Have you ever been in a room with 1000 anti-porn Christians, many of whom are pastors? I have!

People from 19 countries and over 350 organizations came together to encourage Christians to fight for freedom from the devastating impacts of pornography. Let me share with you some of the energy I felt at the recent Set Free Summit organized by Josh McDowell Ministries and Covenant Eyes. These 17 jaw-dropping facts will motivate you to keep fighting porn.

Anti-porn fighters at the Set Free Summit

Father Sean Kilcawley and Dawn Hawkins and a Pastor who talked me into a picture after I’d just flown a red-eye from the west coast.

17 Facts to Keep You Anti-Porn

1 Most young men speak about porn as a positive thing. This is according to The Porn Phenomenon Research which was commissioned by Josh McDowell. This ground-breaking study surveyed 3000 U.S teens, adults, and senior pastors who were asked about their perceptions and use of pornography. Three-quarters of young men 13 to 24 talk with their friends about porn occasionally, but 90% of those conversations are “encouraging, accepting or neutral.” In other words, only 10% of conversations about porn among this demographic are negative. This shows how accepted porn has become with teens and young adults. Dave Kinnaman, founder and president of the Barna Group, a polling and research firm

2 Scientists can now use MRI’s to show that pornography can physically shrink the prefrontal cortex (we call it the thinking brain). Furthermore, in this study done in Germany, the more porn a subject watched, the more shrinkage was found. These findings begin to show causation (i.e. using porn causes brain shrinkage) in addition to correlation. Dr. Donald Hilton, MD, author, neurosurgeon and Professor of Neurosurgery, University of Texas

3 Our society has a new sexual orientation–pornosexual. This describes a person who prefers being sexually aroused by porn, not by another human being. Oxytocin released during masturbation and porn use causes users to bond with the image on the screen. Dr. William Struthers, neuroscientist and professor of psychology, Wheaton College

4 Porn use makes its users more accepting of crimes like rape, violence, and abuse. Pornified kids are more likely to get STDs, get pregnant, use alcohol or other substances, engage in sexual harassment, and engage in sexual violence against other kids. Her message to pornographers: “You will never have the comfort of my silence.” Dr. Mary Ann Layden, Dir. of Education, Center for Cognitive Therapy, Univ. of Pennsylvania

5 Did you know that pornography is illegal in almost every state in the United States? Yes! It’s true! It is a federal crime to distribute hard core porn via cable or the internet, by mail or in a retail store. Why aren’t prosecutors prosecuting the porn industry? Because as a culture we don’t care enough. However, there are signs that we’re beginning to win this war. Patrick Trueman, President of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Daniel Gilman, John Fort and Michael Leahy are all fighting the good fight! (Sorry for the awful pics--my phone needs an upgrade!)

Daniel Gilman, John Fort and Michael Leahy are all fighting the good fight!

6 We’re starting to see big wins against pornography. Several major hotel chains will no longer offer porn channels in their hotels. Google no longer promotes ads from pornographers. Visit the “Dirty Dozen” list for more ways you can put pressure on companies to ditch the porn and stop supporting sexual exploitation. Dawn Hawkins, Vice President and Executive Dir. of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation

7 Because of the secrecy and shame, porn can cause a rupture between a child and his/her parents. Christian kids who feel guilt and shame about using pornography need to be assured that Jesus loves them and will always love them. When this realization sinks in, healing can begin to take place. (This was, bar none, the most moving and poignant presentation for me.) Father Sean Kilcawley, Diocesan Director for the Office of Family Life and Evangelization in Lincoln, Nebraska and advisor to Integrity Restored

8 Porn is sneaking up on women and crushing them. The current dialogue geared towards men isn’t helping women to come forward and get help. Body image issues often begin a girl’s interest in porn. Shame doesn’t change bad behaviors; shame just makes people lie. Jessica Harris, Author, Blogger at Beggar’s Daughter, former porn addict

9 Men retreat into fantasy because of the pressures of life and negative emotions. In the world of gaming and porn, men can be great. They can fight the bad guy or make a sexual conquest. The truth is that to recover from a porn addiction you either experience the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. To overcome an addiction to fantasy, you need to develop emotional maturity and authentic intimacy. Kenny Luck, Founder and President of Every Man Ministries

More anti-porn friends at the Set Free Summit

I lost count of the times I said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”

10 Porn tears marriages apart and causes untold pain to spouses. Rebuilding trust in a marriage takes longer than forgiveness. Just because the habit is over, the havoc is not over. Vicki Tiede, Speaker and Author

11 It is inevitable that most kids will look at pornography, but what is important is what they’ll do when they see it. Letting kids on an unmonitored internet is like sending them to the Las Vegas strip, alone. Accountability software has a positive impact on kids and their use of the internet. Ron DeHaas, Founder & CEO of Covenant Eyes.

12 Parents need to be very careful about the apps they allow on the devices their kids use. Many apps have a backdoor to porn. If you develop an app, make sure you build in ways to not allow the porn industry to exploit it. Donna Rice Hughes, CEO and President, Enough is Enough

13 Porn causes tech-induced loneliness. In fact, there’s a service called Ameego where you can “rent friends by the hour.” Talk with kids about sex and pornography and define the terms for them. Appeal to common human values to help kids see why porn is wrong. Ask kids questions and don’t freak out at their answers. Ironically, our culture sends both of these messages at the same time:  “Sex is nothing” and “Sex is everything.” Dr. Sean McDowell, Professor of Christian Apologetics

14 Fighting porn can be cool and hip if the messaging is done right. When working with teens, entertain first, inform second. Kids can be rebels who do what is right. Most impactful message: “Porn Kills Love, Fight For Love!” Clay Olsen, Co-founder and CEO of Fight the New Drug

Thanks to Vauna Davis, Exec. Dir. of the Utah Coalition Against Pornography, for being my summit buddy!

Thanks to Vauna Davis, Exec. Dir. of UCAP, for being my summit buddy!

15 Kids learn early that you will never find rejection from a porn site. Kids use porn to self-medicate. Porn causes people to break apart and live a double life. Talking about the problem leads to freedom and peace. Bernie Anderson, Pastor and Author

16 “We need a Wilberforce, a Mother Theresa and a Bonhoeffer in the church today who have the courage to battle the devastation of porn as they did slavery, poverty, and Nazism.” Be a part of the solution by starting with yourself, your family and your church. Josh McDowell, Internationally known Speaker and Author

17 We are making progress in empowering the next generation to reject pornography! Watch Gina, a single mom of 4 from Austin TX talk about how she taught her kids to have power over porn exposure.

THINK ABOUT THIS: You don’t have to help everyone! You can start with just one! Help one other person find resources that can make a difference for generations.

MY CAN DO ACTION: I can share one fact from this blog with my friends and family. I won’t give the porn industry the benefit of my silence!

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Kristen Jenson
Kristen A. Jenson is the founder of Protect Young Minds and author of Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today's Young Kids. Kristen enjoys speaking, writing and anything else that will help empower kids to reject pornography. Kristen earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, and a master’s degree in Organizational Communication. Kristen currently lives with her husband in Washington State, where she enjoys growing a vegetable garden, watching Masterpiece Theater, and taking long walks with friends who tolerate her incessant talking about you know what. Above all else, her husband and three children are her greatest treasures.
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