards for
addiction, including self-destruction. Pornography can be compulsive, but not an
addiction. That is an important distinction, the most critical of which is that
the treatments are different. The first step to getting better is to understand
what you are really dealing with, and not what the pop psychologists and
non-professionals are claiming.
@jeanie" I think you need to chat with family members who have
suffered because of a loved ones addiction to porn. Maybe let's start with
the boy I know who's father chose his porn over his family. That
doesn't affect a young man? He was in college and still carried the scars
of abandonment."You're describing my life right there.
It would help if they were all taught about healthy sexuality and healthy
relationships from the beginning instead of being shamed about so many things.
All the shaming, guilt tripping and lack of open, healthy discussion about
sexuality and intimacy do not help them have healthy relationships. I have met
some people along the way that struggled with this kind of addiction and the
above seemed to be a common theme in their lives and families.
I watched the video. There was no reference to intimate partner sexual assault.
Does pornography contribute to intimate partner sexual assault? It
might by objectifying women's bodies. There is a lot of sexual assault in
marriages.Perhaps a subsequent video could explore this connection.
Sexual assault in intimate relationships is a major problem.
I have not seen this film, but I find it interesting that this blog does not
discuss the matter of sexual abuse in intimate relationships, including
marriage. Any sex act in marriage forced on one party by the other is rape -
and it is common. Does porn lead to sexual assault? It may, but if
so it would seem to me this would be a major theme of those opposed to porn.
As to sexual assault in general. Most victims are women. For them
sexual assault itself is a much bigger deal than porn per se. But we LDS are
pretty quiet about sexual assault while we attack porn. So, my
question, is a major factor in sexual assault, pornography?
@USALover: I think you have an addiction if you simply can't stop using
whatever it is you are addicted to. The frequency isn't as important as the
inability to stop. When I finally hit rock bottom, I was to the point where I
would act out every day, sometimes multiple times per day, whenever I had the
opportunity. It's a progressive problem and what might start out rather
innocently as a curiosity can quickly turn into a lifelong addiction that
continues to get worse and worse. People who say there's no such thing as
porn addiction have no idea what they are talking about (either that or they are
in denial about their own addiction).
KaoticWomen have always been big consumers of pornography in the
form of "bodice rippers" and other romance novels. They are far less
visual and more verbal and descriptive, and thus aren't automatically
considered to be as "obscene" or "explicit" as XXX videos or
photos. The novel "50 Shades of Grey" has achieved a level of
respectability and mainstream acceptance that porn studios which cater to male
audiences can only dream about.Which brings up another point: Much
of the revulsion towards pornography in society is just man-bashing in disguise.
Internet pornography provides an easy sexual outlet for men and thus undermines
the status of women as the gatekeepers of sexual fulfillment in marriage. For a
frumpy, slightly overweight 30-something mother of three, the availability of
pornography on the internet is just as threatening to her as having a sexy
single woman who mows the lawn in her bikini move in next door. She has to
"raise her game" to keep her man's attention, and many married
women simply don't want to be bothered.
Father of Four:I think what you are seeing reflected in this article
is a unique view of what constitutes an "addiction".In LDS
culture, a man who views pornography more than once every few months -- or even
at all -- would be viewed as a "porn addict". Elsewhere in the United
States, his "habit" would be considered unremarkable or even normal.I doubt there are as many LDS persons who are truly addicted to porn --
as in, their porn viewing causes damage to their marriage and adversely
interferes with their daily lives -- as this article makes it appear.
Shrekk,"Irrational worries"? "Obsession"? Hummm. I think
you need to chat with family members who have suffered because of a loved ones
addiction to porn. Maybe let's start with the boy I know who's father
chose his porn over his family. That doesn't affect a young man? He was in
college and still carried the scars of abandonment. Think of all the pain you
are aware of due to drug or alcohol addiction. It's no different than the
ripple effects of porn addiction. Fantastic that the LDS church would take this
@RedWings says: "The devastation of porn has nothing to do with religion.
