Researchers have determined that consumption of pornographic imagery has neurological effects similar to those caused by drugs. Mental function is actually changed. As someone views erotic pictures (either still or moving), over time not only does the experience become physically addictive, the brain starts to develop tolerance.
The influence of pornography on the maturing brain can shape someone’s entire of life. At a minimum it tends to encourage sex outside of marriage (with consequent higher rates of abortion). But besides that, it can distort understanding of sexual intimacy, promote false expectations about body image, and instill attitudes that make healthy interactions with the opposite sex difficult, if not impossible.
Yet these days, kids can hardly avoid being exposed to porn. It’s not like years ago, when those “special” magazines were sold surreptitiously from “behind the counter.” Young people are showered with erotic imagery, vulgar language, and endless promptings to give full vent to their curiosity and secret longings — not to mention being urged to find their true place along the endless rainbow of gender variety.
Their own souls must be in order, however, and as a priest, I can tell you that’s not always the case. I know from long experience hearing confessions that pornography — from casual, occasional indulgence, to full-blown addiction — is a very common problem. I’m tempted to call it an epidemic, and it’s a far more serious and widespread one than COVID.