Excerpts from the USCCB "Clean Heat" series: Pornography's Effects on Marriage and Hope for Married Couples
Many Good People Struggle
One of the biggest lies that Satan has led many Catholic couples to believe is that they are alone in their struggles with pornography. People may be surprised to learn that many good Catholics and Christians are struggling with this issue. A Barna Survey on US porn use indicated that 37 percent of Christian men and 7 percent of Christian women used porn several times a week or more, and 64 percent of Christian men and 15 percent of Christian women used porn once a month or more.1 Indeed, as a couple, we have met many good men, women, teachers, clergy, youth ministers, and others who have struggled with pornography.
Brain Science of Pornography
It is important for people to understand that porn impairs the brain, whether it is used sporadically or multiple times per week. As the bishops state in Create in Me a Clean Heart, "Viewing pornography, usually combined with masturbation, directly affects the brain's reward pathways and has been noted to have a similar effect on the brain as cocaine does on a person with a drug addiction or as alcohol on a person with an alcohol addiction" (page 15). Pornography is never harmless.