The entire time I was involved with my addiction I was completely away from any
religion."That sounds like a problem with addictive or
compulsive behavior which could apply to a wide variety of things. But the LDS
church's obsession seems to revolve around things related to sex.
@ skrekk - The devastation of porn has nothing to do with religion.
The entire time I was involved with my addiction I was completely away from any
religion.Tell the wife whose husmand ignores her but spends all
night staring at porn on the computer screen and treats her lika n object to be
used as he wishes that her fears are irrational. Tell the kids
whose dad does not interact with them in any meaningful way that their fears are
irrational.There is not one thing about porn that is positive or
contributes to the benefit of society. Not one thing....
FatherOfFourMany have already responded to your point. I would only
echo others in saying that in general, society sees no harm in pornography.
Neither do they see problems with drugs, alcohol, tobacco, promiscuous sex or
adultery. At least not to the point that the LDS Church teaches, which is total
abstinance from all of those things. The reason being that human weakness can
easily addict anyone who endulges a "little", only to find themselves
becomming enslaved to their worldly passions, as some here have alluded to.
The LDS Church does see life ruining problems with those activities and as such
you will see and hear much from the leaders about helping people avoid those
landmines of life. Or in other words, rather than warn people about falling off
of a cliff, tell them it's much safer and easier to not go near the edge in
the first place.
It seems like these irrational worries about pornography are common to many
patriarchal and misogynistic religions.
@FatherOfFourThe problem exists everywhere. To assume it is a
bigger problem here because it is talked about more by LDS church leaders is an
invalid conclusion. I know of people not of the LDS faith who are addicted to
porn who don't view it as that big of a deal. I had a former
work associate and friend that just died from alcholism who was also addicted to
tobacco and porn. His attitude was "It is my life and I can do whatever I
want!" He eventually lost his marriage and job before he died. The sad
thing was that he was very good at his job and was fun to be around before his
life spiralled out of control.
@ FatherOfFour,You are so right about "there must be a problem
here", even in the small communities of Utah. Porn addiction is a very big
problem among the membership in Utah and it is getting worse, just like drug
addiction and alcoholism. I see most of the commenters relating porn
addiction to men, but I can certainly can tell you that more and more women have
a porn addiction for whatever reasons. What is more astonishing is the adultery
among married women in Utah. There are certainly some underlying reasons, but
you can only hide behind the church for so long and then everybody knows. There
are a lot of "everybody knows" in this small community.
Brain,You're an inspiration. I'm curious as a Church
Leader to know what really constitutes a "porn addiction". In your
12-step program, were the people there using porn "daily",
"weekly", "monthly", a "couple times a year",
"Once!". What would you say?Thanks, and again, your story
FatherofFour: "The church membership must seriously have a real problem
here for it to be addressed so much."LDS kids don't grow up
with a liquor cabinet in the house, so alcoholism is not a big an issue for the
church as porn. It exists, but is not the number one problem. Another Perspective: "A man with a cold aloof wife is tempted to look
elsewhere."True enough for the adulterer, but for us porn
addicts this is largely not the case. Porn addiciton is not about sex. As with
any addiction, it is a symptom of "other causes and conditions" (see he
AA Big Book).My experience is that the "drug" eases the pain
of my character defects and my separation from God. When I truthfully looked at
my defects and worked on them, porn lost its power over me.Great
comments and discussion on this board! It is great to see this epidemic be
brought out into the light so society can understand and address it....
A recent convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints told me that
one of the appeals the church had for him early in his investigation was that it
addressed the pornography problem head-on and didn't ignore it or try to
brush it off as a minor problem. It is a problem worldwide, regardless of
religious affiliation. I'm grateful that the church is raising awareness
and providing solutions. I'm grateful that the Deseret News also publicizes
the problem and makes known solutions.I'm also concerned about all
those suffering from the problem but not seeking help. The Addiction Recovery
Program works but can be scary to begin. Some may want to start with a more
private program, such as Power Over Pornography, before attending ARP meetings.
