Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Battle Against Pornography: excerpts from "Blessed are the Pure in Heart"

(The following unsettling data was included in Bishop Robert Finn's pastoral letter on pornography:)

The scope and costs of Pornography
§ According to 2004 IFR research, U.S. porn revenue exceeds the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC (6.2 billion). Porn revenue is larger than all combined revenues of all professional football, baseball and basketball franchises. The pornography industry, according to conservative estimates, brings in $57 billion per year, of which the United States is responsible for $12 billion. Internet Pornography and Loneliness: An Association? Vincent Cyrus Yoder, Thomas B. Virden III , and Kiran Amin. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, Volume 12.1, 2005.
§ The Internet accounted for US $2.5 billion of the adult industry’s revenues. Dirty Downloads Ready to Go on iPods, Ron Harris, http://www.macnewsworld.com/, 2005
§ According to a March, 2004 figure, there were 800 million rentals each year of adult videos and DVDs Overdosing on Porn, Rebecca Hagelin. http://www.worldandi.com/.
§ Current estimates are that $20 billion is spent annually on adult videos (sales and rentals).
Half of all hotel guests order pornographic movies. These films comprise 80% of in-room entertainment revenue and 70% of total in-room revenue. Sex-Film Industry Threatened With Condom Requirement, Nick Madigan. The New York Times, 24 August, 2004 .
§ Cable pay per view amounted to $2.5 billion.
§ Magazines accounted for $7.5 billion.

Scope of Internet Pornography
§ In 2004, there were 4.2 million pornographic websites; 372 million pornographic pages.
Daily there were 68 million pornographic search engine requests (25% of requests). 2003.
Sex is the number 1 topic searched on the Internet. Overdosing on Porn, Rebecca Hagelin. http://www.worlandi.com/, March, 2004.
§ Daily there are 2.5 billion pornographic emails (8% of total emails). 2004.
§ The most common ways people have accidentally reached pornographic content on the Web are pop-up windows (55%), misrepresented links (52%), misspelled URLs (48%) and auto links within emails (23%) Fifty Percent of Workers Spend Nine days a Year on Personal Surfing at Work. Cerberian Inc. and SonicWALL, 20 July 2004 .
§ There are 100 thousand websites offering illegal child pornography (U.S. Customs Service estimate).

Adult Internet Pornography Statistics
§ 70% of 18 to 24 year old men visit pornographic sites in a typical month. 66% of men in their 20s and 30s also report being regular users of pornography. First-person: the culture of pornography, R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Baptist Press, 28 December 2005 .
§ 20% of men and 13% of women surveyed admitted to accessing pornography at work. Internet Pornography Statistics. Internet Filter Review, 2004.
§ There are 40 million US adults who regularly visit internet pornography websites
§ One out of three visitors to all adult web sites are women.
§ Women favor chat rooms two times more than men.

Effects of Pornography
§ 40% of adults surveyed believe that pornography harms relationships between men and women. Consensus Among American Public on the Effects of Pornography on Adults or Children or What Government Should Do About It, Harris Poll, 7 October 2005 . www.harrisinteractive.com.
§ 30 percent of surveyed adults said their partner’s use of pornography made them feel more like a sexual object Marriage Related Research, Mark A. Yarhouse, Psy.D. Christian Counseling Today, 2004 Vol. 12 No. 1. August, 2004.
§ One out of every six women grapples with addiction to pornography. Internet Pornography and Loneliness: An Association? Vincent Cyrus Yoder, Thomas B. Virden III , and Kiran Amin. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, Volume 12.1, 2005.
§ 47% of Christians surveyed said pornography is a major problem in the home.
§ As little as six hours exposure to soft core porn (anything designed to arouse one sexually) is enough to destroy the viewer’s satisfaction with his or her spouse; decrease the value of faithfulness; decrease the ability to be with one person and cherish that person; and increase the thought that women enjoy rape. Survey 2004

Children and the Internet
§ Children use the Internet. 96 percent of kids have gone online; 74% having access at home and 61% use the Internet on a typical day. Kids stay connected, USA Today snapshots. 5 January, 2004 .
§ In a survey reported in 2000, 21 percent of teens say they have looked at something on the Internet that they wouldn’t want their parents to know. A World of Their Own. Newsweek, 8 May 2000.

Children Internet Pornography Statistics
§ 90% of 8-16 year olds using the Internet have viewed pornography on line (most while doing homework). 2004
§ Eleven years old is the average age of first Internet exposure to pornography. 2004.
§ Among underage viewers of pornography, children 12 years old to 17 years old are the largest consumers of Internet pornography. 2004.
§ A survey of 600 households conducted by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children found that 20% of parents do not know any of their children’s Internet passwords, instant messaging nicknames or email addresses. Only 5% of parents recognized the acronym POS (parent over shoulder) and only 1% could identify WTGP (want to go private?), both of which are used frequently by teens when instant messaging Ads target online victimization of children. USA Today, 20 May 2004.
§ Incidents of child sexual exploitation have risen from 4,573 in 1998 to 112,083 in 2004, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Reports of child exploitation up. USA Today Snapshots, 17 February, 2005 .
§ Child Pornography generates $3 billion annually. Internet Filter Review. 2004”

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I am an enormously blessed husband and dad. In regard to my Catholic theological background, I have a certificate in social ministry & a master's degree (moral theology concentration), as well as a catechetical diploma from the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Clergy (Nope, I am not now - nor have I have ever been - a seminarian, deacon, or priest.). I feel particularly proud to have a mandatum. I also have a doctorate in Christian counseling psychology.

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