Young People And Pornography: A Discussion
At the start of this year I was asked to lead a workshop at the volunteers conference for retreat centres and outreach teams. Running this website I thought it'd be an interesting idea to talk a bit about how we can live our faith in the digital world. One of the areas I spoke about that was so interesting and generated a huge amount of discussion was what was happening on the internet with young people and pornography. Most of us in these sessions were teenagers with access to the internet, so while there wasn't much of a shock factor for most people, it struck me that very few people had ever had the chance to properly talk about it.
If we, whose who work in youth ministry have rarely really been in a situation to talk about the internet and pro, how do we think young people, many of whom will be viewing it, are coping?
Martin Saunders who is involved in the Youthwork Summit has written a couple of articles about pornography in Christianity in this country (you can read them here and here). In his latest he pulls out some statistics that are quite shocking
30% Church leaders who access porn on the Internet more than once a month
42% Christian men who say they have a 'porn addiction'
90% Christians who believe the Church does not adequately support those who struggle with pornography use
75% Christian men who view pornography on a monthly or less regular basis
Just recently LifeTeen have just launched something called the Victory App, it's an app you can download to your phone that is a help and support for people who are trying to give up an addiction to porn. It's a really interesting idea and helps people to look at how they're feeling and what kind of triggers they have. You can read more about it here.
I think we need to do more to talk about this with young people, to challenge it, but how do we do it? Would you recommend this to young people? Or have you found another way of engaging young people in this topic? Do let us know on the comment stream below!