@FatherOfFour: It is a huge problem these days, if the numbers attending 12-step
meetings is any indication. And that's just the ones who have decided to
get help. There are many, many more who are still hiding it or are in denial
about the seriousness of the problem.I remember when I was single
thinking that once I got married, I would be able to control my addiction. Boy
was I wrong. In many ways, being married made my addiction stronger. And my wife
was always very accommodating. She would take care of me any time I wanted, as
often as I wanted, and it was never enough to keep me from acting out. It kills
her now to realize that she was hurting herself by taking so much responsibility
for keeping me sober. It was MY responsibility, not hers.
@fatheroffour, the LDS Church is very concerned about the plague of pornography
and in helping its members heal from and shun it because of how it destroys
families. Outside the church there is not much concern for it, because many
people think that looking at pornography is acceptable and normal behavior.
Yes, there is a problem in the LDS church, but certainly not more than outside
the church. But, who is going to speak against it outside of churches?I
am so glad the LDS Church is working to educate and give hope to those who might
otherwise be destroyed by this flood of evil.@anotherperspective, the most
attractive, warm, and loving wife will not satisfy a man addicted to
pornography. Why? Because it distorts and damages a brain to the point that
there is only lust, not love in that brain.)
I am not LDS and there are several aspects of the culture that I am not familiar
with. But I notice these porn articles in the DN almost every day. The church
membership must seriously have a real problem here for it to be addressed so
Another perspective,Men may look at porn because their wives are
cold, but a porn addict is something altogether different. That was Pops point.
It doesn't matter if a wife is georgeous and available. If a man is an
addict ultimately nothing she offers will be enough. This article is about
addiction and the comments speak to that. That there are cold wives is true, but
that takes counseling, not a 12 step program.
@ Another Perspective is not totally wrong in this matter. Pornography is
something all men are tempted by, even if they don't admit it. Some men are
just stronger than others when it comes to avoiding it. A lot of the time the
issue is a lot deeper, its usually to fill a void in their lives. And sometimes
this void is a unhappy marriage, with lack of communication, and lack of
intimacy. I agree that women should be taught about why a man is having this
struggle and how they can help, instead of just hearing lessons over and over
again on how evil pornography is.
@ another perspectiveA wife's availability/warmth toward her
husband would help a great deal in reducing propensity toward pornography. I
agree it should be emphasized much more to women who would likely find dramatic
reduction in their husband's cravings. Imagine for example a starving dog
smelling red meat outside the yard. The dog will be suffering with desire.
Telling the dog to go against its instincts and just control itself is only part
of the solution. The dog owner needs to understand the cruelty of starving a
dog/rarely providing the dog high-quality food. Women cannot expect sexually
starved men to not be dying with temptation and likely to cave to the mounting
pressure that is now sadly so easily accessible. When a man gets rejected by
his wife, the temptation skyrockets. Caving to that temptation is wrong no
matter the circumstances, but it is also foolish/cruel to starve a man to the
point where he is so vulnerable to extreme temptation. God taught that with the
temptation he will provide an escape and that "escape" from temptation
regarding pornography can very well be a loving, available, interested spouse.
To AZ RodsYour response to me was presumptuous and incorrect.
To PopsIf you thing a man made hungry by the aloofness of his wife
never looks elsewhere you are the one who lacks some understanding.
Another Perspective,My wife should doll herself up more, then
I'd stop looking at porn.My wife should change her attitude, then
I'd stop looking at porn.My wife should simply be a porn star, then
it would all be okay!See the problems here?If we live
our lives as animals, grasping for anything that tempts our fancy, then yes...
we may expect that our wives put forth every effort to make themselves more
appetizing than the porn offerings. However, we ought to be more than that. Love
and lust aren't the same thing. And I added the last two examples just to
further illustrate that every time people try to justify any type of change
expected of their spouse... the problem is within.If only people
told me what I wanted to hear, then I'd be willing to listen.Expecting my wife to circumvent my own denial isn't being honest with
myself and certainly not fair or reasonable to my wife. Women damage themselves
to satisfy that type of reasoning from men.
