The discussion about pornography frequently focuses on men, and women who struggle in this area are often left unacknowledged and wondering if they’re alone in their painful addiction.
In Victorian times, the idea of women as the “domestic angel” put them on a pedestal of purity where they were expected to shower endless love, patience and general saintliness down upon their family. While modern culture has generally moved away from this classification, a few vestiges of it remain for women, especially for Christian women, unfortunately.
On the UK news outlet Daily Mail, one young woman recounts her mixture of shock, relief and shame when she was summoned by the disciplinary panel of her university because of the excessive number of porn sites accessed on her computer. Their most pressing question was, “Do you know how any of the male students might have got your login and password?” While escaping punishment was technically a relief, “it confirmed her darkest fears: there must be something terribly wrong with her, because women don’t get addicted to pornography, do they?”
To make matters worse, many people assume that women or girls become addicted to sexual materials because of abuse. As author and ministry leader Jessica Harris explains, “For men, pornography use is explained away because men are visually wired. We miss the fact that plenty of men do suffer from trauma. We also miss that many women don’t. I personally know several women with pasts of porn addiction who had no history of sexual trauma. The reality is that plenty of women get hooked on porn simply because they’re curious and sexual release feels good.”
Many are lured in by curiosity and assumptions that women can’t become addicted like men, and then they are trapped not only by their addiction, but also by guilt and shame. Equating this addiction to a history of abuse increases the shame women feel, since many of them don’t have any “excuse” for their habit.
Studies are finding that one in three visitors to porn sites are women, and others are discovering that women may have a higher risk than men of addiction. This research, however, only takes specifically earmarked pornography websites into account. If that pool was widened to include erotic fiction, which can be every bit as explicit and objectifying as online porn videos, would the number of women addicted to sexual materials be nearly equal to men?
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Rachel Chimits