Business is tough for a lot of industries right now. Pornography, unfortunately, isn't one of them. Isolated, stuck at home, and restless, more people seem to be turning to adult entertainment to while away the hours. That's terrible news for anyone concerned about young men, marriages, abuse, trafficking, addiction, sexual dysfunction, and brain development. Let's face it, experts say, porn was a pandemic long before this virus.
There's no bad time to drum up business, PornHub has decided. One of the world's most popular porn sites is taking advantage of the coronavirus by advertising like never before. In early March, when the outbreak was just starting to hit hard in Spain, France, and Italy, the company decided to give the lockdown nations another way to pass their time. "In light of expanding quarantines, we're extending Free PornHub Premium for the month to our friends in [other countries]!" Almost immediately, web traffic spiked -- in some places by as much as 61 percent. The site, along with others, even started featuring COVID-19-themed videos.
Maybe, Terry Schilling writes, "During a worldwide pandemic that has already taken thousands of lives, concerns about a rise in porn usage may seem trivial. However, to brush these concerns aside would be a huge mistake. Like the coronavirus, pornography use is silent but deadly, a powerful disease that has had devastating effects across our society. Although coronavirus may attract more headlines today, pornography will be with us for the long haul. Porn cannot be vaccinated against, it has a nearly $100 billion industry devoted to its spread worldwide, and few are brave enough to stand against it."
As CBN's David Brody and I talked about on radio, today's porn is a far cry from the Playboy magazines of old. These are violent, abusive -- even rape-centric -- videos that are teaching children to treat women like trash. If you don't believe it, check out the jarring exposé from the New York Times, "What Teenagers Are Learning from Online Porn" (warning: extremely graphic). What kids think is normal will shock and sober you. They're seeing raw, brutal, and nauseating videos that they don't have to sneak into a store for. Every time they hold a cell phone or log on to a laptop, there's a whole new world waiting.
And now, PornHub and other sites are seeing to it that they have more access to it than ever. "This is a really good time," David urged, "for parents to reset with kids about what they're doing online." We cannot afford to let this crisis open the door to a craving that destroys our kids' innocence and future happiness. The science is all there. So are the heartbreaking stories -- and the predators helping to write them.
During this crisis, Terry warns, "each of us should also be doing our part to deny Big Porn the business it craves and protect our children from its influence. As bad as coronavirus is, we cannot afford to fight one disease by simply trading it for another. Now more than ever, we must join together to take on the pornography industry and defeat the terrible porn epidemic."
If you're an adult trying to escape this online world, it isn't easy. But it's also not impossible. Josh McDowell has a tremendous message of freedom for anyone struggling with this addiction that you can watch here. If you're a parent, I can't encourage you strongly enough to use this time to talk to your sons and daughters about the dangers of pornography. If you need help, check out FRC's blog post, "How to Talk to Kids about Pornography: Three Easy Steps." Other resources are here and at Fight the New Drug here.