Blaming and justifying are distortions in our thinking and stand as dangerous
components for unhealthy behavior. We must stand with the Savior and keep our
lives clean in spite of others' behavior.
Great comment and best wishes to you Brain. Your description expresses perfectly
what doesn't work and the best way to completely submit yourself to the
Lord's will, in which you receive so much more strength than you could have
by yourself alone.@-Another, you can't put fault/blame on your
wife, much less the RS to justify an affinity for any inappropriate behavior.If you have a lack of love and warmth in your marriage, you should seek
counsel with your Bishop or some other trustworthy source. You may find
out there are things in your behavior that cause your wife to behave the way she
does. Just saying, always two side to marital problems.
@Another PerspectiveI don't think you understand what causes
...I read read Deseret News, China news(Xinhua-English), and Japan today(English
language), and have never been ambushed. These sites give a very broad view of
current events(the best in my opinion), and are free of charge.
One way to reduce men's affinity for pornography would be for their wives
to be loving and available. A man with a cold aloof wife is tempted to look
elsewhere. Why doesn't the relief society as part of their curriculum
teach women the importance of being warm, loving and available when they become
The sad thing is people don't have to go looking for these insidious
things, they come to them when filters don't work and the deceitful people
that lure innocent people into their lairs. Entrapment is easy when children
get involved at their neighbors or friends house when parents are cautious or
are cautious but know about all the traps and lures out there. Television and
the Internet but some of the social media trap also. All these forms of media
can bring the light and knowledge to the world but in a wink can bring misery
and despair for years to come. Having worked with the substance and abuse and
anti-violence groups in the state for almost 10 years, drugs and pornography
cause similar problems but can also feed one another and lead to violence in and
away from the home. The Church is responding in so many good ways
to help people come out of addiction but the prevention is and has been talked
about in conference for many years. The April conference by the Relief Society
Counselor was a light to the world and church members. Pornography is not
Thank you, thank you to this couple for bravely sharing their story. If, in spite of vigilant parenting and open communication, your child should
stumble into porn addiction, do not blame yourself. Get help. Hang in there.
It's a tough ride, but like the video says - there is hope and healing.
@ Brain, You go! Great job!
I had a teenage son watch this video. I wanted him to see what might not seem
destructive to him as a teenager really is destructive and how it can effect
one's life in a serious way. It can destroy the family. The people
telling their story were extremely brave in doing so. My husband and I have
worked really hard to teach our children not to view things on the internet and
we had protected all of our computers as well. One thing we forgot, the cell
phone. Luckily the lines of communication between us and our children are open
and our son came to us about this issue. People don't realize, especially
kids, how things can turn into a serious addiction regardless of one's
religious beliefs and it can have an effect on a person's ability to have
normal sexual relationships. Thankfully, as this video depicts, we have the
atonement and healing power of the savior to overcome these addictions and
problems. When I was a kid things that were not easily available are a
keystroke away and anybody can see them. Parents, be vigilant and talk to your
I have struggled with a pornography/sex/lust addiction for over 25 years. Over
the years I tried everything from praying more, reading the scriptures more,
reading self-help books, going to therapists, along with numerous confessions to
my local bishop. Nothing helped me for very long. I didn't realize at the
time that I was doing what is known as 'white-knuckling' and that that
method usually never works for very long. Understandably (at least in my mind),
I had given up and it wasn't until I found the Church's ARP program
that I started to experience real recovery. I now have 270 days of true sobriety
and I understand how to access the atonement in my life. I have no doubts that
if I strive to daily practice the principles I've learned from this
program, and turn my life completely over to the Lord, that I will continue to
experience the peace and joy of being free from this addiction. The Lord's
yoke truly is easy and His burden is light!