The Radical Life

by matthew warner

10 Things We Could Do If We Didn’t Love Porn So Much

A few years ago I did some rough calculations:

There are about 25.5 million teenagers in the USA (ages 13-19). On average, each teen spends 87 hours per year looking for or at pornography online. That means U.S. teens spend about 2.2 billion man-hours on pornography per year.

There are about 230 million adults in the USA (ages 20 and up). On average, each one spends 40 hours looking at pornography. That means US adults spend an estimated 9.2 billion man-hours on pornography per year.

So, all together, US adults and teens spend 11.4 billion man-hours per year on internet pornography alone.

We also spend over $13.3 billion on pornography in the United States every year.

Here area a few other things we could do with that same time and money:

With that same amount of time (man-hours) we could…

  1. Build the Empire State building…1,628 times.
  2. Visit every single one of the 1.5 million U.S. nursing home residents, every single day of the year, for 20 hours a day…and still have free time left over.
  3. Visit every single one of the 2 million prisoners in the United States, every single day, two visitors at a time, for 8 hours.
  4. Have every single person in the U.S. spend an extra 36 hours in prayer.
  5. Spend 3 extra hours per week with each and every one of the 75 million teens and children in the United States.

With that same amount of money we could…

  1. Provide, prepare and serve 7 billion school lunches. That’s enough to feed over 38 million students every school day of the year.
  2. Pay for 1.9 million four-year college degrees.
  3. Build 190,000 Habitat for Humanity homes…in Orange County, CA. Or we could build 7.25 million of them in India.
  4. Give $13.3 million to one thousand different charities each.
  5. Feed 1 billion people a meal…70 times.

And this says nothing of all of the other negative side effects that would be avoided if we could give up our porn.

How many marriages are stressed by it? How many families broken? How many addictions formed? How many marital unions defiled, nullified and deeply scarred? How many abusers made callous to the dignity of the human person? How many brains are re-wired to objectify rather than dignify? How many innocents are spoiled? And how many young, struggling people are drawn into an industry that lets us degrade them for our own entertainment and pleasure? And subjects them to a lifestyle that very often kills them (the life expectancy of a porn star/stripper is 37 years)?

We thought the days of the Coliseum were long gone. They’re really not. Its walls may have crumbled, but they’ve been resurrected around dark, shadowy clubs and private web portals where we reduce our fellow human beings to objects of our own entertainment at the expense of their pain and destruction.

The mask of the party and the barrier of computer screens dangerously deceives us into thinking nobody is getting hurt. But not only are we hurting all of the people we objectify and take advantage of, and not only are we hurting all the people we could have been helping with that time/money instead, but we’re also hurting ourselves. Rewiring our brains into lesser versions of ourselves that compete directly with the radically satisfying life we were created to live.

All because we can’t give up the comparatively dull, distracting, destructive indulgence of our porn.

(The best talk I’ve ever heard on the vice of porn and the virtue of purity is called Detox, by Jason Evert. Whether you struggle with this or not, you should get it and share it.)